September 2007

A stand on internet privacy from Google

“Privacy laws have not kept up with the reality of the internet and
technology, where we have vast amounts of information and every time a
credit card is used online, the data on it can move across six or seven
countries in a matter of minutes,” Mr Fleischer told the Financial
Times
ahead of his speech.

This is good.

It may be a partially-formed thought at the moment, but without Google’s participation, any initiative will struggle to become a standard. With Google’s involvement, online practice and laws have a chance of defending our privacy – but in ways that are practical for individuals and lawyers, and commercially sound for online businesses.

So for example A Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web and has a lot more chance of becoming accepted if it’s adopted by Google – and Skype. It’ll be interesting to see how the two approaches compare.

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Techcrunch on social networks/local search in the UK

’tis the new big thing: local search + social network recommendations.

Actually, I saw a broadsheet Sunday newspaper quoting research that ‘we’ trust our friends’ and communities’ restaurant  recommendations more than we trust professional restaurant reviewers – so maybe there’s something in this social networking, reviews, and local search thing?!

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Only ourselves to blame for privacy breaches

“That said, a study issued last month found that Facebook members themselves were somewhat careless about safeguarding their privacy. IT security firm Sophos found that 41 percent of Facebook users surveyed were willing to give personal information – such as e-mail address, date of birth and phone number – to a complete stranger, greatly increasing their susceptibility to ID theft.” Charlie Taylor, on TheRegister

If you take that info (by phone, or scraped from social networking sites), and add it to the delivery address given on amazon’s wishlist, could it be all that an Identity thief would need to clone your ID…

Google’s Socialstream blends content…

There’s a video demo of this companion/development of Orkut and a good description on  Googlesystem’s unofficial blog
… which looks just fine – but but but is it just going to feed our privacy concerns?

I’m sure Google will draw a clear line between the data they allow to be scraped & blended into nosey services… but where will they draw the line? And how far back will Google go into our histories?

Picked up from Mashable

The UK’s internet fraud map… worrying privacy issues

“London has been confirmed as the web-fraud capital of Britain, leading the pack when it comes to CNP (cardholder not present) fraud.

With an increase of around 22% in national internet card crime, the latest Early Warning Fraud Map
shows London, Manchester, Coventry, Kilmarnock and Bristol as
sustaining significantly more fraudulent transactions than elsewhere.”

…from Antony Savvas, at Computer Weekly – it’s a good follow through from his post in March this year:

Over one-in-ten (12%) internet users have experienced web fraud in past 12 months, costing them an average of £875 each.

The figure is reported by government and industry online safety campaign Get Safe Online.
 
A
survey among UK internet adult users (who number a total of 29m) found
that 12% had experienced online fraud in the last year. 

In
that time, 6% had suffered fraud while shopping online, 5% had
experienced another form of general online fraud and 4% were subject to
bank account or credit card fraud as a result of activity online (some
users experienced more than one of these types of fraud).”

The fraud map broadly follows population – no surprise there. What’s most worrying is that fraud rose by 22%. That may simply be the fraudsters’ response to chip n pin’s introduction in February 2006 – which may well have shifted card fraud from point of sale to cardholder not present transactions.

But if we can’t keep our money secure, with the help of our banks, then what chance have we of keeping our personal data secure? It’s a real issue, because no amount of protection by our banks can prevent ID theft if individually we leave data trails across the web that allow fraudsters to construct a personal profile.

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