Sunday, August 05, 2012

Perhaps we could invite them to face the Privacy Foundation lawyers? But they probably have neither an education nor a travel budget. Perhaps Twitter would like a forum?
Hark! A New Trade Group is Born
August 4, 2012 by Dissent
Chris Hoofnagle writes:
BNA reports on the formation of the Internet Association, a new trade group that will represent Google, Facebook, eBay, and Amazon. The group introduces itself as, “the unified voice of the Internet economy, representing the interests of America’s leading Internet companies and their global community of users. The Internet Association is dedicated to advancing public policy solutions to strengthen and protect an open, innovative and free Internet. ”
I do not know what the Internet Association will do nor do I discuss its merits here (as it has no track record yet). I wish to use this as an opportunity to discuss some of the issues in trade group lobbying. Consumer groups have problems too, but unlike companies, consumers have no direct representation in most regulatory matters, and consumer groups are completely outgunned in money, influence, and manpower in DC.
Read more on Denialism Blog.
Interesting that Twitter – which has been active in protecting user privacy – is not part of this new association. Were they not invited to join, or did they decline?
Trade group lobbying has the means to accomplish some good for users – if, for example, – they got behind changes to strengthen ECPA so that businesses had more protection in uploading consumer data to the cloud without fear of the government’s ability to obtain data without a warrant. But for the most part, I think trade group lobbying of this kind is likely to benefit the trade group interests over the users’ interests. And once again, we’ll be out-financed and outgunned in D.C.

Pretty. Also confirms (in my mind) that I'm getting smarter as I get closer to geezerhood.
August 04, 2012
Infographics - How Consumers Really Feel About Data Privacy
via Placecast: How Consumers Really Feel About Data Privacy - "2,307 people were surveyed and it was found that use of data where the value exchange is explicit are most acceptable (grocery coupons, Amazon), while Facebook’s data usage is least acceptable. Also, use of location data from either merchants or cell phone carriers is acceptable by significant group with permission and an explicit value exchange."

They call it “ego surfing” – when you sit down in front of the computer, go to Google (or whatever search engine you prefer), and find out what information there is about you online.
… But there is another very good reason for “Googling” yourself – to find out if any private and sensitive information about yourself and / or your family has ended up online somehow.

What if Facebook is right and everyone needs an online dossier?
Facebook faces facial recognition fight in Norway
Facebook is being probed by the Norwegian Data Protection Authority over concerns regarding its facial recognition tool that automatically suggests people's names to tag in pictures. Facebook started rolling out the Tag Suggestions feature worldwide in June 2011, and ever since has faced backlash from privacy groups in Europe.
… "It's a very powerful tool Facebook has and it's not yet clear how it all really works," Bjorn Erik Thon, Norway's data protection commissioner, told Bloomberg. "They have pictures of hundreds of millions of people. What material Facebook has in its databases is something we need to discuss with them."

...and I still can't find a textbook that treats Eigenvalues correctly.
August 04, 2012
Contentious Google Book Scanning Case Approaches Fall Trial Date
Publishers Week news in following Google Book Scanning project postings: "After a round of key filings, two Authors Guild cases challenging Google’s ambitious library book-scanning program are on schedule for early fall trial dates. Final reply briefs were filed July 27 for the Authors Guild v. HathiTrust, with that case now fully briefed and all but set for a November trial in Judge Harold Baer’s courtroom. And in the Authors Guild v. Google case, motions for summary judgment were also filed July 27, with a final round of reply briefs due September 17 and oral arguments set for October 9 before Judge Denny Chin. With the summary judgment motions now in, the question before the courts this time around is refreshingly simple compared to the complex 300-plus–page settlement agreement between the authors, publishers, and Google that was rejected by Judge Denny Chin in March of 2011: digitizing millions of books for preservation and indexing is either authorized by Congress under the Copyright Act’s fair use provision, or it’s not. The Authors Guild holds that the unprecedented mass digitization programs exceed Congress’s stated intentions, while lawyers for Google and the HathiTrust (a coalition of research libraries) argue that the public benefits and transformative nature of the scanning projects easily qualify them as fair use."

Since I don't own a cellphone and don't play computer games, posting this must show how truly altruistic I am.
Is your ringtone boring, phone-like and stupid? Don’t be embarrassed – mine was too. Until, that is, I saw the light and changed it to one of the best sounds in the known universe: the Underworld Theme from the original Super Mario Bros. Now every time my phone rings, the people around me gaze in wonder and listen to my awesome ringtone, wishing they thought of that before me.

Truly geeky (but literate) humor...

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