Posts tagged "online privacy protection"
We trust our information with companies every day, but online privacy protection may not be their highest priority.
Some of the most widely-used tech companies in the world do a miserable job of protecting users’ online privacy. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has gathered data on the privacy protection efforts practiced by organizations like WordPress, Apple, Comcast and others (many of whom have also been victims of data security breaches recently) for its annual “report card.” Then it awarded stars to the companies as if they were hotels.
The results are abysmal for anyone who still thinks that corporate behemoths have their users’ best interests at heart.
Stars were given based on how well a company performed in various categories. Out of 18 companies measured, only two passed with flying colors in all six categories: Twitter and internet service provider Sonic.net. The rest scored poorly. Facebook earned 3 out of 6 stars, Apple and AT&T scored one star and Verizon struck out with zeroes across the board. If this were a real report card, most of these companies would have been expelled.
The Millennial generation tends to have a lax approach to online privacy protection – and it might put all of our security in jeopardy.
Those in their teens, 20s and early 30s – the “Millennials” – have widely prompted discussions as they enter and redefine the modern workplace. Recent information gives us a more in-focus picture of the general operating philosophy of this age group when it comes to handing out personal information over the internet. It’s been found that a devil-may-care attitude is much too prevalent.
A survey from the University of South California’s Annenberg Center for the Digital Future revealed that more than half of the Millennials it questioned would willingly give their personal information to companies in exchange for some sort of coupon or incentive. And then a disconnect occurs because the same study interestingly showed that 70 percent of those same Millennials believed their personal data should be kept private.
Everybody knows that online privacy is in the eye of the beholder. Just as the government is working toward lessening attacks on our internet from other countries, the FBI is stepping up its game on the home front – and it wants to look at your Gmail when you send it.
So much of preventing the unwanted use of your data is simply knowing that you are being watched online by others. The FBI already has the ability to check copies of messages sent through Gmail and other providers after the fact, but it wants more: the chance to monitor such interactions as they are happening. Andrew Weissmann, the organization’s general counsel, has asserted that live online services of many different kinds are being used to perpetrate illegal purposes, requiring more surveillance. And the feds are not stopping there, also championing to gain access to messages sent on iPhones.
It took getting bit in public, but the President has finally taken a firm stance on online privacy protection with a brand new initiative.
Only weeks ago cyber hackers attacked the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and a bevy of massive corporate behemoths. Taking over their systems was a bit like taking candy from a candy factory (China manufacturers much of the security infrastructure that’s used to keep the bad guys out – so there are lots of back doors when they want to dip into the cookie jar).
In the past, certain pieces of proposed anti-piracy legislation like SOPA and CISPA have come under fire for being too restrictive and allowing private entities too much access to personal data. President Obama has expressed disapproval for those acts in the past, and in his State of the Union address Tuesday, he finally announced a cyber security executive order aimed at securing America’s infrastructure. Thank the gods of security that he is finally taking charge.