The Evidon Weekly Digest 2/8/12

Feb 8, 2012 By Adam DeMartino
Privacy news was still buzzing last week as the media reacted to Google’s privacy policy changes and Facebook’s IPO. There were also two posts on the interesting artistic endeavors that are cropping up around the growing privacy industry – very much worth a look when you have time to watch some videos. Also, there was an excellent Sunday New York Times article that asked the question "Should Personal Data Be Personal?" Europe brought us similar news with the added stories about the EU Cookie Law, many of them complaining about the added burden it will place on the industry. Should Personal Data Be Personal? – NYT – MAX SCHREMS, a 24-year-old law student from Salzburg, Austria, wanted to know what Facebook knew: He requested his own Facebook file. What he got turned out to be a virtual bildungsroman, 1,222 pages long. It contained wall posts he had deleted, old messages that revealed a friend’s troubled state of mind, even information that he didn’t enter himself about his physical whereabouts.
Google Buys Online Ads In Pushback Over Privacy – paidContent – Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is purchasing display ads on websites like the Washington Post, an unusual move that is part of the company’s strained efforts to define its privacy policy before its opponents can define it instead. No, You Don’t Need To Fear The Google Privacy Changes: A Reality Check – Marketing Land – Less than a month to go before Google’s new privacy policy changes happen. Microsoft is running an ad campaign encouraging switching to its services as safer or more private. The US Congress is still asking questions. Headlines have painted a worrisome picture. But Google’s users seem largely unconcerned. That’s no surprise. They probably shouldn’t be. What’s Your Story? Meet the 2011 Winners [VIDEOS] – The challenge? Create a video educating people about staying safe and secure online and using the Internet responsibly. The prize? $10,000 for the best overall video, and cash prizes to each best-in-category video for individual and school entries. Meet our winners (as selected by viewers and our panel of judges) and watch their stories from three categories… 6 Art Projects Prying The Lid Off Online Privacy – The Creators Project – The simplicity of social networking often makes us forget the value of what it is we are sharing. It’s so easy to send a tweet or upload a new photo to Facebook, not to mention free of charge, that we often don’t consider what the hidden costs of this exchange might be. We’re still in an awkward transitional period where we haven’t yet learned to take into consideration the blurring lines between public and private in the online domain, and thinking about our online identities as having real, tangible, monetary value. The information we’re sharing about ourselves is essentially what we’re exchanging or transacting to “pay” for the services we think are free. Data has become the currency of our social mediated culture. A child's journey from Club Penguin to Facebook – BBC News –Staying safe online can be complicated enough for adults - hands up those who have clicked on a spam link or inadvertently downloaded a virus to their PC? - so imagine what a minefield it can be for a child.

News from the EU

EU regulators want Google to halt new privacy policy – The Chicago Tribune – A group of European regulators has written to Google Inc calling on it to halt the introduction of its new privacy policy, saying it needs to investigate whether the proposals sufficiently protect users' data. Will Facebook, Google, and the Government Wreck Your Markets? – Law.com – Much has been written about Facebook’s upcoming initial public offering—which, if successful, will raise more than $5 billion, making it one of the largest IPOs in history. The information about Facebook’s operations that has been released paints a picture of a company that is certainly not without risks to investors. But with a customer base of nearly 800 million, who cares? We’ve also been reading a lot about Google’s attempt to change its privacy policies and how governments in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere have reacted with significant concerns about the consumers who will be affected by the revisions. Adding to the paternalistic instincts of legislators and consumerists is Facebook’s planned “timeline” profile page and the privacy concerns surrounding it. The EU Cookie law stinks – OffRoadCode – I've been following the EU Cookie law for a while now in the hope it will somehow go away but it won't. So we have to look at how we can deal with it. There appears to be no clear-cut solution. EPrivacy: How the Euro Cookie Crumbles – The Kernel – The EU’s Privacy and Communications Directive is meant to protect us, as internet users. But opponents argue that ill-considered national regulations and technical challenges could cost businesses dearly. Adrian Bridgwater investigates.
 

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