March 21, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Federal Trade Commission and California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris say that Facebook is misinterpreting how a children's privacy law applies to teen privacy in a move that could undercut the giant social network in a federal court case in California. Facebook users sued the company for using their images in ads on the service without their consent and later settled the class-action lawsuit in 2012. Children's advocates are challenging the settlement in an effort to require Facebook to get explicit permission from parents before using the personal information - as well as the images, likes and comments - of teens in advertising.
March 17, 2014 |
Newsweek's blockbuster claim that it had found the creator of the bitcoin virtual currency is coming under intense scrutiny after a strongly worded denial by a Temple City man whom the newsmagazine dubbed "the face behind bitcoin. " Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto has hired a law firm and issued a statement late Sunday saying he wanted to "clear my name. " When the story was published in early March, Nakamoto, 64, found himself at the center of a media circus as well as a raging online debate about whether he was the programmer who invented the currency that has become a multibillion-dollar global phenomenon.
March 5, 2014 |
As more of our children's education moves online, there are increased opportunities for abusing the collection of their personal data. Last month, state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) introduced a bill that would help close a loophole in federal regulations - at least in California - in an effort to safeguard personal information of public school students. The potential privacy violations could be significant, and it makes sense for the Legislature to act now. Under the federal Family and Educational Rights Protection Act, schools that receive federal funding are rightly barred from making disclosures about students' education records without permission.
March 2, 2014 |
There is a sense of despair when it comes to privacy in the digital age. Many of us assume that so much of our electronic information is now compromised, whether by corporations or government agencies, that there is little that can be done about it. Sometimes we try to rationalize this by telling ourselves that privacy may no longer matter so much. After all, an upstanding citizen should have nothing to fear from surveillance. In "Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance," author Julia Angwin seeks to challenge that defeatism.
February 21, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO -- LinkedIn has added a new privacy control feature that lets you block other users from accessing your profile on the professional networking service. The Mountain View, Calif., company said it created the tool that lets you block spammers and stalkers because “it was the right thing to do.” LinkedIn said the blocking feature was requested by users. In fact, the feature came after a Change.org petition signed by 9,200 people urged the company to put one in place.
February 13, 2014 |
Finally, instead of TMZ, is America saying TMI? Too much information about a celebrity? The NBC news accounts of Philip Seymour Hoffman's “secret diaries” - two volumes found in his apartment - are getting some surprising pushback. The Times' story on the NBC exclusive cites Twitter comments about the diaries - not their contents but NBC's revealing them - as “pretty tacky that anon police are offering news orgs Philip Seymour Hoffman's diary.” And so on: “simply nauseatingly intrusive” and “just despicable.” The Times' story itself attracted a comment in the same vein: “This is a ridiculous invasion of privacy ... he did not shoot up a school, murder his wife ... he killed himself, why do they need to know what's in his diary?