"online privacy" news, interviews, and features

News about online privacy

  • Google tracks you too, internal e-mails show

    A series of internal e-mails from last year highlights how important location data is to Google, and likely gives more ammunition to privacy advocates over how these companies track your every move.

  • The state of 'Do Not Track' on the internet

    Users concerned with online privacy have been struggling for years to come up with a solution to being tracked on the Web. Such users either want to avoid irritating, targeted ads based on browsing history or are concerned about businesses having too much access to our personal information.

  • Diaspora: An antidote for your Facebook privacy problems

    Our social networks say a lot about us. When you register with a Website like Facebook, you voluntarily give up personal information like your name, photo, and phone number in exchange for the privilege of access to a network that makes it easy to keep in touch with friends and family. Facebook then makes money aggregating that information for sale to advertisers looking to target groups of potential customers with specific ages and interests. It’s an information economy, and to be clear, Facebook cleaves to a privacy policy that only permits the sharing of “non-personally identifiable attributes” with advertisers.

  • Facebook Questions: Hands on

    Facebook recently launched a new question-and-answer feature that helps supply answers to important questions such as "Where's the best burger in New York City?" or "Which smartphone do you use?" The new feature lets you ask questions of your friends, set up a poll with a limited number of responses, and follow interesting questions asked by others. Questions is now rolling out to all users, but if you want to get started right away you can activate Facebook Questions here. Facebook's new question service has been in limited beta testing since July.

  • Microsoft Web privacy gets W3C seal of approval

    The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has given Microsoft's proposal for a standard protecting consumer privacy the seal of approval. Acceptance by W3C -- the governing body responsible for HTML5 -- is a significant hurdle for Microsoft as it works to give users more control over their own online privacy and the tools necessary to block unwanted Web tracking.

  • Firefox 'Do Not Track' ready for download now

    Adventuresome Firefox users who can't wait to try out the "do not track" feature can do so now by grabbing a "nightly build" of the browser. Nightly builds are for testing purposes only, Mozilla warns, and aren't as stable as beta releases.

  • What the Gawker hack should teach us about passwords

    Unless you've been leading a Luddite existence -- off camping in the Rockies or something -- you are probably aware that Gawker was the victim of an attack which exposed passwords and led to a deluge of Twitter spam. The silver lining of this incident is that it gives us yet another opportunity to examine real-world passwords and hopefully learn a lesson or two...but don't hold your breath.

  • IE9 'Do Not Track' feature prone to user error

    Microsoft today revealed a new security control in Internet Explorer 9 which will enable users to restrict sites from tracking them. The ability to control access to tracking data from within the browser is a welcome addition, but the feature is not exactly fool-proof.

  • Skeptical Shopper: E-Coupons May Track Spending Habits

    The advent of online coupons has made shopping and saving that much easier. In an earlier era, people spent their Sunday mornings clipping coupons out of the newspaper. Now, you can download coupons from dedicated sites like Coupons.com or Ebates.com, or even social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. But this convenience carries certain privacy risks: Some companies track consumer spending habits based on the coupons those consumers use.