Companies continue to store and sometimes release vast databases of "anonymized" information about users. But, as Netflix, AOL, and the State of Massachusetts have learned, "anonymized" data can often be cracked in surprising ways, revealing the hidden secrets each of us are assembling in online "databases of ruin."

Here’s a real copy of an American citizen’s DHS Travel Record retrieved from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s Automated Targeting System (ATS). This was obtained through a FOIA/Privacy Act request and sent in by an anonymous reader (thanks!)

The document reveals that the DHS is storing the reader’s:

* Credit card number and expiration (really) * IP address used to make web travel reservations * Hotel information and itinerary * Full Name, birth date and passport number * Full airline itinerary, including flight numbers and seat numbers * Cruise ship itinerary * Phone numbers, incl. business, home & cell * Every frequent flyer and hotel number associated with the subject, even ones not used for the specific reservation

But such services as YourHackerz.com are still active and plentiful, with clever names like "piratecrackers.com" and "hackmail.net." They boast of having little trouble hacking into such Web-based e-mail systems as AOL, Yahoo, Gmail, Facebook and Hotmail, and they advertise openly.

By default, Facebook’s privacy settings let applications access information on your profile even if you have restricted access to a specific network or friend group (as application privacy settings are separate from profile privacy settings). In addition, Facebook’s default settings allow applications run by your friends to pull information from your profile. Surprised? Check out your settings and see for yourself!

The lesson in all of this is that little we do is ephemeral anymore. We leave electronic audit trails everywhere we go, with everything we do. This won't change: We can't turn back technology. But as technology makes our conversations less ephemeral, we need laws to step in and safeguard our privacy. We need comprehensive data privacy laws, protecting our data and communications regardless of where it is stored or how it is processed. We need laws forcing companies to keep it private and delete it as soon as it is no longer needed, and laws giving us the right to delete our data from third-party sites. And we need international cooperation to ensure that companies cannot flaunt data privacy laws simply by moving themselves offshore.

Facebook has decent privacy controls, but most users don't realize how to take full advantage of them. Ars guides you through Facebook's privacy settings so that you can be both social and respectable at the same time.

On its face, Facebook's actions seem like a classic case of misappropriation, or the intentional, illegal use of the property of someone else for one's own use or some other unauthorized purpose. Facebook admits in its terms of service that all Intellectual Property content, like photos and videos, belong to you, the user. But the fine print essentially allows Facebook to do what its pleases with such content, with some limitations.

Siden 2006 har advokatfirmaet Simonsen hatt midlertidig konsesjon fra Datatilsynet for å overvåke fildeling på internett, og å samle IP-adressen til folk som bedriver denne aktiviteten.

Men nå er det stopp på denne overvåkningen.

"Please list any and all, current personal or business websites, web pages or memberships on any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo, YouTube.com, MySpace, etc.," the City form states. There are then three lines where applicants can list the Web sites, their user names and log-in information and their passwords. [...] "So, we have positions ranging from fire and police, which require people of high integrity for those positions, all the way down to the lifeguards and the folks that work in city hall here. So we do those types of investigations to make sure the people that we hire have the highest moral character and are a good fit for the City," Sullivan said.

Darknets, themselves, are nothing new; networks like Tor, FreeNet, and Gnutella are well-established. The HP researchers say Veiled is the same idea, only much simpler: It doesn't require any software to participate, just an HTML 5-based browser. "We've implemented a simple, new darknet in the browser," Wood says. "There are no supporting [software] programs."

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