When Edward Snowden exposed the scale and depth of the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, his findings led to another disheartening revelation: that our Internet has become too centralized. Webmail services like Yahoo and Google and social networks like Facebook and Twitter are convenient and efficient platforms, as well as easy to use, but they collect massive amounts of user data that can facilitate intelligence spying and other types of snooping. Meanwhile, securer methods of communication are often cumbersome and overly technical for the average user who would like to send an email without having to download and set up various software. Yet after Snowden’s leaks, an increasing demand for securer alternatives has led to the development of anti-surveillance products with an eye towards being user friendly.
That is certainly true for Miguel Freitas, a research engineer based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who decided to create a decentralized alternative to Twitter to counter NSA spying and protect against shutdowns of social media sites; but it would also be “something that my grandmother could use,” Freitas tells techPresident.
Did you ever wish to have all relevant information about a visitor right when he hits your site? Think of (full) name, gender and maybe hobbies and interests? Thanks to social networks we could at least get some of that data. All you need is the URL to that visitors (public) Facebook or Google+ profile – but if he doesn’t actively give it to you, you’re probably out of luck.
What if we could get that profile URL without the user even noticing it?
The tweet.IM service sits between your Jabber or Google@Talk instant messaging account and your Twitter account and passes messages to and from, in both directions. As a result, you can create Twitter messages in your instant messaging application and send them direct to Twitter, without having to enter your Twitter account. You can also elect to receive tweets from users that you follow, directly in your instant messenger.
en.rocketnews24.com/2013/06/04/facebook-users-in-japan-losing-interest-and-heading-for-the-exits/, posted Jun '13 by peter in business japan messaging social
Facebook launched a Japanese version of its website in 2008. Initially, the platform experienced sluggish user growth as it struggled to compete with already established Japanese SNS sites produced by the likes of mixi, Mobage, and GREE. However, after well-known companies in Japan began to use Facebook as a marketing tool, it caught on with the general public and by the end of 2012 had 17.12 million users. A mere five months later, however, that number has dropped to 13.78 million, a 19.5 percent drop in less than half a year.
There’s a strong case to be made that as Facebook and Twitter have amassed such huge user bases we should take advantage of the fact that so many of their users are already logged in and just one click away from entering your app. I know that argument all too well, because I made it to my colleagues. We tried that experiment, and found that while there are some marginal improvements to login failure rate, they come with a price. Do you want to NASCAR-up your login page? Do you want to have your users’ login credentials stored in a third-party service? Do you want your brand closely associated with other brands, over which you have no control? Do you want to add additional confusion about login methods on your app? Is it worth it? Nope, it’s not to us.
edition.cnn.com/2013/03/16/opinion/schneier-internet-surveillance/index.html, posted Mar '13 by peter in opinion privacy social
So, we're done. Welcome to a world where Google knows exactly what sort of porn you all like, and more about your interests than your spouse does. Welcome to a world where your cell phone company knows exactly where you are all the time. Welcome to the end of private conversations, because increasingly your conversations are conducted by e-mail, text, or social networking sites. And welcome to a world where all of this, and everything else that you do or is done on a computer, is saved, correlated, studied, passed around from company to company without your knowledge or consent; and where the government accesses it at will without a warrant.
www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-03/what-your-facebook-likes-betray-about-you, posted Mar '13 by peter in msm privacy social statistics
That a Facebook fans of "Barack Obama" might be Democrats or people who liked the "No H8" campaign were more likely to be gay seems obvious, but other correlations were far less intuitive. "Curly Fries" and "Thunderstorms" seem to be surprisingly linked with a high IQ, while "That Spider is More Scared Than U" happens to draw a non-smoking fan base. Predictors of male heterosexuality include "Being Confused After Waking Up From Naps." An appreciation of "Hello Kitty" tended to be associated with people who were more open and less emotionally stable. [Sounds like overtraining to me, but surely they wouldn't make such a fundamental mistake? Right?]
www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2213099/california-passes-law-to-stop-firms-from-snooping-on-staff-social-networking?utm_campaign=INQ&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Twitterfeed, posted Sep '12 by peter in politics privacy social usa
The bills will prohibit universities and employers from making their applicants hand over their email or social media account passwords, and in a statement [Governor Jerry] Brown said that California is leading where others should be following.
Personally, I'm amazed that any employer anywhere could possibly think it's reasonable to demand that employees fork over their passwords. What's next, employers wanting copies of house keys so they can have a look in employees' homes?
HTTP already has its own authentication system, and there are hundreds — perhaps thousands — of tools that know how to work with it. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to use that in our own scripts, but have something communicate with the services using OAuth behind the scenes? Thus, foauth.org was born.
Rather than try to build a bunch of bells and whistles and make everything really complicated, we focused on just one task: taking OAuth out of the equation when accessing your own data. So, unlike Apigee, we’re not monitoring your API usage or promising any statistics or anything like that. Our goal is to help you login with OAuth-compliant services using HTTP Basic authentication. That’s it.
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/02/what-actually-changed-google_s-privacy-policy, posted 2012 by peter in google privacy social toread
In fact, it took a letter from eight Representatives to persuade them to provide straightforward answers to the public about their new policy.
Here’s what you need to know about the substantive changes in the new policy: