Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

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Reading Over Your Shoulder: Social Readers and Privacy Law

March 19, 2012

Margot Kaminski has an article in Wake Forest Law Review. Online that begins:

My friends, who are generally well educated and intelligent, read a lot of garbage. I know this because since September 2011, their taste in news about Justin Bieber, Snooki, and the Kardashians has been shared with me through “social readers” on Facebook.[1] Social readers instantaneously list what you are reading on another website, without asking for your approval before disclosing each individual article you read. They are an example of what Facebook calls “frictionless sharing,” where Facebook users ostensibly influence each other’s behavior by making their consumption of content on other websites instantly visible to their friends.[2] Many people do not think twice about using these applications, and numerous publications have made them available, including the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Guardian.[3]

Footnotes

  1. See, e.g., Ian Paul, Wall Street Journal Social on Facebook: A First Look, Today @PCWorld Blog (Sep. 20, 2011, 7:02 AM), http://www.pcworld.com/article/240274/wall_street_journal_social_on_facebook
    _a_first_look.html.
  2. Jason Gilbert, Facebook Frictionless App Frenzy Will Make Your Life More Open, Huffington Post (Jan. 18, 2012), http://www.huffingtonpost.com
    /2012/01/18/facebook‑actions‑arrive‑major‑changes_n_1213183.html.
  3. See The Washington Post Social Reader, Wash. Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/socialreader (last visited Feb. 26, 2012); Press Release, The Guardian, Guardian Announces New App on Facebook to Make News More Social (Sept, 23, 2011), available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/gnm
    -press-office/guardian-launches-facebook-app; Paul, supra note 1.
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Facebook Profiles Accurately Predict Job Performance [STUDY]Facebook Profiles Accurately Predict Job Performance [STUDY]

February 22, 2012

Do you want to know how that applicant you just interviewed will actually perform on the job? Check out her Facebookprofile.

That’s the advice of a new study from the Northern Illinois University, the University of Evansville and Auburn University. The researchers recruited a group of four Facebook-savvy human resources professionals and students to evaluate the Facebook profiles of 56 users. The four perused each of the profiles for about 10 minutes each before grading them according to the so-called Big Five personality traits (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism).

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FBI says social media monitoring won’t infringe privacy rights

February 15, 2012

The FBI today said that its proposed plans to monitor social media sites as part of a broader strategy to improve real-time situation awareness will be fully vetted by the agency’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Unit.

The unit will review the legal implications of the monitoring application and ensure that it meets all privacy and civil rights obligations before it is implemented, the agency said in a statement emailed to Computerworld “Although the FBI has always adapted to meet changes in technology, the rule of law, civil liberties, and civil rights, will remain our guiding principles,” the agency said.

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Path caught storing users’ unencrypted data

February 8, 2012

Path is a 16 month old social network that acts as a personal journal and allows you to share photo, video, music, people, places, and text to a select network of 150 people. Since version 2 was released, Path has surged to just over 2 million users.

In the last few hours since Thampi posted his discovery online, Path users have been up in arms. They were never asked permission for Path to access their address book. The bigger worry? Though with most apps collected data is encrypted, it appears Path is storing the actual information so all of your contacts are now online.

Dave Morin, Co-Founder and CEO of Path, was quick to respond in the comments of Thampi’s post. We believe that this type of friend finding & matching is important to the industry and that it is important that users clearly understand it, so we proactively rolled out an opt-in for this on our Android client a few weeks ago and are rolling out the opt-in for this in 2.0.6 of our iOS Client, pending App Store approval. When asked why an opt-in for them to collect your data wasn’t included from the very beginning, Morin responded that it was industry best practise.

 The App Store guidelines do not specifically discuss contact information. However we believe users need further transparency on how this works, so we’ve been proactively addressing this…We fundamentally believe that you as a user should always have control over your information and data and you can always email our service team and we will remove anything you’d like from our servers.

It is good to see such openness in response but it’s a naive one. Apple’s app store guidelines states “Apps cannot transmit data about a user without obtaining the user’s prior permission.”

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The FBI vs the FTC: the battle for user privacy in social media

February 1, 2012

Why should you care that the FBI wants to better reap intelligence? The agency’s RFI comes swaddled in the dialect of benevolent care for national security. From the document:

Intelligence analysts will monitor social media looking for threatening responses to news of the day such as major policy announcements by the federal government, for responses to natural disasters like an earthquake or hurricane, or indicators of pending adverse events.

Yes, of course we want our intelligence agencies to have advanced intelligence when it relates to terrorism or natural disasters. But do we really want these agencies to have better ways to pinpoint us if they associate our online personas with given keywords, rightly or wrongly drawing assumptions and gathering ever-more information that can and will be used against us in a court of law?

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Google announces upcoming changes that affect your privacy

January 30, 2012

The main change is for users with Google Accounts. Their new Privacy Policy makes clear that, if you’re signed in, they may combine information you’ve provided from one service with information from other services. In short, they’ll treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience.

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Twitter lashes out at Google search changes

January 16, 2012

Google launched a social network in June, dubbed Google+, that offers many of the capabilities available on Twitter and on Facebook.

With Tuesday’s changes to Google’s search engine, photos and posts from Google+ will increasingly appear within the search results.

The changes effectively create customized search results for people who are logged in to Google. A person who searches for the term “Hawaii,” for example, might find private photos that their friends have shared on Google+ as well as public information about the islands.

Twitter’s general counsel, Alex Macgillivray, a former Google attorney, said in a Tweet on Tuesday that Google’s changes “warped” Web searches and represented a “bad day for the Internet.”

Source Twitter lashes out at Google search changes