Facebook turned ten in early February and, like all ten year olds, it is prone to over sharing. The Informer has long lurked on Facebook, a silent voyeur struck by an often morbid curiosity to click on the banal and fatuous items in his newsfeed. And if your newsfeed looked anything like the Informer’s in early February, it was chock full of people sharing their ‘life story’—Facebook’s gift to the world after a ten-year social bender.
A recent landmark US Supreme Court ruling on the legality of searching a mobile phone without a warrant is a ‘historical moment’ for defenders of privacy rights according to Microsoft general counsel & executive vice president, legal & corporate affairs Brad Smith.
In the wake of a far reaching report by Vodafone Group revealing the level of government snooping demanded in 29 countries the company holds an operating licence in, German carrier Deutsche Telekom has published figures on wiretapping in its domestic market.
According to National Security Agency documents recently leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the US intelligence agency has hacked the main communications links between the public internet and Google and Yahoo’s datacentres globally. Google is ‘outraged’ by the reports, saying it underscores the need for urgent reform.
Dystopian futures almost always feature some kind of omnipotent presence—political, corporate or non-human—beneath whose gaze the masses cringe and squirm. And the power that these entities enjoy often depends, in a nod to the grim realities of the past, on the willingness of individuals to betray one another in return for a scrap of reward or approval.
Central to these scenarios is the suggestion that human beings are complicit in their own subjugation; too quick to divide and invite the rule of tyranny.
Almost two thirds’ of consumers aged between 18 and 34 “don’t care about privacy”, with 59 per cent of those aged between 35 and 44 equally unconcerned, according to a report published today.
The US National Security Agency is collecting the call records of millions of Verizon’s customers, according to a report published by the Guardian Newspaper in the UK.
When Mark Zuckerberg announced the death of privacy last year, The Informer thought the little dweeb was talking about Facebook, but recent events in the British media world would appear to suggest otherwise. Never mind the Winkelvoss twins, if anyone can lay claim to prior art when it comes to the innovation of making money from information that people thought was private, it seems to be the British media and police establishments.
It’s not been a good week for Google. The firm has attracted the attentions of European antitrust authorities, while executives in Italy have been indicted for breaching local privacy laws.
Employees at T-Mobile’s UK operation have been identified as the culprits in the illegal sale of subscriber data affecting “many thousands of customers”.
Published by Openwave May 2009
As more users spend more time connected to online communities through their mobile device, it is essential for mobile operators to strike the right balance between user benefits and personal privacy, especially as targeted advertising gains traction in the marketplace.