E-mail, Web, and Social

How unique are you?

How unique are you? We played with a data privacy tool today here at WPF that showed us if the combination of our birthdate and zip code made us statistically unique. The more unique you are, the more identifiable you are in a sea of supposedly “anonymous” data. This tool was developed by Dr. LaTanya Sweeney at Harvard’s Data Privacy Lab, and using it will tell you how easily you can be identified from records that may not even have your name on them.

Companies overriding Safari browser privacy settings

Online privacy | Apple privacy — Stanford University has released a study documenting how Google and other companies overrode Safari users’ browser privacy settings. The WPF encourages Apple users to download the Firefox browser and use Firefox, if at all possible, instead of Safari. Firefox did not have the same problem, and it allows for additional privacy add-ons, such as AdBlock Plus which are helpful privacy-enhancing tools.

WPF Resource Page: Cloud Computing and Privacy

Cloud computing involves the sharing or storage by users of their own information on remote servers owned or operated by others and accessed through the Internet or other connections. Cloud computing services exist in many variations, including data storage sites, video sites, tax preparation sites, personal health record websites, photography websites, social networking sites, and many more.

Consumer Tip: Opt out of automatic Facebook facial recognition

Privacy tip — If you have a Facebook account and if you have ever been tagged in a photo of yourself on Facebook, we want to alert you to an important Facebook setting. Unless you have proactively changed your privacy settings, Facebook will use facial recognition tools to compare photos and make tag suggestions. When new photos that look like you have been uploaded, Facebook will suggest tags with your name. To opt out of this, in Facebook go to Account, then choose Privacy Settings from the drop down menu. Click the Customize Settings link, and then scroll down and look for the Suggest Photos of Me to Friends line. To opt out, click Edit Settings, then choose Disable on the drop down menu.