World privacy forum information , research, tips, and resources about internet privacy
As people live more and more of their lives connected to the Net in some way, pressures on online privacy increase. From texting to ordering free credit reports online to searching for jobs to simply browsing for information or making a purchase, privacy on the the Internet should mean that the full range of Fair Information Practices are in place whenever and wherever a person is connected. But that doesn't always happen right now.
The World Privacy Forum has been active in the area of Internet privacy. Following are links to WPF resources, research, and links to other information. This list includes links to the Do Not Track proposal and the NAI report.
World Privacy Forum Resources, Reports, Tips and Documents on Internet Privacy Topics
Search Engine Privacy Tips
Working to proactively prevent problems related to the use of search engines is preferable to trying to clean up privacy problems after the fact. Here are some tips and resources for enhancing search engine privacy.
Behavioral Advertising Report and Resources
This is a 45-page report that analyzes the Network Advertising Initiative's history and operations. The NAI is a self-regulatory program designed to control the privacy impact of behaviorally-targeted advertising online. The WPF report finds that the NAI has failed at protecting consumers' privacy, and that a number of aspects of the self-regulatory mechanism have failed. This report was submitted to the Federal Trade Commission as testimony on Nov. 2, 2007 for the FTC's Behavioral Advertising Workshop.
Behavioral Advertising Principles | Do Not Track proposal
In October 2007, the WPF held a two-day meeting of privacy and digital rights organizations to create a consensus document regarding behavioral advertising principles. The resulting document was signed by 10 groups, and was submitted formally to the Federal Trade Commission as part of its November 2007 Behavioral Advertising Workshop. The principles have come to be called the "Do Not Track Proposal" by many. However, the document also contains updated definitions of personally identifiable information and other key principles applicable to maintaining consumer privacy protections in the behavioral advertising space.
Reports and Consumer Tips on Free Credit Reports
These two research reports (Part One and Part Two) analyze issues relating to the official AnnualCreditReport.com site where individuals can order a free credit report online. The second of these reports, which focused on fraudulent domains seeking to mislead consumers away from the real AnnualCreditReport.com site, led to a 2005 FTC enforcement action against multiple companies that had posted "imposter domains."
Consumer's Guide to Job Search Sites
A clickable guide on 53 top employment web sites. The guide includes research information on how the sites rate in terms of privacy protections and problems, including spam issues after posting a resume on the sites. This was the inaugural WPF report (11/2003). We update this guide regularly.
Reports, Tips, and Resources on Online Job Scams
The World Privacy Forum researched and published the first major report on job scams in 2004. The original report is located here, along with updated consumer tips and a job scam timeline that chronicles the trail of one job scam over the course of one year.
About the job scam report: This report tracks a widespread online job scam over the course of a year from July 2003 to July 2004. The report contains findings, recommendations, critical new tips for job seekers, and examples and explanations of the scam in action (emails to victims, contracts, etc.) The report examines the intersection between job fraud and job seeker privacy. Responses from job sites about what they are doing about job fraud are included in the report.
About the Job Scam Timeline: This visual timeline chronicles a year of a job scam. The timeline documents the cities the fake jobs were targeting, dates the jobs posted, the various company names the scam operated under, and the contact names used in the scam. The job scam timeline is documented with screen shots of the job listings and how they looked as posted. Click on the PDFs to bring up a copy of the fake jobs. The scam is still active.
About the consumer tips concerning job scams: These reality-based consumer tips are simple and are based on research from the key findings in the World Privacy Forum Job Scam Report. The Consumer Tips include "Red flags" to recognize scams and a step-by-step explanation and illustration using real examples of how one type of scam operates.
Internet Tracking Cookies
A guide on how (and why) to say no to the "profiling" kinds of cookies that can track you across many web sites. Not all cookies are "bad cookies"... learn the differences. We update this guide regularly.
The WHOIS database contains registry data for individuals and companies that have registered domain names. Many individuals who have registered domain names and who have put accurate information in the registry do not realize that this information is available to the public, and is used by marketing companies. The WPF supports creating a tiered access system to WHOIS data that will protect domain registrants' sensitive personal information.
GAO Data Breach Report -- FOIA Document
The World Privacy Forum submitted a FOIA request for a list of GAO's 2007 databreach research. Some of the breaches do not relate to the Internet, but some do. The results are available in PDF form.
AOL Data Breach Complaint
The World Privacy Forum filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission regarding AOL's breach of portions of its users' search query histories. The complaint discusses AOL search query releases from 2004 and 2006.
Other Internet Privacy Resources
Federal Trade Commission: FTC's 2007 proposed online privacy principles
Federal Trade Commission: FTC Behavioral Advertising Workshop Page (With links to two reports on online privacy)
Electronic Frontier Foundation: How to Blog Safely
Electronic Frontier Foundation: Tor Anonymity tool (See also in these materials documents on Privoxy and SwitchProxy)
Scroogle: Cookie-less Google searches
Ixquick, also known as Startpage.com: search engine that has more advanced privacy features than most.
Anonymizer.com: anonymous surfing (this is a paid service)
Links to external sites do not constitute an endorsement of any products or services.
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