The Washington Post published new revelations from Edward Snowden’s leaked documents that revealed that the NSA is scooping up millions of email and IM address books globally. This is a serious piece of snooping business, and it deserves immediate attention on a policy level. For people who are reading this and wondering what you can do today, right now, here are some immediate steps to take.
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.
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.
Search engine privacy — WPF has updated its search engine privacy tips page to include more tips on how to segregate online activities. This has always been important, and it has become more important in light of Google’s announcement that it will be sharing data across its business units.
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.