Tag Archives: privacy

Citizenfour

I watched the movie called “Citizenfour” today. I am not a fan of documentary movies, but this time I made an exception, because this is a film about Edward Snowden. I made my position regarding Edward Snowden clear on this blog multiple times: he is a hero of our times. Without his leaks the general public wouldn’t be aware of the threat posed by the US(and their closest allies) to our freedoms. Without his leaks only security minded few(myself included) would worry about encryption and privacy. Without his leaks life would be definitely different.Film's poster

If you were following all the events related to his persona, you will find nothing new in the movie. It can be still a good recap though. However, if you have missed his story(partially or entirely), I suggest you to download it(and yes, you can download it legally – it’s in public domain now) and watch it – incredibly good storytelling won’t leave you indifferent. This film is not your regular documentary. It’s more like a thriller. Even if you know from the beginning who good and bad guys are, you will find it enjoyable. I guess it’s the reason why the film has won the Oscar. Therefore, download it, watch it and spread the word.

Rebellion against Big Brother

As you have, probably, heard already, the two major fascist governments – USA and UK(well, the usual bunch), have been spying on their own citizens for the last decade. And I’m not talking about some minor privacy violations we have got used to already. No, I’m talking about massive Big Brother system like in the Person of Interest TV series. Well, the reality, as it happens, is scarier than the fiction. Have you missed it? It’s been all over the news for the last few days. It’s also worth mentioning that apparently Wikileaks was under DDoS attack, because of revealing this particular truth.Anonymous logoIn the past I thought that Anonymous hacktivist group consists from mostly naive ideologists, whose actions were sometimes funny, but most of the time – just useless, but today I welcome their new operation against the Big Brother. I am not sure that they will succeed, but the more dirt they uncover on all, who is behind the Trapwire project, the better it will be for all of us. Maybe I’m too conservative, but privacy is not the price I’m willing to pay for security.

Stopping the unstopable

Is it possible to put the genie back into a bottle? U.S. senator Al Franken thinks so. He would like to implement regulations of the facial recognition technology. As much as I dislike this scary technology and would like to have my privacy protected as much as it is possible, I do not think that the regulations would change anything. They won’t stop, for sure, government agencies from spying on us. Same goes for the big corporations, like Facebook – they have build profiles on millions of people already. Can we ban software? Maybe in some crazy politician’s wet dream. Soon we will have cameras identifying us in the real time, and as terrifying as it is – it’s unavoidable.

Only thing we can do – implement the better data protection laws. Every company, which is responsible for a leak of our data, should be punished severely. Person(s) responsible for a leak should have long term vacation in a nearest jail. And definitely, all the resale of our private data should be prohibited. Can’t keep our data safe? Find another business model!

Upcoming EU data law

My faith in our politicians is somehow restored. The EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding and the German Federal Minister for Consumer Protection, Ilse Aigner, met in Brussels for a consultation this week to draw up proposals for the EU’s new data protection directive to be presented in January 2012.

EU law should require that consumers give their explicit consent before their data are used. And consumers generally should have the right to delete their data at any time, especially the data they post on the internet themselves.

I’m wondering, how anti-privacy companies, like Facebook, will change their services after this proposal is accepted.

Visa and MasterCard planning to exploit customer data

According to Wall Street Journal’s article, two major credit-card companies, Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc., are planning to use their customers’ buying history to deliver targeted ads online. I don’t know how do you feel about this, but I think that this is outrageous. Those companies are entrusted with our money. They have so much power already, but they want even more? Google and Facebook have enormous databases and now we will have Visa and MasterCard spying on us?  It’s major privacy issue, that’s for sure.

I hope that European Commission will look into this. Ideally, companies should be prohibited from sharing their customers’ data with third-party and punished harshly for any data leak. Naturally I do not expect to see such laws implemented in the near future, I’m not naive. There is just too much money in the targeted ads’ market.

Innovation or Intrusion?

Facebook wants to gather even more data on all of their users. You didn’t think that it is even possible? Then check their recent video:

User profiles will be soon redesigned and presented as a timeline. Other users will be able to rummage through the events from your biography, check your old photos, and the like. It’s identity thief’s dream made reality.

By the way, Facebook disabled comments for this video. Probably because their predicted what kind of reaction this video will trigger.