Tag Archives | privacy invasion

How Drones Will Change Life In Our Cities

Ready yourself to hear, “Pizza incoming from above”. Animal New York on how petite unmanned drones are poised to reshape the urban environment, possibly as soon as three years from now:

The spread of do-it-yourself robotics could radically change the news, the police, business and politics. And it could spark a sort of drone arms race as competing robot users seek to balance out their rivals. Imagine police drones patrolling at treetop level down city streets, their cameras scanning crowds for weapons or suspicious activity. “Newsbots” might follow in their wake, streaming live video of the goings-on. In nearby zip codes, drones belonging to real estate agents scope out hot properties. Robots deliver pizzas by following the signal from customers’ cell phones.

These aren’t just fantasies. All of these things are happening today, although infrequently and sometimes illegally. The only thing holding back the robots is government regulations that have failed to keep up with technology.

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United Kingdom Proposes Mega Archive Of Citizens’ Internet Activity, Phone Calls, And Messaging

To stay positive, think of it as the creation of a giant quilted tapestry, weaving together everything anyone in the country says or does. Via the Washington Post:

British authorities on Thursday unveiled an ambitious plan to log details about every Web visit, email, phone call or text message in the U.K. — and in a sharply-worded editorial the nation’s top law enforcement official accused those worried about the surveillance program of being either criminals or conspiracy theorists.

The surveillance proposed in the government’s 118-page draft bill would provide authorities a remarkably rich picture of their citizens’ day-to-day lives, tracking nearly everything they do online, over the phone, or even through the post.

Home Office Secretary Theresa May said in an editorial published ahead of the bill’s unveiling that only evil-doers should be frightened. “Without changing the law the only freedom we would protect is that of criminals, terrorists and pedophiles,” she said.

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Facebook Tracks You Even After Logging Out

fbtimelinemain-420x0 Sometimes you’re being followed when you think you’re alone. The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

An Australian technologist has caused a global stir after discovering Facebook tracks the websites its users visit even when they are logged out of the social networking site.

In alarming new revelations, Wollongong-based Nik Cubrilovic conducted tests, which revealed that when you log out of Facebook, rather than deleting its tracking cookies, the site merely modifies them, maintaining account information and other unique tokens that can be used to identify you.

Whenever you visit a web page that contains a Facebook button or widget, your browser is still sending details of your movements back to Facebook, Cubrilovic says.

“Even if you are logged out, Facebook still knows and can track every page you visit,” Cubrilovic wrote in a blog post.

He backed up his claims with detailed technical information. His post was picked up by technology news sites around the world but Facebook has yet to provide a response to Fairfax Media and others.

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Germany Makes Facebook “Like” Button Illegal

facebook-like-thumbs-up“Websites in Schleswig-Holstein must remove their Facebook Like button by the end of September 2011 or they will face a fine of up to €50,000 ($72,000).”

Northern Germany has announced that the Like button, with its ability to track a user’s movement across the internet, violates German and European privacy law. But without tracking plugins, how will corporations and advertisers record our activities and interests, so that they can better serve and satisfy? Via ZDNet:

Commissioner Thilo Weichert, of the Independent Center for Privacy Protection, said the social network’s “Like button” plugin illegally puts together a profile of their Web habits.

The ULD said if you visit Facebook.com or use a Facebook plugin such as the Like button, you should expect to be tracked by the company for two years: Facebook allegedly builds a broad profile for individuals not on the service as well as a more personalized profile for its members.

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The Death of Privacy with Steve Rambam – Right Where you are Sitting Now

Right Where You are Sitting Now – Episode 40 – The Death of Privacy with Steve Rambam

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This week we talk to private investigator, and head of Pallorium Inc, Steve Rambam. Steve is famous in the hacker community for his enlightening lectures on the death of privacy.

In this weeks episode we discuss: The death of privacy, smartphones: The little snitch in your pocket, The cavalier use of your data, how to (or not) avoid detection in the age of the Internet,  why Foursquare is a really bad idea (see, we told you) and much more.

Steve’s fantastic talk, ‘Privacy is Dead – Get Over It’,  is available over at Google Videos – Part 1, Part 2.

Steve Rambam Bio:

Steven Rambam is a private investigator operating out of New York and Texas. He has conducted several thousand missing-person searches over almost three decades.Read the rest

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Cybershark Feeding Frenzy

An article (largely inspired by Disinfo posts—thank you) that contextualizes recent developments in an increasingly nosey society, published by Taki’s Magazine:

BBRO1-270x192The perverse coupling of surveillance and exhibitionism forms a cornerstone of American technocracy. Most Americans, be they liberals or libertarians, are unnerved by government agents, corporate data-miners, or high-tech Peeping Toms probing their personal details. And yet invasive, weirdly intimate technologies multiply like digital cockroaches, all but devouring the expectation of privacy taken for granted only a generation ago. Progress is simply too en vogue to resist.

Reality television brings a glamorous air to perpetual surveillance. The genre has enjoyed immense popularity over the last decade—comprising nearly a fifth of new broadcast programs this season—with cameramen poking into American life’s every facet. From moneyed luxury’s heights to the working-class struggle’s dregs, everyone’s in line for their 15 minutes of fame.

Consequently, the art of living on film is continually refined. But the recent success of TLC’s Sister Wives sounds an ominous warning as to who may be watching behind the camera’s prying eye.… Read the rest

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