Posts tagged with Privacy

What customers want: a benevolent Big Brother?

In the movie What Women Want, Nick Marshall (played by Mel Gibson) has an accident and finds himself able to hear what the women around him are really thinking. At first he uses it to his advantage selfishly before he falls in love.

Chances are you're not going to suffer from an accident that gives you Nick Marshall-like abilities, but fortunately when it comes to finding out what customers want, market research can tackle the challenge.

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Coming soon to a search near you: Google Apps documents

In the near future, your Google search results might contain something you hadn't noticed before: documents published through Google Apps.

According to The Register, Google sent an email to Google Apps users last Friday indicating that some documents published through Google Apps will soon be indexable by Google's crawler.

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Will tough privacy regulations hurt startups?

The calls for tough government regulation designed to protect the privacy of internet users are getting stronger in the United States. But could there be unintended fallout if regulations are implemented?

Jeremy Liew, a managing partner at VC firm Lightspeed Venture Partners, thinks so. In his opinion, the impact of the level of regulation that is being demanded "would be enormous for companies relying on online advertising".

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BT gets wise, terminates Phorm - for now

Phorm, the company whose web tracking technology sparked international controversy, had a bad Monday as BT got wise and decided to drop its use of Phorm's Webwise product.

Phorm's loss, however, is a major victory for consumers.

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Facebook: from discreet social network to digital voyeur central?

Facebook's changes to the way it deals with privacy and sharing settings represent a major shift in the type of social networking Facebook is encouraging its users to engage in.

The company has long prided itself on giving users the ability to control who sees what you share on its network and even went so far as to create a privacy regime that many found overly complicated.

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Your photos, immortalized on Facebook

When you delete a photo that you had uploaded to a social network, what happens?

You might expect that it's deleted. After all, why would Facebook, for instance, want to store that old photo of you and Aunt Hilda any longer than it has to? Even you don't want that photo.

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Google's Larry Page is crazy

I'm not one to write incendiary headlines and I'm not exactly partial to the taste of linkbait.

But after reading a few quotes attributed to Google co-founder Larry Page, I couldn't think of another headline so at the risk of going too far, I decided to stick with "Google's Larry Page is crazy".

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Facebook opens up

Facebook is already pretty open. Its developer platform enables developers to build applications that leverage Facebook users' 'social graphs' and its Connect API gives developers the means to 'connect' their websites with Facebook.

But, perhaps in an effort to compete with the service Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg can't have (Twitter), the social network is set to become even more open.

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Use a proxy, go to jail?

Web proxy servers are not new. These servers, which serve as 'middlemen' for accessing the web, are often used by corporations to accelerate web browsing through caching and to filter traffic. They're also used by individuals looking for a bit of anonymity online.

I often use one since I live in a country that is sometimes blocked from using popular services that are based in the US.

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EU wants cookie approval

What if you had to receive consent to place a cookie on a user's computer? As an online publisher or digital marketer, you might find it very difficult to operate.

But that's exactly what an amendment that will be voted on in the EU Parliament considers requiring.

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Harvard fellow develops opt-out for ad targeting

sysiphusWhile the industry continues to wrestle with the logistics of opting-in to consumer behavioral targeting, a Harvard University researcher has developed a way to opt-out.

Christopher Soghoian
, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, told The Harvard Crimson that he has developed a browser extension that prevents advertising networks from tracking internet usage habits. The Google plug-in, entitled Targeted Advertising Cookie Opt-Out (TACO), allows users to opt out of 27 advertising networks.

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Google could face FTC judgment on cloud services

googleIt's either one more swipe at the 800-pound gorilla, or it's a serious problem brewing for Google. Today a Washington-based advocacy group filed a complaint asking the FTC to review Google's security standards for its cloud computing services. Among those services: Gmail, Docs, and Picasa.

The source of the complaint, and its target, are definitely serious matters. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) wants the trade commission to investigate "the adequacy of the privacy and security safeguards" of Gmail, Calendar, Docs, and Picasa. Earlier this month Google had to report a breach of its Docs application, which is one of the reasons EPIC filed with the FTC, it's petition states. Docs has 4.4 million users; Gmail has 26 million.

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