The Privacy BlogThoughts on privacy, security, and other stuff.

TAG | Privacy

Flasher man

Startup Datacoup Will Pay You $8 a Month If Your Feed It Data from Facebook, Twitter, and Your Credit Card | MIT Technology Review

We have seen interesting experiments and studies where researchers have looked at what people are willing to pay to protect their privacy.

This then would be the opposite experiment. A company called Datacoup is offering people $8 per month to give them access to all of their social media accounts, and information on their credit and debit card transactions.

You certainly can’t fault them for being covert about their intentions. They are saying very directly what they want and offering a clear quid pro quo.

I don’t think I will be a customer, but it will be very interesting to see if they can find a meaningful number of people willing to make this deal.

Lance Cottrell is the Founder and Chief Scientist of Anonymizer. Follow me on Facebook and Google+.

B W Mask ImageFacial recognition app matches strangers to online profiles | Crave – CNET

Google has adopted a privacy protecting policy of banning facial recognition apps from the Google Glass app store. I appreciate the effort to protect my privacy but facial recognition is probably the ONLY reason I would wear Google Glass.

I am hopeless at parties or networking events. I have no ability at all to remember names, and I know I am far from alone in this. The ability to simply look at someone and be reminded of their name, our past interactions, and any public information about their recent activities, would be absolute gold.

Obviously I am less enthusiastic about having third party ratings of my intelligence, integrity, hotness, or whatever, popping up to the people looking at me. As usual, humans are in favor of privacy for themselves but not for others.

A new app is coming out soon called Nametag, which is planned to do exactly this. On iOS, Android, and jail broken Glass, you will be able to photograph anyone and, using facial recognition, pull up all available social media information about them.

To opt out you will need to set up an account with NameTag, and I presume you will also need to upload some high quality pictures of yourself so they can recognize you to block the information. Hurm…..

Whatever we all think about this, the capability is clearly coming. The cameras are getting too small to easily detect, high quality tagged photos are everywhere, and the computing power is available.

While citizens have some ability to impact government surveillance cameras and facial recognition, it will be much harder to change course on the use of these technologies with private fixed cameras, phones, and smart glasses. Even if we convince device makers to block these applications, the really creepy people will jailbreak them and install them anyway.

For years I have said that the Internet is the least anonymous environment we inhabit. With this kind of technology, it may soon be much easier to hide yourself online than off. Police really don’t like you wearing masks.

Lance Cottrell is the Founder and Chief Scientist of Anonymizer. Follow me on Facebook and Google+.

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Study: Consumers Will Pay $5 for an App That Respects Their Privacy – Rebecca J. Rosen – The Atlantic

This is refreshing. Some evidence that most people ARE actually willing to pay for privacy. If the market shows that this is a winner, we might start to see more privacy protecting applications and services.

The real question is whether invading your privacy generate more revenue than what we are willing to pay to be protected.

Lance Cottrell is the Founder and Chief Scientist of Anonymizer. Follow me on Facebook and Google+.

In this blog post, former NSA general council and assistant secretary for Policy at DHS, Stewart Baker, makes a strong case that webmail privacy in the EU is much worse than in the US, in contrast to what you might think given recent media coverage.

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Oct/13

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Opt out of Google ads using your name

Google is changing its terms of service to allow them to use your name and photo in advertisements to your friends. Most people seem to have been opted in to this by default, although some (including me) have found themselves defaulted out of the program.

If you are uncomfortable with your name, picture, and opinions appearing in ads from Google, just go to Google’s Shared Endorsements Settings page. The page describes the program. At the bottom you will find a checkbox. Uncheck it, and click “Save”.

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