Tag Archives: Privacy

Americans are wary about IoT privacy

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Americans are in an “it depends” state when it comes to disclosing personal information over internet-connected devices, according to a new Pew Research Center study. The study proposed different scenarios to which 461 Americans expressed whether they believed being monitored by a device was acceptable, not acceptable, or depended on the situation. Pew Research Center found that some scenarios were acceptable to the majority of Americans, but the answers often came with caveats. For example, most consumers find a security camera in the office acceptable, but with restrictions; one person said, “It depends on whether I would be watched and filmed every minute of the day during everything I do.”

Here are the responses to the IoT-related scenarios the study presented:

• Office surveillance cameras: More than half (54%) of Americans believe that it’s acceptable for a surveillance camera in the workplace, making it the most acceptable of the six proposed scenarios. Another 21% answered “it depends,” while 24% said it would not be acceptable.

• Sharing health information with your doctor: 52% of Americans believe it’s acceptable for their doctor to utilize a website to manage patient records and schedule appointments, 20% answered “it depends,” and 26% thought it was not acceptable. This correlates with iTriage survey, which indicated that 76% of consumers feel comfortable transferring wearable health data to their practitioner. 

• Usage-based auto insurance: 37% of respondents answered it was acceptable for auto insurance companies to collect information via a UBI dongle, such as Progressive’s Snapshot, and offer discounts for safe driving. 45% said it was not acceptable, while 16% said “it depends.”

• Smart thermostat: 27% of respondents said it was acceptable for a smart thermostat in the house to track where the occupant is and share that data. More than half of respondents (55%) said it was not acceptable, and 17% answered “it depends.”

Through focus groups and open-ended answers, Pew narrowed down the top reasons consumers believe sharing information is unacceptable: Through focus groups and open-ended answers, Pew narrowed down the top reasons consumers believe sharing information is unacceptable:

1) The threat of scammers and hackers;
2) Being repeatedly marketed from companies collecting data;
3) They do not want to share their location;
4) They think it’s “creepy”;
5) The companies collecting the data have ulterior motives to use it.

Data privacy will continue to be a big trend as the Internet of Things market matures. Device makers should be transparent about the data being collected and what it’s used for. Further, they should ensure the devices and their associated data storage bases are secure.

To read more of this article and the original story follow this link to Business Insider.

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Now anyone can find you on Facebook

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The social network kills off a privacy setting that allowed members to prevent themselves from appearing in search results. Users can still block individual users from seeing their profiles in search.

It may have been a long time coming, but those hidden in plain sight on Facebook are in for a rude awakening in the weeks ahead.

The social network said Thursday that it is, as promised 10 months ago, killing off a privacy setting that allowed members to prevent themselves from appearing in search results. Facebook first put the setting, called “Who can look up your Timeline by name?,” on life support in December of last year, removing it for people who weren’t using it. Now, it’s ready to finish off the job.

Simply put, the setting let people hide their Timelines — aka profiles — from public view. Members could use it to control if they could be found, and by whom, when other people typed their name into the Facebook search bar.

“For the small percentage of people still using the setting, they will see reminders about it being removed in the coming weeks,” Facebook announced in a blog post on the change. “Whether you’ve been using the setting or not, the best way to control what people can find about you on Facebook is to choose who can see the individual things you share.”

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Facebook tells the remaining members using a Timeline privacy setting that it has better ways for them to manage their privacy on the social network.
Facebook

The change is bound to cause some confusion, if not stir up strong emotions. Privacy and Facebook have always had a complicated relationship, and now it’s as if the company is decreeing: if you’re a member, you can be found, and what people find on your Timeline is entirely up to you.

For its part, Facebook will remind people with an on-site notice that when they post something publicly, the post can be seen by anyone, including people they may not know. It should also be noted that Timelines will not be visible to people you’ve blocked.

Facebook’s argument in eliminating the setting is that it gave people a false sense of security. “Our concern, quite frankly, is that people think it provides a level of security, but it actually doesn’t,” Nicky Jackson Colaco, a member of the Facebook Privacy team, said in an interview with CNET in December.

The social network contends that the setting never prevented people from finding Timelines in other ways such as clicking on a name in a status update. Another plausible motivation behind the change is improving the quality of the people results in Graph Search, Facebook’s nascent natural language search engine.

The extra-long warning or the seemingly rational explanation may do little to temper the concerns of those who have clung to the last bit of anonymity they have left on the social network. But ready or not, Facebook search here you come.

Source: cnet.com

How Your Facebook Privacy Settings Impact Graph Search

After much buzz and anticipation over its “top-secret” announcement, Facebook revealed a new search capability called Facebook Graph Search.

The feature, which is currently available in a limited beta release, lets you search for friends, photos, restaurants, games, music and more. Results that Facebook returns will depend on your friends’ privacy settings and the privacy settings of people you’re not connected to.

Graph Search is available only in English and if you want to sign up for the waitlist for Graph Search, visit facebook.com/graphsearch.

“When Facebook first launched, the main way most people used the site was to browse around, learn about people and make new connections,” writes Tom Stocky, director of product management and Lars Rasmussen, director of engineering, in a press release. “Graph Search takes us back to our roots and allows people to use the graph to make new connections.”

Graph Search will appear as a bigger search bar at the top of each page. At today’s press conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a point of explaining the difference between traditional Web search and Graph Search; the two are very different, he says.

According to Facebook, Web search is designed to take a set of keywords and provide the best possible results that match those keywords. Graph Search, the company says, lets you combine phrases-such as “movies my friends like”-to find that set of people, places, photos or other content that’s been shared on Facebook.

Another difference: every piece of content on Facebook has its own audience, and Facebook has built Graph Search with that privacy in mind, it says. “It makes finding new things much easier, but you can only see what you could already view elsewhere on Facebook,” Rasmussen and Stocky write in the press release.

Eden Zoller, principal analyst at technology consultancy Ovum, says that while Facebook may stress its commitment to privacy, it’s walking a thin line. “Facebook needs tread very carefully here and be mindful of user privacy,” she says. “It claims to have built Graph Search with privacy in mind, but Facebook has a mixed track record on this front and is in the habit of pushing privacy to the limits of what is acceptable.”

Your ‘About Me’ Privacy Settings

Graph Search lets others find you based on what you’ve shared with your various friend groups, including your interests and profile information. This means that if you share your location, relationship status and political beliefs with your college friends, but not your Limited Profile list, only your college friends will see that information in their search results.

To control who can see your current city, for example, you’ll need to edit that setting in the About tab on your timeline. Do this by navigating to your profile, clicking the About link that appears under your profile picture and summary, and clicking Edit next to Living section.

Your Photos Privacy Settings

The second group of privacy settings you should review is for your photos. Graph Search lets others search specifically for photos of you, including photos hidden from timeline. Your photos that appear in others’ searches depend on your privacy settings.

Start by reviewing the photos you’ve shared or have been tagged in. You can do this via your Activity Log. Find this button below your cover photo on the right side of your profile.

The Activity Log will display all of your actions on Facebook, and you can sort it specifically for photos by clicking the Photos link on the left-side navigation. Click the drop-down menu next to the pencil icon to preview or change the settings of individual pictures.

Because photos you’ve hidden from your timeline are still searchable, you’ll want to review these, too. Click the drop-down menu next to “On timeline” at the top to switch to a hidden-only view.

You can also change the privacy settings of your individual albums. Do this by navigating to your Albums page and clicking the icon that appears below each your albums. Note that some albums, such as your profile pictures and mobile uploads, may not have the option to set a blanket setting. You’ll need to review and change the setting of each picture individually.

Your ‘Places’ Privacy Settings

If you’ve checked-in to a location such as a restaurant or museum, or tagged a photo with a location, each of these could appear in Graph Search results, depending on your settings.

To review your tag history-which includes photo tags among location tags-navigate to your Activity Log and sort it by “Posts you’re tagged in.” To remove a tag or change a location, click the pencil icon.

Note that if you added a location tag to a photo, the photo’s privacy setting is also your location setting.

Source: Network World