Facebook Inc. is finalizing a proposed settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over charges that it engaged in deceptive behavior when changing its privacy settings...
The proposed settlement - which is awaiting final approval from the agency commissioners - would require Facebook to obtain "express affirmative consent" if Facebook makes "material retroactive changes," some of the people said.
Facebook would also have to "submit to independent privacy audits for 20 years," as Google now has to because of Buzz. Good stuff!
My big problem has been that "informing" consumers is a concept which lacks precision. I usually find out about changes to privacy policies by reading online that people are complaining. I then trace this back to the website, and ultimately to the page of the website where people have supposedly been "informed."
Writing something somewhere should not count as "giving people notice" or "informing" them.
What can users today do to protect their online privacy? The simplest and most obvious option is to not use the Internet – at all. However, once all digital information is consolidated over the Internet, trying to protect digital identity by simply unplugging from the Internet becomes impossible – a fact that has manifest implications for civil liberties, Saunders says.
By 2011 the number of Internet-connected sensors will exceed 1 trillion, making your chances of doing anything or going anywhere unnoticed pretty much zero. Saunders talks about how the 'sensortization' of the Internet is eliminating the traditional divide between online and offline populations.
The 20th Century Internet was characterized by the ability to interact with other people and information on the Internet largely without anyone knowing who you were. The Internet of this century, conversely, will be defined by identity. Saunders explains how Internet users are unwittingly contributing to the demise of the anonymous Internet.
The US government is funding controversial projects to collect daily Internet activity, including Web searches, Twitter messages, Facebook and blog posts, and the digital location trails generated by billions of cellphones. Its goal is to map these interactions to predict social behavior, such as protests.
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