Posts Tagged privacy

Facebook Outs Gays?

Via Jesse Walker at Reason Magazine, an interesting tidbit on some flaws in Facebook’s security setup. Apparently, Facebook reveals information about users sexual orientation to advertisers, even when that information is hidden.

“The danger with such ads, unlike the gay bar ad where the target demographic is blatantly obvious, is that the user reading the ad text would have no idea that by clicking it he would reveal to the advertiser both his sexual-orientation and a unique identifier (cookie, IP address, or email address if he signs up on the advertiser’s site),” wrote the researchers.

If the advertiser in question also collects other data, such as Facebook ID, the info can be tied together without much thought, even if the user has not made that information public. As we saw earlier this week, Facebook IDs and other user info are running rampant across ad networks and third-party app developers, and the collection of such information (especially when tied to something as sensitive as sexual orientation) could spell disaster for a user who thinks he’s being fastidious when keeping his profile private.

Read the whole thing here.

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: Sex Crimes in UK

A little while back, Reason Magazine feature an astoundingly stupid story from the UK, in which a woman was arrested for having sex, with her husband, in her own home. You see, she was too loud.

Well, it seems that the fascist police state that the UK has evolved into wasn’t satisfied, and she was arrested again. The Daily Telegraph covers the story:

Mrs Cartwright avoided jail in January when a judge at Newcastle Crown Court handed her a suspended prison sentence after she was caught breaching a four-year Asbo which bans her from having loud sex sessions. Read the rest of this entry »

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Fourth Amendment and E-Mails

Orin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy discusses an Eleventh Circuit Court decision (.pdf) that drastically reduces Fourth Amendment protections for E-mails:

Last Thursday, the Eleventh Circuit handed down a Fourth Amendment case, Rehberg v. Paulk, that takes a very narrow view of how the Fourth Amendment applies to e-mail. The Eleventh Circuit held that constitutional protection in stored copies of e-mail held by third parties disappears as soon as any copy of the communication is delivered.    Under this new decision, if the government wants get your e-mails, the Fourth Amendment lets the government go to your ISP, wait the seconds it normally takes for the e-mail to be delivered, and then run off copies of your messages.

In this post, I want to explain why the Eleventh Circuit’s position is wrong.   I’ll start by explaining the argument’s origins in postal mail cases;  I’ll turn next to Rehberg; I’ll then explain why I think the decision is based on a conceptual error; and I’ll conclude with some final thoughts.

An interesting analysis for anyone who is curious about law or privacy protections. Read the whole thing here.

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Big Brother and Banks

Arguing that “tax havens” are not focused centers of dirty money and money laundering, the Cato Institute’s Daniel Mitchell asks whether expensive and invasive money laundering laws that force banks to snoop on their customers are actually effective or worthwhile.

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Lawsuits Fight Government DNA Database

Reason Magizine mentions a story on parents who are fighting efforts by some states to keep newborn DNA records on file. The tests are done to detect genetic defects in newborns.

The genetic tests are done without the parents’ consent, and some states then keep the DNA profiles for years. State laws vary on length of time the samples are kept, from just a few days in many states; to Indiana and New Jersey’s oddly specific 23-year cutoff; to California and Florida, which keep the DNA “indefinitely.”

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Big Brother is Monitoring You

Steve McCann at American Thinker mentions three instances of the Obama Administration working to pry itself into our private lives and monitor normal activities for no good reason. Apparently the Left isn’t too concerned with the government looking into your banking records or monitoring your cell phone conversations without a warrant. Of course, had anything even remotely resembling these efforts manifested under Bush, there would have been cries for blood in the street …

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Full Body Scans vs Privacy

The United Kingdom has installed those fancy full body scanners that let people see through your clothes. You know, the ones that have people over here worried about privacy issues. Of course, if the UK were so worried about privacy they wouldn’t have the highest per capita number of security cameras or be employing military drones to monitor their citizens, but I digress. Read the rest of this entry »

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