Have you ever stared at your phone, cursing its inability to pinpoint your exact location and broadcast it to your large group of friends on a popular social network? Probably not — there are apps for that, Foursquare being one that pops to mind — but if you did, Facebook has a solution. The company is reportedly working on its own location-tracking app so your friends will be able to see where you go, when you go and who you’re with. Whew. [More]
While you’re chitchatting away on Skype with your friend living halfway around the world or maybe showing your new kitchen improvements to your mother by carrying the laptop around, what is Skype doing with your information, and what happens if the government tries to get it? A group of privacy advocates are putting Microsoft in the hot seat with a letter asking it to answer such questions. [More]
There are plenty of times we’re critical of Facebook — the $1 message from strangers plan, launching auto-play ads — but with its new privacy controls it’s actually kinda sorta seems like the social network is (dare we say it?) making things easier for users. The new settings have rolled out globally and will be hitting U.S. accounts soon as well. They look like they’re easy to navigate, so, high five there, Facebook. [More]
The Federal Trade Commission has announced updates to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection (COPPA) Rule intended to bolster the privacy protections for Internet users under the age of 13 while giving parents greater control over what information websites and online services collect from these kids. [More]
The Federal Trade Commission has been doing some digging around to make sure kids on the Internet are protected and has subsequently come up with some shocking news. Most of the mobile apps the agency checked out by way of the Google Play and the Apple App store are not only gathering info from kids without parents’ knowledge or their permission, they’re also sharing it. [More]
Let’s make this clear right off the bat: It’s totally acceptable and normal to refer to your relationship as a “we” when the situation calls for it. But we all know those couples who seem to have shed any pretense of separate identities and go around “we’ing” the bejeezus out of every conversation. That’s now possible in online world with Facebook’s new “relationship” pages starring you and your main squeeze as the happy “we” that you are. [More]
Facebook got in some deep doo-doo with the Federal Trade Commission for allowing users’ “Likes” to be turned into marketing tools in Sponsored Stories, and now it seems they’re trying to make up for it. In a new post on the Facebook developers blog, the company says apps will now need user permission to share user content as they’re consuming it.
The teeming, screaming masses of fans in love with Justin Bieber, Rihanna or Demi Lovato are young and Internet savvy, and a tempting demographic for businesses. The thing is, you can try to market to those kids but you can’t collect their personal information without parental permission, which is why the operator of fan Web sites for those three musicians has to pay $1 million for running afoul of Federal Trade Commission rules.
The future is here, folks. Soon it’ll be just like we imagined as kids — holodecks, computers as thin as thin can be and there better be some hovercrafts arriving soon. But even as technology marches on, there are certain things we might feel a little bit squirrelly about doing away with. Like our online passwords, which are pesky to remember but ultimately safeguard all our online information. Intel is banking on our annoyance with keeping track of passwords with its new tablet software that grants access via a biometric sensors.
Playing a game online might seem like an innocent enough activity for a kid, but what if said game is run by McDonald’s and asks for the child’s email address at the end, while encouraging them to share the experience with their friends? That sounds a lot like marketing to kids and using them as tiny marketers without parental consent. So say advocacy groups that are urging the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on companies soliciting email addresses from kids.
If you’re going to go after kids’ data and try to figure out how best to market to them, the Federal Trade Commission doesn’t want that to happen until they’re at least the ripe old age of 14. The regulators are proposing an update to 1998’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act that would increase privacy for kids online, crack down on websites and third-parties seeking to gobble up their data, and shore up defenses for kids on mobile devices.
The FBI really wants to know why you won’t just make it your Facebook friend or add it to your Google+ circle. That’s why the bureau has reportedly been asking those companies, along with Microsoft, Yahoo and others, to not impede its proposal to require back doors that would give the feds easy access for snooping.
There are more than 150 million Americans using Facebook at this point, and that number is growing. But do you know everything you need to about your privacy when it comes to social networking? Maybe not, as a new exhaustive study from Consumer Reports on social networking privacy found that 13 million American Facebook users have never touched their privacy settings.
What with credit card companies being hacked, apps on smartphones that have you sign your life away before using them and new policies from social networks and search engines, there are a lot of reasons for consumers to be uncomfortable about the state of online privacy. That’s exactly what a national survey by our smarter elder siblings at Consumer Reports found — most of us are pretty darned concerned.
Google’s new privacy policies, which allow the company to combine user data across all its various products (Google, Gmail, YouTube, Google+), have only been in effect for a few weeks, but they have already resulted in at least four class-action suits from consumers.