Archive for January, 2013|Monthly archive page

Privacy International

In Privacy on 01/24/2013 at 00:26

Privacy International‘s mission is to defend the right to privacy across the world, and to fight unlawful surveillance and other intrusions into private life by governments and corporations.

Our vision is a world in which privacy is protected by governments, respected by corporations and cherished by individuals. We believe that technological developments should strengthen, rather than undermine, the right to a private life, and that everyone’s personal information and communications must be carefully safeguarded, regardless of nationality, religion, personal or economic status.

We aim to:
research and raise awareness about threats to privacy
monitor and report on surveillance methods and tactics
work at national and international levels to ensure strong legal protections for privacy
seek ways to protect privacy through the use of technology

Privacy International was founded in 1990 and was the first organisation to campaign at an international level on privacy issues.

We have advised and reported to international organisations like the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the UN Refugee Agency.

Our Advisory Board spans 47 countries.

Privacy International is registered in the UK as a charity (No. 1147471).


The Truth about Untruthful Postings

In Truth on 01/24/2013 at 00:23

A few months back, I was at a function that had a mix of writers, lawyers and doctors. I usually find myself in an awkward position when I am asked what I do for a living. Some individuals and professionals find my work in Digital Privacy distasteful, even though they may admit the necessity of my services.

At this function, I had to opportunity to strike up a conversation with Dr. Marc Hafkin, a psychologist out of Maryland. We began to discuss how the Internet has brought change to both of our businesses. However, the change was not always positive. I mentioned that one of the serious issues licensed professionals are facing is untrue Internet postings about them or their services. I explained how dangerous this can be in a world where there is no Delete button or accountability on the Internet.

Established professionals rely on their reputation for referrals, rather than on advertising. Therefore, when a client or ex-client casually posts a negative or untrue posting the same way they would of a restaurant or hotel, the results usually are catastrophic. Those who post untrue information do not see or care about the full ramifications of their actions. I speak from experience because I have witnessed how such actions have destroyed people’s lives and livelihood.

A lawyer I helped represented a client in a losing case. The disgruntled client began posting untrue damaging information about the lawyer. The lawyer attempted to get the website to remove the information, but was unsuccessful because the website’s host is in Morocco. The lawyer’s business dropped by forty percent.

In the past year, there have been huge increases in websites that cater to unaccountable postings, such as Cheaters, Rate My Teacher, etc. These types of websites are a serious problem because there is zero fact checking as well as zero accountability placed on the website or poster. The only recourse available to the person reviewed, is to post a comment about the posting. This hardly seems fair or just, especially since probably no one will believe them.

In my discussion with Dr. Hafkin, I mentioned that an article about me would be coming out in Psychology Today magazine in January 2013. Somehow, the idea of a social experiment evolved from the conversation. We thought it would be not only interesting, but important, to demonstrate how an untrue posting can hurt a licensed professional, as well as create serious problems with family, friends and associates.

In a few days, I will share more on the following website: http://www.untruepostings.com.


In Privacy on 01/24/2013 at 00:19

New technologies are radically advancing our freedoms but they are also enabling unparalleled invasions of privacy.

Your cell phone helps you keep in touch with friends and families but it also makes it easier for security agencies to track your location.

Your Web searches about sensitive medical information might seem a secret between you and your search engine, but companies like Google are creating a treasure trove of personal information by logging your online activities, and making it potentially available to any party wielding enough cash or a subpoena.

And the next time you try to board a plane, watch out—you might be turned away after being mistakenly placed on a government watch list, or be forced to open your email in the security line.

National and international laws have yet to catch up with the evolving need for privacy that comes with new technology. Several governments have also chosen to use malware to engage in extra-legal spying or system sabotage for dissidents or non-citizens, all in the name of “national security.”

Respect for individuals’ autonomy, anonymous speech, and the right to free association must be balanced against legitimate concerns like law enforcement. National governments must put legal checks in place to prevent abuse of state powers, and international bodies need to consider how a changing technological environment shapes security agencies’ best practices.

EFF fights in the courts and Congress to extend your privacy rights into the digital world, and works with partners around the globe to support the development of privacy-protecting technologies. Read our work on privacy issues below, and join EFF to help support our efforts.

For information about the law and technology of government surveillance in the United States check out EFF’s Surveillance Self-Defense project.


In Privacy on 01/24/2013 at 00:17

Reputation.com (formerly ReputationDefender is a company based in Redwood City, California that offers online reputation management (ORM) and internet privacy services. Company CEO Michael Fertik has criticized review websites that don’t monitor comments or require users to register.

ReputationDefender started out in 2006 with a focus on helping parents protect their children from damaging their reputations through embarrassing postings on social media websites, but quickly expanded to add similar services for adults. Its services included monitoring of web content about their clients. When damaging content was found, the company tried to get it removed from the offending websites through methods such as sending letters to the site owners asking them to remove the content. In 2006, Susan Crawford, a cyberlaw specialist on the faculty of Cardozo Law School, commented that when contacted in that fashion, “most people will take materials down just to avoid the hassle of dealing with possible litigation.”

Fertik told an interviewer that the company’s methods did not work with all types of web content, noting that “some clients and prospective clients would like us to get news articles in major publications or court records removed from the internet,” but his company must “tell them that these requests are extremely difficult to fulfill and sometimes impossible.” In general, he said that the company was sensitive to First Amendment issues, and would not go after “genuinely newsworthy speech.” In a 2007 article, Business Week reported that ReputationDefender was offering businesses a “$10,000 premium service … that can promote the info you want and suppress the news you don’t,” primarily by manipulating search-engine results.

In 2012, Reputation.com received multiple patents related to its development of reputation science technologies. Some of the company’s patented software includes scoring systems used to identify consumer information and generate reputation scores for individuals. The technology outlined in other patents has centered on persona isolation, sentiment analysis, and privacy protection.

Current Reputation.com technologies include privacy related systems that locate websites where an individual’s personal data is unknowingly listed. These systems also attempt to delist the data.There is also review technology that allows businesses to track online reviews and reach out to customers in order to proactively gather reviews.

In January 2010, the company announced that it was changing its name from ReputationDefender to Reputation.com, saying that the new name communicates that the company had expanded it services “beyond the ‘defensive’ and onto the ‘proactive’ face of reputation and privacy management.” The page for ReputationDefender software advises, “High-ranking negative content can damage your reputation online. We push negative links down by creating and promoting accurate and truthful content.”

On September 1, 2010, the World Economic Forum announced the company as a Technology Pioneer for 2011.

A February 2012 report in Bloomberg Businessweek called Reputation.com “the most prominent player” in online reputation management, but noted that the company, and others in the field, are having difficulty controlling their own online search profiles. The company charges its customers at least $1000 a year for its service.

Facebook privacy violated

In Privacy on 01/24/2013 at 00:07

Facebook privacy violated.

How To File a Complaint

In Privacy on 01/24/2013 at 00:05

If you believe that a covered entity violated your (or someone else’s) health information privacy rights or committed another violation of the Privacy or Security Rule, you may file a complaint with OCR. OCR can investigate complaints against covered entities.

COVERED ENTITIES – A covered entity is a health plan, health care clearinghouse, and any health care provider that conducts certain health care transactions electronically. For more information, please review our Understanding Health Information Privacy section or look at our responses to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on our web site.

COMPLAINT REQUIREMENTS – Your complaint must:

Be filed in writing, either on paper or electronically, by mail, fax, or e-mail;
Name the covered entity involved and describe the acts or omissions you believe violated the requirements of the Privacy or Security Rule; and
Be filed within 180 days of when you knew that the act or omission complained of occurred. OCR may extend the 180-day period if you can   show “good cause.”

ANYONE CAN FILE! – Anyone can file a complaint alleging a violation of the Privacy or Security Rule. We recommend that you use the OCR Health Information Privacy Complaint Form Package. You can also request a copy of this form from an OCR regional office. If you need help filing a complaint or have a question about the complaint or consent forms, please e-mail OCR at OCRMail@hhs.gov.

HIPAA PROHIBITS RETALIATION – Under HIPAA an entity cannot retaliate against you for filing a complaint. You should notify OCR immediately in the event of any retaliatory action.

HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR COMPLAINT – To submit a complaint, please use one of the following methods.

If you mail or fax the complaint, be sure to send it to the appropriate OCR regional office based on where the alleged violation took place. OCR has ten regional offices, and each regional office covers specific states. Send your complaint to the attention of the OCR Regional Manager. You do not need to sign the complaint and consent forms when you submit them by e-mail because submission by e-mail represents your signature.

Click Here

Truth – Wiki

In Truth on 01/23/2013 at 23:59

Truth is most often used to mean in accord with fact or reality, or fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal.

The opposite of truth is falsehood, which, correspondingly, can also take on a logical, factual, or ethical meaning. The concept of truth is discussed and debated in several contexts, including philosophy and religion. Many human activities depend upon the concept, which is assumed rather than a subject of discussion, including science, law, and everyday life.

Various theories and views of truth continue to be debated among scholars and philosophers. Language and words are a means by which humans convey information to one another and the method used to recognize a “truth” is termed a criterion of truth. There are differing claims on such questions as what constitutes truth: what things are truthbearers capable of being true or false; how to define and identify truth; the roles that revealed and acquired knowledge play; and whether truth is subjective or objective, relative or absolute.

Many religions consider perfect knowledge of all truth about all things (omniscience) to be an attribute of a divine or supernatural being,

The English word truth is from Old English tríewþ, tréowþ, trýwþ, Middle English trewþe, cognate to Old High German triuwida, Old Norse tryggð. Like troth, it is a -th nominalisation of the adjective true (Old English tréowe).

The English word true is from Old English (West Saxon) (ge)tríewe, tréowe, cognate to Old Saxon (gi)trûui, Old High German (ga)triuwu (Modern German treu “faithful”), Old Norse tryggr, Gothic triggws, all from a Proto-Germanic *trewwj- “having good faith”. Old Norse trú, “faith, word of honour; religious faith, belief” (archaic English troth “loyalty, honesty, good faith”, compare Ásatrú).

Thus, ‘truth’ involves both the quality of “faithfulness, fidelity, loyalty, sincerity, veracity”, and that of “agreement with fact or reality”, in Anglo-Saxon expressed by sōþ (Modern English sooth).

All Germanic languages besides English have introduced a terminological distinction between truth “fidelity” and truth “factuality”. To express “factuality”, North Germanic opted for nouns derived from sanna “to assert, affirm”, while continental West Germanic (German and Dutch) opted for continuations of wâra “faith, trust, pact” (cognate to Slavic věra “(religious) faith”, but influenced by Latin verus). Romance languages use terms following the Latin veritas, while the Greek aletheia, Russian pravda and Serbian istina have separate etymological origins.


In Privacy on 01/23/2013 at 23:57

Privacy.Org is the site for daily news, information, and initiatives on privacy. This web page is a joint project of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and Privacy International.

EPIC is a public interest research center in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values.

Privacy International is a human rights group formed in 1990 as a watchdog on surveillance by governments and corporations. PI is based in London, England, and has an office in Washington, D.C. PI has conducted campaigns throughout the world on issues ranging from wiretapping and national security activities, to ID cards, video surveillance, data matching, police information systems, and medical privacy.

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Privacy – Wiki

In Privacy on 01/23/2013 at 23:55

Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively. The boundaries and content of what is considered private differ among cultures and individuals, but share basic common themes. Privacy is sometimes related to anonymity, the wish to remain unnoticed or unidentified in the public realm. When something is private to a person, it usually means there is something within them that is considered inherently special or personally sensitive. The degree to which private information is exposed therefore depends on how the public will receive this information, which differs between places and over time. Privacy partially intersects security, including for instance the concepts of appropriate use, as well as protection of information. Privacy may also take the form of bodily integrity.

The right not to be subjected to unsanctioned invasion of privacy by the government, corporations or individuals is part of many countries‘ privacy laws, and in some cases, constitutions. Almost all countries have laws which in some way limit privacy; an example of this would be law concerning taxation, which normally require the sharing of information about personal income or earnings. In some countries individual privacy may conflict with freedom of speech laws and some laws may require public disclosure of information which would be considered private in other countries and cultures. Privacy may be voluntarily sacrificed, normally in exchange for perceived benefits and very often with specific dangers and losses, although this is a very strategic view of human relationships. Academics who are economists, evolutionary theorists, and research psychologists describe revealing privacy as a ‘voluntary sacrifice’, for instance by willing participants in sweepstakes or competitions. In the business world, a person may volunteer personal details (often for advertising purposes) in order to gamble on winning a prize. Personal information which is voluntarily shared but subsequently stolen or misused can lead to identity theft.

Privacy, as the term is generally understood in the West, is not a universal concept and remained virtually unknown in some cultures until recent times. Most cultures, however, recognize the ability of individuals to withhold certain parts of their personal information from wider society – a figleaf over the genitals being an ancient example.

Many languages lack a specific word for “privacy”. Such languages either use a complex description to translate the term (such as Russian combine meaning of уединение – solitude, секретность – secrecy, and частная жизнь – private life) or borrow English “privacy” (as Indonesian Privasi or Italian la privacy).