Privacy is an important concept. We all want it. We all make sacrifices to keep it, yet paradoxically also do things to compromise it. Ok up to here. However, when we make online purchases, join websites and other things, we expect these details to remain guarded and become angered when these sites, and our data are compromised.
Well, the Administration has a plan to generate standards for online privacy. This isn’t out of line imo. The Internet stretches across states, countries and the world. Arguably beyond it as well, as various companies pursue comsats, etc. That seems to be an area where national governments are justifiably involved.
So what are theses standards?
1. Individual Control: Consumers have a right to exercise control over what personal data companies collect from them and how they use it.
2. Transparency: Consumers have a right to easily understandable and accessible information about privacy and security practices.
3. Respect for Context: Consumers have a right to expect that companies will collect, use, and disclose personal data in ways that are consistent with the context in which consumers provide the data.
4. Security: Consumers have a right to secure and responsible handling of personal data.
5. Access and Accuracy: Consumers have a right to access and correct personal data in usable formats, in a manner that is appropriate to the sensitivity of the data and the risk of adverse consequences to consumers if the data is inaccurate.
6. Focused Collection: Consumers have a right to reasonable limits on the personal data that companies collect and retain.
7. Accountability: Consumers have a right to have personal data handled by companies with appropriate measures in place to assure they adhere to the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.
These also seem pretty good on the face of it. I’d suggest reading more about these “Rights” here: http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/22/technology/bill_of_rights_privacy/index.htm
There are fuzzy areas, but they can (and will) be refined. Oh yes, by the same folks who brought you ACTA,PIPA and SOPA. Thing is, data mining will continue (good, honest work, that), and that leads me to the next item.
“In Private” settings on Internet Explorer and similar on other browsers aren’t.
“In Private” means just what it says. It means you do not wish to be tracked. By anyone. It’s creepy (and I don’t care who says it’s “anonymous”: I don’t believe him). The claims of the data miners are that it isn’t personal. It’s just business. My business, your business and none of theirs. I don’t choose to believe them when they say it’s anonymous. I don’t choose to believe the cell companies when they say those apps are only there to monitor dropped calls to improve service.
So, it turns out despite your implicit demand for privacy by choosing “In Private” browsing, Google has found a way around that. But they don’t want to pry. They’ve found a way around the privacy setting in Internet Explorer and in Safari. I won’t bother discussing Chrome’s “Incognito” mode for obvious reasons. Incognito? Probably anything but.
"When you delete your search history from Google, it does not mean that the company stops collecting the data that you create. It still takes the information and stores it away, but it promises not to use it. If presented with a subpoena or warrant, Google would have to give that information to the appropriate parties, but there doesn't seem to be any other reason the company hangs onto it. After 18 months, the data becomes "anonymized." I asked Galperin to define "anonymized," and she said "It depends. They'll take your name off and strip some bits off the IP address." But, she added, "The extent to which [Google has] anonymized the data is unclear." She also mentioned that some research suggests that it's possible to de-anonymize data fairly easily "if you have a large enough corpus." No one would dispute that Google certainly has a very large data set. And what happens if you don't delete it? "It's unclear how long Google keeps [your information] if you don't delete your Web history," said Galperin. Leaving it alone also means that Google can give you those more personalized results it keeps promising, which Galperin notes isn't necessarily "better" or what you want."- http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2400662,00.asp
So here’s what you can do to prevent that “sharing” (selling your data):
- Get “Ghostery” or other browser tracker foiler. Do I believe it’ll work against the Google cookie which slips through defences? Not for a minute. Those extensions also prevent your commenting on Galleries at WC.
- Re: Google -
“After signing into your Google account, type https://www.google.com/history into your browser. (Alternatively, you can choose Account Settings from the pull-down menu in the upper-right corner of a Google product such as Gmail, Google+, or Google.com. From the Account Settings page, scroll down to the Services header and click on the "Go to web history" link.) If your Web History is enabled, you'll see a list of recent searches and sites visited. Click the gray Remove all Web History button at the top of the page and a subsequent OK button to clear your Web History.” - http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57382925-285/how-to-remove-your-google-web-history/
In short? I don’t believe you’ll even evade them by not having a Google account. Even offline, they’re on you. Take “street view" for example, and the “sniffing” to see if your network was secure. I wonder who they sold that data to.
Another point regarding Google and its policies’ “impact”": Did you know that “Infopackets” (http://www.infopackets.com/) is going out of business thanks to Google?
That site has provided me, and by extension you, with good information about issues and software in the past. If you’d like to read about this issue, please avail yourselves here: http://www.infopackets.com/news/announcements/2012/20120215_infopackets_may_be_forced_to_shut_down_by_june_1_2012_please_vote.htm and here: http://www.infopackets.com/news/announcements/2012/20120222_vote_qa_update_how_google_killed_infopackets.htm
Well, that’s just business.
It’s also a voice silenced. Mr. Dennis Faas' (CEO and publisher of Infopackets) voice. His contributers, as well.
A very nice and friendly voice, I might add. One to join so many more silenced by that “policy” change….
Well, that's the price of all that nifty stuff they and their "products" do.
You didn't really believe that there was a "Free Lunch", did you?
There are tools to help you get your data "out" of Google or to get it "in".
They are found here: http://www.dataliberation.org/
A step by step guide "How to": https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/02/how-remove-your-google-search-history-googles-new-privacy-policy-takes-effect
How to keep your searches private: https://www.eff.org/wp/six-tips-protect-your-search-privacy