Bulk access technology is indiscriminately corrosive of online privacy and impinges on the very essence of the right guaranteed by [the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights],” Emmerson, a prominent human rights lawyer, concludes. The programmes, he said, “pose a direct and ongoing challenge to an established norm of international law.

Mass internet surveillance threatens international law, UN report claims | World news | The Guardian

We see more and more visitors log on to our fictitious network. The siren song of the little black device appears to be irresistible. Already 20 smartphones and laptops are ours. If he wanted to, Slotboom could now completely ruin the lives of the people connected: He can retrieve their passwords, steal their identity, and plunder their bank accounts. Later today, he will show me how. I have given him permission to hack me in order to demonstrate what he is capable of, though it could be done to anyone with a smartphone in search of a network, or a laptop connecting to a WiFi network. Everything, with very few exceptions, can be cracked.

Here’s Why Public Wifi is a Public Health Hazard — Matter — Medium

The practice of monitoring the whereabouts of Whisper users – including those who have expressly opted out of geolocation services – will alarm users, who are encouraged to disclose intimate details about their private and professional lives. Whisper is also sharing information with the US Department of Defense gleaned from smartphones it knows are used from military bases, and developing a version of its app to conform with Chinese censorship laws.

Revealed: how Whisper app tracks ‘anonymous’ users | Technology | The Guardian

Remember that old story about how everyone was fooled by some scammers when they dressed the leader in cloth of unusual delicacy until a child said “but he has no clothes on!” There’s a new version of that fable. The emperors are all shrouded in layers of secrecy wrapped up in laws. Today, it’s the people who have no clothes and are being scammed into thinking they’re well dressed. The emperors are enjoying the view and librarians are spending a king’s ransom on the latest fashions.

The Reader Has No Clothes | Library Babel Fish @insidehighered

So, here’s an idea: Any library that would like to make its usage data public is encouraged to create a “stackscore” for each item in its collection. A stackscore is a number from 1 to 100 that represents how relevant an item is to the library’s patrons as measured by how they’ve used it. There are many types of relevant data: Check-ins. Usage broken down by class of patron (faculty? grad student? undergrad?). Renewals. Number of copies in the collection. Whether an item has been put on reserve for a course. Inclusion in a librarian-created guide. Ratings by users on the library’s website. Early call-backs from loans. Citations. Being listed on a syllabus. Being added to a user-created list. Which of these factors should figure into stackscore? It’s the sort of question standards committees argue about until they are red in the face. There is no right answer. So, stackscore gives up. Each library is left to compute its stackscore using whatever metrics it wants, giving factors whatever relative values they want. In the interest of transparency, libraries should publish their formulae, but they are not beholden to any other library’s idea of relevance.

A Good, Dumb Way to Learn From Libraries – The Conversation - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

We wanted to say to parents: ‘No one’s going to sell your kids’ data; nobody’s going to track your child around the Internet; no one’s going to compile a profile that is used against your child when they apply for a job 20 years later,’ ” said Jules Polonetsky, executive director of the Future Privacy Forum, which has received financing from technology companies, including some of the signatories to the privacy pledge. “We hope this is a useful way for companies that want to be trusted partners in schools to make it clear they are on the side of responsible data use.

Microsoft and Other Firms Pledge to Protect Student Data - NYTimes.com

Just as people won’t put their money in a bank they won’t trust, people won’t use an Internet they won’t trust," Smith said. Panelist Ramsey Homsany, general counsel for online storage company Dropbox, said the trust between customers and businesses that is at the core of the Internet’s economic engine has begun to "rot it from the inside out." "The trust element is extremely insidious," Homsany said. "It’s about personal emails, it’s about photos, it’s about plans, it’s about medical records.

US spying scandal will ‘break the Internet,’ says Google’s Schmidt - CNET

It’s our belief that we are entitled under the First Amendment to respond to our users’ concerns and to the statements of U.S. government officials by providing information about the scope of U.S. government surveillance — including what types of legal process have not been received,” Ben Lee, a Twitter vice president, said in a post online. “We should be free to do this in a meaningful way, rather than in broad, inexact ranges.

Twitter sues U.S. government over limits on ability to disclose surveillance orders - The Washington Post

Britons must accept a greater loss of digital freedoms in return for greater safety from serious criminals and terrorists in the internet age, according to the country’s top law enforcement officer.

National Crime Agency director general: UK snooping powers are too weak | UK news | The Guardian

By using GPS coordinates, Tocker was able to track cab traffic to and from strip clubs located in Hell’s Kitchen between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. By pinpointing the pickup and drop-off zones, Tockar could tell, with frightening precision, where a loyal customer of Larry Flynt’s Hustler club might reside. “The potential consequences of this analysis cannot be overstated,” writes Tockar. “Using this freely-obtainable, easily-created map, one can find out where many of Hustler’s customers live, as there are only a handful of locations possible for each point.”

NYC Taxi Data Blunder Reveals Which Celebs Don’t Tip—And Who Frequents Strip Clubs | Fast Company | Business Innovation