For the first time ever Google is now processing an average of one million removal requests per day. The new record follows an upward trend with copyright holders reporting more and more allegedly infringing search results in an effort to deter piracy.

Google Asked to Remove 1 Million Pirate Links Per Day | TorrentFreak

Veracity aside, the whole debate is a good reminder of what most what most of us cheerfully Snapchatting, Instagramming fools conveniently forget: Our phones store metadata with every photo we take. Unless you spend a lot more energy than most people finding tools that scrub your files, EXIF data on every selfie includes the GPS coordinates of your photos, the time they were taken, and enough other information that makes it easy to track down personalized details about you. Even if there’s no embedded EXIF data, if a photo’s location is placed on a map, software can scrape those locations and associate them with the images. The impact this has on our privacy is profound. Programmer and artist Owen Mundy recently visualized these kinds of privacy issues in his project, I Know Where Your Cat Lives. Using publicly available photos from people’s feeds, he locates photos of cats on a global map, with an estimated error margin of 7.8 meters. “I have a daughter and had been posting pictures of her on Instagram,” Mundy told Vice. “Then I realized Instagram had created a map of every picture I had been sharing with the world. That scared me.”

In Metadata We Trust, Minus The Margins Of Error | Popular Science

“I’ve had patients ask me, ‘Where’s your baby board?’ ” said Dr. Mark V. Sauer, the director of the office, which is affiliated with Columbia University Medical Center. “We just tell them the truth, which is that we no longer post them because of concerns over privacy.” For generations, obstetricians and midwives across America have proudly posted photographs of the babies they have delivered on their office walls. But this pre-digital form of social media is gradually going the way of cigars in the waiting room, because of the federal patient privacy law known as Hipaa. Under the law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, baby photos are a type of protected health information, no less than a medical chart, birth date or Social Security number, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Even if a parent sends in the photo, it is considered private unless the parent also sends written authorization for its posting, which almost no one does.

Baby Pictures at Doctor’s? Cute, Sure, but Illegal -

Pretty much everything you do on the Internet these days is a potential data set. And data has value. The posts you like on Facebook, your spending habits as tracked by Mint, the searches you make on Google – the argument goes that the social, economic and academic potential of sharing these immensely detailed so-called “high dimensional” data sets with third parties is too great to ignore. If that’s the case, you better hope there’s a pretty surefire way to scrub data sets of our personal information before release. Cavoukian and Castro worry that we’ll be so scared off by incidents where data has been poorly de-identified – and mistake those scenarios for examples of why de-identification doesn’t work – that we’ll decide not to share our data at all.

Sticky data: Why even ‘anonymized’ information can still identify you - The Globe and Mail

Researchers at MIT, Microsoft, and Adobe have developed an algorithm that can reconstruct an audio signal by analyzing minute vibrations of objects depicted in video. In one set of experiments, they were able to recover intelligible speech from the vibrations of a potato-chip bag photographed from 15 feet away through soundproof glass.


Another reason backing off from that always-on Kinect was a sound decision.

(via dbreunig)

The motion refers to 14 distinct searches and seizures of Ulbricht’s computers, equipment, and online accounts. Beyond the initial tracing of his alleged servers in Iceland, investigators performed several of those surveillance operations with “trap and trace” or “pen register” orders that don’t require the “probable cause” standard necessary to convince a judge to sign off on a warrant; The warrantless surveillances ops included asking Comcast for information related to Ulbricht’s alleged IP address in San Francisco. And even in the cases when investigators did get a warrant before performing their searches—as in the case of a Samsung laptop believed to belong to Ulbricht as well as his Gmail and Facebook accounts—Ulbricht’s defense argues that those warrants were unconstitutional “general warrants” that allowed a wholesale dump of his private data rather than allowing the search for a specific piece of information.

Feds’ Silk Road Investigation Broke Privacy Laws, Defendant Tells Court | Threat Level | WIRED

The Missouri State Legislature introduced two related bills aimed to update its existing privacy laws to include records for materials including ebooks, electronic documents, streaming video, music, and downloadable audiobooks, as well as the use of using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon approved one of the bills, which will go into effect on August 28, while rejecting the other. Though the privacy of patrons’ library records has traditionally been sacrosanct, digital technology has transformed library services, and many states’ privacy laws have been slow to address records for digital media.

Missouri Extends Protection of Library Records Data to Digital Materials - The Digital Shift

What if the public speech on Facebook and Twitter is more akin to a conversation happening between two people at a restaurant? Or two people speaking quietly at home, albeit near a window that happens to be open to the street? And if more than a billion people are active on various social networking applications each week, are we saying that there are now a billion public figures? When did we agree to let media redefine everyone who uses social networks as fair game, with no recourse and no framework for consent?

What Is Public? — The Message — Medium

“We originally thought that young people would use Facebook and digital communication to stage-manage their lives,” said Wardle. That wasn’t the case. Candid messages are thrown into the digital ether without regard for their permanence or the number of eyeballs that can scrutinize them. “They found it much easier to articulate how they felt to each other honestly when they weren’t in the same room,” he said.

Not-so-secret lives on smartphones : Columbia Journalism Review