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Category Archives: Digital Rights

You Give Apps Sensitive Personal Information. Then They Tell Facebook.

Wall Street Journal testing reveals how the social-media giant collects a wide range of private data from developers; ‘This is a big mess’ [paywall] “Millions of smartphone users confess their most intimate secrets to apps, including when they want to work on their belly fat or the price of the house they checked out last weekend. Other apps know users’ body weight, blood pressure, menstrual cycles or pregnancy status. Unbeknown to most people, in many cases that data is being shared with someone else: Facebook Inc. FB 1.16% The social-media giant collects intensely personal information from many popular smartphone apps just seconds after users enter it, even if the user has no connection to Facebook, according to testing done by The Wall Street Journal. The apps often send the data without any prominent or specific disclosure, the testing showed.

It is already known that many smartphone apps send information to Facebook about when users open them, and sometimes what they do inside. Previously unreported is how at least 11 popular apps, totaling tens of millions of downloads, have also been sharing sensitive data entered by users. The findings alarmed some privacy experts who reviewed the Journal’s testing. Facebook is under scrutiny from Washington and European regulators for how it treats the information of users and nonusers alike. It has been fined for allowing now defunct political-data firm Cambridge Analytica illicit access to users’ data and has drawn criticism for giving companies special access to user records well after it said it had walled off that information. In the case of apps, the Journal’s testing showed that Facebook software collects data from many apps even if no Facebook account is used to log in and if the end user isn’t a Facebook member. [emphasis added]

The Journal tested more than 70 apps that are among the most popular in Apple’s iOS store in categories that handle sensitive user information. The Journal used software to monitor the internet communications triggered by using an app, including the information being sent to Facebook and other third parties. The tests found at least 11 apps sent Facebook potentially sensitive information about how users behaved or actual data they entered…”

Personal Data v. Big Data: Challenges of Commodification of Personal Data

Canellopoulou-Bottis, Maria and Bouchagiar, George, Personal Data v. Big Data: Challenges of Commodification of Personal Data (May 11, 2018). Open Journal of Philosophy, 2018, 8, pp. 206-215. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3186347 “Any firm today may, at little or no cost, build its own infrastructure to process personal data for commercial, economic, political, technological or any… Continue Reading

Will the European Big Deal Scholarly Packages Contagion Spread to North America?

The Scholarly Kitchen: “Today, in looking at the scholarly publishing sector, equity markets are focused on the European national-level consortial negotiations. If analysts are not surprised at the strong rhetoric about cancelling Big Deal packages that has emerged from the university sectors, they are troubled to see entire nations actually canceling their licenses. They have… Continue Reading

Tim Berners-Lee: I invented the web. Here are three things we need to change to save it

theguardian – Sir Tim Berners-Lee – “Today marks 28 years since I submitted my original proposal for the worldwide web. I imagined the web as an open platform that would allow everyone, everywhere to share information, access opportunities, and collaborate across geographic and cultural boundaries. In many ways, the web has lived up to this… Continue Reading

New on LLRX – Defending the Indefensible: Chairman Pai’s Lifeline Reversal Will Widen the Digital Divide

Via LLRX.com – Defending the Indefensible: Chairman Pai’s Lifeline Reversal Will Widen the Digital Divide – Lifeline is one of four FCC programs intended to ensure that all Americans have access to modern communications. This article by Gigi Sohn, who served as Counselor to the Chairman in the Office of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler until… Continue Reading

2016 – Economic, Social and Cultural rights (ESCRs) and the internet

“The 47 country reports gathered here illustrate the link between the internet and economic, social and cultural rights (ESCRs). Some of the topics will be familiar to information and communications technology for development (ICT4D) activists: the right to health, education and culture; the socioeconomic empowerment of women using the internet; the inclusion of rural and indigenous… Continue Reading

Federal Open Licensing Playbook

“Federal agencies are increasingly using open licensing to expand the impact and reach of their work, enable innovative use of federally-funded materials, and ensure that publicly funded resources are available to the public. We note shared practices and considerations, common to the federal open licensing efforts thus far. This Playbook provides a practitioner’s guide to… Continue Reading

Report – Law Enforcement Use of Cell-Site Simulation Technologies: Privacy Concerns and Recommendations

Committee on Oversight and Government Reform U.S. House of Representatives 114th Congress – Law Enforcement Use of Cell-Site Simulation Technologies: Privacy Concerns and Recommendations. Committee Staff Report. Hon. Jason Chaffetz, Chairman; Hon. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member; Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. December 19, 2016. “…During the course of the investigation, it became clear… Continue Reading

Tech Giants Partner in Effort to Fight Online Terror Content

News release: “Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube are coming together to help curb the spread of terrorist content online. There is no place for content that promotes terrorism on our hosted consumer services. When alerted, we take swift action against this kind of content in accordance with our respective policies. Starting today, we commit to… Continue Reading

TTIP and Digital Rights

TTIP and Digital Rights Published: 08.06.2015 – “The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP – pronounced “tee-tip”) is a draft trade agreement being negotiated between the United States (US) and the European Union (EU). This booklet presents the concerns that EDRi and its members have regarding TTIP, such as the lack of transparency in the… Continue Reading

RightsStatements.org – 11 standardized rights statements for online cultural heritage

“RightsStatements.org is a joint initiative of Europeana and the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Europeana, the Digital Public Library of America, and many other libraries, archives and other cultural heritage institutions believe that everyone should be able to engage with their cultural heritage online. We can help achieve this by providing cultural heritage institutions… Continue Reading