As part of the BBC's "60-second idea" series, science fiction author Elizabeth Moon is making a case for slapping a barcode on every person at birth. In a digital world where a good majority of our interactions are anonymous, it's a stifling thought. So, why's she for it?
The folks over at IBM are worried that Siri has the potential to leak corporate secrets to Apple. Why? Because everything you utter, from a basic calendar update to dictating an email outlining exactly how Watson's systems work, gets sent by Siri to a facility that analyzes the data and may keep it, too.
It's not completely illegal for law enforcement to get your cellphone records from wireless carriers without a warrant. So, they do it. And wireless carriers seem happy to comply, perhaps because they get to charge lots of money every time someone asks for something, and the ACLU has found out how much money this is.
There have been a lot of futuristic patent applications making the news lately. Google is up next with one the company calls "Advertising Based on Environmental Conditions." Essentially, it boils down to technology that would listen to your calls to analyze background conditions in order to push relevant advertising your way.
The Internet is abuzz over reports of companies demanding total Facebook access as part mandatory background checks for employment. Several claims have surfaced that some employers go beyond just snooping through a person's public profile, requesting their password as well. New information at the end of the article.
My friends are divided on Facebook's presence in their everyday lives. Half are happy to sign up for every game or calendar and use Facebook Connect as a proxy for signing in to many other sites. The others have all their privacy settings set to max. If the general population feels the same way, then at least 50 percent of you are going to freak at the idea of a Facebook identity card.
Come March 1, Google will be joining all of the search data it has on you — yes, you! — into one tidy place. That means the things you Google, the stuff you share on Plus and the robot toy videos you watch on YouTube will all inform who the search/advertizing giant thinks you are on the Web.
Time to start looking over your shoulder a little bit more often, since the FBI has released a flyer warning employees of coffee shops and Internet cafes to be on the lookout for "suspicious" activities, including not showing random people your computer screen, surfing DIY websites and paying for things with money.
It's unfortunate that Internet regulation worldwide tends to be in the hands of people who know very little about the Internet and altogether too much about regulation. At the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin, hackers have come up with a new idea: their very own space-based Internet service.
Google makes a quarter of its money by watching where you go and what you do on the Internet, and then serving you ads that it thinks you'll be interested in. Now, credit card companies want to do the same kind of thing, using all the information they have about you, and everything that you buy. Goodbye, privacy.