Posted tagged ‘Personal Data’

Attention all Twitters!!

June 27, 2010

Why such drama! what I really don’t get is although there are masterminds behind the social networks, they are so careless about their users personal information! And if they are going to be so  negligent, why do they mislead the users and put their privacy under risk! After so much talking about Facebook privacy lax now is Twitter’s turn! Recently, allegations have been brought up against Twitter by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, claiming that Twitter failed its promised user privacy.

The FTC’s complaint focused on two incidents which were in January and April 2009. In both cases Twitter was attacked by different hackers. In January,  a hacker used an automated password-guessing tool to gain administrative control of Twitter, after submitting thousands of guesses into Twitter’s log-in page, the FTC said. The silly thing is the administrative password was a common dictionary word! What a reckless mistake!

In the second case in April 2009,  a hacker compromised a Twitter employee’s personal e-mail account where two passwords similar to the employee’s Twitter administrative password were stored in plain text, the FTC said. Then he was able to reset at least one user’s password and could gain access to personal information and also tweet from the stolen account. It seems there is no end inside! I’m wondering how and when they are really going to consider user privacy and do something about Twitter’s security loopholes.

“When a company promises consumers that their personal information is secure, it must live up to that promise,” David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. “Likewise, a company that allows consumers to designate their information as private must use reasonable security to uphold such designations. Consumers who use social networking sites may choose to share some information with others, but they still have a right to expect that their personal information will be kept private and secure.”

Twitter has agreed to settle the complaint and it is prohibited from misleading clients about protecting their privacy in the coming 20 years and forced to establish a comprehensive security program which will be examine by an outsider every 10 years.  I hope that this settlement will have enough restrictions to make sure Twitter fulfils its moral and lawful obligations.    

What’s your take on it?

Source: Read more from Computerworld.com

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Facebook loses Face!

May 25, 2010

I’ve been an active Facebook user for almost 3 years and it is an incredible feeling to know I can keep in touch with my friends so easily. But it doesn’t mean that I’ve never been worried about my privacy and how my information is used and shared in ways that I might have no idea about!

I’ve done my own share of research on Facebook privacy loopholes. However, it’s hollow has deepened after it was revealed that Facebook had been passing personal data and details to advertising companies – including Google’s DoubleClick and Yahoo!’s own Right Media – without consent. Moreover, it coincides with the result of a recent online survey by Internet Security firm Sophos which disclosed 60% of Facebook users considered quitting the site over worries about their private data.

After all controversy around Facebook’s chaotic and afflicted privacy flap, its chief executive, Mark Zukerberg, finally admitted that they had made a “bunch of mistakes” in an email to tech blogger Robert Scoble and promised changes “in coming weeks.” He also in an open letter published in the Washington Post wrote that Facebook had been “growing quickly” and confided that “sometimes we move too fast.” But Zukerberg promised additional privacy controls would be “much simpler to use” and also would provide “an easy way to turn of all third-party services.”

“Many of you thought our controls were too complex”, Zukerberg said in his letter. “Our intention was to give you lots of granular controls” – you bet – “but that may not have been what many of you wanted” and he confessed “we just missed the mark.”

Well, seems Zukerberg has taken a step in the right direction, but I hope it’s not just all talk. There is a long way to go untill Facebook is completely trusted again. What’s your take on it?