Posted tagged ‘Privacy’

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

Mind your own business!

April 17, 2010

I was doing some reading about the Privacy and Data Security obligations on some popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Friendfeed. I noticed that  all these social networks are providing the privacy conditions in a same manner. Nothing much to explain, they only represent some certain forms of collecting information about their users, which obviously means us!,  and sharing them with their third parties, in regard of delivering services and better understanding of usage.

Whatever they are collecting in any possible way as much as we provide them, it remains either  in their huge databases or in their third parties’ servers. Once you release a single piece of any kind of data, you can’t take it back. It’s done! Any requested, accessed, corrected or even removed information will be maintained on the servers for an unknown period of time.

What I really don’t get is the reason why users appear to have less concern about their privacy by publishing their personal data through these mediums!  Since the information is given up freely, it puts the spot light on the user and the extent to which the user is aware of the consequences of making their information available for third parties, and obviously falling argument on the service provider!

With everything that I have said, still my concern is at what extent should the social networking provider be responsible both morally and legally for its users’ information. Do they literally process our information fairly and lawfully?