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News and articles relating to consumer privacy by Adam K Levin.

  • Identity

    OPM breach lends urgency for new laws to protect individual privacyPrivacy


    When it comes to losing data to hackers, the federal government appears to have much more leeway than private corporations in deciding what to disclose—and when. That point has been driven home by developments in the breach of Uncle Sam’s human resources agency, the Office of Personnel Management. On Friday, as major news outlets wound down for the weekend, an unnamed U.S. official disclosed to The Associated Press that data thieves took records for up […]

  • More Americans Live Under Cloud of ‘Data Uncertainty’Privacy


    From government surveillance and behavior-based advertising, to social media and search-engine tracking, there are plenty of ways for Americans to lose their privacy online. With such a long trail of digital crumbs that online users leave behind, are they even worried anymore about losing privacy, or is that par for the course in the digital age? Turns out, the majority of Americans still place high value on their privacy. Yet few are confident that the […]

  • White House

    White House Privacy Bill Faces Long Road AheadGovernment, Privacy


    The recently released White House Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights discussion draft may give consumers better protections than currently available in the United States. But it has too many loopholes and weak enforcement, privacy experts say. And even the Federal Trade Commission — which ultimately would enforce the legislation — has criticized the draft. A fact sheet released by the White House acknowledges the need for strong consumer information protection, as more and more data […]

  • Is Your Smart TV Listening to You?Privacy


    “Samsung may collect and your device may capture voice commands and associated texts so that we can provide you with Voice Recognition features and evaluate and improve the features. Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition. If you do not enable Voice Recognition, you will not be able […]

  • Children and data

    Is Big Data Already Tracking Your Kindergartner?Privacy, Technology


    You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who disagrees that America’s schools are in need of serious reform. And it’s an obvious leap to think technology is the fast lane to improvement. “Ed-tech” is where some of America’s thorniest issues collide, however. Big Brother. Marketing to kids. Privacy. Boondoggles. Attention deficit disorder. Teacher accountability. As a result, ed-tech is where a lot of early tech ideas go to die. The Los Angeles Unified School District has […]

  • Mistake

    The Best Privacy Solution? Assume There is None.Privacy


    The folks at Dictionary.com chose “privacy” as their word of the year in 2013. It was a long journey to that distinction, during which it inexorably became the engine driving more companies than not. Privacy is the consumer-consequence manifestation of big data, which increasingly shapes approaches to marketing, product development and a vast array of services. In short, privacy has become a price of consumption. For years, popular opinion held that the threat of identity […]

  • Hacker

    Why Apple’s Surprise Security Flaw Is Such A Malware NightmareColumn, Data Security, Blog, Privacy


    There is an Apple enthusiast I know – and I’m sure you have a similar friend – who used to gleefully brag about all the suspicious links he could click on from his phone or computer with no fear of consequences. But after Apple’s confirmation this weekend that it was in the process of creating and issuing patches to resolve a massive security flaw in its operating systems and many of its connected programs, he’s […]

  • 5 Ways To Spot A Catfish Scam This Valentine’s DayColumn, Data Security, Blog, Privacy, Identity Theft


    Regular viewers of MTV’s series “Catfish” (in which online-only, deceptive relationships are pulled into the real world, albeit with cameras running) might think that the show just highlights the extreme cases of a common problem – people who tell lies in search of a personal connection. For instance, studies show that about 81% of people lie in their online dating profiles, and everyone has a story about a deceptive boyfriend or girlfriend who wasn’t everything […]

  • Data Breaches: Does the Government Need to Step In?Column, Data Security, Blog, Privacy, Identity Theft


    To listen to some House Republicans at the Target hearing Wednesday, and the Senate Republicans on Tuesday, one would be forgiven for thinking that the massive data breaches experienced by customers of Target, Neiman Marcus and the hotel management chain White Lodging were serious enough to warrant two Congressional hearings (and one more to come), but not a single change to federal law. Responding to Senate Democrats’ interest in a new federal breach notification law, […]

  • In the New Economy, You Don’t Buy a Product: You Are the ProductBlog, Personal Finance, Privacy


    How much would you pay to secure your personal information from data farmers and marketers — and anyone that might be able to hack their servers? $100? $1,000? More? What if I told you that you gave it to them for $5 off your next $100 purchase? Because every time you gave your ZIP code to a store clerk last weekend for one of your Christmas gift purchases, that’s what you did. But the real […]