My 3/07/10 Missoulian column
It’s best to be aware of privacy trends for the online services and networks we use, but the high-tech world changes quickly and it’s almost impossible to keep up with everything that happens. To help out, there are several organizations that work for your rights.
Probably the foremost organization that works in the realm of online privacy is the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a nonprofit public interest research center based in Washington, D.C. They primarily work with privacy issues dealing with national IDs, children’s online rights, medical records, search engines and cloud computing, among others. Their boards feature many of the stars of the software and internet industries.
Their complaint might have been the impetus for Google to amend how Buzz works and give more options to users to not have their e-mail contacts included by default.
Another issue for EPIC is children’s privacy. EPIC has found that some parental control software actually gathers and sells information to marketing firms.
The Electronic Freedom Foundation (also a nonprofit) is involved with many privacy and civil liberty issues, and their work includes free speech, intellectual property and Real ID, among many others. Their boards also feature leaders in the Internet and legal worlds.
EFF filed suit in 2009 against various government agencies for refusing to disclose their activities through Freedom of Information Act requests, dealing with the use of social networking sites for investigations, data collection and surveillance.
If you are concerned about online privacy, go to the Electronic Freedom Foundation’s Web site, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s Web site.
This week in Mac Q & A: Using Time Machine