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Improving your Web Pal

Google recently made some changes in Chrome that required changes in the Customer Commons Web Pal. Our good friends at Emmett Global have completed most of those changes, which you’ll see in by going into Window -> Extensions, and clicking on the “Enable” box next to “Customer Commons Web Pal.”

The layout on your Web Pal start page (where you are when you open a new page or tab) is still going through some changes. So bear with us as we work those out. We’ll also put up an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions list) explaining some of the changes and new capabilities.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for some exciting news about what we’ll be doing at Customer Commons over the coming months.

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XRay web tool to make online personal data more transparent

Perhaps you don’t mind web companies knowing all about your private life. But for web users who care, XRay looks like a promising tool to watch.

It’s a given that internet companies gather titbits of our private lives in exchange for free services, but how much do we really know about what happens to our personal data?

Researchers at Columbia University have warned it is a mistake to gloss over the details we reveal online and describe the web as an “opaque black box” leveraging our personal info without our knowledge or control.

Read more: http://betanews.com/2014/08/21/xray-web-tool-to-make-online-personal-data-more-transparent/
Posted by Dont Mine on Me

We wanted the web for free – but the price is deep surveillance

Be careful what you wish for-You just might get it!

Advertising has become the online business model but by its very nature it involves corporations spying on users to produce more targeted results.
‘Be careful what you wish for,” runs the adage. “You might just get it.” In the case of the internet, or, at any rate, the world wide web, this is exactly what happened. We wanted exciting services – email, blogging, social networking, image hosting – that were “free”. And we got them. What we also got, but hadn’t bargained for, was deep, intensive and persistent surveillance of everything we do online.
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/aug/24/deep-surveillance-is-price-of-a-free-web-advertising
Posted by Dont Mine on Me

You have more to hide in your data trail than you think

People often believe they don’t have anything to hide, think again!

People often believe they don’t have anything to hide, but that’s because they don’t know exactly what data is being collected about them and how it is being used, says Sara Watson from the Berkman Centre for the Internet and Society.
Speaking at The Conference in Malmo, Watson argues that because the way computers read data isn’t legible for humans, we can’t be truly digitally literate until we can properly see and interpret that data.
Read more:  http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-08/19/reading-and-interpreting-our-own-data
Posted by DontMineonMe

UPS Store hacked, possibly compromising user data

UPS stores hacked. Customer data and credit card info at risk!

The shipping store discovered malware in the computer systems of 51 US stores in 24 states. Customer credit and debit card information may have been leaked.
The UPS Store is the latest retail chain to be targeted in a data breach leading to the theft of customers’ credit card information.
The shipping and business services store announced Wednesday that 51 US stores in 24 states had been hacked via a malware intrusion on the store’s computer systems. The breach affected about 1 percent of all UPS Stores.
Read more:  http://www.cnet.com/news/the-ups-store-is-hacked-user-data-possibly-compromised/
Posted by Dont Mine on Me

No more baby photos! Privacy-worried parents are keeping their children’s entire identities off the internet – including Facebook

“I am always conscious that what I’m posting is affecting more than myself”
- Amy Heinz, mother-of-three

The cascade of baby photos, the flood of funny kid anecdotes and the steady stream of school milestones on Facebook makes Sonia Rao more than ‘a little uncomfortable.’
For Mrs Rao, a stay-at-home mother of a one-year-old in Mountain View, California, having her baby’s photograph ‘out there for anyone to look at’ is not a pleasant feeling.
‘When you meet a new person and go to their account, you can look them up, look at photos, videos, know that they are traveling,’ she explained.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2729068/No-photos-Parents-opt-babies-Facebook.html#ixzz3AxZWJ8EW

Why would Chinese hackers want hospital patient data?

Hack of hospital chain leads to theft of up to 4.5M users’ 
Personal Data!

The theft of personal data on 4.5 million patients of Community Health Systems by hackers in China highlights the increasing degree to which hospitals are becoming lucrative targets for information theft.
Already this year, around 150 incidents of lost or stolen personal data—either due to hacking or ineptitude—have been reported by medical establishments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Read more: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2466660/why-would-chinese-hackers-want-hospital-patient-data.html
Posted by Dont Mine on Me

Fitness trackers are changing online privacy — and it’s time to pay attention

Hackers can access your personal data through your fitbit!
12 steps you can take to protect your identity while using a personal fitness tracker.

Throughout the history of technology, few sectors have expanded and evolved as rapidly as today’s burgeoning wearable tech market. Piles of unique and unusual, flashy and fancy—often goofy and gimmicky—new wearables are announced every week. There are smartwatches, smartglasses, intelligent socks and “onesies” for infantsrings for public transit payments and even “wearable tattoos.”

One reason the category is growing so quickly is the fact that it’s incredibly broad. There’s no set definition for what constitutes a wearable today. It’s any sorts of gadget that you wear, carry (in some cases) or have implanted or otherwise attached to your body.
Read more:  http://www.techhive.com/article/2465820/fitness-trackers-are-changing-online-privacy-and-its-time-to-pay-attention.html
Posted by Dont Mine on Me


Apple Reportedly Storing User Personal Data on Chinese Servers

Do you really want your Personal Data on someone else’s servers?
Apple iPhone 6 Release Date 14 October
Apple is now believed to be storing personal data of its users in China, according to a report by Reuters. The report says that the data of these Chinese customers is located on servers in China. Apple says that by storing this data, they will be able to improve the speed and quality of its iCloud service.
Owing to China’s censorship and privacy regulations, companies like Google have avoided storing user data in the country. However, this move by Apple is a departure from that policy by technology companies.
Read more: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/apple-reportedly-storing-user-personal-data-chinese-servers-1461389
Posted by Dont Mine on Me

The US’ first privacy-focused technology officer has left after one year

White House Privacy reform efforts hits snag!

The White House gave hope to critics of US government surveillance when it nominated a privacy-minded Deputy CTO last year, but it appears that those privacy reform efforts just hit a snag. Nicole Wong has left the position after a little over a year. Neither Wong nor the Office of Science and Technology Policy have explained the departure, although the former official will be returning to her family in California. We’ve reached out for more details, including the prospects for a replacement.  While her stay was brief, it may have had a lasting impact on the US approach to privacy.
Read more:  http://www.engadget.com/2014/08/16/first-chief-privacy-officer-leaves/
Posted by Dont Mine on Me

The Most Wanted Man in the World

Edward Snowden: In His Own Words.

THE MESSAGE ARRIVES on my “clean machine,” a MacBook Air loaded only with a sophisticated encryption package. “Change in plans,” my contact says. “Be in the lobby of the Hotel by 1 pm. Bring a book and wait for ES to find you.”  ES is Edward Snowden, the most wanted man in the world.
Read more:  http://www.wired.com/2014/08/edward-snowden
Posted by Dont Mine on Me