This week in review: lying to protect your online persona, data brokers, data breaches, tools and more
By Don Dobson
In our weekly roundup, we want to draw your attention to news and articles that highlight issues relating to invasions of your online privacy and threats to the security of your personal data: problems that Dodoname can solve. Catching our attention this week were posts about a wooden boy’s approach to online personas, the list you’re on that you didn’t know you were on, (settlement) money talks, data breaches and hackers and tools: oh my!
Do you have to set your pants on fire to secure your online persona?
Privacy and data security is all over the news, from celebrity hacking to the retail sphere. It’s hard to know how to protect yourself these days but Adam Levine, writing for ABC News has some advice for protecting your personally identifiable information (PII). “Lie like you were in a nose-growing contest with Pinocchio.” Hmmm…isn’t there a better way?
Congratulations: you made the list! Oh, wait: that’s a bad thing.
The capture and use of consumer data by so called “data brokers” is slowly starting to enter wider consumer awareness but it is clearly not yet widely understood. In an article for Bloomberg.com, Shannon Pettypiece and Jordan Robertson ask; Did You Know You Had Diabetes? It’s All Over the Internet. “People would be shocked if they knew they were on some of these lists,” said Pam Dixon, president of the non-profit advocacy group World Privacy Forum, who has testified before Congress on the data broker industry. “Yet millions are.”
Dot those online marketing i’s or pony up the dough
Companies across sectors are struggling to keep up with privacy laws and consumer expectations for use of their data for marketing purposes. While the case did not involve any data breach or unauthorized disclosure, in September, the FTC announced Verizon Communications Inc. will pay $7.4 million to settle a U.S. investigation that found the company failed to notify properly some customers of their privacy rights before using their information for marketing.
IT professionals on data protection: meh?
Retailers are also clearly playing catch up on all aspects of data security, not just marketing data. Mila D’Antonio writing in the 1 to 1 Media Blog shines some light on retailer practices in the post, The Home Depot Data Breach Shines a Light on CIOs’ Lackadaisical Attitude Toward Data Defense. D’Antonio notes; “The mounting number of companies that have experienced data breaches seem to point to IT professionals taking data protection lightly.”
No such thing as bad publicity? These retailers might disagree
CNN Money has published an interesting tool you can use to discover how some major retailers have been impacted by hackers and note; “Every month, there’s another major data breach. Criminal hackers steal all sorts of information about you. Here’s what they have.”
The kids are alright (when it comes to online privacy tools)
While it seems to be a commonly held belief that privacy is disappearing and the younger set have no concerns with that, Molly Woods in the New York Times “Bits” blog suggests that teenagers and millennials “appear to be more likely to embrace the tools of privacy and protect their personal information.” She offered Pew Research Center data that suggested most Internet users have taken some kind of steps to avoid being identified or tracked online, while most also thought true online anonymity was impossible. Woods notes, “They might be right about anonymity, but others might still argue that keeping at least some privacy is worth a shot.” The Dodoname team agrees with that assessment!