By Don Dobson
In our weekly roundup, we draw your attention to selected news and articles that highlight issues relating to invasions of your online privacy and threats to the security of your personal data, including problems that Dodoname can help solve. Catching our attention this week were posts about how fast the world of advertising is changing and how little most people know about the privacy implications of tracking, more telecom snooping, Google speaks, and a few top links on phishing and malware attacks. For all our privacy, security and personal data related posts follow @MyDodoname on Twitter.
Awareness lags reality in ad targeting
In digital advertising, the Holy Grail touted for driving ad performance is relevancy. That is, making sure the ads you see are relevant to you. Of course, in order to do that, advertisers need to know lots of things about you. An excellent article in The Economist notes that spending is moving rapidly from traditional media to digital formats (advertising that knows who you are) and reported on an Adobe poll that showed “most marketers say they have seen more change in the past two years than in the previous 50.” In discussing the privacy implications of it all, they quote the head of one British advertising firm who put it: “Once people realise what’s happening, I can’t imagine there won’t be pushback.” Forbes Magazine also agrees that awareness of what is happening is not what it should be when it offered up Nine Things You Don’t Know About The Gathering Of Your Personal Data. The potential for a coming freight train of outrage is being anticipated by the advertising industry. Exactly because the technology and resulting capabilities are so powerful, they want to make sure they continue to have the ability to track you and in fact, we see AdAge reporting: Agencies Load Up on Privacy Specialists, Hoping to Keep Consumers From ‘Opting Out’
Google speaks on cybercrime – why wouldn’t we listen?
I’m told Google have the data. That’s why it is always worth listening to what they are saying; in this case, it’s a Google Security Blog entry about cybercrime. It’s Google oriented, but it confirms many of the things we have been saying about phishing leading to identity theft, how easy it is to fall prey and how quickly it can happen. All conventional emails have these security issues Google deals with but what is interesting about this post is how it paints a picture of a criminal workforce of what they call “manual hijackers” who intensively work over their victim and always use phishing emails.
Telecoms: a snooper’s best friends
We shared information with you last week about so called “super-cookies” being inserted into your web traffic by telecom providers, in particular Verizon. This is important because they introduce the notion of physical tracking to web habit tracking. Further details have emerged including the fact that it’s not only Verizon but also AT&T. It didn’t take long for news of at least one user of the technology to become known. Twitter’s mobile advertising arm, MoPub, self-described as “world’s largest mobile ad exchange,” is all over it. Privacy advocates are freaking out.
While data is good for advertisers, this type of news can’t be a good situation when you consider that even before this revelation, reports indicate that consumers are already concerned that using their mobile phone for coupon and loyalty schemes puts them at risk of identity theft. When customers aren’t happy, retailers always also have a concern.
Filthy phishers flourish
Criminals continue to innovate in their phishing attempts like a new hybrid approach seen this week in Japan. Called Huyao, which means “monstrous fox” in Chinese, experts are concerned this technique of combining legitimate sites with a fake checkout procedure is set to spread.
Meanwhile, investors and students were warned about phishing attacks targeting them, web host GoDaddy was being spoofed, we saw how just having your email leaked by companies you deal with can lead to a very effective phishing attack and a growing trend involving fake wire transfer request e-mails that can clean out your bank account.