All posts tagged: online

5 tips for improving online privacy

If you want to watch who’s watching you online, Brett Gaylor’s “Do Not Track” is the series to stream. The seven-part “personalized documentary,” which premiered its first episodes on the National Film Board of Canada website Tuesday, focuses on the personal information Internet users are unwittingly sharing with companies as they surf the web. If you follow the series to its end, “Do Not Track” automatically assembles a personalized portrait showing how and where your private data is being collected. (Via Star Phoenix)

How Facebook knows your friends, better than you do

Image courtesy of Jennifer Daniel How does Facebook know who your friends are? There’s still a lot of confusion and misinformation about what Facebook’s doing when it “finds” your friends. Alas, Facebook’s actual process isn’t actually that sneaky or malicious. In fact, it involves this pretty complex academic field called, network science. In a nutshell, whenever you sign up for a Facebook account, Facebook asks permission to look at your e-mail contacts if you’re on a computer, or your phone contacts if you’re on a smartphone. When you grant the site permission, it searches your contacts for users already on the network, and it searches other users’ uploaded contacts for you. That gives it a very primitive outline of your social circles: who you know, but not how you know them or how well. To refine that map, Facebook asks you more questions about yourself: where you went to school, when you were born, what city you live in. Each field in your Facebook profile and each interaction you make through that profile actually double as a …

John Oliver talks with Edward Snowden about Government Surveillance

On April 5th, John Oliver sat down with Edward Snowden to discuss the NSA and Section 215’s renewal on June 1, 2015 and the debate the needs to happen to reform it. To their surprise the average American citizen is not aware of the NSA’s activities or who Edward Snowden is or how his actions have transformed privacy and surveillance in America. With Snowden’s help, Oliver went through the various NSA programs that have been leaked through his data dump, including Prism and Upstream, to see whether such pictures could be obtained and viewed by the NSA. In each case, Snowden explained how the programs could allow for such private pictures to be collected and viewed by NSA officials. Oliver’s intention was clear: to make the impact of Snowden’s leaks easier for the average person to understand. Snowden agreed it takes real technical know-how to appreciate how the NSA collects information. “When you send your junk through Gmail, that’s stored on Google’s servers,” Snowden said, explaining one way in which a “pic” could find its way …