Technology

Recent Posts

Obama Gets Mediocre Privacy Grades
Posted on 15 Nov 2010 by Peter S. Vogel

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) issued its second annual privacy report card with lower grades of "C for consumer data protection efforts and a D on civil liberties." Mark Rotenberg, executive director of EPIC said "Our... Read More

Kerry and McCain Propose Privacy Bill of Rights
Posted on 14 Apr 2011 by Tami S Cunningham, JD

United States Senators John Kerry and John McCain introduced a bill this week that proposes greater protection of personal information for online consumers. Under the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011 , consumers have the right to be notified... Read More

Courts Give Mixed Signals about Privacy in Social Media
Posted on 1 Jun 2011 by Peter S. Vogel

Two recent Pennsylvania State Court rulings only make things more confusing as Social Media privacy disputes become more prevalent. Bucks County Common Pleas Court Judge Albert J. Cepparulo ruled in Piccolo v. Paterson denied a motion to require... Read More

US Supreme Court Rules 9-0 - Employer Had Right to Text Messages
Posted on 18 Jun 2010 by Peter S. Vogel

The Ontario, CA Police Department (OPD) did not violate the 4th Amendment by reviewing text messages sent from a work pager. Apparently the OPD's warrantless audit found Officer Quon had sent or received 456 messages, but only 57 were work-related... Read More

GPS Data Will be Considered by the US Supreme Court
Posted on 26 Oct 2011 by Peter S. Vogel

Today everybody carries GPS devices in their phones (and tablets), but few people consider that our personal privacy may be compromised as a result. In November the US Supreme Court will hear argument ( US v. Jones ) as to whether the drug suspect's... Read More

Divorce, Facebook-style
Posted on 10 May 2011 by Tami S Cunningham, JD

Divorce attorneys are seeing more and more social media involvement, in particular Facebook, in the cases they take on. Sure Facebook might not be the reason the marriage ended but as an ever-increasing source of evidence of infidelity, it might deserve... Read More

Privacy Concerns raised at Chinese Ownership of Yahoo!
Posted on 4 Oct 2011 by Peter S. Vogel

A report in the Financial Times that Alibaba might take over Yahoo! has raised privacy fears. Jack Ma's (Alibaba founder & former Google employee) recent comment about the prospect that Alibaba was interested in Yahoo! set off privacy group... Read More

Privacy at Risk? - Feds to Monitor Twitter & Facebook
Posted on 2 Nov 2011 by Peter S. Vogel

US citizens expect the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to protect the country from potential threats, but the recent announcement that DHS will monitor Twitter & Facebook will surely cause privacy advocates great concern. Social Media has... Read More

Google Street View Cars Collect WiFi Network Data
Posted on 20 May 2010 by Peter S. Vogel

To the surprise of many Google confirmed that since 2006 its Street View Cars captured WiFi network information in addition to Street View Photos. Google uses this WiFi network information to improve location-based services like search and maps. Specifically... Read More

Are Privacy Policies Being Enforced?
Posted on 17 Oct 2011 by Peter S. Vogel

My eCommerce Times column for October is entitled " Shore Up Your Privacy Policy Before Disaster Strikes " and I encourage you to read it. Actually it was published the same day as my blog that more than 7.5 million children under 13 are... Read More

Prosecutor Charges Husband with Crime for Reading Wife's eMails!
Posted on 16 Jan 2011 by Peter S. Vogel

While a Michigan couple was married the husband and wife shared a computer and the husband had access to his wife's email password.... but according to the Detroit Free Press he ex-husband has now been charged with a felony for looking at his... Read More

Feds Declare that Blogs and Social Networks are Public Meetings
Posted on 12 Apr 2010 by Peter S. Vogel

For purposes of dealing with web 2.0 the White House Memo released on April 7, 2010 about social media specifically states that "interactive meeting tools-including but not limited to public conference calls, webinars, blogs, discussion boards... Read More

Privacy Ain't What it Used to Be
Posted on 29 Mar 2010 by Peter S. Vogel

A recent report that Web 2.0 (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, et al) continues to encourage friends to share private information at an alarming rate is hardly a surprise. Research at a number of universities demonstrates that things are probably worse... Read More

Facebook Confesses Failure to Comply with Privacy Laws
Posted on 1 Dec 2011 by Peter S. Vogel

After the US government filed charges that Facebook violated US privacy law, Facebook finally confessed that it failed to protect the privacy of its 800 million active users. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) welcomes the public to submit comments... Read More

Identity Theft for the US Military Requires an Immediate Fix
Posted on 7 Dec 2010 by Peter S. Vogel

A recent NY Times report is critical of the daily use of the military's use social security numbers (SSN)and birth dates, and how poorly Personal Identifiable Information (PII) is managed. Army intelligence officer turned West Point professor... Read More

  • Blog Post: Privacy Ain't What it Used to Be

    A recent report that Web 2.0 (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, et al) continues to encourage friends to share private information at an alarming rate is hardly a surprise. Research at a number of universities demonstrates that things are probably worse than most people image. For instance, the 2009 paper...
  • Blog Post: Feds Declare that Blogs and Social Networks are Public Meetings

    For purposes of dealing with web 2.0 the White House Memo released on April 7, 2010 about social media specifically states that "interactive meeting tools-including but not limited to public conference calls, webinars, blogs, discussion boards, forums, message boards, chat sessions, social...
  • Blog Post: Complaint Filed with the FTC Regarding "advertisers' use of digital data"

    A report that a number of privacy groups filed a complaint with the FTC to investigate includes this quote "Internet ad exchanges... are basically markets for eyeballs on the Web. Advertisers bid against each other in real-time for the ability to direct a message at a single Web surfer. The...
  • Blog Post: Google Street View Cars Collect WiFi Network Data

    To the surprise of many Google confirmed that since 2006 its Street View Cars captured WiFi network information in addition to Street View Photos. Google uses this WiFi network information to improve location-based services like search and maps. Specifically Google confessed that the WiFi information...
  • Blog Post: Messages on Facebook & MySpace are Protected Information

    A Judge ruled that Facebook wall postings and MySpace comments may not be subpoenaed based on the 1986 Stored Communications Act which is the same statute before the US Supreme Court in Quon v. Arch Wireless . US District Judge Margaret Morrow's May 26, 2010 37 page Order in Buckley H. Crispin...
  • Blog Post: US Supreme Court Rules 9-0 - Employer Had Right to Text Messages

    The Ontario, CA Police Department (OPD) did not violate the 4th Amendment by reviewing text messages sent from a work pager. Apparently the OPD's warrantless audit found Officer Quon had sent or received 456 messages, but only 57 were work-related. The OPD Computer Policy included the following...
  • Blog Post: PRIVACY: Should the FBI Get Records about Your Internet Activity Without a Subpoena

    A recent report that the White House wants the FBI to have access to an individual's Internet activity may help with investigation of terrorism or intelligence, but what about our expectation of privacy? Notwithstanding all of Mark Zuckerberg's recent comments about privacy, last winter Zuckerberg...
  • Blog Post: Invasion of Privacy or Cyber Security?

    Proposed laws to ease wiretaps on the Internet are now being considered by the US Senate Judiciary Committee, but with widespread pushback from privacy groups . Federal officials have long relied on the wiretap laws to monitor criminals and terrorists, however as we all know fewer and fewer individuals...
  • Blog Post: Privacy Update - Frankly Most Social Media Users Don't Care

    Facebook now offers users the ability to download all of their content in a simple zip file format, but this doesn't solve privacy concerns. Sure it's nice to be able to download all the content, but in the meantime Facebook still stores lots of valuable information about users. Let's...
  • Blog Post: Obama Gets Mediocre Privacy Grades

    The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) issued its second annual privacy report card with lower grades of "C for consumer data protection efforts and a D on civil liberties." Mark Rotenberg, executive director of EPIC said "Our bottom-line assessment is that with respect to...
  • Blog Post: Identity Theft for the US Military Requires an Immediate Fix

    A recent NY Times report is critical of the daily use of the military's use social security numbers (SSN)and birth dates, and how poorly Personal Identifiable Information (PII) is managed. Army intelligence officer turned West Point professor Lt. Col. Gregory Conti co-authored a report entitled...
  • Blog Post: CNN News - "Internet Privacy Interview"

    My recent interview about "Internet Privacy " by CNN's anchor Brooke Baldwin was very timely since the next day the Department of Commerce called for the creation of a Federal Office to Guide Online Privacy and published a white paper entitled: " Commercial Data Privacy and Innovation...
  • Blog Post: Prosecutor Charges Husband with Crime for Reading Wife's eMails!

    While a Michigan couple was married the husband and wife shared a computer and the husband had access to his wife's email password.... but according to the Detroit Free Press he ex-husband has now been charged with a felony for looking at his ex-wife's emails. Should it be a crime or divorce...
  • Blog Post: Google settles with FTC over Google Buzz privacy violations

    Google agreed to an unprecedented settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, where the FTC asserted that Google used deceptive tactics and violated its own privacy policies through its social network Google Buzz. Although there is no monetary penalty attached to the settlement, Google is required...
  • Blog Post: California Court Considers Facebook Privacy for Juror

    In recent weeks, the issue of the right to privacy has been ever-so-slightly tipping the scales against just about any other right. One of the latest cases stems from what would normally be deemed as juror misconduct. In California, an appellate court judge is facing the challenge of balancing a defendant's...
  • Blog Post: Color App Gives New Meaning to Going Public

    Location Based apps such as Gowalla or Foursquare provides users with a social experience that not only shows where they are at the moment and what they are doing, but also who they are with or near. But at least one new app is taking things a few steps further by locating users and sharing information...
  • Blog Post: Kerry and McCain Propose Privacy Bill of Rights

    United States Senators John Kerry and John McCain introduced a bill this week that proposes greater protection of personal information for online consumers. Under the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011 , consumers have the right to be notified of the collection of their personal data and...
  • Blog Post: Divorce, Facebook-style

    Divorce attorneys are seeing more and more social media involvement, in particular Facebook, in the cases they take on. Sure Facebook might not be the reason the marriage ended but as an ever-increasing source of evidence of infidelity, it might deserve its title of "marriage killer." Last...
  • Blog Post: Courts Give Mixed Signals about Privacy in Social Media

    Two recent Pennsylvania State Court rulings only make things more confusing as Social Media privacy disputes become more prevalent. Bucks County Common Pleas Court Judge Albert J. Cepparulo ruled in Piccolo v. Paterson denied a motion to require the Piccolo to accept Patterson as a Facebook friend...
  • Blog Post: Is Internet Privacy Possible?

    A new lawsuit against Google for Internet location tracking highlights my recent eCommerce Times column that Internet privacy may not be possible . The new class action lawsuit brought by Jon Pessano and others asserts that Google uses its location marketing database to generate billions of dollars...
  • Blog Post: SaaS: A Cloud-y Option for Attorneys

    There's a lot of talk about "the cloud" right now, especially in the wake of last week's announcement of the iCloud. The cloud, better known as Software as a Service (SaaS) is, in a nutshell, software and storage capabilities accessed via the internet, with data stored at sites owned...
  • Blog Post: Should Google+ Users be Anonymous?

    Google's Eric Schmidt said in a recent interview that Google+ users should be not be anonymous since it would be better "if we had an accurate notion that you were a real person as opposed to a dog, or a fake person, or a spammer." Schmidt's comments thoughts reinforce one of my...
  • Blog Post: GPS Privacy in Doubt for Former OnStar Customers

    Effective in December 2011 OnStar GPS navigation-and-emergency-services company will collect vehicle data for those customers who terminate their agreements . The 10 page OnStar Privacy Statement states that: Unless the Data Connection to your Vehicle is deactivated, data about your Vehicle...
  • Blog Post: Privacy Concerns raised at Chinese Ownership of Yahoo!

    A report in the Financial Times that Alibaba might take over Yahoo! has raised privacy fears. Jack Ma's (Alibaba founder & former Google employee) recent comment about the prospect that Alibaba was interested in Yahoo! set off privacy group alarms as reported by the Financial Times: "Lawmakers...
  • Blog Post: More than 7.5 Million Facebook Users are Younger than 13

    The June 2011 issue of Consumer Reports included an article that Facebook has more than 7.5 million children as users which apparently is violating the 1998 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) which precludes children under 13 from using websites and in particular to join Facebook...