True or False? You Can Find Out Anything About Anybody on the Net

Privacy on the Internet is exploding as a topic of public concern these days. Recent surveys have found that 4 out 5 Net users are concerned about threats to their privacy when they're online. Yet only 6% of them have actually experienced privacy abuses.

Those who are not yet on the Net cite privacy as the main reason they have chosen not to become Internet users. If electronic commerce is going to thrive, this fear is going to have to be dealt with by laws and by industry practices. The Clinton Administration is counting on industry to regulate itself, something I will touch on later.

Comments to the Los Angeles City Council: Public Policy Ramifications of Cloud Computing

I am writing to express concern about the proposal for the City of LA to implement Google Apps for its e-mail and office systems.

I am concerned about the propriety of a government entity using services that are “in the cloud,” so to speak, as repositories for sensitive personal and organizational information.

I question if enough is yet known about the privacy, security and confidentiality of personal information in a cloud environment.

The Privacy Implications of Cloud Computing

When users store their data with programs hosted on someone else's hardware, they lose a degree of control over their sensitive information. The responsibility for protecting that information from hackers and internal data breaches then falls into the hands of the hosting company rather than the individual user. Government investigators trying to subpoena information could approach that company without informing the data's owners. Some companies could even willingly share sensitive data with marketing firms. So there is a privacy risk in putting your data in someone else's hands. Obviously, the safest approach is to maintain your data under your own control.

Why I stopped shopping at Amazon.com: A reading expert sounds off... (Hochhauser)

I've shopped at Amazon.com for several years. But I decided to quit shopping there because of:

1) Their new privacy notice. The revised notice (not a "policy") states that they gather information about consumers every time they search for a product.  That means to me that they've developed a profile on me based not only on what I buy, but what I'm looking for. I don't want them to know that much about me....

10 Rules for Creating a Hacker-Resistant Password

Password-protected web sites are becoming more vulnerable because often people use the same passwords on numerous sites.  One study by Sophos, a security firm, found that more than 30% of users recycle the same password for every site that they access. A strong password can help individuals protect themselves against hackers, identity theft and other privacy invasions.

Want to develop tough-to-crack passwords that resist infiltration? Follow these 10 rules.

Privacy Groups Urge Gov. Schwarzenegger to Veto Spyware Bill

The California-based Privacy Rights Clearinghouse and the World Privacy Forum urge you to veto SB 1436, a bill dealing with spyware, authored by Senator Kevin Murray.  While this bill is well-intentioned, it would establish provisions that are virtually unenforceable, could well undermine existing law, and further, would set a bad precedent nationwide for other spyware bills that are likely to be considered in other states and in Congress.

Who Is Using Your Checkbook? FDIC Warns About Qchex.com

While many consumers are scrambling to reduce their risk of identity theft, one business appears to be making it easier than ever to forge checks. Qchex.com allows customers to create checks without verifying the account holder's identity, according to authorities.

Valentine e-Cards May Deliver More Than Just Love!

With Valentine's Day upon us, you may be receiving so-called "e-cards" in your email inbox. Some may come from anonymous senders or secret admirers. They might appeal to your curiosity and cause you to click on a link, claiming that the e-card is from a family member, friend, or other unnamed person.

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