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Old 09-01-2012, 02:08 PM   #1
DonaldL.
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Readers' privacy is under threat in the digital age

Readers' privacy is under threat in the digital age

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Every time you read a newspaper on your computer or buy an ebook, you can leave an electronic trail behind you. That trail is potentially lucrative for business, and is a new source of surveillance for government and law enforcement.
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:32 PM   #2
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This is nothing. Google 'total information awareness'
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:05 PM   #3
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IF you are that worried why not join a hippie commune, an anarchist commune, become a Digger, or take a vow of silence in a monastery...then you can spend the rest of your life in eternal bliss.....





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Old 09-01-2012, 06:38 PM   #4
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IF you are that worried why not join a hippie commune, an anarchist commune, become a Digger, or take a vow of silence in a monastery...then you can spend the rest of your life in eternal bliss.....
I think the point is that people should have a degree of privacy in their life without having to completely separate themselves from society.

Besides, both current industry actions and some of the privacy advocates represent very extreme positions. There ought to be some sort of happy medium (example: it's hard to deny companies the right to maintain records of what is purchased, but why should they be tracking what a user does after the purchase).
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:29 AM   #5
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Nothing particularly to do with ereaders, but the interwebz, marketing and customer tracking. The Corporations are in charge. You will do what they say.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:39 AM   #6
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i don't care if amazon knows what i'm reading. what i do care about is the rapidly rising number of government subpoenas for that information.

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Meet the administrative subpoena (.pdf): With a federal official’s signature, banks, hospitals, bookstores, telecommunications companies and even utilities and internet service providers — virtually all businesses — are required to hand over sensitive data on individuals or corporations, as long as a government agent declares the information is relevant to an investigation. Via a wide range of laws, Congress has authorized the government to bypass the Fourth Amendment — the constitutional guard against unreasonable searches and seizures that requires a probable-cause warrant signed by a judge.

In fact, there are roughly 335 federal statutes on the books passed by Congress giving dozens upon dozens of federal agencies the power of the administrative subpoena, according to interviews and government reports.

But the administrative subpoena doesn’t just apply to utility records and drug cases. Congress has spread the authority across a huge swath of the U.S. government, for investigating everything from hazardous waste disposal, the environment, atomic energy, child exploitation, food stamp fraud, medical insurance fraud, terrorism, securities violations, satellites, seals, student loans, and for breaches of dozens of laws pertaining to fruits, vegetables, livestock and crops.

In all, the nation’s mobile carriers reported that they responded to 1.3 million requests last year for subscriber information. Other than AT&T, most of the figures that the nine mobile carriers reported did not directly break down the numbers between warrants and subpoenas.
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/201...ive-subpoenas/

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Old 09-02-2012, 10:32 AM   #7
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I hear the Harry Pottter Series is a right wing anarchist plutocratic plot to overthrow all Starbucks in the industrialized world, hence governments scramble to "learn" what people are reading in order to stop this immanent threat of Coffeegedan...
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:00 AM   #8
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Nothing particularly to do with ereaders, but the interwebz, marketing and customer tracking. The Corporations are in charge. You will do what they say.
Yes sir

I'll never understand how some people can post a minute by minute diary of their activities on Facebook/Twitter and then complain about internet tracking.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:32 AM   #9
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Yes sir

I'll never understand how some people can post a minute by minute diary of their activities on Facebook/Twitter and then complain about internet tracking.
Facecrack and Twitbut....two more signs of reaching for the lowest common denominator of humanity......
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:41 AM   #10
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Yes sir

I'll never understand how some people can post a minute by minute diary of their activities on Facebook/Twitter and then complain about internet tracking.
One is voluntary the other is coerced.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:30 PM   #11
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One is voluntary the other is coerced.
I get what you're saying since people make a conscious decision about what they post on social networking sites. On the other hand, social networking sites and online shopping are both voluntary. Through using them, you are implicitly agreeing to disclose certain information. Through not using them, you are cutting yourself from certain social activities.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:58 PM   #12
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Taking part in social activities based on other people's premises is not an inherent right, you submit yourself to their conditions. Either accept the rules or go play somewhere else. Personally I prefer else when it comes to Facebook. I have to accept certain rules here or I will be admonished, which I have, but since I enjoy the conversations here I also try to conduct myself according to the rules.

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Old 09-02-2012, 01:24 PM   #13
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I occasionally post a bit of blather on twitter, and a few things to fb... hardly qualifies as "minute by minute", but I do know folks who post a lot more.

Whenever I read objections to less privacy, sometimes the retort to the complainer is, "oh but you use facebook", (Therefore, the complainer must not mind privacy violations) or, "go live with Amish people". But there has to be a happy medium. People should have jurisdiction over what gets spread all over for anyone to use at their discretion.

I don't mind a company having a history of things I've bought before. Sometimes it makes the future transactions pleasant. I bought clarinet reeds from a company that I had previously bought guitar strings from, and with the reed purchase, they slipped in a couple of pretty guitar picks... But yes, after a purchase, a person shouldn't be 'stalked'.
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Old 09-02-2012, 02:35 PM   #14
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Taking part in social activities based on other people's premises is not an inherent right, you submit yourself to their conditions. Either accept the rules or go play somewhere else.
It isn't that clear cut. For example: is it acceptable for a landlord to enter a place that you're renting. The law says no (they have to provide notice). Does the phone company have the right to record conversations between you and another party? To my knowledge, the answer is no. In both cases, you are on someone else's premises.

The Internet is a fuzzy place though. Clearly there isn't an expectation to privacy on public forums, like MR. When it comes to email, there is an expectation to privacy. Facebook is kinda funky because it is both private and not private. Clearly Facebook has to host what you post, but you can restrict who can see what.

Ebooks are an entirely different story. When you buy or borrow a book, you are conducting a transaction with the company. However, the result of that transaction is a file that is transferred to a device that you have purchased. There isn't a reasonable expectation for privacy when it comes down to that initial transaction (even if there is a legal obligation for privacy, you are at the whim of the company complying with the law). There is a very reasonable expectation for privacy after the purchase, since everything occurs on your own premises.

Now I'm a person who guards my privacy. I'm not nut-bar extreme, and don't want to be nut-bar extreme. I simply attempt to recognize what is public and what is private and base my actions accordingly. The problem is that it is getting really hard to make those judgements these days without cutting one's self off from the rest of society. While we have to be willing to accept that we'll be cut off to some degree if we make certain decisions (e.g. not using Facebook), we shouldn't be willing to accept a world where the only means of privacy is to become some sort of hermit.
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Old 09-02-2012, 03:30 PM   #15
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As for your examples; With the landlord and phone company we have a contract that establishes what our rights and duties are. If the contract would stipulate that the landlord can enter the premises at a whim or the phone company can listen in on my conversations I would opt out of those contracts because I feel they would violate my privacy.

I know that FB tracks my every move on their site, and I am not comfortable with that, hence I opt out. I'm sure that MR also keep logs of what we do, visit, maybe even how long we have a certain thread open (but hey, sometimes you have to visit the bathroom or make coffee, so they aren't exactly accurate in terms of what we read and are interested in), but when we sign on we also have the option of being anonymous. Not so much with FB. Hence, my preference for my privacy over reading what friends are having for dinner or looking at pictures of new shoes that a friend bought.

When it comes to eBooks, you could if you want to, close down WiFi after a purchase, read the book, delete it, delete the log files, so the next time you turn on WiFi there is no data to sync. Now, I don't do that, simply because it isn't something that bothers me. If I purchase and read several books from a certain author I can see it reflected in Amazon's recommendations, and I actually appreciate that (sometimes they miss though). However, if I lived in North Korea I would not want to have an eReader that synced with the Ministry of Information's servers. So, naturally I would opt out.

In my view, you are the one who makes a choice. Hence, you also need to make that an educated choice. I trust my ability to find the required information and make that judgement, more than I trust the provider. Always have, always will.
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