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Posts in category 'Identity'

19 April 2011

EU recommendations on privacy protection in smart meters

EUJustice
The European Union’s Working Party on Data Protection has issued five recommended requirements for the protection of personal privacy in a time of Smart Meters in the home (pdf), outlining what needs to happen in order to gain the benefits of Smart Metering data while minimizing the risk and cost to personal privacy.

The Working Group’s recommendations:

  • Electricity consumption data should be treated as Personal Information, because it can be traced back to an individual person. Europeans treat Personal Information very seriously, sometimes arguably at the expense of technological innovation.
  • Push-button consent: the Working Group recommends that Smart Meter providers develop easy buttons that consumers can push to grant or remove consent that their data be shared with anyone who seeks to offer them enhanced services.
  • The social good is not always the primary consideration. “The imperative to reduce energy consumption,” writes the Working Group, “although it might be a sensible public policy objective, does not override data subjects’ rights and interests in every case.”
  • Personal data collected should be kept to a minimum as required to fulfill services offered – and be deleted as soon as possible except in cases where the electricity consumer has requested services like annual comparisons of consumption.
  • Privacy by Design: “Security should also be designed in at the early stage as part of the architecture of the network rather than added on later.”

Read article (ReadWriteWeb)

5 April 2011

Storytelling and destination development

Storytelling and Destination Development
The study “Storytelling and Destination Development” by the Nordic Innovation Centre set out to scrutinize the possibilities and drawbacks of using storytelling as a means of developing and marketing Nordic tourism destinations.

On the basis of five selected Nordic cases, the study sheds light both on the ways in which storytelling is practiced and how stakeholder cooperation unfolds and seeks to determine the prerequisites for using storytelling as part of a destination development strategy.

Drawing on the literature on storytelling as well as theory on inter-organisational relations, the study develops a theoretical model which centres on four closely interrelated elements: types of stakeholders involved; stages of the storytelling process; outcome of the storytelling process; and destination development. The theoretical model serves as a central tool for the cases presented to illustrate the issues at stake.

The five cases – one each from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – consist of rich sets of data: interviews with main stakeholders; collection of industry documents, marketing material and media coverage; observation of stakeholder meetings; and participant observation of storytelling events.

The findings point to the importance of a location-based story to conceptualize, substantiate, and commercialize a destination. Findings suggest that some cases are characterized by individual stories of many qualities in terms of dramaturgical principles and customer involvement, however, an overall story framework is non-existent which makes the storytelling initiative poorly suited as a means of destination development. In other cases, a more holistic, coordinated story can be identified that ties the individual stories together and on this basis a common identity for the destination seems to materialize. The nature of stakeholder relations helps explain why some storytelling practices have destination development potential whereas others have not. Dedicated leadership, multi-actor involvement and two-way communication appear to be prerequisites for the destination development potential of storytelling activities.

18 March 2011

“We have no right to be forgotten online”

Tessa Mayes
The European Union is planning to enshrine in law the right to be forgotten on the internet, but we can’t live outside society, argues investigative journalist and filmmaker Tessa Mayes in The Guardian.

“Being forgotten might sound appealing for some, but making a right out of it degrades the concept of rights. Instead of being something that embodies the relationship between the individual and society, it pretends that relationship doesn’t exist. The right to be forgotten is a figment of our imaginations.”

Most people commenting don’t agree with her view though.

Read article

18 February 2011

The business of personal data

Personal Data
The World Economic Forum just came out with a report, “Personal Data: The Emergence of a New Asset Class,” that surely is going to raise some controversy, as it explores what it means to commercialise personal data and make good money doing so.

Personal Data: The Emergence of a New Asset Class looks at the necessity to rethink personal data as an economic asset class, as it has the potential to represent untapped opportunities for economic growth and social benefit, whilst the issues of movement and protection of data must also be addressed.

There are many interrelated and complex cultural, business, technology and policy trends shaping the personal data ecosystem, and the report presents a user-centric set of recommendations for individuals, private enterprise and policy-makers, highlighting five key areas for collective action:
1. Innovate around user-centricity and trust.
2. Define global principles for using and sharing personal data.
3. Strengthen the dialogue between regulators and the private sector.
4. Focus on interoperability and open standards.
5. Continually share knowledge.

14 December 2010

Internet users say, Don’t track me

Gmail
Most Americans don’t want to be tracked on the Internet and are unwilling to trade their privacy for web ads that are tailored to their interests. So suggest the results of a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of Internet users conducted over the weekend.

The results are based on telephone interviews conducted Dec. 10-12 with a random sample of 814 Internet users living in the continental U.S. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Read article

13 December 2010

The internet and the ‘end of privacy’

Public living
As part of a new CNN series on internet and the end of privacy, John D. Sutter reflects on the world of public living — where most everything about a person’s habits, location and preferences is just a few clicks away.

“As people share more information about themselves online, the internet, in effect, has created a public transcript of consciousness — storing our thoughts, locations, social lives and memories in data warehouses all over the world.

This has enabled technological advances and shaped our social interactions.

It’s also really freaked some people out.

With a dearth of established, effective methods to manage online privacy, and with digital marketers looking to profit from users’ online lives, some privacy advocates and everyday Web users worry people have lost control of their identities on the internet.”

Read article

11 November 2010

Privacy and the user experience

Privacy
In a long blog post, designer and developer Alexander Dawson discusses some important privacy-related concerns — in particular, how asking for too much information can degrade the overall user experience.

“A user’s experience of a business and its services will only be as pleasant as the business is trustworthy. Treat visitors with respect and remove barriers to access (such as multiple data requests and spam), and you’ll improve usability — and empower your audience in the process.”

Read article

1 October 2010

Danah Boyd taking a pulse in roiling online world

Danah Boyd
The Boston Globe profiles Microsoft researcher Danah Boyd.

“At the center of the broader societal debate is Boyd, whose views on key issues like online privacy are followed closely by tech companies and policy makers. An opponent of “regulation for its own sake,’’ as she puts it, Boyd, 32, has become a go-to source for companies (from Google on down), government agencies, and academics seeking insight into youthful behavior in a 24/7 digital universe.

She prides herself on diving deeply into what young people think and feel about their use of social media. With her tongue stud, bracelets, and neobohemian style of dressing, she fits in seamlessly with her target demographic, even while joking that they all “think I’m an old lady.’’”

Read article

14 September 2010

Cellphones, social networks make eavesdropping OK?

Oversharing
Not only are many unconcerned about strangers overhearing cellphone calls, we purposely broadcast our personal business on Facebook and Twitter. Sharon Jayson reports on the implications in USA Today.

“A century ago, when the first home phones were “party lines” shared by neighbors, “worrying you were being listened in on was a common feature of American culture,” says sociologist Claude Fischer of the University of California-Berkeley.

Oh, how times have changed.

Now, we’re not only unconcerned about overheard phone calls, we purposely broadcast our personal business to large groups of “friends” and “followers” on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

As a result, we’re fast becoming a nation of casual eavesdroppers, where every day we tune in to a constant stream of updates on what others are saying and doing, from where they’re about to eat lunch (complete with photos) to their conversations with others.

All this sharing, some experts say, may be feeding a tendency toward exhibitionism, and devaluing the very privacy that earlier generations so desired.

But not everyone says the rise of widespread social snooping is such a bad thing.”

Read article

2 September 2010

Why privacy is not dead

Danah Boyd
The way privacy is encoded into software doesn’t match the way we handle it in real life, writes Microsoft researcher Danah Boyd in the Technology Review.

“Each time Facebook’s privacy settings change or a technology makes personal information available to new audiences, people scream foul. Each time, their cries seem to fall on deaf ears.

The reason for this disconnect is that in a computational world, privacy is often implemented through access control. Yet privacy is not simply about controlling access. It’s about understanding a social context, having a sense of how our information is passed around by others, and sharing accordingly. As social media mature, we must rethink how we encode privacy into our systems.”

Read article (subscription only)
Read article (full text)

2 September 2010

Mobile devices and privacy

Privacy
Should we focus on changing the behaviour of people OR changing the behaviour of devices? That is the key question in article by Ajit Jaokar on his blog Open Gardens.

“The many privacy related issues raised by the Web will be amplified in the world of mobility and even more so, in a world dominated by sensor networks. Current thinking seems to converge on one important conclusion: through the combined interaction of law, technology and Internet literacy, people should be in a position to control how their own personal information is made available and used for commercial (or other) purposes.

In this post, we explore the feasibility of users managing their own data .. i.e. if we indeed want users to manage their own data, what are the issues involved in making this happen? We also look at an alternative i.e. allowing devices to mirror social privacy norms. Hence, I see the discussion as ‘Changing user behaviour to incorporate new device functionality’ OR ‘Changing device behaviour to mirror privacy expectations in human interactions'”

Read article

1 September 2010

Technology aside, most people still decline to be located

ShopKick
Mostly the young are interested in letting others know their physical location. Others are reticent for safety reasons, or against providing too much information. The New York Times reports:

“Internet companies have appropriated the real estate business’s mantra — it’s all about location, location, location.

But while a home on the beach will always be an easy sell, it may be more difficult to persuade people to start using location-based Web services.” […]

“For now, many people say sharing their physical location crosses a line, even if they freely share other information on the Web.”

Read article

1 August 2010

Reputation managers addressing our internet footprints

Mark Zuckerberg
In the modern digital age where seemingly everything and everyone is online, a new industry is emerging to “manage” the internet footprint that people and businesses leave online. “Reputation managers” can clean up and shape a person’s online history: burying the damaging stuff and promoting the good. The Guardian reports.

“Experts say that the huge growth of the internet has in effect created a “permanent memory” online that can be searched by anyone. Embarrassing statements, and photographs, or angry attacks by spiteful ex-friends once faded away. But no longer. […]

There are now many firms offering help in keeping people’s online history safe. They include companies and websites like Online Reputation Manager, Reputation Professor, Reputation Defender and Reputation Management Partners.”

Read article

23 June 2010

Why we desire, display and design

Nancy Etcoff
Humans around the world wear clothing and accessories to hide their bodies, to emphasise them, even to evoke magic. Indeed, personal ornaments appear to be among the first forms of symbolic communication. US psychologist Nancy Etcoff linked fashion to psychology in the sixth Premsela Lecture: ‘Born to Adorn: Why We Desire, Display and Design’, delivered on 26 May in Amsterdam.

At the yearly Premsela Lecture, a speaker from outside the world of design addresses current developments in the field. The yearly lectures are organised by Premsela, Dutch Platform for Design and Fashion.

“”Dress, clothes and fashion are rare topics in the social sciences,” Etcoff said, “particularly the branch I inhabit, at the intersection of neuroscience and psychology. Perhaps that is because historically, there has been far more interest in reason and the mind than in emotion and the body, in depth rather than surface, [although] dress has as much to do with reason as emotion, as much to do with the mind as the body, and as much to do with our inner depths as our surface.”

She outlined the variety and importance of our reasons for adornment, ending with a call to designers to use science to push fashion further in its enhancement of human well-being.”

Etcoff, author of The Survival of the Prettiest, The Science of Beauty, is a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and a practicing psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Download text of lecture

(via InfoDesign)

11 June 2010

Recognising the nuances of privacy

Open
This weekend the new issue of OPEN will be launched at the Berlin Biennial. “Privacy” is the main theme, and the focus is “not so much on deploring the loss of privacy but on taking the present situation of ‘post-privacy’ for what it is and trying to gain insight into what is on the horizon in terms of new subjectivities and power constructions.”

Martijn de Waal contributed to this issue with the article: “New Use of Cellular Networks – The Necessity of Recognizing the Nuances of Privacy”.

According to media researcher Martijn de Waal, it is time to rethink our ideas of privacy. The growing use of cellular networks is generating data that plays an important role in civil society projects. To be able to continue using such data in a meaningful and fair way, people must become aware of the fact that privacy is not only a question of either private or public, but includes many New gradations in between.

Read article (alternate link)

Some other articles are also available online.

26 May 2010

Mobile banking: mediated use

CGAP
Jan Chipchase (frog design and until recently an acclaimed user researcher/anthropologist at Nokia) reflects on the topic of technical and textual illiteracy in the context of mobile banking, and the role of privacy within the mediated use illiterate people often need to rely on.

“Textual and technical illiteracy is often cited as a barrier to the adoption of services and by default the benchmark for success is often set at ‘understanding and completing the task by oneself’. However if there are ‘literate’ people nearby to what extent does it matter that the user is illiterate?

‘Mediated use’ is simply recognising that part or all of a task or process is mediated through others.

Read article

16 May 2010

Danah Boyd and the Facebook privacy discussion

Monopoly
Microsoft researcher Danah Boyd doesn’t need much introduction as her outspoken and well-developed analysis is frequently quoted on this blog. Two long articles — each with many comments — react to the current Facebook privacy discussion:

Facebook and “radical transparency” (a rant) (14 May)
The battle that is underway is not a battle over the future of privacy and publicity. It’s a battle over choice and informed consent. It’s unfolding because people are being duped, tricked, coerced, and confused into doing things where they don’t understand the consequences. Facebook keeps saying that it gives users choices, but that is completely unfair. It gives users the illusion of choice and hides the details away from them “for their own good.”

Facebook is a utility; utilities get regulated (15 May)
What’s next is how this emergent utility gets regulated. Cuz sadly, I doubt that anything else is going to stop them in their tracks. And I think that regulators know that.

9 May 2010

Tell-all generation learns to keep things offline

Privacy online
Members of the under 30 tell-all generation are rethinking what it means to live out loud.

“The conventional wisdom suggests that everyone under 30 is comfortable revealing every facet of their lives online, from their favorite pizza to most frequent sexual partners. But many members of the tell-all generation are rethinking what it means to live out loud.

While participation in social networks is still strong, a survey released last month by the University of California, Berkeley, found that more than half the young adults questioned had become more concerned about privacy than they were five years ago — mirroring the number of people their parent’s age or older with that worry.

They are more diligent than older adults, however, in trying to protect themselves. In a new study to be released this month, the Pew Internet Project has found that people in their 20s exert more control over their digital reputations than older adults, more vigorously deleting unwanted posts and limiting information about themselves. “

Interestingly “mistrust of the intentions of social sites appears to be pervasive.”

Read article

26 March 2010

Private lives

Private lives
Our personal details are used everywhere. And it’s more easy to share, mine and exploit them than ever before.

This new report by the UK think tank Demos is an up-close and personal investigation into how people feel about the use of their personal information. The British public might not be as reserved as we like to think.

The database society is not inherently good or bad. The best we can hope for is that it is as democratic as any of the institutions, markets, and regulatory and legal systems that exert power over our lives. The rules governing information use will determine our power as individuals in the database society and the powers that the state, businesses and other people have over us. As the infrastructure of the database society passes through a formative stage, it is important to understand more about the use of personal information is understood by the people it affects.

Democratising personal information does not only mean giving people a voice in the debate. It means finding better ways of listening to what they say. This pamphlet is about what people think about the use of their personal information. It sets out the findings of Demos’ ‘People’s Inquiry into Personal Information’, revealing the opinions and ideas expressed over 13 hours of deliberation. The inquiry demonstrates how to engage in the conversations that bring personal information decision-making closer to the people it affects.

Download pamphlet

26 March 2010

Privacy in a public world

Privacy
The concept of “privacy” is incredibly different depending on which side of the Atlantic you live, says Eric Reiss. And in an increasingly globalized world, it’s becoming more and more important to acknowledge these divergent points of view.

“Americans tend to be less concerned than Europeans. Privacy, after all, is not a clear constitutional right whereas freedom of speech is. Freedom of speech is actually the first article in the U.S. Bill of Rights. It’s not that Americans don’t value privacy, but they often view it as a tool to prevent government from overstepping its authority. This represents a fundamental difference in the way Americans and Europeans react to privacy issues.

In Europe, privacy is considered a basic human right. Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights spells it out, “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.” To put things in perspective, freedom of speech first comes in Article 10.”

Read article