Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Privacy, what privacy? Spies on your desktop.

The EFF blog has a thought provoking piece on online tracking and how information on your surfing ends up in the hands of a wide range of players in what at best you could describe as a less than transparent process. There is quite clearly a whole industry that collects and correlates inforrmation to build up in depth dossiers on people.

Key points of concern are:
- The scale and scope of information gathering
- new 'super cookies' hidden from and out of the control of your browser
- lack of respect for users privacy, e.g. recreating cookies after they're deleted.
- Datamining social networks and analysing usage to identify you. (Violating your anonymity)

Monitoring and tracking your online activity amounts to electronic surveillance - it can lay bare your social and business networks, your interests, your political affiliations and your religiouus beliefs. Surveillance on this scale - actively, and with the intention to use the information - would be a gross abuse if it was run by the state... and to have this going on in unregulated private hands is simply scary.

The article gives tips on how to shield your privacy - but at the end concludes that it is extremely hard today to not be a victim of this systematic invasion of your privacy. The right to privacy needs to be protected - and that means this type of intrusion needs to be regulated with clear, easy and legally binding opt outs.

Piratpartiet and the Pirate Party - putting privacy first:

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