Tag Archives: privacy

pii2011 (privacy identity innovation): Round Two!

pii PanelLast year, when “privacy” was the word on everyone’s lips (mainly thanks to Facebook), the Bay Area’s Natalie Fonseca and  Marc Licciardi decided to bring all the concerns to one table. They organized the first Privacy Identity Innovation conference (pii2010), which drew together thought leaders and stakeholders in the privacy multi-sphere to explore some of the hardest questions of the Information Age.

Now, in 2011, though some of the hype and hysteria about privacy has slightly cooled, the core issues surrounding the protection of our information are still crucial and fluid. That’s why we’re so psyched to see what will come from pii2011. (Admittedly, we’re also excited because some of LunaWeb’s photos from pii2010 are used for this year’s site!)

Registration is now open for the event on May 19 and 20 in Silicon Valley, and will feature speakers from Google, CBS News, Stanford Law, Microsoft, Wired – the gambit, basically. Check out the full list of speakers here.

A pre-conference reception and dinner salon will be held May 18 that pii2011 is co-hosting with the team from Techdirt at www.techdirt.com. A separate ticket is required, but well worth it!.

If you stick around another day, there’s a PrivacyCamp on the 21st, and the cost is included in your ticket to the conference! You may just see us there – LunaWeb has been invited to cover the event again this year! Visit pii2011.com for full details.


Are Location Based Services Safe?

Like anything else from your car to your toaster to your PayPal account – yes and no.

On the business side, it’s great to set up a check-in spot for your headquarters on Foursquare and Gowalla. There is little risk involved, and trends indicate that being present on these location-based services (LBS) will be beneficial to companies as proximity marketing gains momentum. (Proximity marketing: marketing that targets an audience based on their GPS location. Specifically in this case, through your mobile phone. We think this will be big.)

As a personal user, it can be fun to collect badges or prizes, to compete for mayorships, and just see where your friends have checked-in. There are risks, though. The tips below are helpful hints for minimizing risk on Foursquare and Gowalla, but they are by no means guarantees. The very nature of these platforms is to let people know precisely where you are, and there’s no absolute promise that only your friends will ever see that information.

If you accept those risks though, the tips below can help keep your information under your control.

  1. Don’t become Foursquare or Gowalla friends with anyone you do not know. You might receive many requests from acquaintances, local figures, even from the newspaper or a nearby restaurant. You might know the owner of the restaurant, but do you know for a fact they are the ones reading the updates? When we suggest you only friend people you know on Foursquare, we mean a person (not a group) whom you literally do not mind knowing exactly where you are at any given moment. Just stop and think before you hit accept. This may mean you have 3 Foursquare friends, but truly, that’s better than total strangers knowing where you are.
  2. Don’t “tell Twitter.” The second you push a check-in to Twitter, it’s public to the entire world. Hesitate even to let your friends on Facebook see that update. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Foursquare still has some pretty solid bricks in its “walled garden,” but the second that information gets to other platforms, it is way more likely to become public.
  3. Before you check-in, ask yourself this question, “If all the walled gardens fell and everyone could see everything, would anything really bad happen because of this check-in?” If not (and the cards usually seem to fall that way), go for it!

We hope you will sign up for Foursquare or Gowalla, because they’re wicked fun and they’re catching on. Leave comments with more tips to help people practice safe checking-in!

Facebook Privacy Resources

facebook-privacy "kpao.org"


Last week’s announcement that four NYU students were developing  a Facebook alternative suggests that they want its global dominance to shift: in the name of freedom. The students have more than raised their needed-for-development goal of $10,000 in 27 fewer days than scheduled.

But before the project, Diaspora*, is launched, we’ve found some articles that can be used in the meantime:

1) A timely article entitled “Facebook’s Gone Rogue; It’s Time for an Open Alternative” which discusses the viral, yet ambiguous, nature of its privacy laws, or lack thereof.

2) ReclaimPrivacy’s tool that allows users to scan their profiles for privacy intrusion.

3) Consumer Report’s Facebook rule of thumb: “7 Things to Stop Doing Now on Facebook”

4) SaveFace: A tool that allows users to reset most user settings back to “Friends Only.”

We aren’t against Facebook; we just want our privacy back.