Marketing Pilgrim's "Security" Channel

Sponsor Marketing Pilgrim's Security Channel today! Get in front of some of the most influential readers in the Internet and social media marketing industry. Contact us today!

Twitter Teeters Between Informed Users and Government Censors

Twitter transparency tweetRunning a giant social media company is tough. You’re responsible for keeping a member’s secrets secret but you also have to respond when the government and law enforcement come knocking. In order to satisfy both sides, companies comply with legal requests but then disclose these requests in broad terms to users. They call it transparency but it’s more like a foggy window pane and the fog is getting thicker.

Both Facebook and Twitter released their latest transparency reports this week but as far as US data goes, they’re not very informative. And this comes on the heels of an agreement by the US Justice Department that allows social media sites to disclose “more” information. They can now report the number of National Security Letters (NSLs) and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) separately but only in groupings of 1,000.

Yahoo Announces Move to SSL for Sites and Encryption Between Data Centers

online-security-padlockYahoo appears to no longer be willing to be the NSA’s favorite provider of information. Ars Technica reports

In the wake of revelations about the National Security Agency’s monitoring of traffic on the private international fiber links connecting the data centers of Google and Yahoo, Google stepped up its efforts to encrypt internal server traffic and block such monitoring. Now, Yahoo has announced its own plans to encrypt all information that travels between data centers by early next year.

In addition to encrypting traffic between its data centers by March of 2014, Yahoo is also moving to apply SSL encryption across all its websites within the same time frame.

NSA Laughs At the Thought of Search Privacy

Let’s face it. Nothing is private. If you think it is then you might just be an idiot. Sorry to be so blunt but the latest news regarding the NSA and Google (along with Yahoo) makes it pretty clear that nothing is private. Now whether you care about that is another issue because many don’t and that’s their prerogative.

The Washington Post (is this Jeff Bezos impacting the ‘reporting’ already?) tells us the brutal truth.

The NSA, working with its British counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), secretly taps into the internal networks of Yahoo and Google, the two biggest Internet companies by overall data traffic. The operation intercepts information flowing between the enormous data centers that those companies maintain around the world. In general, Google and Yahoo use privately owned or leased lines to synchronize their data centers.

Since a picture can say so much more take a look at this graphic describing how Google gets gamed by the NSA.

NSA_private_Google_1030a

Now if you want to see the handmade drawing that apparently sent two Googler’s into a fit of techno rage this is the one which is also from the Post.

Want Detailed Personal Data? Just Promise People a Shot at Being On TV

The Million Second Quiz - Season 1Personal data is a valuable commodity. Many people will happily tell a brand their age, their income, their education level etc, as long as they get something in return. Points, coupons, gifts, cash – the more you want to know, the higher the payout. $5 might get you a three-page online survey, but if you want someone to show up for a focus group, it’s going to cost $30 and up.

Every year, big brands fork over millions to either gather or buy data on their customers but NBC just got 300,000 people to give up their personal data for free.

Okay, so they had to pay out $2.6 million to the winner of their flop of a summer game show but that’s chump change compared to the value of the acquired data.

Younger Internet Users More Likely To Take Action Regarding Privacy

Our favorite research group, The Pew Internet and American Life Project, has produced a new report about online privacy.

We always recommend that you take a deep dive into any Pew research because it is free and it doesn’t have an agenda (in other words, it’s not research as PR which seems to be the norm these days).

The report entitled, Anonymity, Privacy and Security Online, looks at the hottest subject in the online space: privacy. Privacy is the anti-big data play in the online space. It’s something that keeps marketers up at night because the less data there is about online users the less targeted marketing messages can be.

Add to that the findings that show that the youngest Internet users are working the hardest to have some semblance of online privacy and the marketing team could have a harder time reaching their targets. Here is a comparison by age group about who tries to do what with regard to privacy.

Pew Research Online Privacy

Are You Sure You Want to Know What Google Knows About You?

It’s not news that Google knows more about you than your parents do (or your wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend etc etc). We know that and, to a certain extent, sign off on allowing it to happen.

The Wall Street Journal did an interesting piece looking at Google, privacy and the extent of their knowledge (as well as other entities like Facebook). I suggest you read it for the details. The following image gives some insight into just how much Google has on one WSJ reporter.

What Google Knows

This quote from the WSJ article really sums it all up though.

FTC Commissioner To Push “Reclaim Your Name” Privacy Initiative

computer-security3The never ending battle for possession of consumer data looks to be taking a significant swing in the direction of the consumers themselves if Julie Brill, an FTC commissioner gets her way.

Network World reports

U.S. consumers should be able to reclaim control of their personal data from data brokers, websites and other companies, a member of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday.

Commissioner Julie Brill, a long-time privacy advocate, will push for an initiative called Reclaim Your Name that would give consumers knowledge and technology tools to reassert control over personal data held by companies, she said. Consumers should be “the ones to decide how much to share, with whom and for what purpose,” Brill said during the Computers, Freedom & Privacy Conference in Washington, D.C.