Threats to privacy in 2007

Well there are no 2 ways about it, the world is entering the age of data and even if you want to protect data, you inevitably have to provide it to sites/insurance salesman/girlfriend/devil. While the latter 3 are not so harmful the first one can be quite a death threat. So how to ensure that your account has not been hacked and your life stolen from under your feet:

  • GMAIL hacked:

    Open your Gmail account settings and check your filters. If you find a weird filter which was not made by you , then your account was HACKED.

    This was a nifty little trick to hack the gmail javascript and add a filter that sends mails as designated by the hacker to a particular account. The emails are also deleted hence you cannot retrieve them. Moreinfo here. (Google has fixed the vulnerability but if your account was hacked you will still have to manually correct it). Curse google for not being a little more vocal about it and tell its users.

  • Google reader hacked:

    Go to your google reader and unshare all items

    Okay Okay the reader is not hacked but Google has started its new share feature that not only allows you to force your shared items on your friends “All items” list, but also to all the folks that you have ever contacted(mailed, send gtalk request to). So if are privy about your shared items in any other mode (besides all and none) you cannot do so with current Google reader settings. There are workarounds(http://googlereader.blogspot.com/2007/12/managing-your-shared-items.html) but I am more of a better safe then sorry kind of guy😀

  • Taking over of double click:

    Pray

    Google’s attempt to buy out display ad service DoubleClick has received the approval of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), although it still faces European antitrust scrutiny(I trust in Europe).
    The £1.56 billion deal has been heavily-criticized for potentially reducing the options open to web marketers and endanger web user privacy. There is nothing you can do about that except pray to god that the big brother(Google) doesn’t take over

  • What privacy??

    “you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, adapt, modify, publish and distribute such Content on Google services for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting Google services”

    Ya thats true for Picasa, Google groups and many such services, including google apps.

  • General privacy concern:

    Well, use MSN atleast you’ll die in peace

    http://www.privacyinternational.org/article.shtml?cmd%5B347%5D=x-347-553961 I don’t think more needs to be said

There are many other threats out there to privacy. But bottom line is that in this age of data, stricter privacy laws are in demand, because as you can see from above not much can be done to protect your data(besides not using the service at all). Protection of IP needs to take front row, the more social we get , more problems will emerge. So you can either put your head in sand and hope that your data is not being used, or stand up straight and take action.

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