Category Archives: Online Privacy

The Dangers of Auto-complete and Reply All

Goldman Sachs is going to court to try to force Google to delete an e-mail that one of its contractors sent to the wrong e-mail address. This type of incident might be more common than we would like. In fact, less than 2 months ago, I received an e-mail from one of the people I had recently communicated with that was not intended for me, but for someone with the same first name, leading me to speculate that the auto-complete feature may have suggested the wrong e-mail to the sender. As soon as I realized that the message was not intended for me, I immediately deleted the e-mail.

I have some doubts that taking legal action will accomplish what Goldman Sachs wants Continue reading The Dangers of Auto-complete and Reply All

Facebook psychology studies and privacy

In the last 24 hours, there have been a lot of stories about Facebook running a psychology experiment on its users. Reactions included the following arguments: that it was bad science, that it breached ethical guidelines, and even that it might have been illegal (although there is at least some dispute as to its legality). In general, many people seem to believe that Facebook “totally screwed with a bunch of people in the name of science.” Admittedly, not everyone agrees, but there is no denying Continue reading Facebook psychology studies and privacy

Your Digital Footprint and its Real-World Ramifications

Today, the ABA gave the go-ahead to attorneys to look at “publicly available musings” of citizens called for jury service and in deliberations, but stopped short of allowing them to “follow or friend” jurors. Such “musings” may even impact the outcomes of legal proceedings; the article cites a case in which a defense attorney asked for a new trial on the basis of a juror’s post. There is a clear tension here between the privacy of jurors and the right of defendants to have their case heard by impartial jurors, but it is certainly not the first time an online user’s digital footprint has led to repercussions in the real world.

For years, college admissions officers have been using the digital footprints of applicants to help make their admissions decisions. In 2008, only 10% used social media during the admissions process. By 2011, Continue reading Your Digital Footprint and its Real-World Ramifications