Canadian Canoe Routes

Facebook - a boon or a trap
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Author:  Erhard [ August 27th, 2009, 11:03 am ]
Post subject:  Facebook - a boon or a trap

I have started to actively using facebook and am still leery of its inscrutable inner workings. How the heck do I know what it will do next with the information that I provide...?

Here's a recent change as described by a BBC article. The stunning revelation that applications could see everything - even though I specified that only friends can see the stuff I posted. :roll: :evil: :evil: :evil:
Facebook has agreed to make worldwide changes to its privacy policy as a result of negotiations with Canada's privacy commissioner.

Last month the social network was found to breach Canadian law by holding on to users' personal data indefinitely.

Facebook has now agreed to make changes to the way it collects and handles this information.

It will also make it clear to users that they have the option of either deactivating or deleting their account.

"These changes mean that the privacy of 200 million Facebook users in Canada and around the world will be far better protected," said Canadian privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart.

"We're very pleased Facebook has been responsive to our recommendations."

The decision could also have implications for other social networking websites, she said.

Elliot Schrage, vice president of global communications and public policy at Facebook, said he believed the new policies set "a new standard for the industry".

'Unrestricted access'

As well as updating the privacy policy, Facebook has said it will make changes that will give users more control over the data they provide to third-party developers of applications, such as games and quizzes.

There are around 950,000 developers in 180 countries who provide applications for the site.

Specifically, the changes will require applications to state which information they wish to access and obtain consent from the user before it is used or shared.

"Application developers have had virtually unrestricted access to Facebook users' personal information," said Ms Stoddart.

"The changes Facebook plans to introduce will allow users to control the types of personal information that applications can access."

The social network has said work on the changes will begin immediately but they would take around 12 months to implement.

The regulator first started its investigation as a result of complaints by the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) at the University of Ottawa.

Canada has around 12 million Facebook users, more than one in three of the population.

Author:  Barbara [ August 27th, 2009, 11:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Facebook - a boon or a trap

How many people read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policies of sites before they sign up? I mean, really read those long, boring missives.

That includes Yahoo Groups, blogging sites, photo-hosting sites.....

Canada has around 12 million Facebook users, more than one in three of the population.



Author:  pknoerr [ August 27th, 2009, 11:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Facebook - a boon or a trap

Yeah, I've been on Facebook, and even have a few CCR members as friends.

I treat Facebook like it's all public info, just like posting here on CCR or any web community regardless of your setting. Don't post it if you don't want it out there.


Author:  HeavyK [ August 27th, 2009, 1:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Facebook - a boon or a trap

Among other pledges, Facebook has agreed to new features that will prevent software developers who create games and quizzes from accessing personal information. ... le1266615/

Author:  Red Lake Rob [ August 27th, 2009, 4:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Facebook - a boon or a trap

Yeah, what PK said.

I resisted joining, but eventually found it a great way to share pictures with friends and family. I keep better contact with family now than I ever did before.

I have many CCR friends on facebook and see more of their trip photos there than on here.

If you don't make your personal info public then you have nothing to fear.

Author:  cheryl [ August 27th, 2009, 6:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Facebook - a boon or a trap

I am really curious about Facebook - and it also scares the heck out of me. I have an account, but it is locked down as tight as I can get it after my employer advised all staff that it was unwise for any of us to have accounts that were not locked down, and they would really prefer the teachers NOT to have accounts at all.

However, I did have my son go in with me a few weeks ago to take a look at loosening up so that we could communicate while he was away. We were both surprised that I have a "friend request" from complete stranger, and that at the bottom of the page was a list of all kinds of people that Facebook had decided I might like to be friends with. What bothers me is that I before I locked down, I had only accepted 2 close friends requests, and I have never made any friends requests. My friends know that my account is dormant. The suggested lists were people that were in my e-mail - and even scarier was that there were people listed that I have not contacted in years..

Nether my son nor I could figure this out, and checked all my settings - and it was still locked up on the top level of "security" some security eh?

Author:  SWIFT [ August 27th, 2009, 8:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Facebook - a boon or a trap

I am a Facebook regular, and I am not so concerned. I only provide info that I wish, there's no specifics other than name, maybe high school and job title. I think I have my birth date on there to, but they are all optional. You can be quite vague if you want to be.

I am a little more careful with pictures (I do have some of my family) but nothing that I would be fearful of, if others had them (but that is something to consider).

I frequently just "block this application" when invited to these various games and quizzes. They are not my thing, and I suspect THAT is where the dangers of spamming could come from (but again, only from the info you are willing to provide in the first place.

Otherwise it's been fun to hook up with long lost friends, or to simply find out "where are they now". One of my more funny and shocking ones... is a guy who used to be a real player, womanizer, and is now a god-fearing preacher of all things. I would never have believed it. He says he's changed after "finding the lord", who would have thunked it?

Just be smart, it's pretty safe and it's kinda fun.

Author:  GHOSLO [ August 27th, 2009, 8:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Facebook - a boon or a trap

HeavyK wrote:
Among other pledges, Facebook has agreed to new features that will prevent software developers who create games and quizzes from accessing personal information. ... le1266615/

I am glad that Facebook has agreed to change their policies. But can one really trust a company that thought that it was ok to send your personal information to third party software companies?

Author:  alscool [ August 28th, 2009, 7:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Facebook - a boon or a trap

Facebook sucks.

It should be called
I changed email addresses some time ago and as a result I cannot log into my account to update the settings with new email detail. There is a automated help feature that deals with this. It tells me to respond from the email address as specified in the settings. Talk about a paradox :evil:

Author:  Erhard [ August 30th, 2009, 5:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Facebook - a boon or a trap

The Star printed in today's editorial a similar caution:
Faceoff with Facebook

Aug 30, 2009 04:30 AM

Canada's privacy watchdog has issued a bark heard around the world – and a quarter-billion Facebook users are better off for it. Operators of the popular social networking site, headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., have pledged to tighten protection for all users after federal privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart raised concerns about how the online giant stored and shared peoples' personal information.

Some skeptics had doubted that the wide-open world of Internet sharing could be brought under better control, especially by a relatively obscure (by international standards) Canadian bureaucrat. Yet Stoddart persisted – and succeeded.

Thanks to her intervention, third-party game and quiz developers will no longer be able to access Facebook users' personal data without consent. The company has agreed to give people more control over information being given out, and let them know how it will be used.

Also to be fixed is troubling confusion over deactivated Facebook accounts. Many users wrongly assume that deactivation means their personal information is erased. Not so. Facebook keeps that data indefinitely. In order to erase information, an account must be deleted. The company has pledged to make that distinction clearer.

These and other new protections are significant given Facebook's astonishing reach. As of last month, it had more than 250 million active users – about 12 million of them in Canada. Those numbers are all the more impressive given that the site was only launched in 2004 and is continuing its exponential growth.

But caution is required. Even with the recent gains won by Stoddart, no one should let their guard down and assume that their privacy is now fully shielded. The online world remains fraught with hackers, scammers and cyber-stalkers of every description. And there is considerable risk in being too open with personal information on Facebook or any other social networking site.

Stoddart has succeeded in making this world a bit more accountable, but there is no reason for complacency as we move deeper into a 21st century communications revolution.

Author:  Erhard [ August 30th, 2009, 5:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Facebook - a boon or a trap

Red Lake Rob wrote:
If you don't make your personal info public then you have nothing to fear.

That is not so easy, I found.

For one, some info was mandatory at sign-up: my birthday date, for instance. OK, one can cheat and fool the system - but then what kind of social networking are we creating if your first step contains a lie.

About the fine print - we are a bit lax with most internet stuff - I did read (some?) of it when I first signed up quite a while back. I do recall that data was available to FB's business partners and it raised only a small red flag in my mind - I did not consider that there might be no constraint on those partners what they do with the info. My bad.

But the system interface for us users fools you. It allows you to specify who can see your stuff, to quite some detail like "your pictures visible to friends only". It doesn't not remind you anywhere that any darn tool/game/application has access through the back door. It's like an ISP that ensures that its users cannot access each others' data (that's called privacy) - but the ISP is selling generous access to your data to anyone else who is interested. That stinks, as a business practise.

Author:  Gail R [ August 30th, 2009, 8:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Facebook - a boon or a trap

you postings on public domain can be used in a mirad of ways.Context is everything.
numberous cases in the US where after DUI and drunk driving accidents have used "party" pictures with captions like "remorsful?"

you can also use search engines like Topsy to search for conversations on twitter.......tool of the paranoid?
anyone can subscribe to tweets and they are often linked back to other social networking pages....your compartmenalized life ain't so seperate.
I searched you Erhard.....nothing came up.....send chills?

In a world where we have ported many of our personal interactions online it becomes a nightmare for employers.
I'm not suprised Cheryl. Schoolboards are often the first out of the gate with policies to protect themselves and employee's from conflict. With new legelsation in WSIB regarding harrasment and combine hat with rampant nettiediquet problems I'm sure many empolyers will be looking at what and how you communicate

ask yourself
would I say that to them personally and if a red flag goes up on content or execution then rewrite your digital responces

It's a new world baby......... whole legal professions developing for online image managment.......

Does it apply to you and our little boring lives?
I suspect the next big teeshirt crase is
"no one reads your boring tweets"

ever take a canoe trip while on WSIB?
how far should empolyeers be able to use your online life?
It can be an HR tool
ask any politician
As it gets harder and harder to fire someone (and bloody expencive) the buisness case can be made to look into these free windows. It's in it's infancy but I see a day where it will be part of the hiring process on high level jobs
think we could have avoided Maxime Bernier?
or your daughters boyfriend :wink:
just random musings...... :P

Author:  Barbara [ August 30th, 2009, 8:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Facebook - a boon or a trap

Bell ordered to inform customers about data gathering

Canada's privacy commissioner, fresh off forcing Facebook to change how it handles users' data, is ordering Bell Canada to change how it informs internet customers of its network-management practices.

In a report dated Aug. 13 and made public on Friday, assistant privacy commissioner Elizabeth Denham told the company it must change its service agreements and the Frequently Asked Questions section of its website to notify customers that it collects and retains their personal information through use of its deep-packet inspection technology.

The commissioner found that Bell's DPI, which among other things is used to identify peer-to-peer file-sharing so that it can be slowed down, tracks a person's IP address — a numeric code that identifies a specific computer on a network. Users' IP addresses typically change each time they log onto the internet, but as is common practice among service providers, Bell ties the codes to subscribers' user identifications.

Denham considers this combination to be personal information that belongs to customers, which is protected under privacy laws.

"Given that Bell can link its Sympatico subscribers, by virtue of their subscriber ID, with internet activities (in this case, type of application being used) associated with their assigned IP addresses, in my view, IP addresses in this context are personal information," she wrote.

The report said the privacy commissioner's office will follow up with Bell within 30 days to see if the company has complied with its requests.

A spokesman for Bell said the company will comply. "We were waiting for their finding to add an FAQ [regarding] use of DPI on [the] privacy page but needed to know what language to use," he said.

The report was in response to a complaint by the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, based at the University of Ottawa. The privacy commissioner rejected CIPPIC's two other complaints about Bell's DPI, that the company was collecting personal information about customers without their consent and that it is gathering more information than needed to manage its network.

Denham said the service agreements customers sign constitute their consent. She also said she had not found any evidence that Bell was using DPI to look at users' internet traffic for purposes such as advertising or boosting its own services.

"I am unconvinced that, at date of issue of this report, Bell is collecting or using any personal information of individuals other than the IP addresses and subscriber IDs of Sympatico customers when it uses its DPI technology for the purpose of network traffic management," she wrote.

CRTC mulling network-management rules
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is currently pondering whether it should impose new regulations on how internet providers can manage their networks, with a decision due this year. The CRTC last year allowed Bell to continue slowing down peer-to-peer usage by its wholesale customers, who were represented by the Canadian Association of Internet Providers.

Mirko Bibic, head of regulatory affairs for Bell, welcomed the privacy commissioner's findings.

"We're pleased with the outcome as Bell takes privacy issues very seriously, and that includes respecting all privacy laws in our use of DPI," he said in a statement. "Hopefully with this decision, the network management proceeding, and the dismissal of CAIP's complaint last year all behind us, we can keep the focus where it belongs — on delivering exemplary service to all our customers."

The commissioner's findings were made public by telecommunications consultant Mark Goldberg on his blog. On Twitter, Goldberg said the commission "approves Bell's use of DPI."

A spokesperson for the commissioner, however, said the office was certainly not approving DPI.

"It would not be accurate to suggest, in reading the finding, that we are endorsing DPI," she said.

In the report, Denham reiterated her concerns about the technology.

"I am aware that DPI platforms have the capability to allow an organization to view information of a potentially very sensitive nature — for potentially different purposes and if the organization were to apply the proper configurations," she wrote.

"Bell has stated that the DPI platform it uses has this capability, but that it is currently not using it for this purpose. It has also assured this office that any added purpose for which it currently uses PI would respect the company's privacy obligations... its own privacy policies an applicable customer agreements."

Tamir Israel, a spokesman for CIPPIC, said the group was still working with the commissioner's office to have some of its complaints addressed.

The privacy commissioner on Thursday announced that Facebook will be complying with a number of its requests to strengthen users' privacy and control over their personal information on the social-networking website. ... l-dpi.html

Author:  Gail R [ August 30th, 2009, 9:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Facebook - a boon or a trap

I'm confused
ain't disclosure to your identifier part of the HTP protocol evertime you surf?

you request a asks who....your brouser automaticly identifies you with any information you have stored there which includes your email address? (it can't be turned off) y
ain't intel chips all contining unique identifiers these days?
you have to register your computer with HP or whatevr company for the waretee and now they can, in theory, trace every thing that chip goes to

what exact standard is this lady talking about when it's (IMHO) breached at the very basic design of the net?
nothings click, you subject to what they want to know

Author:  Ghost [ August 30th, 2009, 9:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Facebook - a boon or a trap

Internet privacy is an oxymoron.

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