From the Wire

Tuning the Privacy/Customer Service Dial

By Jedidiah Bracy, CIPP/US, CIPP/E

Twitter handles can be valuable commodities, and no story better demonstrates that than one described by web developer Naoki Hiroshima. Originally published on his personal blog and then republished with permission by TheNextWeb, “How I lost my $50,000 Twitter username” describes the ordeal he went through when a hacker decided he wanted Hiroshima’s Twitter handle @N—registered to Hiroshima since 2007.

In a nutshell, a hacker decided he wanted @N and was going to do just about anything to get it—without paying any money, of course. To do so, according to the hacker himself (someone call “Ripley’s Believe It or Not”), he socially engineered his way into Hiroshima’s GoDaddy account, which controlled several of his website domains, in order to wrest control of @N from Hiroshima. Give up the Twitter handle and the hacker would take his hands off the throat of Hiroshima’s websites.

Extortion at its finest.

More from Jedidiah Bracy

Privacy Engineering

Which Information Do Consumers Most Closely Guard?

Note from the Editor:

This is the fifth in a series of posts by Westerman and Aschenberger exploring the role of trust in the marketplace. Here are the first, second, third and fourth installments. The next post will look at just how closely consumers guard their personal digital data.

We know that consumers don’t always understand how companies collect their data, and that these misconceptions can create a trust gap between retailers and shoppers.

This doesn’t mean that consumers are completely unwilling to share their data with retailers, though. Our team at Create with Context surveyed 800 consumers in the U.S., asking them which information they’d be willing to give up in exchange for 50 percent off of three different items: a gallon of milk, a large-screen television and a new car.

Trending

Was This a Week of “Tangible” Privacy Harm?

By Jedidiah Bracy, CIPP/US, CIPP/E
Photo taken from Ukranian protests in Kiev

Two events this week got me thinking of privacy harms. Now, I know the mere mention of “privacy harms” brings with it a lot of baggage and a ton of research, legal uncertainty, opinion and, well…ambiguity. I couldn’t possibly link to all the countless scholars, lawyers and activists who have tackled the question of what does, or does not, count as a harm, but I couldn’t help think that we may have seen some tangible harms we can all agree on this week.

More from Jedidiah Bracy

Opinion

Old School Privacy is Dead, But Don’t Go Privacy Crazy

By Stanley W. Crosley, CIPP/US, CIPM
Image from “Redneck Crazy” video by Tyler Farr

When I have the occasion to drive the kids to school, our music selections range almost as widely as our breakfast choices—some Christian, some country and some 80s, to which I alone know the lyrics. Recently, a particularly funny, somewhat concerning country song, “Redneck Crazy” by Tyler Farr, caught my attention. The song includes the following line, “You done broke the wrong heart baby ... drove me redneck crazy.”

More from Stanley W. Crosley

Big Data

Data-Driven Dating: How Data Are Shaping Our Most Intimate Personal Relationships

When we talk about Big Data, we mostly refer to large-scale conglomerations of information about our collective behavior, aggregated by governments and big corporations. But there’s another way data have become big: Our interpersonal connections are being infiltrated by data to an unprecedented degree, changing how we relate to one another. A focus on everyday data-collection practices reveals that we are active participants in gathering, interpreting and deploying data—not just passive data points about whom data is collected and aggregated.

Nothing makes the rise of the data mentality clearer than the proliferation of tools for creating and using data in budding romantic relationships.

More from Karen Levy