privacy

“Schneier Scheme” Secure Passwords

I was really excited to learn about Bruce Schneier’s “Schneier scheme” for secure passwords. For example, this password:

Ltime@go-inag~faaa! = Long time ago in a galaxy not far away at all.

A long time ago, in a province pretty far away, I used to teach computer technology courses to seniors and I think this method would be perfect for teaching digital security and digital literacy to people new to computer use. I think it is very important for libraries to emphasize privacy and surveillance issues to their patrons. This is a very easy way to introduce this topic into library instruction while teaching a very valuable skill.

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Americans will never have the right to be forgotten

Americans will never have the right to be forgotten

Europe advancing towards more privacy rights for individuals. North America? Not so much. I’m surprised about this ruling and hope that, despite the criticism, this will have positive effects on digital privacy.

Favorite quote from this article: “Google spent $15.8 million on D.C. lobbying in 2013, more than Exxon Mobil.”

Also glad to see Pew’s survey results that 68% of American internet users think there needs to be better internet privacy laws.

Terms and Conditions May Apply

Just watched the documentary Terms and Conditions May Apply. Very interesting stuff about privacy and Google, Facebook, and social media. Here are the highlights that have resonated with me:

  • Google makes roughly $500 a year from each person who uses it’s services.
  • Google’s original user agreement in 2001 featured a line that it would not share data with third parties. Their official website does not acknowledge this original user agreement to make it seem like it never existed as it no longer correlates with their business model.
  • In Europe, companies are required to provide all the data stored on them. In Canada, FOIP
  • Google search records data is never really anonymized.
  • More government regulation is need in Canada and the US which stresses protecting privacy of individuals instead of the ability of the government to access your data.

I love the title of this article by HuffPost on this documentary – Terms and Conditions May Apply Documentary: A Must See Horror Film. Privacy issues are something that definitely appears to be a bit terrifying to me, particularly the fact that people don’t realize how valuable their privacy is. Someone pointed out to me the following quote from the video game Deus Ex “Some people just don’t understand the dangers of indiscriminate surveillance.”

I also think the idea represented in this clip that humans enjoy being watched, and that’s why they don’t mind having big brother surveillance as oddly compelling. We live in a society where people want to be famous.

I highly recommend watching this documentary for anyone interested in privacy and surveillance. Western offers a course on Privacy on Surveillance but unfortunately it doesn’t look like it will be offered again in the next two semesters. Nevertheless, I don’t need to take a course to do research into a topic and learn more.