Survey shows that Finns are concerned about the loss of privacy

This report presents the key findings of a survey conducted in April 2015 by the Finnish market research company Taloustutkimus Oy and commissioned by the PRIANO research project at the University of Tampere’s COMET research centre.

Link to the report (pdf, 18 pages)

Summary of key results:

● The majority of respondents (68%) were concerned about the fact that more and more information about internet users is collected for different purposes, for instance for targeted advertising. The majority of the respondents (76%) wanted to know in more detail what information is collected and what it is used for. Even more respondents (87%) would like to decide themselves how their personal data should be used.
● In the view of the respondents, the organisations that best safeguard personal data in digital services and databases are banks and insurance companies (72%); hospitals, health centres and medical clinics (69%); the government (59%); municipal and city authorities (55%); and educational institutions (54%). They were considerably less confident about Finnish internet providers and online shops (32%). Confidence in user personal data protection was particularly low in connection with Google (18%) and Facebook (13%).
● People still take the trouble to preserve their privacy. The most common practices included using different passwords for online services, deleting search histories and not accepting cookies, taking precautions to protect the privacy of people in photographs, and opting out of services that did not employ sufficient privacy safeguards.
● Respondents skimmed or did not read user agreements for services (EULAs), but simply accepted them so that they could start using the service. A total of 63% of Facebook users, 40% of Google users, 38% of Instagram users and 36% of WhatsApp users said that they had read the terms and conditions for use of the service.
● Respondents were not without reservations in terms of online surveillance conducted by the authorities. Just over half of the respondents (53%) said they would not grant the Finnish authorities the right to covertly monitor citizens’ internet use. Slightly more than one-third (36%) of respondents would, however, approve of such monitoring.
● Younger internet users were more concerned about protecting their privacy than older respondents.

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re:publica 2015 – Mikko Hypponen: Is our online future worth sacrificing our privacy and security?

Many business models and platforms powering digital life operate at the expense of privacy. Multinational companies like Google and Facebook already make billions, and are exploring new ways to monetize personal data. But this doesn’t seem to be illegal, as users happily pay the price for ’free’ services. On the other hand, groups willing to break laws are targeting our online security – including criminals looking for money and governments interested in surveillance and espionage. Are these two issues, privacy and security, jeopardizing Europe’s online future and digital culture? Link. ES

Mikko Hyppönen: Is our online future worth sacrificing our privacy and security?

Many business models and platforms powering digital life operate at the expense of privacy. Multinational companies like Google and Facebook already make billions, and are exploring new ways to monetize personal data. But this doesn’t seem to be illegal, as users happily pay the price for ’free’ services. On the other hand, groups willing to break laws are targeting our online security – including criminals looking for money and governments interested in surveillance and espionage. Are these two issues, privacy and security, jeopardizing Europe’s online future and digital culture?

Link to the talk. ES

Do Not Track explores privacy and the web economy

Do Not Track is a personalized documentary series about privacy and the web economy. If you share data with us, we’ll show you what the web knows about you.

This documentary series will explore how information about you is collected and used. Every two weeks, we will release a personalized episode that explores a different aspect of how the modern web is increasingly a space where our movements, our speech and our identities are recorded and tracked.

We want to explore what this means to you, your family and your friends. From our mobile phones to social networks, personalized advertising to big data, each episode will have a different focus, a different voice and a different look.

What do they have in common? While you watch, they will use the methods and tools trackers use to track you. We want you to not only understand but experience what tracking means.

We want to help you understand the exchange of value when you volunteer information online. We want you to know when it’s happening without your permission. We want you to be in control, and we want to pique your curiosity.

During each episode of Do Not Track, you’ll be asked to volunteer some data about yourself. The more data you give, the more personalized your episode will be, and the more we’ll be able to include you in an ongoing conversation. Between episodes, we’ll share research and other media related to online privacy. If you share your email address, we’ll deliver this to your inbox.

WHO ARE WE?

We are public media broadcasters, journalists, developers, graphic designers and independent media makers from different parts of the world: Upian (a Paris-based production company), the National Film Board of Canada, Arte (a French and German public broadcaster), Bayerischer Rundfunk (German public broadcaster within the ARD), Radio-Canada (Canada’s national public broadcaster), RTS (Switzerland’s public broadcaster) and AJ+ (digital-only video news network and community from the Al Jazeera innovation department).

Link to the interactive documentary. ES

Yochai Benkler: A Public Accountability Defense for National Security Leakers and Whistleblowers

A quote from the essay by Benkler from 8(2) Harv. Rev. L. & Policy, July 2014: ”If legitimacy crisis, rather than technological change, is the primary driver of the increase since 2002 of the particular class of leaks that is most important in a democracy, then the present prosecutorial deviation from a long tradition of using informal rather than criminal sanctions represents a substantial threat to democracy. In particular, it threatens public accountability for violations of human and civil rights, abuses of emergency powers, and unchecked expansion of the national security establishment itself.” Link to the essay. ES

NYT: China Is Said to Use Powerful New Weapon to Censor Internet

SAN FRANCISCO — Late last month, China began flooding American websites with a barrage of Internet traffic in an apparent effort to take out services that allow China’s Internet users to view websites otherwise blocked in the country.

Initial security reports suggested that China had crippled the services by exploiting its own Internet filter — known as the Great Firewall — to redirect overwhelming amounts of traffic to its targets. Now, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Toronto say China did not use the Great Firewall after all, but rather a powerful new weapon that they are calling the Great Cannon. Link to the story. ES

NYT: As encryption spreads, U.S. grapples with clash between privacy, security

For months, federal law enforcement agencies and industry have been deadlocked on a highly contentious issue: Should tech companies be obliged to guarantee government access to encrypted data on smartphones and other digital devices, and is that even possible without compromising the security of law-abiding customers? Link to the story in the New York Times. ES

It’s surprisingly easy to identify individuals from credit-card metadata

In this week’s issue of the journal Science, MIT researchers report that just four fairly vague pieces of information — the dates and locations of four purchases — are enough to identify 90 percent of the people in a data set recording three months of credit-card transactions by 1.1 million users. Link to MIT’s piece of news. ES

Privacy International: DID GCHQ ILLEGALLY SPY ON YOU?

Have you ever made a phone call, sent an email, or, you know, used the internet? Of course you have!

Chances are, at some point over the past decade, your communications were swept up by the U.S. National Security Agency’s mass surveillance program and passed onto Britain’s intelligence agency GCHQ. A recent court ruling found that this sharing was unlawful but no one could find out if their records were collected and then illegally shared between these two agencies… until now!

Because of our recent victory against the UK intelligence agency in court, now anyone in the world — yes, ANYONE, including you — can find out if GCHQ illegally received information about you from the NSA. Link to the site. ES

Snowden & The Intercept: The great SIM heist

American and British spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. Link to the story. Linkki HS:n uutiseen aiheesta.  ES