This week:

3 – We take your privacy. Seriously, we take it.

2 – We value our privacy. Until it’s inconvenient.

1 – Our baseline for privacy keeps moving. In the wrong direction.



3 – We take your privacy. Seriously.

Automakers say: “We take your privacy seriously”. [In reality,] they should say: “We take your privacy. Seriously.”

Summary: Did you know that your car could be collecting and sharing vast amounts of private and personally identifiable data about you? Well, according to research by Privacy4Cars recently mentioned by Becky Gaylord on LinkedIn, your vehicle could be a 2 tonne (ton?) data slurping and sharing machine. The site and report are focused on the US market. Hopefully, GDPR’s shield / flimsy umbrella gives us better protection in Europe.

So what? If you value your privacy, maybe you should value an old car!

Source: Becky Gaylord on LinkedIn



2 – We value our privacy. Until it’s inconvenient.

“A free bottle of wine has finally been claimed [after the offer] was hidden in the privacy policy of a company’s website for 3 months”.

Summary: One UK company hid an offer for a free bottle of wine in their privacy policy as a test to see if anyone would read it. After three months, someone finally claimed the wine. The experiment highlighted how rarely privacy policies are read, despite being required by law.

So what? If we don’t read privacy policies, is that because because most policies are written to tick a compliance requirement rather than provide Plain English information on what is actually going on, or do we really value convenience more than privacy? I think it’s a bit of both. And if you just click ‘Accept’ on every website’s cookie notice, don’t tell me otherwise.

Source: BBC News


1 – Our privacy baseline keeps moving. In the wrong direction.

“Of course cloud service providers monitor what users are doing. And because we expect Microsoft to be doing something like this, it’s not fair to call it spying.”

Summary: Microsoft recently caught state-backed hackers using its AI tools to make their scams better. People questioned how Microsoft detected the misuse in the first place, as it suggests it was spying on all users. Others defended Microsoft, as if the idea that Microsoft would monitor usage of their tools was perfectly reasonable. The incident reflects “the shifting baseline syndrome”, where each generation’s privacy expectations decline. Privacy loss has become normalised because the change each year is very gradual. Very few of us look at the trend over the last 20-30 years.

So what? When I read this story, I couldn’t help but jump (pun intended) to the story about the Boiling Frog that will jump out if put suddenly into boiling water, but will fail to notice the danger if put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, and so be cooked to death. If we are just frogs in a pot of boiling privacy invasion, I will point out that Wikipedia assures us that we will eventually jump out of the boiling water. Hopefully, we won’t just jump straight into an AI fire.

And on that positive note, I hope you all have a great weekend!

Source: IEEE.ORG (and mentioned by Secure The Village)