What is the thesis about?
Privacy can co-exist with today’s technology, providing a privacy lifestyle is chosen.
Masters in Computer Security – Distinction
BSc (Hons) Information Security – First
Schneier believes that “data collectors” are one of the three emerging cyber threats – and the one that can do you most harm. What does he mean “harm”? Lets explain this. Did you know that the EU found, a quarter of all job applicants are rejected without an interview, after an employer checked their Facebook profile? (Source: EU Data Protection Day).
So these potential employees were effectively blacklisted, simply due to their facebook profile. You see Privacy is about context… what you say to friends, is not how you would speak to your employer.
Your doctor is allowed to know your medical history… yet Gmail retains sensitive data when it reads billions of emails – which has been called “wiretapping” (EPIC case against Gmail). Your email is wiretapped in order to profile your religion, medical history, politics and even your exercise habits. How come?
Social media sites resell this data to Insurance companies. Your correspondence will be resold many times, and aggregated to gain a microscopic profile of your life. This now becomes politically charged, as this same information could blacklist you from medical insurance or employment. Technically it’s classed as “marketing data” which has little to no Data Protection. Your friends will not misuse the data, but insurance companies will. So what can you do?
The solution to “Big Data” is to stop data collection by using special privacy tools such as http://www.startpage.com or http://www.ivpn.net.
These sites deliberately do not store your IP, they do not track you, and actively secure your connections. They keep no logs, so that court orders cannot be complied with. This “privacy technology” has been termed “PET’s” within Europe. Use startpage servers to access the Google search engine – startpage strip out your IP and prevent Google tracking you.
Search Engines – Step 1 of Privacy
Your local council, divorce lawyer, tax office can all retrieve search queries from engines like Google and Bing. Never use Google or Bing, for your own protection – this is a MANDATORY step.
VPN’s – Check they keep no server logs – Step 2 of Privacy
If you select a VPN ensure they do not keep server logs, check out the torrentfreak reviews on anonymity, or use the awesome IVPN.
So please. Use privacy tools to prohibit data collection.
As Schneier commented… Data Collection is a bigger issue than Cyber Warfare.
Data collection is NOT innocent. Check out this US Senate Report.
‘Data brokers’ selling personal info of rape victims to marketers – report
“There are consumer list brokers that sell lists of individually identifiable consumers grouped by characteristics. To our knowledge, it is not practically possible for an individual to find out if he or she is on these lists,” said Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, in her testimony. “If a consumer learns that he or she is on a list, there is usually no way to get off the list.”
Dixon named one broker, MEDbase200, that has auctioned off lists of rape and domestic violence victims.
Upon questioning from the Wall Street Journal, MEDbase200 also nixed lists of HIV/AIDS patients and “peer pressure sufferers” that were for sale.
The committee found another, Epsilon, that offered at least one list of people who allegedly have medical conditions including anxiety, depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, insomnia, and osteoporosis.
So if you or anyone in your family has medical conditions, diabetes, high blood pressure or even have suffered some traumatic event – then you’re “on the list”. Do you agree with this? Should sensitive data be classified as “marketing data”. Having cancer or diabetes, is someone’s life we’re talking about. If we change the context, this medical data could blacklist them with employers, or even holiday companies who won’t want to insure them. Where do we draw the line?
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