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Geolocation Apps threatens the security of personal data in Social network

Thanks to the Geolocation application from Twitter launched in March, mobile users can let their followers know where they’re tweeting from. This will allow users to share their location with their friends as they tweet, or update their status. Geolocation services work with a GPS- enabled smartphone to let users share their location while accessing social networks such as Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter. Seems like so much fun, and it is, but majority of users are raising concern over the issue of privacy.

On Twitter’s footpath.

A similar application is said to be worked on by Facebook and is set for release next month at its f8 conference, according to the New York Times. Meanwhile, search giant Google is in the game with Latitude and to a certain extent, Buzz. Most of these applications use Twitter’s Geolocation API to send the data back to Twitter; therefore it makes perfect sense that this would be a convenient time to turn the functionality on for the website.

Statistics.

In a recent survey carried out by cyber-security firm Webroot, the research revealed that slightly over half of the application users are either very, or extremely concerned about maintaining their personal privacy. 55 percent of social mobile users who have recently started using the applications were worried that in may compromise their privacy.

Basing on accuracy, 45 percent expressed worry that the information might greatly be used against them by potential burglars to target their residence while they were away. Among women, 49 percent said that they were “highly concerned” about giving their whereabouts to potential stalkers, as compared to 27 percent of men.

Also, one of every eleven Brits who use the application has met a stranger through similar services.

The risks involved.

“As technology continues to advance and such applications gain popularity, the public should also become increasingly aware of what cyber-criminals can do with the huge amount of personal data that we share in cyberspace.” Said Jeff Horne, director of Threat research at Webroot.

He went on to say, “We often get exited about new features available on social networks and we forget about the power of the internet and the amount of information we give away by the simple and common act of updating our status and checking in at our current locations. ”

Users are voluntarily exposing their locations but 71 percent of them said that they only share this information with friends. This implies that they know and understand the risks involved in using these and have already made a conscious choice to keep it locked down.

It’s also worthy mentioning that according to another study, half of all social network users in the United States are “concerned” if not “very concerned” about their privacy.

Advice

An advice from Webroot to mobile phone owners, to turn off their “GPS photo tagging” and “locate” me features on their handsets and never to post anything they wouldn’t want the world to see, to a social site.

The debate on whether or not we care about our privacy might go on and on. But basing on the surveys carried out, it’s easy to say that it all depends on the nature of the person as a pessimist or an optimist. Careful or care-free. One thing similar with both surveys, only half of the people cared about their privacy. Disappointing or encouraging? Like I said, it all depends with the viewer’s perspective.

Google Slurps up Confidential Personal Data

The attorneys hired by Google reckon that its harvesting operations intended for WiFi data will be judged in the proper area in the USA. This is the latest statement made by the firm, despite the fact that the hacks being taken at Google nowadays come non-stop. In fact, Europe, at present, is one of Google’s biggest court frenemies.

The Director of Public Policy of Google, Pablo Chavez said in a letter for the Congressman that harvesting any data from wireless networks, despite being unencrypted, was, and still is, legal in the United States. In fact, he was very direct in saying that he believes what they did was not in any violation with regards to American laws. They merely collected payload data from certain networks that have been readily configured to be publicly accessible. Since the networks were not secured with the means of any encryption technology, everything was accessible, even with the use of the user’s device.

However, he did submissively admit that the practice was a mistake on the part of Google. He even reiterates that sticking to the US laws and doing the right thing are two very different matters. What he considers as a mistake was the fact that they collected payload data. He ends his statement by profoundly saying the word “sorry”.

It was only very recently that the best law enforcement authorities in Connecticut, with a claim on thirty states, decided to launch a set of combined investigative procedures into how the street view fleet of Google was able to intercept and store certain communications only with the use of WiFi.

The French Data Protection has already found out that top secret passwords as well as emails were harvested. This is the main reason why Google is looked down upon in several of France’s neighboring countries. In fact, some have even blatantly expressed their anger towards the company and have vigorously warned numerous court actions.

However, Google remains, or, at least, claims, to be clean in such mess. They blame everything on a particular rogue software coder and strongly say that whoever was responsible for such mess will be subjected to internal disciplinary measures.

The Information Commissioner has already released a statement about accepting Google’s assurances, regarding the immediate destruction of any data that was collected from the United Kingdom.

Indeed, Google is in hot water these days, just because of a few things that some hired cars did. However, to date, Google assures that they have, and will, never intentionally collect or store any payload data from any WiFi site, such as personal information or log in pass keys. This was why it was a huge embarrassment for Google to admit that there really was a payload data collection that occurred.

Although Google might be able to get out of this dilemma because of their “It was all an honest mistake” admission, it seems that the company will be facing a huge downside caused by this mess.

The public now knows that Google develops services as well as products without being fully knowledgeable about everything that that particular product can do. Some critics have strongly shook their heads on this blatant display of desperation on Google’s part for collecting confidential data through illegal means, only to end up slapping their own faces and regret having done such collection.

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Call Now: +1 833-522-1003
Call Now: +1 833-522-1003