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Surveys: Privacy is the Main Issue in Social Networking

Do you visit social networking websites? Is privacy a concern for you? According to a recent survey done, most of the people accessing various social networking sites are concerned about privacy related issues. In this era of information where sharing of information over internet is quite common, it is quite obvious to give utmost importance to privacy and security.

A lot of people are concerned about the security of their information which seems to be at stake in the current scenario when social networking sites are bombarded with traffic. Recently, in a debate held by industrial onlookers, this issue was to know the extent to which people are bothered about the privacy policy and terms and conditions of the social networking websites they are using. Many of them argued that with the coming up of sites such as Twitter where people and celebrities post anything they like to update, provides an evidence that people are safe in terms of privacy they share. While some are of the view that people are themselves responsible for what they post, as photos, updates etc can be viewed by everyone that logs to the website.

A survey conducted in US, revealed that 50% of the social networking users are excessively worried about solitude. In another survey, a security company revealed the significance of adoption of geo-location services that would help the user of the social networking site to relay as to where they are, at any moment of time.  As much as 55% of users that make use of geographical location service believe that it wears away privacy, while the rest 45% are of the view that this service is of great help.

Studies have divulged that women tend to be more careful when it comes to privacy than men. Also it has been found that older people are more reluctant and do not share their private information as compared to young generation. As per a new poll, many people in US who use Facebook, Myspace and other social networking websites have greater concern regarding their privacy on the website.

A recent amendment was done by Facebook in its policies so that users get to know which information is visible to all, and details of how to alter their privacy settings. There are certain ads displayed on these social networking sites that inform you how to restrict you information and share it only with the people you want to. There are options available even to share the information with a selected number of people of your prefer.

Out of a survey conducted on 1004 people, 27% of them were apprehensive about the issue, whereas 23% had a far greater concern for privacy. The younger people often adopt a carefree approach when it comes to privacy, but old Americans worry for privacy the most because these websites do not have a natural instinct of secrecy which bothers them much unlike as in case of youngsters.

WiFi hotspot privacy broken by Google

Snooping in itself is invasion of privacy. Be it WiFi, or non- WiFi. It gives access to information that doesn’t belong to the eyes of the unauthorised persons. In this case, it may be difficult to argue whose mistake it is but all parties involved are definitely in the wrong. Question is, how much? Considering that Google is an information based company, its work is to offer information that it has sourced from the public, to the public. But in some instances, the method it uses to sources has to be a fair and legally accepted manner.

Irresponsibility

Simultaneously, if a member of the Congress is able to have access to information of national security, isn’t that snooping? Considering that all this was away from work. First is to ask if he, whether at home or work, was right to access the information as per the powers vested upon him by the government.

Ignorance

Having access to national security information, using unencrypted WiFi network also shows the level of ignorance from the powers involved. Such information should be accessible to a limited number of persons, for the sake of national security. The question being, what about the many others that operates as Google. How many others might have accessed the same information and maybe, much more?

In the case of responsibility, warnings have been out there about securing the WiFi networks and it is apparent that they have been continuously ignored. There is no excuse for anyone, especially dealing with state security information to have an unprotected WiFi network.

Blame game

Still, blame may be directed to all sides involved depending on the viewer. But for the sake of national security, maybe the lawmakers are the main culprits. Taking the worst of circumstances, if a well equipped group with clandestine motives would have been in Google’s shoes, it might have been a different case right now. It might have been a case of a forest fire from a hunter’s borne fire.

In any case, being law makers doesn’t give any of them the right to misuse or mishandle state information. If strict rules would have been put in place regarding such kind of information, then maybe the source would have been more careful with the information. Therefore, the Congress and the powers above are to be blamed for negligence and stupid actions.

Responsibility from within

Honestly, on Google’s side, they acted just the same way most of us would. Selfishly. Considering that communication and information transfer is their main line of work, to an extent, though it was a wrong decision, they did what they had to do. On a rather lighter note, Google took responsibility for the unauthorised WiFi data acquisition.

At the end, it’s not a question of who’s to blame, but how much blame is each one to take. Google, having known that the information is of national security, should have treated it as such. Stealing is wrong and archaic. But on the Congress’s part, being stupid to a level of putting the whole country at risk is something different.

Germans Continue Using Google, Facebook and Apple Despite Goverrnment Concerns Over Privacy

Despite expected privacy inquiries from the German government, reports indicate that the move has not stopped Germans from using Google, Facebook and Apple products. The German government has raised eyebrows over the three American companies’ privacy policies, with speculation that the companies might be misusing member information.

Privacy Misgivings

Lately, the American tech firms have come under close examination in the country, with Internet search Giant, Google, currently undergoing investigations after it wrongfully gathered personal Internet information such as people’s email addresses  when it was carrying out research over its latest addition to Google Maps, the Street View mapping service. Elsewhere, American giant social site, Facebook is under investigation for wrongfully gathering personal information for individuals without Facebook accounts from their friends with accounts.

What Facebook did is take mailing lists of active users and derive information from non-users from the mailing list, allegedly. On the other hand, Apple Inc. is under duress from the German government, seeking to know what the company’s latest addition, the iPhone 4, is storing with regard to users information and the exact storage periods.

The move by the German government is said to be geared at protecting German consumers from what the agency responsible for the investigations said is “themselves.” According to the agency undertaking the investigations in Hamburg most users of the three company’s products are largely oblivious to what the companies do with the data they submit while using their products.

German Privacy Laws

Germany’s strict privacy laws were as a result of the consequences of the Second World War in which people’s personal information was used to single out people for persecution. Data released just two months ago revealed that Google took up about 92% of Germany’s online search market, whereas in the US, it had a paltry 65%. On the other hand, Facebook took up about 7.7 million German online social networks users and Apple’s all iPhone models have performed impressively in the country, with the latest, the iPhone 4, going out of stock in a few days of its introduction in the German market. According to an Amiando executive, Europe’s biggest online event registration offering company, said there is huge separation with regard to data privacy laws and consumers that have remain largely uninterested in or oblivious of their privacy safeguards.

Tradition vs Business

The German government has particularly had issues with the three American firm’s tradition that allows them to sell client information to third parties. In Germany itself, the biggest events organizer, Amiando, does not sell members information to third parties. Even though German laws allow the companies to sell the information of their customers, what it does in the country is ruin an traditional sense of trust that Germans have developed in their companies, thus most companies do not take advantage of the law.

But even with the suspicious government making a move on the American firms, Germans themselves are continually letting their details be used by third party companies in a deal that is seeing them save some buck. Payback, a retail bonus card, gives them discounts if they let its operator send offers.

Ten Reasons Why Windows 7 is IT Professionals’ Favorite

The most prominent feature of the Windows 7 operating system is its look and feel. The looks are simply astounding and create an aura of visually relaxing modes. A lot of inbuilt features can be customized.

Apparent Multitasking

The new programming compatibility of Windows 7 gives a lot of way for heavy multitasking from a single platform. This multitasking feature saves a lot of processes to be loaded at a given time.

Data Encryption and Privacy

The data and the privacy functions have been greatly worked upon in the latest build of the Windows 7. The privacy functions do not just remain confined to the realms of the hard drives but rather extend their functionality to the external and removable flash and USB drives.

Driver Issues

One of the key concerns while shifting to different operating system is the availability of drivers. The very basic native drivers are by default provided in this operating system. Thus the user is freed from the hassles of manually searching and downloading the drivers.

Previous Version Compatibility

The kernel code of the Windows 7 is based on the same architecture that was introduced in the Windows Vista operating system. Thus the compatibility issues are just minimal when you switch from a previous version to their later counterparts.

The Windows Server 2008 Facility

The Windows 7 system protocol communicates directly with the Windows server edition of 2008, thus making it possible for it to behave as a dual server. The latest facilities that are available for the remote PC management are simply amazing and outstanding. The Direct Access Management Protocol helps in syncing process during the remote desktop connection.

The Application Control Protocol

The all new feature called the AppLocker takes care of the copyright issues and the level of access to be given to the end users.

The Power of Scripting

We all are aware with the power of scripting and the essence of true scripting is unleashed in this version of Windows 7. The all new PowerShell provides the platform to schedule and many petty tiny customizable applications.

Troubleshooting Made Easy

The completely new interface of the help features available in Windows 7 can even help a novice to troubleshoot complicated assignments.

The Multicast Multiple Stream Transfer

This facility enables servers to broadcast image data to multiple clients simultaneous in group with affecting the bandwidth of the facility.

The operating system choice and a favorite to a million of customers. The all new windows 7 operating system is all set to rock your premises. So we took a look at the major ten reasons why it’s a favorite among the IT Professionals.

Single Mega-Lawsuit for Google over Wi-Fi Snafu

Google is trying to fuse up the growing number of lawsuits against the company following the company’s accidental Wi-Fi data collection. For the time being, a privacy group analyzed the situation and accused Google of having criminal intent with the whole catastrophe.

However following to all these debate going on, Google filed a motion in the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation this week. Perhaps it is looking for a roll up of the eight lawsuits along with any of those that might turn up in the future related to the data collection situation into a single case. Google told that the complaints in the Google Wi-Fi Cases emphasize a claim under the federal Wiretap Act. Adding to this Google also told that all of the complaints make very similar factual allegations which would ultimately lead to discovery of common facts every time.

The Case

Moreover because the cases are filed under different state laws of the country and thus come under different jurisdictions; Google disagrees in its proposal that there is a probability for conflicting pretrial rulings especially with respect to the proper scope and extent of discovery. Class certification and other factual and legal matters also added up in the proposal, that it would like a single, fiend suit to be filed in the US District Court of Northern District of California – which is the company’s home turf.

Infringement of Privacy

Meanwhile, Privacy International has turned up the heat on Google after having analyzed an independent report on the situation conducted by technical services firm Stroz Friedberg. The report that Stroz Friedberg has given throws light on a detailed study of what kind of data Google’s code did and did not collect, along with how it was processed and stored. In simple words, a program called gslite sniffed packets from unprotected Wi-Fi networks as Google’s Street View cars rolled down the street, this cars separating out encrypted and decrypted content that it found on the networks. The encrypted data that they found was dumped while the decrypted data was then written to the car’s hard drive.

Criminal Charges

Because of this specific behavior of the program, PI said that it’s clear that Google did not do it by mistake at all. It is a criminal act commissioned with intent to violate the privacy of communications. The group says that some jurisdictions allow for accidental interception of data, but that Google clearly had an intention to intercept and therefore is in violation of criminal law. Some of them however have other views; the other group says that the accidental personal data collection happened on open and unprotected data networks. They added that Google did not; one should not be alleged of criminal offence if you check out an unprotected network. It was the fault of the ones using those networks who kept it unprotected for someone to breach into it. Moreover, coming to Google’s rescue this group adds up the things that the company has done in the past of the people.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt spoke openly last week about the company’s gaffes, adding that he hoped Google’s honesty would help reassure the public that it wouldn’t happen again. Although most of the 600GB of data collected globally probably consists of downloaded applications.

However one can say that Google has definitely hit a sensitive nerve among users, privacy groups, and lawmakers alike.

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