Our legal system being what it is, things like terms and conditions are often spelled out in legalese that are long, boring, and sometimes difficult to understand. It's the reason most people don't bother to read EULAs and other fine print. Would you have guessed that Facebook would be the one do things differently? Ironic, considering that Facebook is often criticized for privacy policies. Nevertheless, Facebook today introduced Privacy Basics, a plain language interpretation of its privacy rules, along with tips and a how-to guide to make sure things are the way you want them to be.
Twitter wants permission to publish its full transparency report
Under the current rules set forth by the U.S. government, Twitter is prohibited from reporting on the scope of surveillance of its users. That includes revealing how many national security letters and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court orders the microblogging service has received, regardless of whether the number is zero or much higher. In seeking to lift such restrictions, Twitter filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department with the U.S. District Court of Northern California.
Microsoft has a chance to atone for Windows 8/8.1 with Windows 10, the operating system that Windows 8 probably should have been, though things are getting off to somewhat of a rocky start. Complaints are starting to roll in that the Windows 10 Technical Preview is overstepping its bounds with the amount of information it collects, and some have even categorized the OS as a keylogger of sorts.
China's own operating system could be ready by October
After banning Microsoft's Windows 8 software for use on government PCs, China is now reportedly planning to cook up its own operating system. The home brewed OS could see a launch as early as October, and it would have the full backing of the Chinese government. China's motivation in building an OS of its own is to alleviate concerns that imported software from the likes of Microsoft, Google, and Apple could have spying mechanisms built into the code base.
Ever wondered how social networks can impact your emotions? So did a Facebook data scientist and two other researchers who conducted a study that was recently published by The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Facebook's controversial study has drawn outrage from many of the site's members because it played with people's emotions without their knowledge or consent.
Data mining fears are costing lives, Google's Larry Page says
Google faces an uphill battle if mining healthcare data is on its agenda. There's already a perception out there that Google knows too much, and when you delve into the highly personal sector of healthcare, it's hard to imagine there being much public support. However, Google's Larry Page says that his company could save as many as 100,000 lives next year by mining healthcare data. If true, might that change your mind?
Over 12,000 Europeans invoke ‘right to be forgotten’ on the very first day
In a May 13 ruling, the European Court Of Justice ordered Google to respect what is popularly being called every individual’s “right to be forgotten”, asking it to remove, when requested to do so by its users, all such search results about them that are: “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed.” The search giant, in a bid to comply with the order, has erected a web page that Europeans can use to write in to claim their right to be forgotten.
Facebook recently announced the addition of a new feature called Nearby Friends to its Android and iOS apps. No prizes for guessing that the new feature, which is thankfully optional, lets Facebook users discover friends who are nearby.
Revises its email scanning policy again following ‘uncomfortable’ criticism
Microsoft came under severe criticism after it emerged last week that in 2012 the company had peeked inside the Hotmail account of an employee suspected of leaking Windows 8 trade secrets. Within 24 hours of the revelations, the company thought it behooved it to “provide additional context and describe how we are strengthening our policies.” But the "strengthened" policy did not go down too well with the critics either.
Yes, Microsoft is within its rights to peek in your Hotmail
A side story that got lost in yesterday's revelation that authorities arrested a former Microsoft employee for allegedly leaking Windows 8 trade secrets to a French blogger is how Microsoft was able to track down its suspect. Simply put, the blogger was using a Hotmail account, so Microsoft granted itself access to his inbox. Based on the emails it read, Microsoft had a culprit, but was this a breach of privacy?