Dear Google: Make Security and Privacy the Default in the Cloud

Today, a six page letter was sent to Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, asking Google to honor the important privacy promises it has made to its customers and protect users’ communications from theft and snooping by enabling industry standard transport encryption…

Google Continues to be Challenged on Street View

Google's Street View product has been criticized by privacy advocates since its very inception, including various posts on this blog. Two years after its release, Google continues to face challenges over its collection and treatment of potentially personally-identifiable images of…

Code as Law: Air-L and Twitter @Replies

Speaking of Lessig, two interesting cases emerged this week that help illustrate Lessig's position that, when thinking about the architecture of cyberspace,  "code is law." In Code, Lessig argues that all of the rules, tendencies, affordances, and constraints of/in cyberspace…

Google Launches Behavioral Advertising System, With Impressive (But Not Quite Perfect) Privacy Controls

Today, Google announced its long-awaited behavioral targeted advertising program. Building from its acquisition of DoubleClick, Google's new ad system -- which it refers to as "interest-based advertising" -- will use cookies to track users across the multitude of sites that…

Privacy Trade-offs: Do People Not Care, or Simply Not Know?

We are frequently confronted with examples and rhetoric that people's stated privacy preferences don't match up with what they do in practice. For example, see Adam Thierer's recent post, where he provides thoughts from Nick Carr, Bruce Schneier, and Jim…

Values and Pragmatic Action: The Challenges of Introducing Ethical Intelligence in Technical Design Communities

I've written a lot here about the need for companies to engage in value-conscious design of their products and services. This, admittedly, is no simple task. Ever since spending a few weeks thinking about this topic a few years ago,…

“Should we be scared?”: Privacy & technology (WUWM “Lake Effect”)

I recently taped an interview with Milwaukee's public radio affiliate, WUWM, and it aired today. The topic was privacy and technology, focusing mostly on how to balance the speed and ubiquity of new technology, the conveniences they provide, and the…

De-brief: AoIR IR9.0 Conference in Copenhagen

Over the past few days I have been attending the 9th annual conference of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) in Copenhagen. This year's conference is "Internet Research 9.0 - Rethinking Community, Rethinking Place", and it has been expertly organized…

Values in Design: Defining a Privacy-Aware Model for Web Access to Archives

I'm spending the next few days at the 72nd Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists in San Francisco, and I'm looking forward to learning more about many of the ethical and policy issues confronted by archivists in an…

More Designing for Privacy: Microsoft HealthVault

Similar to my recent probes and interactions with the designers of the social networking site Moli, I recently enjoyed the opportunity to discuss privacy-related design issues with the product manager for Microsoft's HealthVault platform. HealthVault is Microsoft's attempt to provide…