On Facebook, you are what you ‘like,’ study finds – great for marketing, bad for privacy | Google Street View – a closer look – Raising issues of Privacy | Academics line up to defend EU data protection law | Obama Aide Demands China Stop Hacking
What you endorse on the popular social media website may say a whole lot more about you than you intended, researchers from the University of Cambridge have found. Even traits that users of social networks may not want to broadcast — including smoking behavior, drug use or sexuality — can be sussed out pretty accurately by their patterns of likes, the researchers found after combing through data from 58,466 Facebook members in the U.S. More than a quarter of regular Facebook users click the like button for content they find there. The study’s conclusions may send marketers deeper into the data mine and prompt some of Facebook’s billion monthly users to adjust their privacy settings.
It is nearly four years since Google’s Street View arrived in the UK, and now it is getting a major revamp. The Street View cars have been roaming Britain, refreshing the coverage in the big cities and bringing new images to remote places, such as the Isle of Lewis. The latest version has added another 15% of the UK’s roads, bringing the total covered to 65%. And by using backpacks with lightweight recording equipment the company has brought the service to new places, from the interiors of buildings like the BBC Radio 1 studios to the towpaths of canals. But what do we now think about this close-up view of our streets, a project which has been marked by controversies over privacy?
Leading academics across Europe are signing an online petition to support the European Commission’s draft data protection regulation in protest at industry lobbying to weaken it. “They decided they had to do something against EU lobbying on the draft regulation,” said Anne Grauenhorst, who helps manage the site for the Centre for Advanced Security Research Darmstadt (Cased), on Monday (11 March). The Data Protection in Europe’ site was launched in February by four German academics and an Austrian colleague. To date, over 80 professors from computer science, law, economics and business administration disciplines have joined.
Finally, The White House on Monday accused China of hacking U.S. companies on an “unprecedented scale” and demanded that the attacks stop, in the administration’s most pointed public criticism yet. National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon called on the Chinese government to recognize the urgency of this issue, investigate and stop the alleged hacking, and be part of a process to create international rules of the road for appropriate activities in cyberspace. “Increasingly, U.S. businesses are speaking out about their serious concerns about sophisticated, targeted theft of confidential business information and proprietary technologies through cyber intrusions emanating from China on an unprecedented scale,” Mr. Donilon told the Asia Society in New York. “The international community cannot afford to tolerate such activity from any country,” he said.