The battle for online privacy continues to heat up as big tech companies and the government struggle to define the degree to which we can keep our personal and transactional information to ourselves. In this episode of The Digital Life, we discuss the latest news from Twitter and Facebook effecting privacy and the user experience, and talk about the latest data breaches from some of the biggest names in finance and telecom.
Here are a few quotes from this week's discussion.
Jon on privacy and government surveillance:
From my perspective — and I’m somewhat pragmatic about these things — I think there are ways to balance things out, aiming, of course, for these ideal states that we love, but then also acknowledging that perfect freedom also has some pretty severe prices to pay for that. The question remains — Do we need that particular freedom, or is it better that our information is given up to the government to prevent things like terrorist attacks and things like that? The Twitter story and the idea of the surveillance state pressing its thumb down on some of the larger tech companies, that is an ongoing story and this just happens to be another step in that ...
Dirk on highly-targeted advertising on Facebook's ad platform:
I really hope that they are anonymizing the information similar to how a bank would protect our login credentials. I don’t know the latest technology at this point, but when I was certainly more knowledgeable about banking websites and security, you’d have multiple different pieces that would be cobbled together to allow you to login, each of those would be stored separately with different identifiers and it would be highly, highly non-trivial for someone to reverse engineer that and put all of the pieces together, that, “Hey, in bucket A, B, C, and D, this is the stuff that belongs to Dirk Knemeyer. Boom! I’m going to pull it all together.”