Posts Tagged ‘Privacy’

Zynga Introduces PrivacyVille Game To Teach People About Privacy

Published by pratyushkp on July 8th, 2011 - in Social, Technology

Image via CrunchBase

Zynga‘s newest game won’t let you grow corn. But it will teach you about online privacy.

The game, called PrivacyVille, is intended to help users learn more about Zynga’s privacy practices and also gives people access to additional privacy resources.

“We created PrivacyVille by leveraging our creative and gaming talents to build a more accessible (and rewarding!) privacy education experience,” the company said in a blog post.

PrivacyVille is modeled after the game CityVille and gives users rewards for learning about privacy. Users don’t have to be registered or on Facebook to play the game, though if they are, they can collect zPoints to receive items in other Zynga games.

In PrivacyVille, players go on a tour of a small town where the buildings each represent parts of Zynga’s privacy policy. After the tour, users take a quiz to become a Certified PrivacyVille Tour Guide. Afterwards, they can take their zPoints to RewardVille and redeem them for virtual items.

The game opens up to the public today at

Zynga recently filed its S-1 form with the Securities and Exchange Commission in preparation of its initial public offering.

Check out PrivacyVille below:

Source :-

Google launches Google+ Facebook competitor, publishes new privacy policies

Published by pratyushkp on July 1st, 2011 - in Social, Technology

Image via CrunchBase

The mystery of the black menu bar at the top of your Google searches is solved. Apparently, it’s part of gearing up for Google’s latest assault on the social networking scene.

Facebook‘s latest competitor is alive, and it’s called Google+. (You say that name like you might read out a broken line of C code – Google plus.)

Although Google+ has officially launched – its web site says so – you can’t actually try it yet. More accurately, you may be able to. Or you may not.

In the groovy prose which typifies Google’s self-belief, it is “launching with what we call a field trial period, an invitation-only approach to help smooth out the rough edges as we start the project.”

To you and me, then, it’s still in closed beta.

Given the legal crisis Google plunged into with its Buzz product last time it took on Facebook, it’s reasonable to assume Google will be much more cautious on the privacy front this time round.

Nevertheless, if you’re interested in Google+, you should probably start getting ready now for its public launch by reading (or re-reading) Google’s policies on privacy. There are several.

There are Google’s terms. These are still dated 2007, so they still impose the same conditions, such as: only using Google’s user interface to get at Google stuff; permitting Google to update its software on your computer when it wants; agreeing to accept said updates; and allowing Google to watch what you do to send you targeted advertising.

Then there’s the Google Privacy Policy. But that’s just the start, because Google+ has its own brand-new T&Cs to peruse, too. There’s the Google+ Privacy Policy, the User Content and Conduct policy, and the Google +1 Button Privacy Policy.

And if you want to access Plus from a mobile device, there’s also the Mobile Privacy Policy.

You’d better read the Picasa Privacy Notice, too, in case you ever upload a photo. And that is supposed to happen automatically and instantly every time you snap a picture on your phone.

Actually, to save searching time, you can use the Google Privacy Center to dig into all 37 of of Google’s privacy policies, from +1 (like Like, it really means Recommend) through to YouTube.

The most intriguing items in the User Content section are the do as we say, not as we do clauses, such as “do not distribute content that facilitates online gambling, including online casinos, sports betting or lotteries,” and “do not drive traffic to commercial pornography sites.”

(Trying to find somewhere to bet online? Want to learn how to Start A Porn Business Now? Search on Google for “gambling” and “commercial porn sites” and you will quickly find out how to do just those things, with highlighted paid ads to make sure you don’t miss out.)

Remember the rules. Don’t be evil. Do as we say, not as we do. And definitely don’t compete for advertising clicks.

Anyway, happy privacy policy reading.

The good news is that you’ve still got time to give feedback on any of the Google+ terms and conditions which you find unpalatable. Google has listened before – for example, when its early T&Cs claimed intellectual property rights over everything you uploaded.

Google users rose a stink. Google paid attention, and swiftly relented.

Last year, 90% of you who took part in our poll said you wanted Facebook to become completely opt-in; if you’d like to see Google outdo Facebook by adopting an entirely opt-in model – where all features are off until you explicitly turn each and every one on – then this would be a good time to say so!

Source :-

  • Google+ steers clear of privacy missteps (
  • Hypocritical Facebook scores PR own-goal with sleazy attack on Google privacy (
  • Google- Facebook battle begins… (
  • Google+ Social Network: More Privacy, Tighter Social ‘Circles’ (
  • Google+ privacy flaw discovered, fix on the way (
  • Do You Need a Google+ Invite? (

Facebook changes privacy settings for millions of users – facial recognition is enabled

Published by pratyushkp on June 8th, 2011 - in Social, Technology

Image via CrunchBase

When Facebook revealed last year it was introducing facial recognition technology to help users tag their friends in photographs, they gave the functionality to North American users only.

Most of the rest of us found the option in our privacy settings was “not yet available”, which meant we could neither enable or disable it. We simply had to wait until Facebook decided to roll it out to our account.

Well, now might be a good time to check your Facebook privacy settings as many Facebook users are reporting that the site has enabled the option in the last few days without giving users any notice.

There are billions of photographs on Facebook’s servers. As your Facebook friends upload their albums, Facebook will try to determine if any of the pictures look like you. And if they find what they believe to be a match, they may well urge one of your Facebook friends to tag it with your name.

The tagging is still done by your friends, not by Facebook, but rather creepily Facebook is now pushing your friends to go ahead and tag you.

Remember, Facebook does not give you any right to pre-approve tags. Instead the onus is on you to untag yourself in any photo a friend has tagged you in. After the fact.

If this is something you’re uncomfortable with, disable “Suggest photos of me to friends” now.

Here’s how you do it.

* Go to your Facebook account’s privacy settings.

* Click on “Customise settings”.

* Under “Things others share” you should see an option titled “Suggest photos of me to friends. When photos look like me, suggest my name”.

* Unfortunately at this point you can’t tell whether Facebook has enabled the setting or not, you have to dig deeper..

* Click on “Edit settings”.

* If Facebook has enabled auto-suggestion of photo tags you will find the option says “Enabled”.

* Change it to “Disabled” if you don’t want Facebook to work that way.

* Press “OK”.

Earlier this year, Sophos wrote an open letter to Facebook. Amongst other things, we asked for “privacy by default” – meaning that there should be no more sharing of information without users’ express agreement (OPT-IN).

Unfortunately, once again, Facebook seems to be sharing personal information by default. Many people feel distinctly uncomfortable about a site like Facebook learning what they look like, and using that information without their permission.

Most Facebook users still don’t know how to set their privacy options safely, finding the whole system confusing. It’s even harder though to keep control when Facebook changes the settings without your knowledge.

The onus should not be on Facebook users having to “opt-out” of the facial recognition feature, but instead on users having to “opt-in”.

Yet again, it feels like Facebook is eroding the online privacy of its users by stealth.

You should also take some time to read our step-by-step advice on how best to configure your Facebook privacy settings.

Source :-

  • Facebook changes privacy settings for millions of users – facial recognition is enabled (
  • Facebook Unveils Facial Recognition To the World, Remains Opt-Out (
  • Facebook rolls out facial-recognition tool (
  • Facebook quietly switches on facial recognition tech by default (
  • Security Firm Issues Alert on Facebook Facial Recognition (
  • Facebook Party Gets Out Of Control After German Girl Forgets Privacy Setting (
  • Hypocritical Facebook scores PR own-goal with sleazy attack on Google privacy (

Facebook Expands Safety & Security Tools

Published by pratyushkp on April 21st, 2011 - in Social, Technology

Just a day after security firm Sophos sent Facebook an open letteraddressing privacy issues, Facebook has introduced a suite of new safety features.

While the social network did not satisfy the letter’s requests to make privacy the default, create a vetting process for app developers and turn on HTTPS automatically, it did come through on the promises it made in an announcement at President Obama’s White House Conference on Bullying Prevention last month. Here’s what’s new:

  • Two Factor Authentication: This is a new feature that will be turned off by default. If you turn it on, Facebook will ask you to enter a code anytime you log in from a new device.
  • Improved HTTPS: Facebook added HTTPS support in January, which makes it harder for someone on a public WiFi network to hijack your data. Now if you start using a non-HTTPS application while in HTTPS mode, Facebook will automatically switch you back to HTTPS mode when you’re finished.
  • Expanded Social Reporting Tool: Facebook’s new social reporting tool brings community members into the mix when dealing with bullying or other violations of Facebook’s terms of service. The features allows users to send a private message to the person who posted the offensive content or — if they want to report the content to Facebook — to include trusted authority figures as contacts in the report. Previously, the feature was only included for photos and wall posts. Now it is available on profiles, pages and groups as well.
  • Family Safety Center redesign: Facebook’s safety center got a makeover that highlights the site’s safety philosophy, community, and tools and resources like account settings. As in the previous versions, resources for Parents, Teachers, Teens and Law Enforcement are also highlighted. Facebook wrote on its official blog that it also plans to add a free, downloadable guide for teachers who want to use social media in the classroom. Considering that most schools block Facebook on their computers, we’re curious to see what the guide suggests.

Source :-

  • Facebook Expands Safety & Security Tools (
  • Facebook improves safety, security tools; experts not impressed (
  • Facebook – two-factor authentication (
  • Facebook Adds Two Factor Authentication for Login and Redesigns Family Safety Center (
  • Facebook Announces New Safety Features (
  • Facebook Strengthens Security, Safety Tools (
  • Facebook Launches New Safety and Security Tools (
  • Facebook Rolls Out New Safety and Security Features (
  • Facebook Rolls Out Two-Factor Authentication (
  • Facebook Safety and Security Tools and Resources Launched (
  • Facebook Adds (Optional) Two-Factor Authentication (
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