Anyone who uses a social network, a website, app or a gadget that regularly collects some personal information about them is a product. Companies increasingly know more about you than your family and friends. The fear is what happens when the information you provide in one context is used in an entirely different context because it is sold. Internet spying and surveillance according to a 2012 Wall Street Journal report is one of the fastest growing businesses, estimated to be worth $156 billion a year. Mostly private companies capture data from countless channels.
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Are you worried about what federal political parties are doing with their ever-growing stashes of your personal information? Because you should be. Federal political parties' databases and all the personal information they contain are still not subject to any law (except for some information related to the voters register).
The San Francisco based startup Secret (that was founded by two former Google and Square employees) is getting tons of attention, followers and fans. In short, you can write anything that's on your mind, add photos or colors to the background and customize this content while being able to share it, free of judgment, and without attaching any of your personal information or profile to it.
As more and more of our personal information circulates online, is stored in the cloud, or is moved about on USBs and other portable devices, it's essential that we make sure those data flows are secure. While governments have been quick to respond to this increased ability to conduct surveillance, they have not been so enthusiastic about creating and enforcing protections for innocent citizens.
As a marketing professional, there is nothing I hate more than receiving any form of communication (email, Web experience, social media, mobile, whatever) and not see an obvious place where I can either opt out of the communication or protect how much information is being captured. As a consumer, I probably hate it more.
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As discussions between Canadian and American officials on perimeter security deal have intensified, it's very important that any perimeter security deal ensure that the collection, use and disclosure of Canadians' personal information continue to fall under Canadian standards of protection.
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