Our Privacy SERIOUSLY THREATENED

I think honestly we need to leverage the power of the web and our network as knowledge workers and ‘march on congress’…Maybe that is not it but something … PLEASE SILICON VALLEY SHOW YOUR POLITICAL MIGHT!!!

From CNET:

It didn’t take long for the idea of forcing Internet providers to retain records of their users’ activities to gain traction in the U.S. Congress.

Last week, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a Republican, gave a speech saying that data retention by Internet service providers is an “issue that must be addressed.” Child pornography investigations have been “hampered” because data may be routinely deleted, Gonzales warned.

Now, in a demonstration of bipartisan unity, a Democratic member of the Congressional Internet Caucus is preparing to introduce an amendment–perhaps during a U.S. House of Representatives floor vote next week–that would make such data deletion illegal.

Where is the Valley’s political power?

I have been wondering about this for a while. Where is the companies in the Valley’s political might? and where is the political organizing amongst the people who work in this industry? In Europe the geeks organized to get the European parliament to ban software patents. It seems like it should be easy enough to organize to save the internet. I am going to do my part and organize Planetwork’s activities around One Web Day.

This was articulated by Marc Evans on his blog:

The Net Neutrality campaign (a.k.a. Save the Internet) to keep the Internet tollgate-free and/or tier-free continues to gain momentum. What’s troubling, however, is Om Malik’s contention that many start-ups and Silicon Valley companies and fairly of the issue and why it matters. One of the Silicon Valley’s weaknesses is a lack of political savviness. Sure, many companies and executives donate money to politicians and political parties but there does not seem to be a well-organized and effective lobbying team that can be turned on in Washington when needed. Peter Chester suggests a reason for the lack of activity among the bigger players such as Yahoo, Google and Microsoft is they have relationship with carriers and cablecos that they don’t want to damage.

National Identity Cards in Australia

This showed up on Slashdot yesturday and is from the Sydney Morning Harold:

AUSTRALIANS will need a photo identity card within four years to receive Medicare and welfare payments but will not be forced to carry it at all times.

The new “smart card” will contain “enhanced security” and replace 17 existing cards for Medicare benefits, family tax, child-care and unemployment payments, pensions, Austudy and pharmaceutical and transport concessions….

The card will also be used to check identities for immigration and security purposes and to crack down on fraud. Its embedded computer chip will include a photograph, number, signature, date of birth and address.

Where is the Valley’s political power?

I have been wondering about this for a while. Where is the companies in the Valley’s political might? and where is the political organizing amongst the people who work in this industry? In Europe the geeks organized to get the European parliament to ban software patents. It seems like it should be easy enough to organize to save the internet. I am going to do my part and organize Planetwork’s activities around One Web Day.

This was articulated by Marc Evans on his blog:

The Net Neutrality campaign (a.k.a. Save the Internet) to keep the Internet tollgate-free and/or tier-free continues to gain momentum. What’s troubling, however, is Om Malik’s contention that many start-ups and Silicon Valley companies and fairly of the issue and why it matters. One of the Silicon Valley’s weaknesses is a lack of political savviness. Sure, many companies and executives donate money to politicians and political parties but there does not seem to be a well-organized and effective lobbying team that can be turned on in Washington when needed. Peter Chester suggests a reason for the lack of activity among the bigger players such as Yahoo, Google and Microsoft is they have relationship with carriers and cablecos that they don’t want to damage.

New Hampshire to stand up against REAL ID

GovExec.com’s Daily Briefing REports this:

New Hampshire lawmakers are considering a proposal to reject a federal mandate for national identification standards.

The state House last month passed a measure, H.B. 1582, to refuse participation in a program created under a 2005 law that requires state-issued IDs to meet national standards by 2008. The New Hampshire proposal has been forwarded to the Senate for further consideration. ….

In written testimony submitted to the committee, Jim Harper, the director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, said it would be a grave mistake for New Hampshire lawmakers to stick with the REAL ID program out of fear that they would lose $3 million in federal grant money to comply with the law.

Harper cited a report released last year by a Virginia task force that estimated full compliance with REAL ID in the Old Dominion State would cost as much as $63 million per year. He also noted an estimate from the National Conference of State Legislatures that it would cost $9 billion for states to implement REAL ID nationally.

It seems that this is a topic that we should talk about at IIW next week. I titled the session “The Current Political Climate.”

Cashless French Town

From Silicon.com

The tourist city of Caen in Normandy is hosting a major European trial of the use of NFC (near field communication) – a mobile technology that can be used for anything from paying for groceries to finding out about your home town.

By placing an NFC chip near a reader, up to a distance of a centimetre or two away, data can be transmitted to and from the chip. But the Caen project has a more far-reaching use of NFC in mind, with residents now packing NFC-enabled mobiles to see if using the technology could catch on beyond public transport.

In an experiment involving companies including Orange and Philips and the town’s mayor’s office, Caen’s citizens have been road testing the technology since late last year at a number of locations.

What I wonder about is who keeps all the data? How is privacy protected?

When Will they EVER LEARN

Reading articles like this makes me not want to trust Microsoft.

72 different colleges to use Windows Live for their email services. The problem with this is that Windows Live does not support any browsers besides IE 6, does not support POP or IMAP, and does not support email forwarding.” From the article: “The Redmond company believes that catching the students early on will turn them into life-long users of Windows Live. They would likely create a Windows Live Messenger account, start a blog and organize their favorites under this e-mail account — especially if they plan to continue using it, Microsoft says.”

WHY SHOULD WE TRUST THEM!!!!
They keep doing lockin things like this. From the original article..

But although there has been a rapid uptake of the service, the company says it still meets resistance and skepticism. In return, Microsoft has been assuring education institutions that its only motivation is to get students using Windows Live, promising there are no ulterior plans.

Google is doing similar things….

Google recently announced a similar program for its Gmail service, serving students of San Jose City College in California.

Phishing is a problem improved ‘experience’ needed

This article on Network world highlights how even those alert phishing are fooled. It speaks to the need that a better ceremonial experience to sign into sites and do mutual authentication that Kim Cameron has proposed become standard.

A new study by reseachers at Harvard and Berkeley showed that 90% of participants were fooled by a clever phish — and this was while the participants were actively on alert for phishes.

By simply changing the spelling of Bank of the West from www.bankofthewest to www.bankofthevvest, people were fooled into thinking they were on a real site. The researchers say Web site designers need to come up with a better way to help customers determine when a site is a phish.

Security and Password Myths

I found this article at the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security about Security Myths and Passwords. It articulates why forcing users to change there password every month is not an effective security measure.

This is DESPITE the fact that any reasonable analysis shows that a monthly password change has little or no end impact on improving security! It is a “best practice” based on experience 30 years ago with non-networked mainframes in a DoD environment — hardly a match for today’s systems, especially in academia!

Change your identity online a how to guide

Today I am working on the first day of IIW – how we tell the story of our community and current lay of the land in user-centric identity. I came accross this site… Change Your Identity – it is selling you a 165 page book on how to do it. New in this years edition is the “internet method”.

Jigsaw aggregating everyone…

I have had a challenge with my RSS reader. Making things slow as molasses. So I have not really be reading to much. I decided to do some surfing around and likely will abandon readers all together except for maybe 20 core blogs. The rest I will do by surfing and searching.

Today I found this by surfing through TechCruhch. Jigsaw I quoted it extensively because it was so startling and relevant for the identity community to consider.

Jigsaw is a marketplace for contact information, and it is very efficient. It boasts detailed personal contact information for 2.5 million people, and 7,000 new people are added every day. If you want the name, title, email address, direct phone line and/or address of any executive of any company, there is a very good chance Jigsaw will already have it in its database and will sell it to you. And if you are a sales guy and have no ethical concerns about where you get your contact information, you probably already know all about Jigsaw.

Unlike competitors like Hoovers and InfoUSA, which gather company information by semi-legitimate means such as scouring SEC filings, cold calling companies and asking for information, and reviewing other public documents, Jigsaw simply pays people to upload other people’s contact information. Users are paid $1 for every contact they upload, and some users have uploaded information on tens of thousands of people. See the demo (and note the other demos on that page as well). Jigsaw is also self correcting, and incentivizes people to also correct bad contact information.

That’s right, the next time you hand out a business card to someone or otherwise divulge your contact information, you may be handing it out to the entire world.

Here’s how it works: Sign up and start downloading contact information. This includes name, title, company, address, email and direct phone line. For example, a quick search brought up all of this personal.

But wait, it gets much worse.

Anyone can find out if Jigsaw has their contact information via a link on the home page, but amending or trying to delete that information simply puts a flag on the data with the changes noted – but the original information also remains.There appears to be no way to remove your own contact information from Jigsaw once someone has entered it into their database. There is no method that I was able to find on the website to do this (including in the privacy policy), and an email to the company asking about this went unanswered (its been three business days now).

Jigsaw has a carefully worded privacy policy to deal with the fact that they are the antithesis of privacy. They say “This privacy policy covers how, when and why we collect, use and share information about our users…This policy does not apply to our collection and use of data about companies and contacts contained in our database system.”

Is Jigsaw legal? Maybe in the U.S., although I’d love to see a class action case brought against them. Is it ethical? Absolutely not. Every Jigsaw employee and investor has dirty hands and they should be ashamed of themselves.

Like Plaxo, Jigsaw makes money while pushing costs to other people. In Plaxo’s case, its spam. In Jigsaw’s case, its making private contact information public. The problem here is that Jigsaw’s actions aren’t easily found out by people getting constant cold calls and emails – it’s very unlikely they’ll know that these people got this contact information at Jigsaw in the first place.

If they wanted to do this right, they’d set up a marketplace where individuals could choose to sell (or give away) their contact information. The owner of the data could set the price, and Jigsaw could take a cut. Would this model work? Perhaps not, but that just proves my point. The only reason Jigsaw does work is because they don’t have to bear the costs that they push to third parties – all of the people who are in their database.

Cool Human Internet tricks

They are relevant to identity because it is interesting how people use the net to form their identity and do interesting things to make a buck doing things that would be impossible without it.
There are a few interesting “Internet Tricks” that I have come across and I thought I would share. The earlier one is One Million Pixels – where a guy sold one web page’s pixels for a dollar each in minium blocks of 10×10. He made his money.

This one a guy started off with One Red Paper Clip and is trading it up for a house he started less then a year ago and is now trading for a years free rent in Pheonix.

dealing with Identity silos today.

I was talking to a colleague in the tech industry who shared with me a story of how they coped with the silos of identity.

They get e-mail sent to the corporation machine and forward it to their real machine outside the ‘silo’ to actually read it and respond. What are we doing to people these days? Silos create fragmentation that does not seem healthy or whole.

Talking at BayCHI on Unconference Design May 9

I am going to be talking at BayCHI on unconference design next month on May 9. It will be fun to share what I have learned from my years of conference attendance and recent foray into helping produce and facilitated unconferences like the Internet Identity Workshop and Mashup Camp.

I went to BayCHI on Tuesday to get a sense of the crowd. T hey had great questions for the Social Search companies there. Pandora, Live365, Netflix, Digg and Del.icio.us.

The funniest part of the evening was when the Digg guy was like ‘way back in the Web 1.5 days’ and the live365 guy goes ‘you mean in November’ – everyone cracked up.

It reminded me of a comment that was made in a conversation with Doc and Mary Referring to an event… in ‘internet time’ that was three years ago (but really it was a year in solar time).

Brand Identity Matters – Apple to Benifit from MS losses

The thing I love about identity as a perspective to look at the world is that it shows up so often. Apple could double Market share on MS Defections.

Consumers are so distrustful of Microsoft that Apple could double its market share due to defections from the Windows operating system, a report by market analysis firm Forrester Research says.

The remarks come in a report that looks at brand identity and the importance of a company’s brand. The report also studies the effect a company’s brand has on the pricing of its products and the demographics of those that purchase the products.

This article says what I have sensed for a while. This coming back to school and Holiday season could mean big increases in Apple’s market share. For one thing Vista has slipped to January, if you need to do something on Windows, Apples will soon boot that OS so you can do what ever you need to in legacy land.

In the end it is the personal computer – not the corporate machine. People need to be able to get along with and bond with their computers in a personal way. You can do that with a Mac.

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People Tracking for Advertising goes high Tech

This head line explains it all. they’re-in-the-phone dept. the WSJ is reporting that Integrated Media Measurement Inc. is creating a device that will sample peoples environment every 30 seconds for sounds to determine what ‘messages’ and ads they are being exposed to.
Just wait until it isn’t just that they are tracking.