Data protection – only keep what you can justify or get fined

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 07:28 Written by Ed Beckmann Thursday, 26 January 2012 02:28

Facebook Data Hoarding Exposed

Facebook’s international headquarters in Dublin faced a 100,000 Euro fine following an audit by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner announced last month for keeping users’ deleted data in breach of Irish data protection laws.

The audit was triggered by an Austrian law student named Max Schrems, who requested a copy of all his personal data from Facebook while writing a paper on privacy laws. What he received was a CD containing 1,200 pages of information on everything from his ignored friend requests to deleted messages. After seeing the extent of information held about him, Schrems and 21 other students filed complaints against Facebook with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, alleging the company is creating “shadow profiles” of its members, and even non-Facebook users, without their consent or knowledge.

According to the complaints, Facebook is illegally holding on to information about members and non-members, including phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Facebook’s international headquarters in Dublin supports all Facebook users in the UK and Europe, as well as in the Middle East and Africa.

Know your responsibilities by reading about the Data Protection Act, 1998 (Public General Acts – Elizabeth II)

From an article in ZEN Internet newsletter.

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Your facebook activity might be insecure

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 07:28 Written by Ed Beckmann Thursday, 17 November 2011 10:55

I have just seen a true posting on facebook about a change in their security settings that make your activity less safe.

What’s the problem?

When you want privacy around the stuff you type onto a web page, you should always be looking at a page that starts with https://   the_website_name. Ordinary pages start with just http://. Some browsers also show a little padlock at the foot of the page as well.

Facebook lets you log on via a secure page, but then takes you to insecure ones unless you specifically opt in.

How do I check?

Simply log onto facebook and go to your home page, or anyone else’s. Look in the address bar at the top of the page to see if you have http or https.

What can I do about it?

  1. Log on and click on the drop-down arrow to the right of ‘home’ in the top right of the screen
  2. select ‘account settings’
  3. on the left side of the new page there is a list starting general > security > notifications > …
  4. click on security
  5. the first option is ‘Secure Browsing’, followed by a sentence saying ‘Secure browsing is currently disabled’. Click on ‘edit’ to the right of this and tick the box to use a secure server
  6. Save changes and notice that the http has changed to https
  7. relax

Thanks for reading – please send a link to this blog to anyone you feel will appreciate it.

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