Facebook gathers data for data mining operations used by data brokers

When it comes to mass spying, the best game in town is not CIA or any of the alphabet soup agencies. Private companies and data brokers have been doing data collection on a massive scale, and given their advanced statistical methods, this information can say a lot about a person. In fact, I’d say that what they have is better than what the alphabet soup has, and their data has a lot of implications.

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This started when companies like Amazon realized that they can make a profit every step of the way: sell items to customers, sell customers’ data to data brokers. Data brokering has since become much bigger, and so the data collection methods have also become much more extensive. There are many ways to gather mass data, and these are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head: first, many websites straight up sell their data to brokers. This includes many online vendors, all kinds of popular sites (not all of them, but some of them), adult entertainment sites, you name it. If those sites do not sell data, dishonest brokers can and do embed tracking ads on sites that accept them, revealing a user’s entire browsing history. Then of course there are companies like Google, that sell user search histories.

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Protecting your data: survey indicates that with 4 exceptions major companies fail miserably

With so much recent concern about how the NSA and GCHQ (and, likely, others) basically look at unencrypted traffic as an easy way to hack into your data, it’s becoming increasingly important for the big companies which manage tremendous amounts of the public’s personal data to encrypt as much as possible. The folks over at … Read moreProtecting your data: survey indicates that with 4 exceptions major companies fail miserably

CISPA: Who’s For It And Who’s Against It And Much More…

CISPA v3 is back!

We had believed, along with a number of others, that the Snowden leaks showing how the NSA was spying on pretty much everyone would likely kill CISPA dead. After all, the key component to CISPA was basically a method for encouraging companies to have total immunity from sharing information with the NSA. And while CISPA supporters pretended this was to help protect those companies and others from online attacks, the Snowden leaks have reinforced the idea (that many of us had been pointing out from the beginning) that it was really about making it easier for the NSA to rope in companies to help them spy on people.
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Also, if you don’t remember, while CISPA had passed the House, the Senate had shown little appetite for it. Last year, the Senate had approved a very different cybersecurity bill, and had expressed very little interest in taking up that fight again this year. Except now, in an unexpected move, Senate Intelligence Committee boss, and chief NSA defender because of reasons that are top secret, has now announced that she’s been writing a Senate counterpart to CISPA and is prepared to “move it forward.”

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