“It’s very clear that when a company like facebook becomes the host of the digital public sphere, you have put a lot of power in the hands of a central actor.” – Ethan Zuckerman
Microsoft has reversed its position on the contentious Do Not Track (DNT) browser feature, saying Internet Explorer will no longer send DNT signals to websites by default.
“Put simply, we are updating our approach to DNT to eliminate any misunderstanding about whether our chosen implementation will comply with the W3C standard,” Microsoft chief privacy officer Brendon Lynch said in a Friday blog post.
As you surf the Web, information is being collected about you. Web tracking is not 100% evil — personal data can make your browsing more efficient; cookies can help your favorite websites stay in business. But, says Gary Kovacs, it’s your right to know what data is being collected about you. He unveils a Firefox add-on, Collusion, to do just that. (Update: Collusion is now called Lightbeam.)
Ashkan Soltani, a well-respected expert on consumer privacy, recently commented that perhaps online do not track efforts should be replaced by the goal of do not surprise. Transparency is critical, but new tracking methods are rarely disclosed in privacy notices and consumers have limited ability to control or prevent their use.
Emily Carr University of Art + Design teamed up with the Mozilla Foundation to improve the visualization design of Lightbeam, an experimental add – on for Firefox that allows you to see the third parties that have connected themselves to your online activity. Goals for the project included making it easy for people to make sense of their own browsing data, to expose relationships between websites and third parties – which normally remain hidden – and ultimately to give people the tools to make their own decisions about their online privacy.