Thursday, December 4, 2008

Privacy Can Be Hard

I originally had planned to write something different today, but I'm going to save that topic for a possible future blog post and, instead, point you to somebody else's blog. Scott Ruthfield, a friend of mine who I worked with at Microsoft (and who's also a member of my Microsoft Puzzle Hunt team) just wrote an excellent blog post about privacy issues with a new Amazon feature.

Amazon’s iPhone mobile app and privacy

"And the idea of Amazon Remembers - a place for you to take photos and have them stored online - that’s neat, though obviously overlapping with dozens of other photo storage services. It also offers product identification - take a picture of something and have people tell you what it is.

Remembers, though, breaks the social contract: it makes pictures that reasonable users might assume will be private, and makes them public."

Read entire post
Meanwhile, today's New York Times has an article about How YouTube Broadcasts Your Tastes in Videos. All this just goes to show that privacy can be hard, even for big companies.

At the moment, Groupthink Projects handles privacy in a very simple way -- your data is shared only with those people that you choose share it with. That makes it easy for now, but it seems that constant vigilance is a good idea.

In terms of progress, because I had three meetings today, plus the MITEF presentation tonight, I didn't get the last permissions & security task finished. It might take more than a day anyway. But, I picked the easiest client item and did that, so at least I'd be making forward progress.


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