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Amazon Removes Books from Kindle, Exposing the True Concern: They're Watching, They're in Control

Amazon has remotely removed copies of George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm from user’s Kindles while crediting their accounts, indicating that the books were improperly added to the Kindle store by a company that did not have the rights to them. More than just an eBook reader, the Kindle represents the latest cog in Amazon’s large-scale infrastructure of intellectual surveillance.

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Quick links: Cellphone privacy

A couple of stories popped up on my radar this morning related to cellphone privacy: The New York Times has a story on advertisers increasingly collecting behavioral and locational data from consumers’ cellphone activities: “Advertisers Get a Trove of Clues in Smartphones”. The Berkman Center for Internet & Society recently hosted a talk by Albert […]

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Sony Provides Complete Everquest 2 Server Logs to Researchers

One of my students pointed me to this post noting that Sony Online Entertainment has provided 4 years of server log data for their online game EverQuest 2 to researchers. From the Ars Technica story: With the cooperation of Sony, a collaborative group of academic researchers at a number of institutions have obtained the complete […]

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"Is My Cellphone Spying on Me?" Eagle Eye DVD Commentary

Following up, the DVD for the hit action/thriller movie “Eagle Eye” has been released. The second disc of the 2-disc special edition includes the commentary “Is My Cellphone Spying on Me?”, featuring reflections on technology and surveillance by the actors and producers of the film, Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Clearinghouse, and myself. […]

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"Should we be scared?": Privacy & technology (WUWM "Lake Effect")

I recently taped an interview with Milwaukee’s public radio affiliate, WUWM, and it aired today. The topic was privacy and technology, focusing mostly on how to balance the speed and ubiquity of new technology, the conveniences they provide, and the strains they place on personal and informational privacy. You can listen to it here. Interestingly, […]

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Commentary for the "Eagle Eye" DVD

UW-Milwaukee has issued a nice press release regarding my contribution to the DVD bonus material for the action/thriller movie “Eagle Eye,” which features sophisticated surveillance technologies as one of its plot devices. The closing paragraph pretty much sums up where we are on the project: At this point, with “Eagle Eye” flying high at the […]

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Feds Sought Identities of Book Buyers; Amazon Resists

Recalling the (in)famous DOJ v Google matter, where Google resisted attempts by government to obtain thousands of user search queries, we learn today that federal prosecutors had sought the identities of thousands of people who bought used books from Amazon, but the online bookseller resisted, with the court ruling in their favor. From the AP […]

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Is Apple Collecting Personally Identifiable iPhone Usage Data?

I recently bought an iPhone (my tech-porn for the year), and it has been a pleasurable experience (notwithstanding AT&T’s poor coverage in much of my apartment). But I’m troubled by a rumor that has emerged claiming that “Apple is keeping abnormal watch on the identity of iPhones making use of online services.” Apparently all cell […]

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Google & Dell Taking Your Spelling Mistakes to the Bank

It wasn’t so long ago that Google was complaining about Internet Explorer 7’s search box will ship with Microsoft’s MSN Search as the default search engine. I, like most commentators, quickly scolded Google for being hypocritical since they enjoy default search engine status on the millions of Firefox downloads, let alone their marketing deal with […]

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All Eyes On You: Cellphone cameras & cyber-shaming

The Montreal Gazette has a feature story on how the combination of cellphone cameras and the World Wide Web has resulting in the rise of “cyber-shaming” – a new kind of public shaming for wrongdoers, from litterbugs and bad drivers to negligent nannies: Hey you, the scofflaw parked illegally in the handicapped spot. Smile! You’re […]

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