More Data Use Icons on The Way

More Data Use Icons on The Way

Yesterday, Firefox revealed that one of the new features that will appear in Firefox 4 will be an icon that displays when the browser passes a browser’s physical location to a Web site.

Firefox already has a feature that allows sites to ask users for permission to share location, which it derives by scanning local wireless access points. (A number of companies, such as Skyhook, drive the streets, logging the locations of access points they detect. Press coverage of Google’s logging of this data while driving and mapping streets kicked off privacy concerns recently in Germany). Your computer or cellphone can use this technique to supplement or in place of GPS capability. Firefox 4 will now display an icon in the browser address bar, to indicate to users that a website is accessing their geolocation data

fpf-pic

Note that this is unrelated to the ability of Web sites to estimate a users location based on the IP address transmitted in browser requests.

We like this feature, as it is a good transparency and control measure. We have promoted the use of the behavioral symbol we developed, and have applauded the use of location symbols by the ATT-Apple iPhone and by Verizon. Too many competing icons? Maybe, but the path to standardization takes some time. Right now, getting privacy information out of privacy policies and treating the data use as a feature that users can understand is major progress. Companies competing to communicate well to users about data leads to real progress on transparency and control!

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Privacy Calendar

Apr
22
Tue
10:00 am Privacy Principles in the Era of Massive Data @ Georgetown Law Center
Privacy Principles in the Era of… @ Georgetown Law Center
Apr 22 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
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Apr
24
Thu
all-day 6th Biannual International Surveillance & Society Conference
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Apr 24 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
The Congressional E-Learning Caucus in cooperation with Into and the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training presents a luncheon to discuss “Data Privacy [...]
Apr
29
Tue
all-day IAPP Europe Data Protection Intensive 2014
IAPP Europe Data Protection Inte…
Apr 29 – May 1 all-day
The IAPP Europe Data Protection Intensive features timely programming centred on the top issues impacting the European data protection community, with a focus on addressing [...]
Apr
30
Wed
5:30 pm InSecurity: Race, Surveillance and Privacy in the Digital Age @ New America Foundation
InSecurity: Race, Surveillance a… @ New America Foundation
Apr 30 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Now more than ever, digital tools sit at a precarious tipping point, and many question whether they will be used to address pre-existing disparities, [...]
May
7
Wed
all-day IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium 2014
IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium 2014
May 7 – May 9 all-day
The IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium is the leading conference for education, debate and discussion of issues that matter most to Canadian privacy and data protection [...]
Jun
5
Thu
all-day Privacy Law Scholars Conference (7th Annual) @ The George Washington School of Law
Privacy Law Scholars Conference … @ The George Washington School of Law
Jun 5 – Jun 6 all-day
  UC Berkeley School of Law and The George Washington University Law School will be holding the seventh annual Privacy Law Scholars Conference (PLSC) on [...]
Jun
8
Sun
all-day Computers, Freedom, and Privacy 2014 Conference @ Airlie Center
Computers, Freedom, and Privacy … @ Airlie Center
Jun 8 – Jun 10 all-day
Mark your calendars! The 2014 Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference will be held June 8-10 at the Airlie Center in Warrenton, Virginia. The Airlie Center [...]

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