Posted in data collecting, data sharing, digital life, online tracking, parents and technology

Do You Really Understand How Much You Are Tracked in Your Web Activities?

When we use Chrome, Google’s tracking cookies follow us everywhere, and the video below perfectly illustrates how these trackers operate in our digital lives. It was produced by Washington Post technology columnists, Geoffrey A. Fowler and James Pace-Cornsilk.

Enjoy watching, but also ask yourself how much of your personal data and your daily activities you want to share with these trackers? Moreover, how much of your children’s data do you want these cookies to collect? In a connected world, digital life is complicated as is personal privacy.

This video appears in a Post article, Google’s Data Collection Drives Some Consumers Away, by Greg Bensinger.

FYI, I have stopped using Chrome completely (I use Duck Duck Go as a browser), and I am migrating to an email that I pay a small fee for each month.  To learn more about what I use you may want to read two past MediaTech Parenting posts.

Posted in digital downloading, digital parenting, online security, online tracking, parents and technology, privacy

Getting Serious About Online Privacy

Your family’s privacy is significantly diminished by online activities, and a new government report is critical of the situation.

Yesterday’s New York Times (December 1, 2010) featured an article, F.T.C. Backs Plan to Honor Privacy of Online Users, reporting on recommendations from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about collecting online information without permission. The article, written by reporters Edward Wyatt and Tanzina Vega, describes the FTC report Protecting Privacy in a Time of Rapid Change (122 pages of interesting reading) in some detail, but the gist of the recommendations, according to the Times writers, is “that companies adopt simpler, more transparent, and streamlined ways of presenting consumers with their options…” Take time to read the entire piece.

A few interesting points from FTC the report include: Continue reading “Getting Serious About Online Privacy”

Posted in answers to media questions, digital citizenship, digital photography, media literacy, parents and technology, privacy

Common Sense Media – Protecting Kids’ Privacy

Click to Visit Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media (CSM) is an advocacy group that I’ve noted a number of times on this blog. The group promotes media education rather than censorship and hands-on parent connections with their children’s media lives. President Obama mentioned CSM in his presidential campaign, lauding the organization’s “sanity not censorship” mission.

Currently Common Sense Media is focusing on privacy and kids with its Protect Our Privacy – Protect Our Kids campaign. The six goals of this effort, to which I’ve added a bit of additional explanation, include: Continue reading “Common Sense Media – Protecting Kids’ Privacy”

Posted in digital parenting, online security, parents and technology, privacy

Protecting Privacy Online

On the web just about everything we do is recorded or tracked in some way. The digital footprints of our online lives are collected for all sorts of reasons, advertising primary among them, and while some companies collect data on individuals, others collect data and then combine information to identify trends. Either way, personal online privacy is eroded. Guiding children toward an understanding that nothing they do on the web is private is one of the greatest responsibilities of digital era parenting

A few of the cookies on a computer.

The Wall Street Journal is publishing a series on privacy, describing how the digital documentation of our online lives is affecting our private lives and explaining the steps individuals and families can take to protect their privacy. A graphic in the series provides readers with step-by-step instructions to make Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer protect privacy.

Another part of the Journal series, a July 30, 2010 article, Sites Feed Personal Details to New Tracking Industry, provides additional information about tracking, detailing the steps that occur when a group collects a user’s information and then sells that information to companies and advertisers.

Continue reading “Protecting Privacy Online”