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 Ce sfat le dă românilor unul din cei mai puternici câini de pază ai drepturilor civile pe internet, ONG-ul Electronic Frontier Foundation?

Rainey Reitman, Director of Activism, Electronic Frontier Foundation

”I DO”, replică ce marchează începutul unei relații consensuale între doi parteneri cu implicare egală lasă loc de autoguvernare. Un pas strâmb va putea fi de regulă îndreptat prin presiunea exercitată de cealaltă jumătate a relației. Un ”I ACCEPT” dat pe internet pe un contract cu mulți termeni și condiții te conduce într-o relație inegală de forțe. Ai libertatea de a accepta reguli care de multe ori se schimbă în timp sau libertatea de a părăsi relația pe care alte milioane de oameni o acceptă.

 

Între aceste două alegeri, ONG-urile care activează în zona drepturilor utilizatorilor pe internet încearcă să mai strecoare amendamente. Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) este una din cele mai vechi și mai influente organizații de acest fel iar săptămâna trecută a fost pentru prima oară când un reprezentant al ONG-ului american a venit în România, la Cluj, în cadrul conferinței Consent.

 

Rainey Reitman, Director of Activism al EFF a vorbit despre cum poți să-ți consumi relația cu internetul departe de ochii Facebook, ”un caz cu totul special”.

 

Pentru că Aula Magna a Universității Babeș Balyai nu e cel mai potrivit loc pentru înregistrări audio de calitate, am pus transcrierea discursului EFF după video.

Another company that has a history of opting people into, (by) updating privacy policy, is Facebook and they are a unique entity as you all know, in part because they have embedded code on so many millions of websites that have embedded little bits of Facebook code so that when you are logged into Facebook it is very easy for them to see what sites are you visiting because they are able to collect the data from which site you’re visiting that have the code embedded. They can actually collect this data regardless of if you interact with the like buttons on the site in question.

 

”a company so capable of collecting so much data”

This for me is a deeply unnerving state, to have a company so capable of collecting so much data and I think the vast majority of consumers don’t have the technical know-how to be able to prevent it. But they do have the know-how to signal clearly to Facebook that they ended their relationship with them. There’s a log out button on Facebook. It’s not available right on the page but if you scroll over something and then a drop-down menu, you can log out.

 

I believe that logging out is a mechanism, a simple mechanism that users can use to signify to Facebook my relationship with Facebook.com has ended and I’m going to make my business on the internet, not as a Facebook user but as a regular internet user. And Facebook has, in general, believed that this was also a signal from the user and has committed to deleting session cookies and ending its practice of tracking your websites visits. However, in 2011, Nick Bilogorskiy, a security researcher, found out that Facebook its inadequately deleting its session cookies, making it a simple matter to them to continue to associate online browsing practices with Facebook accounts.

 

”the pressure from your european authorities”

I think that raises a concern in part because seeing that session cookie get deleted it is a signal that the usages, that even savvy users are able to easily assess for whether not it’s gone away. When they log out. So they provide a data to them about whether or not to continue to be tracked around the web. I consider this a consent issue in the sense of Facebook failing to respect a user’s signal. They’re getting a clear signal from the user: I’m logging out and then failing to react to it properly. Now I do think that there are possibilities that Facebook is in a time of change right now but perhaps I’m just optimistic. We’ve seen them update some privacy controls, I’ve noticed that they at least recently hadn’t had a similar cookie debacle as they had several times last year. And I suspect, I speculate that there are a couple of reasons for this. One of them is the pressure from your european authorities. Facebook has been working extensively with the irish data protection authorities and I state that this is the reason why they updated their privacy policy most recently. I think it is really powerful effect that regulatoring companies in Europe can have in influencing the business practices of companies in the United States which in turn process the data for people all over the world. And then I also suspect that there is this element of market incentive that there’s the first time they have a serious competitor in the social networking space – Google Plus -, which could become a hub for people who are disinterested with Facebook and wanting to do this mass exiting from the site. And perhaps this creates a market incentive for them to do a little bit better.

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