English court confirms existence of privacy tort

Here is an interesting development in privacy law. The High Court of England and Wales has confirmed the existence of a new Tort, the tort of misuse of private information. In the case of Vidal-Hall & Ors v Google Inc [2014] EWHC 13 (QB), a group of users have sued Google alleging that the search [...]

Privacy is dead, the NSA leaks just alerted us to the fact

Since September 11, 2001, whenever I was visiting or passing through the United States, I have been subjected to more “random” security checks than could ever be expected by chance alone. Similarly, I have come to expect to be stopped by the Immigration officers about 50% of the time. The TSA are also keen [...]

Building privacy filters against constant surveillance

Do you remember the time when important events were described by journalists, re-enacted by actors, or retold by witnesses? Lucky snapshots were rare, and viral videos and citizen journalism were alien concepts. Now we are increasingly presented with pictures that give us every angle of an explosion, CCTV cameras catching a meteorite, the incredible [...]

Privacy is dead

Privacy is dead. There is no such thing as privacy. We are all under constant, unending, crushing surveillance.

Depressed? You should be. This is the powerful conclusion reached by security guru Bruce Schneier in this brilliant op-ed for CNN. Schneier writes:

“The Internet is a surveillance state. Whether we admit it to ourselves or [...]

Do trolls have privacy rights?

On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a troll…

The Internet is going through one of its cyclical soul-searching periods, prompted by a spat between popular websites Reddit and Gawker. A journalist for Gawker published an article in which the identity of a notorious troll on Reddit was doxxed, that is, his real identity was [...]

Facebook privacy statement hoax

I have been seeing different versions of the following legal-looking privacy statement on Facebook popping up through my timeline:

“Facebook is now a publicly traded entity. Unless you state otherwise, anyone can infringe on your right to privacy once you post to this site. It is recommended that you and other members post a similar [...]

Should we have any expectations of privacy in the Internet age?

I’ve been following with great interest (and a bit of amusement) the media saga taking place in the UK at the moment involving the naming of a footballer who allegedly had an extra-marital affair with a model. Perhaps some background is warranted to introduce this discussion. Imogen Thomas, a British reality TV personality, entered [...]

Negotiable privacy, or why I’m coming back to Facebook

Back in May 2009, I publicly quit Facebook in one of the most read and linked articles that I have written in this blog (apparently it still comes up quite high when people search for that topic). There is no need to go into a lot of detail into the reasons why I took [...]

Moglen on privacy and the cloud

This is a tour de force speech by Eben Moglen. He talks about privacy in the age of the cloud, and how we need to create new services and architectures that free data from the likes of Facebook and Google. The speech has perhaps the best assessment of Facebook I have read recently:

“The human [...]

There ain’t such thing as privacy

1984 is so last century.

A world without privacy has often been depicted as part of a dystopian nightmare in various works of speculative fiction. Yet when we are suddenly thrust upon a world where the very notion of privacy seems to be melting before our very eyes, the public’s response is not one [...]