Even though DC faces a budget crisis and there are radical inequities in our public education system, the city is looking to expand its surveillance program. As I have mentioned before, there are strong evidence that CCTV surveillance doesn’t lower the crime rate and doesn’t add to the public good. Hopefully, the city council will put a stop to this but I doubt it will.
The last part of my series on apps and privacy has gone up over at Gartner.
I had let Privacy Mirror languish for a bit, and having found a free few hours, I decided to update Privacy Mirror to take advantage of Facebook’s Graph API. (For those of you not familiar with my Privacy Mirror experiment, it is a very basic app that explores what personal data apps can see via your friends.) Since I last updated Privacy Mirror, Facebook rolled out two major features. The first was the previously mentioned Graph API, which is a RESTful API that results Facebook data as JSON.
The second, and frankly the more interesting, was extended permissions. The newish extended permissions govern how apps can access data and how users are informed of this use. It is these extended permissions at the bottom of the recent kerfuffle over Facebook allowing app developers access to phone numbers and addresses. (Ars Technica did a good job over covering this, and here is Facebook’s current response.)
Extended permissions work like this. First, an app developer encodes a request for access to various pieces of your profile data, as well as pieces of your friends’ profile data. Second, when you add the app to your profile, the app asks you for your permission. The following is a picture of what it looks like when Privacy Mirror asks for access to your and your friends’ information.
I’ve posted the second part of my ‘I “like” you, but I hate your apps’ series over on my Gartner blog.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how the apps on our smartphones and Facebook profiles introduce strangers into our interactions. I’ve broken my thoughts up into a three-part post over on my Gartner blog. Check out part 1 and give me your thoughts on it.