Conversations about life & privacy in the digital age

Privacy: The Year and the Word

You can imagine how tickled we were yesterday when Dictionary.com named ‘Privacy’ the word of the year. They wrote, “The discussion of privacy – what it is and what it isn’t – embodies the preeminent concerns of 2013.”

Word of the year

Not to toot our own horn but at the beginning of this year, our executives, marketing team and PR firm sat around a table and got very clear on our message. As a result, we released this on January, 28th, calling 2013 The Year of Privacy.

Of course we couldn’t predict the Snowden disclosures about the NSA surveillance, the Google Glass release, all the changes in privacy policies that got users in a tizzy, or the Snapchat snafu, but what we have known for some time now is privacy is the best form of security.

Check out this cool info-graphic on The Year in Privacy.

Privacy in a digital world is not easy and it certainly poses some interesting challenges and contradictions. Look no further than the immediate criticism Dictionary.com received due to naming ‘Privacy’ the word of the year…

“Today, just visiting the homepage of Dictionary.com sets 90 cookies and replicating the method from the Wall Street Journal investigation (including reading the blogpost on ‘privacy’ being the word of the day) yields 198 cookies, according to The Washington Post’s research.” — Click here to read more.

As we look to 2014, it is our mission to continue protecting our users’ privacy, developing more ‘Zero-Knowledge’ cloud technologies, and pushing privacy further and further into the web.

Happy holidays and cheers to privacy!

Privacy Roundup #4 of 2013

It is now March 28th and the 4th Privacy Roundup is upon us. As the year marches forward so too are we seeing an exploding number of events involving the importance and necessity of privacy. From increased surveillance efforts to the financial crisis in Cyprus to the rise of Bitcoin and Litecoin as crypto-currency alternatives, privacy awareness is making headlines and raising eyebrows.

On a slightly different note but worth mentioning, we at SpiderOak are in the last phases of a major 5.0 release which will include exciting new features, bug fixes, and functionality updates. Additionally, we will be launching our mobile 2.0 effort which makes the ‘on-the-go’ experience much more powerful. Exciting times indeed…

As always, below find a cured selection of privacy and security related news from across the globe:

Google Takes the Dark Path, Censors AdBlock Plus on Android.

Smart Homes: Our Next Digital Privacy Nightmare.

Web advertisers attack Mozilla for protecting consumers’ privacy.

Cisco switches to weaker hashing scheme, passwords cracked wide open.

Viruses, Trojans, and worms, oh my: The basics on malware.

Privacy 101: Skype Leaks Your Location.

New Google Chrome Spell Checker Monitors Everything You Type, While FBI Secretly Watches.

One in six Amazon S3 storage buckets are ripe for data-plundering.

This week we are closing out with a meta-quote from the movie ‘Hackers’, where one of the main characters can be found quoting Ozzy Ozbourne’s famous: “Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most”. Sending our best wishes for a great April ahead.

Privacy Roundup #3 of 2013

The third privacy roundup of 2013 is upon us. And much has happened in the security and privacy space.

Here at SpiderOak we have certainly been busy between throwing an event around RSA 2013, working on exciting new features for the application and launching Crypton (our ‘zero-knowledge’ application framework) – allowing any developer to build ‘zero-knowledge’ privacy applications.

So with no further ado, please enjoy this additional selection of privacy and security related news below:

Apple iCloud censoring ‘Barely Legal Teen’ emails.(SFW)

Google accused of privacy violations yet again.

The Problem With Google Glass: People Wearing Them Can Record You Without You Knowing.

Ragtime: Code name of NSA’s Secret Domestic Intelligence Program Revealed in New Book.


INFOGRAPHIC: Managing Mobile Privacy.

Bypassing Googles two-factor authentication..

And for this weeks closing quote, a little William Blake’s America: A Prophecy: “Fiery the angels rose, and as they rose deep thunder roll’d. Around their shores: indignant burning with the fires of Orc.”

Privacy Roundup # 2 of 2013

We are back for the second privacy roundup of this new year 2013. And not surprisingly, there are still a flood of privacy issues being talked about and revealed.

At SpiderOak we continue the cause by working diligently to improve our overall service offering, build new and exciting features (including a new mobile application, a ‘SpiderOak Folder’ which will closely resemble a dropbox but private, and increased OS integration – all which will be launched this month) and planning an innovative new event around the RSA conference in San Francisco on February 25th. Actually – at the event we will be unveiling a new ‘zero-knowledge’ application framework that will push privacy further into the web.

More on all of these wonderful new topics to come. Back to the main focus of this post, please find a few stories that caught our eye and are around the topic so dear to our hearts – privacy. Enjoy and – as always – please feel free to send thoughts / ideas / reactions!

The Creepy Details of Facebook’s New Graph Search

Yes, U.S. authorities can spy on EU cloud data. Here’s how

Google Will Fight Government Over Access To Your Emails

Path fined $800,000 by FTC over iOS privacy breach

FTC calls on Apple, Google, Microsoft and BlackBerry to improve mobile privacy disclosures

Are You Guilty of Oversharenting? Why We Owe Our Kids Online Privacy.

In closing with a quote: “The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.” – Sarah Connor, Terminator 2

The first Privacy Roundup of 2013

Another year has passed and we are ushering in another year of technological breakthroughs, computer crashes, storage problems and of course security and privacy issues. Fortuitous then that we bring you the first privacy roundup of the new year, filled with informative and interesting news from around our globe.

As usual you will find a wealth of information on privacy and security below, and just like always we look forward to your feedback.

Facebook chose Bing over Google because of privacy concerns

At Disney Parks, a Bracelet Meant to Build Loyalty (and Sales)

Chips off the old block;
Tracking children has never been easier. Nice for parents, not for privacy

Yahoo! Mail makes HTTPS available.

Silent Circle Adds Android For Encrypted Voice And Video Calls.

After a year in the grave, can SOPA and Protect IP return?

As always, Live long and Prosper!