Consumer Protection | Business Protection

Facebook Privacy Policy Change

December 10th, 2013

Jackie here. Facebook has recently changed their data use policies yet again. To keep you updated about what you share on the site we’ve created a helpful post outlining a few of the changes. To read the full announcement from Facebook, go here.

Facebook explicitly states in their blog post that nothing has changed regarding their advertising policies or practices. The update is merely to revise wording and make things more clear. Although things might still be the same in practice, wording updates can provide valuable insight into how your information is used, or how it may be used in the future, and are important to check out.

Changes in Advertising Permissions

By looking at the redline version of the new data use policy you can quickly see what changes were made. Most of the revisions in the early parts of the document are small, little clarifying changes to wording. However, when you get to the Advertising section, big changes are obvious. This section was the primary focus of this revision. Since advertising typically involves sharing your information with others for marketing purposes, this section is an important one when it comes to your privacy.

Facebook reaffirms that they don’t share personally identifiable information (information that specifically points to you- name, email, etc.) with advertisers unless you’ve given permission. They may, however, use all the information you’ve shared to personalize your experience and the advertising you receive. They may also pair your content on the site with advertising. For example, if you like a particular restaurant or check-in there frequently, they may share this information with friends in advertising. Facebook specifically states that they only share your information with those already able to see it (making privacy settings critical); Facebook basically highlights what you’ve already shared to advertise to others.

While these practices were already in place and outlined in previous versions of the data use policy, the section regarding advertising was completely revised. The changes in wording may give you an idea of how your information was already being used and how it may be used in the future.

Removal of Teen Language

This recent data use policy brought a bit of media controversy when it was still in the proposal stage. We posted an article here on the blog about it in October. The controversy arose concerning changes in language regarding teens and parents. The proposed policy stated that parents agreed to their teens’ Facebook activity being used for advertising. Due to the uproar, Facebook removed this statement from the new data use policy, but states that they are already granted this right when users sign up. If you were concerned about the proposed policy, bear in mind that although the language has been removed, those rights are still implied when you or your child signs up to use Facebook.

Take a few minutes and read Facebook’s new data use policy; keeping up to date on the latest changes to privacy policies can help you protect your privacy on social media and across the web.

Tags: , ,

Would You Trade Your Identity for a Beer?

May 23rd, 2012

Jacqueline here, with AllClear ID. If someone were to ask you to trade your identity for a beer, or something else of a similar value, you would definitely say no. However, identity thieves aren’t that straightforward. Companies are occasionally created to serve as a front for stealing identities. You may think you are purchasing a product or service, but in reality you are providing thieves with everything they need to take your identity.

Take for example this recent news story involving fake IDs and teenagers.  Police arrested 15 people, including 14 teenagers, on various charges related to purchasing fake IDs from an international counterfeiting ring. According to The Saratogian the teens paid $75 by money order and also provided sensitive information like their Social Security number and birth date to a company based in China. The IDs were seemingly authentic and even had embedded security features like magnetic strips and black light holograms.

However, despite the criminal charges the teens are facing, the biggest problem they have on their hands is the lifetime of id theft risk ahead.

This story does provide us with a valuable ID lesson: be careful where you share your information. These teens thought they were just buying IDs, but in reality they were trading their identity for a couple of beers. Once you provide your information to companies, they then have complete control over what they do with it. Companies providing illegal products or services may not have the best intentions for their use of your personal information.

You can read more about this story on MSN Money or at The Saratogian website.


Tags: , ,

ID Theft and Your Teen

May 15th, 2012

Jackie here, with AllClear ID. ID theft can affect anyone: children, adults and even teenagers. Many parents find it difficult to teach their teenage children about ID theft. Teenagers are learning to navigate the world on their own, and often do not have a problem sharing huge amounts of personal information with others in the online world. Teaching your teen about ID theft and ID protection is critical.

Here are 5 Essential ID Theft Lessons Your Teen Needs to Understand:

  • What to Share and What Not to Share Online- Today’s teens have grown up in an online world and often see nothing wrong with sharing personal information with others. Teach your teen what they can safely share and what information could potentially compromise their identity (Social Security number, bank information, etc.).
  • How to Safeguard Important Information- Knowing what information to protect isn’t enough. Teens need to understand how to protect their information. You can do this by teaching your teen to create strong passwords, keep identity documents in a safe place and to use the shredder among other things.
  • How to Identify Scam Websites and Offers- Last month we showed you an educational website designed by the State of Massachusetts to educate about scam websites. This website could serve as an excellent teaching tool for teaching your child how to identify scam websites and offers online and off.
  • How to Know if Their Identity Has Been Compromised- Teach your teen how to check their credit and detect if their identity has been stolen. You should also teach them how to report ID theft if their identity is compromised.
  • Where to Find ID Theft Information for Teens- There are a few great ID theft resources just for teens. Check them out:

Your teen needs you to teach them about how to prevent ID theft. A few important lessons now can help them avoid this all too common crime.


Tags: , , ,