Posts tagged ‘Facebook’

December 11, 2012

Advertising companies need to stay out of consumer history

By Krista Brooks

Published Wednesday, December 5, 2012 –  The Daily 49er

An online advertisement company has settled with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to end “history sniffing” to use personal information to target consumers concerning sensitive issues such as medical problems and financial issues.

The FTC provides defense for consumers to prevent unfair business practices, fraud and deception to protect their identity and history.

Epic Marketplace Inc. was charged yesterday for illegally gathering private data. The company is present on 45,000 websites. This large New York City based network tracked all visitors to its sites to follow consumers’ Internet behavior. This practice is commonly known as online behavioral advertising.

The FTC reported that Epic was collecting data outside of the company’s network and infringed on the trust bond with the consumers by being deceptive. The company claimed in the privacy policy that the Internet cookie would only follow the activity within the company’s sites.

The FTC discovered that Epic followed online users visiting any of 54,000 domains outside of the network.

These outside sites that were monitored by the advertising group were confidential issues relating to menopause, bankruptcy, disability insurance, fertility issues and fertility complications. This information was collected illegally without consumer consent.

Epic Media Group, LLC, the parent company of the organization, and Epic Marketplace Inc. have been barred from using this tracking technology any longer.

The settlement ordered the advertisement company to delete all information that was collected with the misused software.

The groups were strongly encouraged to follow their own guidelines to defer from miscommunication of their policies and protect consumer rights.

Epic trailed the online activity of Internet users without their knowledge or consent, categorized their audience into interest groups based only on a small focus of websites. The problem with this advertising tracking is that it can be done secretly while accumulating data that concerns personal matters. Facebook uses online behavioral advertising by tracking users’ activity on other sites while logged into the social network. To me, this is the same issue. Facebook uses the data to display ads on your profile that will appeal to your interests; however, the network is open about this software and includes it in the privacy policy that users must agree to terms to retain an account.

The FTC should monitor Facebook and other sites that use personal information to filter advertisements and pop-ups in addition to online history. Our activity online should be protected and private unless addressed specifically from a company that asks for data. Information and personal preferences should be accumulated from online polls or surveysthat involve volunteers to disclose such data.

This case caught the FTC’s attention because the small group of consumers that were targeted had Web browser malfunctions and outdated features.

“The bigger issue here is that data-collection practices by online advertising companies are largely unregulated,” said Rainey Reitman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization that advocates for online privacy. “If you want to surf the Web these days and not have a corporate shadow following you around, you’ve got to be extremely technicallysavvy.”

Be smart browsing the Internet and defer from revealing personal information that could be “sniffed” out by advertisement corporations.

Krista Brooks is a junior journalism major and the assistant opinions editor for the Daily 49er. 

October 2, 2012

Online registration will boost the number of young adult voters

By Krista Brooks

Published Monday, September 24, 2012 – The Daily 49er

Today is National Voter Registration Day, a day to reach out to unregistered voters and encourage them to get involved in the political process.

It is important to get unregistered citizens to vote so they can be active in the community.

Last Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown simplified the process to become a registered voter by signing legislation to implement online registration for voters.

Californians can now register via the web in hopes to increase voter turnout, primarily among young adults and college students.

According to a survey from the Public Policy Institute of California, 29 percent of our state’s adult voters are over the age of 55 while 33 percent are college students. However, students only contribute to 18 percent of students in the state vote.

Only 75 percent of Americans that are registered to vote actually do, and 24 percent of Americans are eligible but aren’t registered.

In the 21st Century, everything is online.

Books, articles, movies — everything is accessible with the click of a button. It only makes sense that registering to vote should be as accessible as well.

Now, young adults can register through a simple online process. It will be just as easy to register to vote as it is to register for a social network.

With all the time they spend on Facebook, young adults have no excuse to not register.

Proposition 30 has made less proactive voters to become involved in an issue that is bound to affect them. Hopefully, with this new access to online registration, students will voice their opinion on other issues that affect our college, city and state.

The deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 6 elections is Oct. 22.

That is plenty of time for us to sit down and register.

If online registration isn’t enough, new legislation has been passed by Brown to allow same-day voting registration.

This will become effective starting Jan. 1, 2013. So if  you somehow forget there is an election coming that day, you can still vote.

Both online and same-day voter registration will greatly change accessibility for students and busy young adults.

It is about time our registration process caught up with times.

Krista Brooks is a junior journalism major and the assistant opinions editor for the Daily 49er.

December 9, 2011

Beachnet+ hits record number of users in a day

By Krista Brooks

Published Monday, Dec. 5, 2011 – The Daily 49er

Beachnet+, the upgraded Wi-Fi system that allows students to stay logged in to the campus server longer, broke its own record last week for most users in a day with 22,000 users.

The wireless service, accessible as of Dec. 1, is now more secure and faster for all users, according to Steve La, director of network services.

The Wi-Fi system is now fully integrated with BeachMail, meaning users can use the same username and password for both Beachnet+ and Beachmail. Beachnet+ is also fully integrated with the latest Windows 7, Mac OSX, iPhone and other new mobile services, according to La.

Cal State Long Beach system engineers created a new server and security system for the new Wi-Fi service. La said Beachnet+ utilizes the latest Wi-Fi security that encrypts all connections to prevent hackers or hijacking on popular accounts such as Facebook, Amazon and Google.

“We wanted to create a simple yet secure Wi-Fi network for our students without the need for lengthy configuration instructions on students’ mobile devices,” La said. “We realized that not all devices, especially the older ones, are compatible, nor support the latest WPA2 security standard.”

Beachnet+ will keep users connected for a longer period of time, without needing to constantly log in to the network, according to La.

“Beachnet+ is so much faster than before,” said Morgan Sedra, a sophomore liberal studies major. “I don’t have to constantly log in my username and password anymore.”

However, faculty and staff’s email will not be integrated with Beachnet+ until the email migration to Exchange 2010 is complete.

The existing Beachnet will continue to be available in order to support older Wi-Fi devices and provide stronger accessibility. CSULB offers 175 new wireless access points and more than 860 of those points are available on campus.


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