While everyone else might like Facebook’s changes Canada isn’t happy

Everyone else in the world might be pleased as punch over some sort of perceived victory as Facebook announced changes to its privacy controls available to users but it seems that Canada’s Privacy Commissioner isn’t so happy.

This isn’t the first time that Facebook has come up against Canada’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner as back during last years investigation into Facebook’s privacy faux pas the companywas forced into making some ground breaking changes. Under the terms of the settlement Facebook agreed to comply with Canada’s privacy laws thereby by giving Canadians full control over how their data was to be shared.

Facebook did indeed fine tune the privacy settings in response to the probe and the regulator gave Facebook until August to introduce other protections. However within hours of Zuckerberg’s announcement today of coming changes Ms Elizabeth Denham, the Assistant Privacy Commissioner, said that while Facebook may have dialed it back the Privacy Commissioner didn’t feel that it was enough … “we don’t think users are comfortable.”

She said Facebook’s new settings continue to require users to publicly reveal their names, profile information, pictures, gender and networks to the broader Internet. Under Canadian law companies are bound to give consumers full control over how their personal data is used.

Another issue is Facebook’s recent move to allow outside software developers to cull users personal data and track their Internet movements. Facebook had committed last year to give members the ability to block such Internet trespassing by August.

“We are still waiting for Facebook to honour all of its commitments. I am disappointed in the direction they have taken,” Ms. Denham said.

Source: Globe and Mail

Somehow I don’t think this confrontation with our Privacy Commissioner is over yet – not by a long shot.


Braindead TechCast EP 69: Moronic Monday on Tuesday

Yes it’s Tuesday and Moronic Monday’s are, well suppose to be on Monday but in the true spirit of blogging we spent yesterday talking about some fairly interesting and important news. So that is why today has been re-branded temporarily as Moronic Monday.

It might be a Monday on a Tuesday but that doesn’t mean we don’t have some real moronic goodies for you because we do. After all you have to admit that a headset UV light teeth whitener system has to be right up there with moronic tech ideas.

Posts referred to in today’s show.

Enjoy the show.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Kiss my ass Amazon

One of my favorite female vocalists is Dido so when I saw this Twitter message come across my timeline I figured – cool a free copy of one of her newer songs.

So like any fan I clicked through on the link and found myself at Amazon which I guess is where the freebie is being made available.

You want to know what makes people turn to pirated copies of stuff?

Pain in the ass multiple screens that you have to navigate through in order to get something for free (the same applies to buying stuff but that’s another story). The first screen I see in a process that is totally and utterly irritating was the landing page. Hate the movie but really like Dido so I figure I can ignore that it is coming from the soundtrack to a stupid movie.

Once there on the landing page I clicked on the Get MP3 button figuring that I would head off to the download page. Think again, I had to sign into Amazon first (or create an account) and then I had to navigate through two screens that tried to talk me into downloading and installing the Amazon MP3 Downloader.

Uh. No.

Having made it through yet another screen to confirm my ‘purchase’ I come to this

Like you couldn’t have told me this on the first page – you know the landing page from which this mess started from?

Talk about pissing off customers – not that I could be one in the first place since you don’t accept PayPal, which I understand. I may not like it, I may want to be a long term customer of Amazon but you sure take the fun out of getting even free stuff.


Education: The one resource we can’t afford to screw up – but are.

This is one of those rare occasions where something I have written at The Inquisitr is something I feel deserves to be cross-posted here.

We live in a society that likes to think that its most important resources are the physical ones like gold, diamonds, oil, or just about anything that can be translated to a dollar amount. However when it comes to the intangible resources we slough them off as if they aren’t important – something that we can worry about later.

The most important intangible resource we have as a society is the education of our children and right now it is in a state of crisis in the US, and to a degree in Canada as well. Like everything else in our society it is seeing massive waves of change and not all of them are for the better. As these waves of change come crashing down around us our children are increasingly finding themselves adrift in a world that has continually downgraded its responsibility to the future by denying children the best of class education that they need, and deserve.

As Alvin Toffler, noted American futurist, wrote in Revolutionary Wealth:

Perhaps the greatest case of wave conflict in America will be paid by nearly fifty million children currently compulsorily enrolled in schools  that are attempting to prepare them – and not very successfully at that – for jobs that won’t exist. Call that stealing the future.

Education is about far more than jobs. But the schools, with minute exceptions, also fail to prepare students for their roles as consumers and prosumers. Nor does this system, by and large, help kids cope with the rising complexity and new life options they face in sex, marriage, ethics and other dimensions of the emerging society. Least of all does it succeed in introducing more than a tiny fraction of them to the enormous pleasure of learning itself.

This is what happens when education becomes more about the bureaucrats running the system and the politicians looking to constantly make brownie points. This is why we have states like Texas looking to influence the rest of the countries schools through the textbooks used in classes. It is able to do this because it is the second largest purchasers of textbooks, next to California, and the Texas school board want to adjust what it calls a liberal bias.

Read the complete post over at The Inquisitr