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The future is friendly? Experimenting with RFID

Last week, the Seattle Times reported on an experiment the University of Washington is conducting with radio frequency identification, or RFID. The university, responsible for one of the largest experiments using wireless tags in a social setting, has effectively created a futuristic atmosphere where RFID is everywhere. With this in place, they hope to uncover problems before the technology becomes widely adopted.

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Top Ten Lists

Day to day, our actions are being captured, and increasingly, it’s being done by surveillance cameras. This technology – like RFID tags – is being used by more organizations everyday to improve security and deter thieves. And while that’s a perfectly legitimate reason to employ cameras, organizations should also be ensuring their surveillance activities minimize the impact on people’s privacy.

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Your creative juices required

This Web 2.0 thing is all about collaboration, so here’s what we’re asking of you, dear readers. We want your help in creating T-shirts we plan to give away at conferences and workshops. We want these T-shirts to be privacy-themed, attractive, and witty. We would like to enlist your help in designing them – by either sending us your best witty privacy-themed tagline, or by coming up with your own original design. The best designs will be chosen for our T-shirts, and the winning designers will get- well, a T-shirt. We’ll accept any and all submissions by next Tuesday, March 25. Send your taglines and artwork to dguerrero@privcom.gc.ca. Good luck!

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Because not every frog is a prince

Last year, IT security firm Sophos ran an experiment on Facebook to demonstrate just how willing people were to hand over their information to potential ID thieves. They created a fake profile page on Facebook for a small green plastic frog and sent out 200 friend requests to other Facebook users. Eighty-two of those people responded, and in doing so, divulged personal information like their email address, birthdate, workplace or school location, and phone number – all useful details for the aspiring identity thief.

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