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    ReadWriteWeb’s Top Trends of 2011: Privacy

    ReadWriteWeb reviews the privacy scandals and questions that have arisen in 2011:

    We’re now over halfway through 2011 and it’s been another year of technology disruption. This time last year, the focus was on Apple’s groundbreaking iPad and the impact it had on how we consume media. This year, the big story has been Google Plus. The reason Google’s new social network has shaken things up has been its focus on your privacy. […]

    Google Plus Puts Pressure on Facebook’s Privacy Policies

    Google Plus launched at the end of June, taking specific aim at one of Facebook’s ongoing problems. Privacy has been a controversial topic for Facebook ever since it started changing its users’ sharing defaults to public in December 2009. It’s also difficult to selectively share things to groups of people from within Facebook.

    Google Plus solved both of those issues, with a simple yet ingenious feature it calls “circles.” With Google Plus the default publishing option is still ‘public,’ but it’s very easy to override that for each post you do. Secondly, Google Plus allows you to publish your update only to certain circles of people. If you are posting a photo of your child, for example, you can publish it exclusively to your family circle.

    These are significant changes to the social networking world and Facebook will likely have to respond by adjusting how it deals with privacy. […]

    Concerns Over Location Tracking Smartphones

    In April, Alasdair Allen and Pete Warden [disclosure: the latter used to guest post for this blog] highlighted that the iPhone is keeping track of where you go and storing that information in a file that is stored – unencrypted and unprotected – on any machine with which you synchronize your phone. In a blog post, Allen noted that “neither Pete nor myself think there is any sort of conspiracy going on, however we’re both worried about this level of detailed location data being out there in the wild.” […]

    Regardless of the intentions of Apple, Google and Microsoft, it’s clear that users don’t want their locations to be tracked. According to a study by TRUSTe, an Internet privacy service provider, 77% of respondents said that they don’t want to share their location with app owners and developers. Nielsen published similar findings.

    Read the full article for more of the privacy problems of 2011.

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