Twitter Won’t Hand Over Data on Occupy Wall Street Protester

As these tweets were already publicly available, it appears this request was mainly for the purposes of intimidation.

Barely two weeks after the New York District Attorney asked Twitter to hand over data about an Occupy Wall Street protester, the company says it will not comply with the request, at least for the time being.

The D.A.’s office had sent a subpoena to the microblogging service’s headquarters seeking information about the account belonging to Jeffrey Rae, one of several hundred activists arrested during an Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York on March 1.

via Twitter Won’t Hand Over Data on Occupy Wall Street Protester.

FTC Issues Final Privacy Framework Report to Protect Users’ Data

The Federal Trade Commission has issued its Final Privacy Framework Report that outlines guidelines for how companies can and cannot use consumer data on the Internet. The initial report was released in Dec. 2010 and the FTC took in consideration 453 public comments in the final report. The FTC provides guidelines for Do-Not-Track provisions, how information can be tracked on mobile devices and how large platform providers like Facebook and Google can use consumer data.

Since the initial report, the FTC brought enforcement actions against both Facebook and Google to, “require the companies to obtain consumers’ affirmative express consent before materially changing certain of their data practice and to adopt strong, company-wide privacy programs that outside auditors will assess for 20 years.” While Google and Facebook drew the ire of the FTC, any company that tracks personal consumer data on the Web is now put on notice.

via FTC Issues Final Privacy Framework Report to Protect Users’ Data.

This includes….

[t]he five main action items in the report:

Do-Not-Track: Includes browser vendors that have developed tools to allow consumers to limit data collected on them. Commends the Digital Advertising Alliance, a self-regulatory group of the advertising industry, on developing an icon-based system to honor the browser tools as well as the W3C on created standards to protect consumer data.

Mobile: Urges companies to work toward improved privacy protections and to development meaningful disclosures. The FTC has also created a project to update its business guidance about online advertising disclosures. The FTC is holding a workshop in D.C. on May 30, 2012 to discuss mobile privacy, advertising and consumer data.

Data Brokers: Consumers often do not know how they are being tracked on the Web and do not have the ability to figure it out. The FTC recommends that data brokers create a centralized website to identify themselves to consumers and detail the access rights and other options they provide for the consumer data they maintain.

Large Platform Providers: This includes Internet Service Providers, operating systems like Windows or Mac OS X, Android or iOS, browsers, and social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook. The ability of these platforms to track consumers’ online activities raises privacy concerns. The FTC plans a workshop on large platforms in the second half of 2012.

Promoting Enforceable Self-Regulatory Codes: The Department of Commerce is undertaking a project to facilitate development of sector-specific codes of conduct. Companies that adhere to the privacy framework will be viewed favorably in connection with the FTC’s law enforcement work. “The Commission will also continue to enforce the FTC Act to take action against companies that engage in unfair or deceptive practices, including the failure to abide by self-regulatory programs they join.”

The three pillars of the framework are; “Privacy by Design;” Simplified Choice for Businesses and Consumers;” and “Greater Transparency.”

I think the following should be in bold and trumpeted loudly.

Your computer is your property,” said FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz, “No one, no one, has the right to put something on it that you don’t want.


Today is the one year anniversary of the start of the Tahrir Square uprising that became a nonviolent revolution that led to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt. In my Sociology of War and Peace class we watched events unfold live via Al Jazeera English on the web. Here are two of the memorable songs from that time.

I especially love the positive spirit of the second.

Default Avatars: A Collection » Sociological Images

Having just visited Second Life, avatars should be on our minds. What does it mean to say that companies make choices about the default representations of user avatars?

We recently critiqued Facebook’s “neutral” avatar for appearing both white and male.  Both Abby J. and Noah Brier pointed us to the fact that Rob Walker at Murketing has been collecting default avatars.  His collection is really interesting.

via Default Avatars: A Collection » Sociological Images.

Steve Jobs Dead: Apple Co-Founder Dies At 56

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

If you would like to share your thoughts, memories, and condolences, please email

via Steve Jobs Dead: Apple Co-Founder Dies At 56.

It is difficult to capture in a few words what the death of Steve Jobs means to the world of innovation. We will be talking and reading about this for some time to come.