Transparency Instead of Internet Privacy

Internet privacy is a big concern for people today. People are worried about having their information stolen when they are online. Many companies use tracking online to monitor their users. Facebook tracks their users to personalize what advertisements they see. Amazon uses tracking to help users find items quicker and accomplish purchasing faster. Tracking is becoming more common and more high tech. A new tracking technique used is canvas fingerprinting. Canvas fingerprinting is a way for users to be tracked without using cookies. Many companies try to regulate tracking and protect internet privacy, but sometimes their techniques do not always stop the tracking. People are concerned with tracking, but they are not so concerned that they will stop using the internet.

Many people think that internet privacy is what to focus on, but Rami Essaid thinks differently. Rami Essaid is the CEO and co-founder of Distil Networks. He believes that internet transparency is something to focus on. Rami Essaid thinks that people should be aware of the “Five W’s” of tracking. The “Five W’s” of tracking are who is tracking, what are they doing with the information collected, where are they tracking, when is the tracking occurring and, why the tracking is taking place.

Rami Essaid believes there are things that can be done to focus more on transparency. The government should set rules on transparency instead of privacy. Companies should provide a report of what information they track about users. Rami Essaid describes benefits of transparency. He says, “transparency would serve as a self-correcting market force, weeding out sites whose practices people aren’t comfortable with.” Transparency would end useless attempts of regulating technologies trying to stop tracking. Also, transparency will cause people to focus on more serious things occurring on the internet. Web bots are attacking web infrastructure and need to be stopped. For example, the Heartbleed bug caused many problems with businesses and financial information. With more focus put on transparency instead of privacy, problems like the Heartbleed bug can be taken care of.

I think Rami Essaid brings up an interesting point. It would be beneficial for internet users to know what information was being tracked about them on certain sites. The “Five W’s” of tracking would give people enough information to decide whether they were comfortable using the site or not. I also disagree with Rami Essaid. I think internet privacy is still something important to focus on. Completely focusing on transparency will not stop people’s information from being stolen which is a major problem today. I think policies around internet privacy and transparency should be improved.

What do you think about this view on transparency and internet privacy?


Barracuda Web Filter

Internet privacy is a major concern for people every day. There are many different kinds of threats that people face on the internet. People face threats from malware, spyware, phishing, and many others. One company working to protect people on the internet is Barracuda. Many companies like FedEx, IBM, CitiBank, and others are using Barracuda. One product available for people to purchase can help them stay safe while being online. The product is called the Barracuda Web Filter. The Barracuda Web Filter protects people from malware and other security threats.

The Barracuda Web Filter protects its’ users by blocking spyware downloads and preventing viruses. It filters content and protects against malware. Malware can be removed from a device if it is detected, When a threat is detected, it sends an alert to the user. This product allows its’ users to view the activity and network threats occurring. The activity can include information about what websites were visited and how much time was spent using those websites. Users can view information on a report. Also, there is a Barracuda Web Security Agent and Barracuda Safe Browser to protect remote users. Users can use this product to control social media as well. This product can scan a user’s social media page to look for out of place comments or messages. The comments and messages can be stored in the Barracuda Message Archiver. They can be looked at in the future in case a problem occurs. The Barracuda Web Filter can be managed through the Barracuda Cloud Control. The cloud holds information about all the user’s devices using the Barracuda Web Filter. Also, this product can filter websites and images. Users can filter certain websites and images they do not want to visit or see. The Barracuda Web Filter is connected with Barracuda Central. Barracuda Central is a security center that monitors threats occurring. It collects data from various places and develops ways to prevent threats to users. When new data is collected, Barracuda Central creates updates for Barracuda Web Filter to make the product even more effective.

I think the Barracuda Web Filter is a great way for people to protect themselves while being online. I like that the product comes with a security center that continuously monitors for problems. I would feel very secure online with all the features that come with this product, but I would be worried that something could go wrong with the product, and I could get a virus.

Do you think the Barracuda Web Filter is useful? Is there anything you think could be added to make the product better?



Data Analytics in Stores

Data analytics is the next big thing for businesses. It helps businesses understand data to improve their processes. A company called RetailNext assists stores collect data and use the data to make improvements and changes. RetailNext is about In-Store Analytics. It has worked with Bloomingdale’s, Gander Mountain, Procter & Gamble, Frito Lay, and many other companies. For example, RetailNext could help improve sales by 8-10%.

RetailNext follows four steps to provide data to companies. They collect data, perform analysis, provide visualization, and give insights. The ways that RetailNext collects data is through video cameras, Wi-Fi, point of sale systems, weather, and calendars. They use devices inside and outside of stores to collect data. RetaiNext performs analysis through its software. It is a secure software that can analyze data for more than one store location and bring it all together. Then, RetailNext provides visualization of the data. The data can be viewed on the web or on a phone, it creates reports, and alerts can also be created. Trends can be identified through the visualizations and comparisons can be made between new and old data. Finally, RetailNext provides insights to stores. The stores can use this insight to make improvements. The insights can include things about who customers are, how many customers come to the store, what do customers when they are in the store, how does a store’s staff affect the store, and overall store performance. Data about the customers could be about their gender, where they go when in the store, and whether or not they have been to the store before or not. Data about the staff could include how they treat customers and how that helps or does not help sales.

I think RetailNext is a great way for companies to collect data, and use the data to improve their operations. Stores could improve their revenue, the layout of their store, the products being sold, and customer experience. It is a benefit for companies to have all their data in one place in an easy to understand way. Companies cannot make improvements if they do not understand the data, so it is beneficial that RetailNext provides the data in multiple different ways. I think the reports generated are the most useful because companies can look at the graphs and numbers and figure out what is really going on in their store.

What do you think about RetailNext? Do you think the data collected can actually help stores improve?


Is it a Good Idea For Companies to Look at Social Media Sites to Find Information About Employees and Future Employees?

There is a debate going on about whether companies should look at employee’s and future employee’s social media sites. Some people believe that it is a good idea to investigate someone’s social media site, while other people believe it is not a good idea. A CareerBuilder survey showed that 39% of companies look at future employee’s social media sites. Of the companies that looked at the social media sites, 43% uncovered information that negatively impacted the person, while only 19% discovered information that helped the person. In another survey, it was found that 77% of companies look at social media sites to find information about future employees, and 35% of the companies took people out of the running for the position.

Nancy Flynn, founder and executive director of the ePolicy Institute, believes it is a good idea for companies to look at social media sites. A reason for looking at employee’s social media sites is to prevent bad situations. Companies are placed in unwanted situations if a current employee posts bad information about them. Their reputation could be negatively affected by a comment made by an employee. Many employees admit to posting unethical things on social media. For example, some hospital employees have posted information about patients online which violates the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. If companies look at their employee’s social media sites, this problem could be controlled. Another reason for companies looking at social media sites is to look at future employees. They can look for signs of disruptive behavior that could affect the company if they hire the individual.

Lewis Maltby, president of the National Workrights institute, believes it is not a good idea for companies to look at social media sites. A reason for not looking at an employee’s social media site is because they could be fired for something that is not related to work at all. It is unethical to fire someone based on personal preferences they have on social media. Another reason against looking at social media sites to find information about future employees is that a company could miss out on a good employee based on their personal preferences. Also, looking on someone’s social media site could cause a company to get in trouble. A company could learn that the person is disabled, and if they hire someone else they could be sued by that person for unfair consideration.

I believe that companies should not look at social media sites to find out personal information about a person they want to hire. I think a company could be missing out on qualified applicants by searching through all their posts. I do think it is good idea for companies to hire a professional company to look up information about future employees, but the professional company should only look up important information. The professional company should look up information about criminal records and other background information.

What do you think of companies looking up information about you on your social media sites?


Net Neutrality Debate

Net neutrality is debated by two sides. There are people who agree with net neutrality, and there are people who do not agree with net neutrality. Some people believe they are being protecting by net neutrality, while other people think that the net neutrality rules put too much regulation on the internet. The net neutrality rules force service providers to have the same speed of downloads for all websites. Also, the rules make sure that companies cannot pay to get faster speeds. The goal of the net neutrality rules is to keep the internet free and available for everyone.

Net neutrality rules prevent large companies from deciding if certain websites get faster speeds or not. Smaller companies are protected by these net neutrality rules because they do not have to worry about competing with larger companies. Many smaller companies would suffer without the net neutrality rules because they do not have the available money to pay for faster speeds. Customers of smaller companies and companies like Netflix benefit by the net neutrality rules also. If prices for faster speeds were raised for Netflix, that cost would be pushed to the consumer. Consumers do not want to pay higher rates for services. Companies who support the net neutrality rules are Sprint, T-Mobile, and Google Fiber. Tim Berners-Lee and Steve Wozniak even support the Federal Communications Committee on their rules.

Not everyone agrees with the net neutrality rules. Republicans think that the rules made by the Federal Communications Committee will cause the internet to be regulated too much. They do not want one organization to make the rules for speeds of the internet. Fred Upton, a Republican, proposed a bill that has net neutrality rules in it. He proposed this bill so the Federal Communications Commission would not be involved with the internet. Robert McDowell, a FCC Commissioner, even has issues with the net neutrality rules. Robert McDowell thinks that people could begin to want more internet regulation. More internet regulation could include preventing service providers from limiting data downloaded by one person. Clogged networks and slower speeds could be caused by not having limits on amounts of downloaded data. Companies that do not support the net neutrality rules are AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast.

I think the net neutrality rules passed by the Federal Communications Commission are good rules for the general public and the internet. The rules allow people to continue to watch what they want without having to pay for faster speeds. The net neutrality rules make sure that everyone has free access to the internet. They allow smaller companies to continue to survive without having to compete with larger companies. Without smaller companies, consumers would lose out on unique products not offered by larger companies. What do you think of net neutrality rules? Do you think they are a good or a bad idea?




Closing the Digital Divide Gap

Information communication technologies affect people around the world. It is a great benefit if it is used in societies. There is a digital divide around the concept of information communication technologies. Countries with information communication technologies are a lot better off than countries without access to information communication technologies. This technology improves various things in developing countries. A cause of the digital divide is the cost of technology. Developing countries do not have the money to buy technology and provide it to people in society. Another cause of the digital divide is the lack of knowledge of how to use the technology. If a society has the technology, but does not know how to operate it the technology is not beneficial.

An organization trying to fix the digital divide is called Close the Gap. Close the Gap is an international non-profit organization. They want to help the digital divide problem by providing computers to developing countries. The computers are donated by European companies to support education, medicine, and social aspects. Then, other organizations set up the computers. They are cleaned and hardware is installed. After the computers are set up, they are sent to different countries around the world. Close the Gap has provided around 250,000 computers to developing countries. Also, Close the Gap helps with around 2,500 projects. These projects help people and their communities improve through poverty and hunger, education, gender equality, and health. Information and communication technology helps with poverty and hunger by allowing people to have access to technology to work which can increase their income. With more income, people can buy food to nourish themselves. Education is helped by information communication technologies because more information is available. More information causes better quality education. Information and communication technology helps women improve their skills and professional development increasing gender equality. Also, health is benefited by information and communication technology. Administration is improved, health services is improved because data can be stored, and more information about health is available for people to read.

In addition to providing computers to developing countries, Close the Gap provides a “Digi-Truck.” The “Digi-Truck” is a mobile IT lab. It can provide areas in Africa access to electricity and technology. The truck can run completely on solar power, and contains twenty laptops, one LED screen, a printer, two routers, two SSD disks, LED lights, and room for eighteen people to work. Close the Gap is working hard to find ways to fix the digital divide problem around the world. They believe that providing information and communication technology allows developing countries to catch up with developed countries.

What do you think of the “Digi-Truck?” Do you think Close the Gap can really make a difference with information and communication technology in developing countries?



Using Data to Help People Shop

Using data to benefit people in everyday life is becoming more prominent. A new company called True&Co is using data collected from its’ customers to improve bra fitting. It is hard for women to find the right bra for their bodies, so True&Co is trying to fix that problem. Customers take a quiz to find a brand of bras that would fit their body. True&Co has collected data from millions of customers. The company is now beginning to launch its’ own products that incorporates the data it has received. With the software that the company uses, they have identified about 6,000 body types. People are not accustomed to having a physical product made just for them, but with the data being collected it is becoming a reality. This process is similar to the internet collecting data on us. The internet collects data on us and uses it to personalize websites and make recommendations. The data collected from the quizzes will allow women to know what kind of bra would be the best fit for them.

There is competition from a company called ThirdLove. ThirdLove uses an app to allow women to determine their measurements without having to go to a store. Victoria’s Secret has also created a quiz for women to take. Companies are trying to improve bra shopping for women.

This data and technology use allows women to find the best bra for them without having to spend lots of time trying them on. Soon this technology could be used for other clothing shopping and not just bras. A lot of time that would have been spent on finding the perfect bra fit can be spent on something else.

This article raises concerns of personal data collection. It involves how personal women want to get when shopping for bras. Some women feel embarrassed shopping for bras in stores, so this could be a way for those people to feel more secure while they are shopping. On the other hand, some women might feel violated that personal information about their bodies is being shared and reviewed with other people. For example, I am not sure if I would want to use the app available from ThirdLove to determine my measurements. I would feel like my personal information would be shared with too many people.

In conclusion, using data is a great way to enhance people’s lives, but there could be a point where too much data collection could be an issue. Having too much personal data collected raises privacy concerns. How do you feel about apps collecting personal body measurements? Would you buy products from True&Co?

Here is the link to the article: