2014 was an important year for the development of privacy laws and enforcement in the United States. Cybersecurity went from a lurking concern shared amongst the tech community to the widespread public when breaches affected the public in unparalleled numbers. States responded with sweeping legislation to protect consumers, federal agencies enforced and investigated several companies that suffered breaches, and Wyndham v. FTC ruled a company engages in an unfair trade practice when it fails to provide reasonable security for the personal information of consumers. For the entire list and the write up by Jeff Kosseff, Meena Harris, and Caleb Skeath, please check out Inside Privacy's article here.
Technology once again threatens to thwart police detection of potential criminal activity. As David Noriega reports for Buzz Feed, the service allows users to interact with one another and alert each other of imminent checkpoints in order for the undocumented immigrants to avoid police detection and the legal problems that flow therewith. The service continues the theme of technology being pitted against law enforcement's plans. The service is called Paselavoz - follow the link to check out how it works. Here is the article from Buzz Feed.
Facebook released its legacy app this week to become the second major social media provider (after Google) to allow users to select who can manage their account once they die. Please ignore your natural aversion to this topic and utilize these functions because they are very important to how people can remember you once you pass.
Imagine this scenario (and its happened more than once): One man's partner unexpectedly dies and his friends post supportive messages and photos on the deceased's wall. The man never told his parents about the relationship because he was scared to come out to them. The parents immediately request Facebook to delete the account permanently. Facebook (before this legacy function) had a legal obligation to comply with the request. Now all the photos and posts that the man relied on to remember his partner by are gone.
For better or for worse, we unconsciously construct our legacy on our social media platforms. Not only is it a place where we spend a lot of time and interact with others, but it is also a place where we preserve memories, moments, celebrations, and events. For the surviving loved ones, that can be more important than any devise or gift. There is nothing more precious than the memories Facebook can provide and nourish post-death, and in times of grief there's no deprivation more devastating than the inability to cherish those moments.
The Wall Street Journal covered the release in excellent detail.