Friday, February 24, 2012

Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights unveiled

The White House yesterday unveiled its blueprint proposal for a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights because, as President Obama explained, "it is incumbent on us to do what we have done throughout history: apply our timeless privacy values to the new technologies and circumstances of our times.” With Internet companies and advocacy groups, the US Department of Commerce will develop a voluntary code of conduct.

During the official announcement, the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) (even Google) committed to support Do Not Track technology to not serve consumers "targeted ads using the data accumulated by tracking cookies." (Read ComputerWorld article here.) DAA also committed "not to release consumers’ browsing data to companies who might use it for purposes other than advertising, such as employers making hiring decisions or insurers determining coverage." The plan calls for FTC enforcement, and additional tools for State Attorneys General to protect consumers online.

This is positive news, however, 'Do Not Track' Won't Protect You from Yourself (Read Informationweek article).

You might like:
Can Do Not Track starve the Web's Cookie Monster? -
'Do Not Track' Has It Backwards - PCWorld 
White House, Consumers in Mind, Offers Online Privacy Guidelines - The NY Times
Web Companies Agree to Support 'Do Not Track' System - The Wall Street Journal
Google Commits to Support 'Do Not Track' - ComputerWorld 
US Dept of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Address Book Edit - Feb 21, 2012

We added one household to our Family Address Book.

To view details, please sign-in at the bottom of Our Address Book FAQ are here, and our current address and phone list is here.

We also alert you to address book changes via Twitter @BigFamilyNews. Sign-up for our private address book here.

How can we all nurture family connections? Please share your thoughts in comments.

Family Census - Feb 21, 2012

Today, we have 194 persons (3 more girls) in our census.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Safari users, re-check privacy settings!

Photo via ArsTechnica

Safari, the most widely used browser on mobile devices, is designed to block certain tracking cookies by default.

Last week, however, Stanford grad student Jonathan Mayer posted a report that four advertising companies circumvented Apple's cookie blocking feature; The Wall Street Journal independently confirmed. The four companies are Google, Vibrant Media, WPP's Media Innovation Group and Gannett's PointRoll. (View CBS News video: Google Under Fire for Secretly Tracking Users.)

Of the four companies, only Google claims it did not know its specialized cookies also opened the browser to other tracking cookies which would have been otherwise rejected; Google says it has "started removing these advertising cookies from Safari browsers." Google began using specialized temporary cookies in Safari browsers last year so that people signed into Google Accounts get personalized services (e.g. +1) they had requested. You can read the full Google statement on ArsTechnica (here) and rebuttals from the Stanford researcher on The San Francisco Chronicle.

Safari users will find a few suggestions in How to Get Out of Tracking on Safari.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Google Privacy Policy Reminder -- Updated Feb 29, 2012

In just 2 weeks, Google's new service terms take effect.

We urge you to read the new Google Privacy Policy and new Google Terms of Service; both are effective March 1, 2012. Then, we strongly suggest you log-in to your Google Account (defined) and go to your Dashboard which summarizes the data associated with each product you use when signed in to your account. "Make some choices about how your information will be used--because it will be used--instead of accepting default settings." (Read Infoweek article here.)

Google says, "Our new Privacy Policy applies to all information stored with Google on March 1, 2012 and to information we collect after that date." Although consumer and privacy groups have asked Congress to suspend the March 1 changes and hold public hearings, and the National Association of Attorneys General have expressed "strong concerns," Google's changes are scheduled to take effect March 1, 2012.

Review and change your account and browser settings, as you deem appropriate. Some areas to consider are linked to user tips on our Electronic Privacy Tips chart; please add other topics and suggestions in comments. Here's a few things you can quickly do:
As always, think before you post or send an Email. We're all responsible for our actions and staying current on the state of safe Internet practices. 

You might like:
Google Privacy Checklist via PCWorld
Our Privacy Practices (PDF file)
FTC sued over Google privacy changes

Last Updated February 29, 2012 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Google bar's new look

Google announced changes to the Google bar and you'll find more info at the Google Help Center. According to the announcement, Google will roll-out these changes over the next few weeks.

FTC sued over Google privacy changes

The Electronic Privacy Information Center ("EPIC") filed suit (PDF) against the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") over Google's upcoming privacy policy changes set to take effect March 1, 2012 (our post). The case is Electronic Privacy Information Center v. Federal Trade Commission, 12-00206-ABJ, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

What do you think about family privacy practices?

If you haven't done so, please read and comment today about our January 4, 2012, post for further revision.

Download PDF file here.

You might like:
Electronic Privacy Tips (chart)
Find/Follow Big Family on the Twitter Machine
Got fresh & fun food ideas?
Calling all family artists!
Comments Policy Refresher

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Calling all family artists!

Are we related? Are you a performing artist in search of an audience? Getting ready for your school talent show?

We're looking for volunteer(s) to add current family performing arts events and to coordinate that public calendar at From feedback to Big Family News, we know there's great interest to keep current on your performing arts activities.

To add an event or to volunteer, please send DM @BigFamilyNews, use our Contact Form or comment below. Many thanks! 

You might like:
Support family talent on Kickstarter

Support family talent on Kickstarter

The Hive Theatre Company (Chris is a co-founder) is launching its first Kickstarter project to raise at least $20,000 before March 3, 2012, to fund a new run of  its unique adaptation of  A Midsummer Night's Dream in April through May of this year.

The award-winning Theatre for the New City in association with the cell want to take the show to the next level. Yes, you read The Hive's great reviews on our sister blog last summer, so you know it's going to be incredible.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Got fresh & fun food ideas?

We seek new volunteers with fresh ideas and approaches for adding family recipes and holiday activities to our public blogs. You've asked for these improvements in feedback. To see how another family has fun sharing food traditions, please visit Simply Recipes.

Until new volunteer(s) come forward, please:
Watch and @BigFamilyNews for info about the new volunteer(s).

What's cookin' in your family kitchen?

Links Updated December 31, 2012

You might like:
Calling all family artists!

Find/Follow Big Family on the Twitter Machine

From feedback to increase our presence in the Twitterverse, yes, we'll try to tweet more often. Find/follow us @BigFamilyNews. Also, family can receive:
Activate these options.

Also, you can now find our tweets using #bigfamilynews or #lovenymusic. Feel free to use these Hashtags to associate some of your public tweets. Please suggest other Hashtags and Twitter ideas using our Contact Form.

Will you make family-only updates via Twitter? Why or why not? Let us know in comments! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Electronic privacy series starts -- Updated Feb 26, 2012

Traditionally circumspect, our family values personal privacy. Since starting our Email newsletter in 2008, we've always encouraged everyone to "Be Safe" and to take time to understand and stay up-to-date about the Internet. To that end, we've replied to many questions and we link to outside web sites for additional reading.

After Google's announcement about new privacy and account terms and from feedback this week, we invite you to discuss electronic privacy issues here. Right now, we're looking for a couple of folks to write about the new Google Privacy Policies and Terms of Service vis-à-vis tips for our family accounts, Android users, and those wanting a separate professional and personal online presence. We'd like this content in the next two weeks because the changes will be effective March 1, 2012.

Coverage of electronic privacy topics here will be determined by the volunteers writing guest posts. Please help out; here's our Contact Form.

In the mean time, you can get specific ideas for taking control of your Internet profile on our new Electronic Privacy Tips (chart).

You might like:
Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

Last Updated February 26, 2012