July 5, 2011

'Like' it or not, sharing tools spur privacy concerns

'Like' it or not, sharing tools spur privacy concerns

USA Today, By Byron Acohido

"Like" buttons and other social media apps — those ubiquitous little programs that allow you to do cool things with your computer and mobile devices — have taken the Internet by storm. But they've also introduced unprecedented security and privacy risks now being discussed as part of the push for stronger federal privacy laws.

The core problem: anyone can introduce a social media app that ties directly into Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and other popular services designed primarily to profile and track consumers to better sell advertising, says Craig Spiezle, executive director of the non-profit advocacy group, Online Trust Alliance.

The idea is to provide more relevant services and advertising to the consumer. "However, in the wrong hands or without consumer consent, you run into the danger that that information can be used against their wishes," says Spiezle.

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