Sunday, October 09, 2016

Privacy, Paranoia, and Protection

In an earlier post, probably back around January 2016, this author discussed jury service and social media... and whether or not trial lawyers may stalk jurors' social media revelations. What you post on Twitter or Facebook etc is never truly private, no matter your choice of settings.

Here is another post by Morrison & Foerster LLP about when lawyers may look at your (or my) Facebook activity in connection with civil litigation:

When one is a published author and is obliged to promote ones' books, one has to make an informed decision how much privacy to surrender. For instance, I see no reason to give any social network one's true birthday. Be like the Queen of England. Have a real one for the IRS, the banks, and one's doctor and an "official" one for folks who want to sell advertising and for the back matter of your novels.

In the wake of the Yahoo hack of over 500,000,000 users' information, and the recent revelations that Yahoo created specific software to enable the government to search every email sent or received by every Yahoo mail user, privacy is even more of a concern for authors. We could be flagged for special interest based on research we might do in the course of writing a novel!

Paranoia aside, this author would like to suggest to all readers that all too many of the sites that use secondary verification use all too easily discovered questions such as phone numbers, birth dates, distaff-side names. Protest. If someone is pretending to be you and calling your bank or stock broker, they've probably gleaned that info from the Dark Web or from Yahoo or Facebook.  Ask them to ask something else!

Also, hope that the number changing credit card will soon be for real. See ZDNet!

Angela Hoy of Bootlocker has some fascinating links and writings on her website concerning bloggers' and journalists' rights, responsibilities and protections, or lack thereof; also on European Union restrictions on the use of descriptive terms when reporting on current events; and

I admire and respect the Writers Weekly posts greatly because Angela Hoy stands up vigorously for her own copyrights and those of others.

A favorite blog specializing in musicians and especially songwriters' rights and copyrights has been running a series on how two major sources of subscription, downloading and streaming music are allegedly exploiting a loohole in the Copyright Act in order to avoid paying royalties at all to musicians.

See also

Authors should watch this, because it may indicate what could happen with "orphan works" in the future, or what could even already be happening since both the allegedly-bad actors also distribute books.

All the best,

Rowena Cherry

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