Sunday, August 04, 2019

Friendship Breach

If you are a writer (or a racing driver -- according to RUSH), it helps to have friends. But...

Writers tend to have thousands of friends of the social media kind, who, in the real world would not count even as acquaintances. With those friends come risks; unavoidable risks; exponentially compounding risks. Stay with me.

Cameron Abbott and Allison Wallace, legal bloggers for K & L Gates "Cyberwatch: Australia" explain how your name and number get into the hands of global searchable database owners.

Who Have You Been Giving Your Name And Number To? A Cautionary Tale.

You might not have signed up for this, but if any one of your friends does so, he or she or they might legally agree to give away their entire contact list and the personally identifying information for every friend on their contact list. They might not even realize that they did that.

It does not seem right, does it?
Read the cautionary tale. It is worth your time.

Some super "helpful" sites (such as LinkedIN in the early days) even made it so difficult *not* to "opt in" that a well intentioned member who mindfully tried not to share his or her or their contact list found that they had done so.

Some contact lists are more comprehensive than others.  Maybe you should check what you obediently have entered on yours in response to prompts. Do you really need the full first and last names and nicknames and home addresses and phone numbers for work, cell and home, and email addresses of everyone on your list?

Legal bloggers Thomas Dubuisson and Tom De Cordier  for CMS Belgium discuss social media plug ins, and the legal consequences for website owners (which writers are) of those Facebook "Like" buttons, and "share" and "follow" buttons, too.

Using Social Plug-Ins....

As a visitor to a site, you do not have to click a Facebook "like" button. You do not have to have a Facebook account. The mere presence of the Facebook "like" on the host's page will plant a tracking cookie on your computer, and the trustworthy people at Facebook will receive your IP address and your browsing string.

If you are a writer who runs a website (or six), and you have installed social plug-ins for likes and links and shares and social media optimization, and you have visitors from Europe and your books generate assets in Europe, you should read the CMS Belgium "Key takeaways" section.

As for this blog.... please consider yourself advised.

By the way, please note the irony: many of the legal sites writing about "Like" breaches have all the plug-ins on their pages!

Students aren't safe, either. At least 62 universities and colleges have a weak link that might reveal highly sensitive information that one has no choice at all but to provide to colleges and universities as part of the application process.

Higher Education Data Breaches.... 

Specialists in cybersecurity and privacy for universities, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP share an alert, and their seven legal bloggers point out the problem with the Ellucian Banner system.

Finally, although Congress is on recess, it is still worth encouraging your Congress person to sponsor and support the CASE Act.  Even if you do not imagine that the CASE Act is of  benefit to you, it might be.

David Newhoff explains that which EFF does not want you to know.

All the best,

Rowena Cherry

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