Your Opinion: "What are the current privacy threats?"
In 2001 we held a survey on HNS regarding the current privacy threats. Many visitors decided to share their opinions with us, thank you. Listed below are some of the most interesting opinions.

"Users are so eager to obtain free software (which unfortunately seems to be on its way to becoming a thing of the past) that they are willing to put up with its current mutation, adware, in order to avoid living off of ramen and sandwiches to keep their systems happy. Ad-supported software has become so commonplace now that it's not even given a second thought, which is exactly what marketers want. Banner ads and pay-to-surf programs deaden the user to online advertising, while ensuring that it's thought of as a means to obtain something of value for free. There is almost no such thing as "free" anymore. Users are often unaware of the fact that these programs can and do track not only demographic information and surfing habits, but they also pick up personal (and personally identifiable) information, either directly through user-submitted forms or by putting the pieces of information together. Their identities are being sold and tracked, over and over, and by now most of them don't know or don't care, or believe that privacy was lost too long ago to reclaim. It is their indifference and apathy that is the biggest threat to privacy, and the misleading spin put on by the advertisers that is a close second, tied with increasing misguided, underinformed, and often unneeded governmental legislation. However, in this era where governments often take a back seat to the corporate world where running their countries are concerned, the business sector is the area to watch more closely, if there are people available to baby-sit the governments." - Zahira Aetheyrscat

"The abuse of personal information that was submitted in 'good faith'. It is allready a widespread practice, for lots of websites to require registration, where the obvious intent is only to get the contact information for marketing purposes, and little else benefit to the actual web-surfer. Most companies have opt-out checkboxes, but still, some will nevertless try to subscribe you to lists, or give you other valued information, that I really did not request. This is especially true for any e-commerce site, most will subscribe you to any number of their newsletters, as soon as you buy something from them, without asking but thankfully with an option to remove yourself from the list. But this behaviour allready shows how litte respect those companies have towards your privacy, given that their customer-information is the only tangible asset they might have." - Daniel Kluge

"Privacy threats are coming at internet users from all sides. Most users have a complacent attutide about their family's privacy. I feel with the current state of affairs, one must have two non-networked computers. One for online activities and one for everything else. Companies like Zero Knowledge are finally helping us fight back!" - Jeffrey Febre


Harnessing artificial intelligence to build an army of virtual analysts

PatternEx, a startup that gathered a team of AI researcher from MIT CSAIL as well as security and distributed systems experts, is poised to shake up things in the user and entity behavior analytics market.

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