A Few Data Privacy Innovations Leading The Charge

Data Privacy Day was recently celebrated worldwide as a way to promote personal safety online. But with the upcoming GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the subject of data has become the dominant topic on many a digital company’s lips. Now it seems, information shared online could eventually be as regulated as a natural resource.

Last year, The Economist described data as “the oil of the digital era,” prompting a rash of responses against the statement, with many claiming that oil is markedly different. “Data today has something important in common with oil a century ago. But the tech titans are more media moguls than oil barons,” writes BBC’s Amol Rajan.

However, data is becoming a highly valuable commodity to the digital realm, and consumer data is worth more than gold in some instances. But unlike oil, data is a far more prolific asset and therefore, vulnerable — leading many companies to begin turning their focus to data protection. Especially with heavier regulations right around the corner.

“Businesses need to shift their perception of data, from a money-making material waiting to be plundered to an asset that needs to be safeguarded and treated with respect,” said The Guardian.

Getting around breaches is the first hurdle for many brands, some large corporations have been hurt by major ruptures in their data pools. Studies show that “hacked companies underperform by 42 percent after three years.” So what preventative measures are coming out of the new age of data as an (arguably) precious resource?

2-factor authentication

2FA adds an extra blanket of protection over personal data and is trusted by most consumer tech brands worldwide, Apple’s iOS system has within it a 2FA system as well as social media centers such as Whatsapp and Instagram.

See more about Freespee’s 2-factor authentication here. 

Encryption

An ancient form of security but even more impressive when used to cloak information online. Still, hackers are quick to break the code despite advances in random number generation and other forms of cryptography. Enter Honey Encryption, developed by Ari Juels, former chief scientist at computer security company RSA, and Thomas Ristenpart from the University of Wisconsin. The technology tricks intruders by flooding them with the wrong data any time an incorrect password or encryption key is guessed. Sneaky yet effective.

Tokens

We can blame Bitcoin for this development. It works by “substituting a randomly generated value—the token—for sensitive data such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and social security numbers,” says Forbes. The mapping of the token is then stored in a reliable database. MasterCard is also a fan.


“Since the invention of coded messages used during the Revolutionary War, technology advances have always required adaptations in the law to preserve both privacy and social order,” writes Larry Downes for The Washington Post.

We’ve come a long way since morse code and smoke signals to protect valuable information. Our digital growth seems to be infinite, and its preservation is becoming more complicated. Though it may not be an organic asset, it still represents who we are, and that is definitely worth protecting.

Via: The Guardian, Forbes, The Washington Post, Gizmodo, BBC, The Economist. 

Fraudsters advertise in classifieds media

“A fraudster put out Johan’s apartment for rental at a large classified service” was the headline yesterday in Sweden’s largest newspaper Aftonbladet.
The classified service had troubles in tracking the fraudster since he/she used a temporary mail address in the advertisement. According to the police they receive about 30 similar cases a month.
Eniro has implemented the Freespee privacy protection service in their classified service. Hence, their advertisers receive privacy protection, but not by opening up for Fraud. Instead, that door is closed, forever. More Classified partners are about to be disclosed later on this year, which is good for the consumer. Our ambition is to remove fraud and uncertainty from Online sales.

Daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter writes about Freespee

Today Freespee is covered in the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter with an article about temporary numbers and privacy online. The article describes our service with temporary phonenumbers that guarantees your integrity, since you can give different numbers in different forums, especially forums where you might usually hesitate to give out your number, like online dating or when selling stuff online on sites like blocket.se.
The full article (in Swedish) can be read at www.dn.se if you don’t have access to the printed magazine.

Privacy protection, tricky for Classifieds

Metro, the daily newspaper, wrote today about Freespee, or almost. The Metro journalist wrote about the risk for thefts that comes with advertisements in Online classified services. In most countries, your private phone number connects you to an physical address, your home. This is information that the telecom operators hands out to the whitepages. Hence, by placing an advertisement on a leading classified service where you also state your phone number, it is easy to find your address and your gods. This is used by criminals! Every day.
So, what could I do as a consumer? I can’t sell a premium mountainbike without letting a potential buyer contact me by phone to ask relevant questions. What did the Metro article propose? Do not put your number in the Ad. Wrong!! This will significantly decrease your probability to sell your product. The sales cycle will be longer.
Now the journalist knows about Freespee. This is exactly why we started this project 2 years ago. We have been working hard since then. In less than 3-4 months, consumers in all Nordic countries will be able to choose a temporary phone number for an advertisement in leading classified services. The contracts are there, we are working on technical fine tuning and integration issues.
It has taken us 2 years to come here. Now we can’t wait for the day where everyone will feel safe in handing out a phone number for a voice contact. We are so close. If you also can’t wait, ask for an Invite to Freespee beta at www.freespee.se, www.freespee.no or www.freespee.dk.

Integrity online

Since the web has become more and more transparent, integrity is becoming a big issue. Today anyone that knows your telephone number can find your home address, who you’re living with and so on.
Yesterday the Swedish webmagazine TechWorld (idg.se) had an article on how to secure your integrity on Google. The article focused on your integrity while using Google. At Freespee we believe that integrity is a big issue not only when it comes to services like Google, but when it comes to your daily usage of the internet. At Freespee we provide a service that helps you secure your integrity online. Please read more about Freespee and why you should use Freespee!