Pew: 91% say consumers have lost control over how personal information is collected and used by companies

Pew Internet has published the results of a wonderful survey on American’s attitudes about privacy on-line. Here are some great nuggets:

Among the 64% of adults who use social networking sites, we find that … 70% say that they are at least somewhat concerned about the government accessing some of the information they share on those sites without their knowledge…

Similarly, 80% … say that they are at least somewhat concerned about third parties such as advertisers or businesses accessing some of the information they share on those sites without their knowledge; … In contrast to many other questions in the survey, there were only minor variations by age, education, or household income.

Fully 91% of adults “agree” or “strongly agree” that “consumers have lost control over how personal information is collected and used by companies.”

91 percent!! Unfortunately the survey didn’t ask “and are you okay with that?”

Generally, people with higher education and/or higher income are more concerned. This is not surprising — and good news for those of us who work on privacy-protecting products.

And few people agree that on-line-services are more efficient (“better”) because they have access to personal data.

Here’s a great table categorizing which information is considered sensitive:

And finally, here are the tables with the detailed results.

Thanks, Pew Internet! This is really useful.

Posted in Uncategorized

First UBOS boot on Raspberry Pi

Posted in Progress

Introducing UBOS

ubos-logo-bigThe Indie Box Project has spawned a new Linux distro called UBOS, and postscapes.com has the story here.

We’ll have more to say later.

Next meetup: Thursday, November 6, 2014, at the Hackerdojo in Mountain View (sign up here)

Posted in IoT, News, Press

VirtualBox and cloud-init

In case somebody else wants to know:

  • You can use cloud-init to configure VirtualBox virtual machines without too much trouble
  • One way of doing this is to use a “config drive”, i.e. to mount another virtual hard drive that (only) has the cloud-init configuration data on it
  • Here’s a way of creating it:
# Create empty virtual hard drive file
dd if=/dev/zero of=config.img bs=1 count=0 seek=2M
# put correct filesystem and disk label on
mkfs.vfat -n cidata config.img
# mount it somewhere so you can put the config data on
sudo mount config.img /mnt
  • Now put your config data into /mnt/user-data and /mnt/meta-data
  • Example: /mnt/user-data. This will create a user ubos-admin with a ssh key so you can log on via ssh without a password
#cloud-config
users:
 - name: ubos-admin
   gecos: UBOS administrative user
   ssh-authorized-keys:
    - insert ssh key here
   sudo: "ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/ubos-admin *, /usr/bin/bash *"
  • Example /mnt/meta-data:
instance-id: my-instance-1
  • Then, unmount:
sudo umount /mnt
  • and attach as second hard drive before you boot. If cloud-init is installed in the main
    image, it should pick up the configuration info.
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