Tag Archives: Privacy

eGuardian Strengthens Child Internet Safety with Industry-leading Privacy Policies

Ontario, Calif. (PRWEB) February 9, 2009

eGuardian, the only online protection service to effectively block predators and make search engines and social networking sites safer for children, today announced an enhancement measure to its age-verification process that will further shield children from inappropriate content, while providing parents with added peace-of-mind.

The service provides only the age of the protected child to its partner sites – no further personal information is delivered upon verification or any time thereafter.

eGuardian offers parents an age-verification service that makes it safe for their kids to take advantage of online learning, social networking and exploring opportunities. Unlike systems that restrict access, eGuardian actually enhances a child’s online experience by allowing them to safely explore the Internet without exposing them to adult content or abusive Internet marketers.

“Today’s announcement re-affirms our commitment of providing a safe Web environment for children while maintaining the highest level of security and privacy protection,” said Ron Zayas, chief executive officer of eGuardian.

According to the recent study by the Internet Safety Technical Task Force (ISTTF), the goal of protecting children online can be achieved only through a combination of improved technical safeguards and parental involvement. The eGuardian system makes it easier for parents to be a part of their child’s online experience, while allowing children the freedom to explore, learn and interact. Partner sites can use eGuardian to initiate automatic protections that are age-appropriate, and communicate back to the parents when necessary, all without ever collecting any personal information from the child.

These security issues were key components in the ISTTF findings, and have also been bolstered by America’s attorneys general, who have long advocated using technology for online protection. Some states have already introduced legislation that would require measures to protect children from Internet predators.

“In my experience, the predator is not just the stereotypical predator looking to engage a child, it can be the child’s online friends, a school bully or parent thereof or other children themselves,” said Nicole Friel, President and CEO of network security service provider Elite Development Group. “The real danger comes when a child is on a site where any type of predator can hide behind anonymity or once the plans have been made to initiate actual contact. eGuardian’s service reduces children’s vulnerability, while allowing parents to become a part of their children’s online experience and regain authority over their online activity.”

The eGuardian service’s stricter controls over the release of personal details ease parents’ concerns by eliminating the need to give up information in order to protect their children. eGuardian is leading the industry in protecting children while safeguarding their right to privacy.

About eGuardian

eGuardian is a child’s constant companion on the Internet. Based in Ontario, Calif., the company’s patented technology provides a revolutionary new solution that blocks contact with online predators and filters out adult content without hindering a child’s learning, social networking and exploring opportunities. For more information, call 877-EGUARD-1, or visit eGuardian at http://www.eguardian.com.


Parents Using Anti-Bullying Software May Give Up Family Privacy

Denver, CO (PRWEB) January 7, 2011

Denver-based School Safety Partners is urging parents signing up for online anti-bullying programs to first know the risks to their family’s privacy and the potential for increased personal liability.

Many software companies are offering computer programs that enable parents to monitor the online and social media activities of family members as well as their email and text messages. School Safety Partners claims that parents may be unaware of how personal information monitored through these services may be used by the companies.

For example, parents may be required to grant the computer company irrevocable permission to publish any and all family communications monitored through the company’s service.

MouseMail.com, owned by Safe Communications in Arizona, is currently requiring the first 100,000 families registering for the company’s parental monitoring service to grant such permission even after termination of service.

MouseMail’s terms and conditions, posted on its registration page, states in clause 17: “With respect to any Content or User Content that You upload to the Service or transmit through the Service, You hereby grant Safe Communications, Inc. a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publically perform, publicly display, and distribute that Content and User Content, the subject of the Content and other data.”

Also, parents may feel that the monitoring services give them more control over how to resolve issues that they catch involving their children, when in fact the services may more readily expose the family to serious consequences in civil and criminal court.

SafetyWeb, makers of parental control and social media monitoring software, includes in its privacy policy a clause about turning over private information to the police: “We may disclose any information about you to government or law enforcement officials or private parties as we, in our sole discretion, believe necessary or appropriate to respond to claims, legal process (including subpoenas), to protect the property and rights of SafetyWeb or a third party, the safety of the public or any person, to prevent or stop any illegal, unethical, or legally actionable activity, or to comply with the law.”

Such a clause is typical in the industry, notes School Safety Partners in looking over the terms of use and privacy policies of over a dozen software companies competing in the field. In addition, almost all companies reserve the right to change any of their terms or policies at any time without notice.

SocialShield offers to resolve some matters internally, citing a “Cyber Bullying Promise.” The company defines cyber bullying as “use of a monitored social network to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to hurt or embarrass a child monitored by Social Shield.” In order for the company to intercede, the family must accept privacy setting or other configuration changes recommended by SocialShield.

Some companies offer their services for free. For instance, ePals recently provided a safe, secure and customizable email solution to the New York City Department of Education for the city’s approximately 2 million students and parents. The service is designed to improve communication among parents, teachers, and students.

However, such a business model applied to the online Internet safety companies may further compound the privacy issues for users. According to School Safety Partners, most of the companies are small and if they offer their services for free or at a nominal cost their value is primarily based on the size of their membership. Those companies are likely to be targeted for purchase by larger companies interested in acquiring the membership roster in order to quickly expand their own membership. If that happens, the terms of service explain that all private user information may be freely transferred to the new company.

Monitoring a child’s online activities, emails, and text messages is a highly complex task, and a potentially overwhelming one for any parent. It requires tight coordination with kids impatient to receive their messages throughout the day, particularly when facing a high volume of messages day-after-day. Before taking on the role of a monitor, School Safety Partners recommends that parents ask themselves the following questions concerning privacy and liability.

1. Does the service company acquire all rights to publish my family’s private messages?

2. Does the service company have the right to turn over my family’s messages to authorities without my authorization or without first notifying me?

3. What are my obligations to the service company if a matter is to be resolved privately?

4. Will I be adequately notified about any changes to the company’s privacy policy?

5. Does my child’s school have a policy about confiscating and searching cell phones? If so, how does it conflict with my parental monitoring and controls?

6. What are the legal consequences of preserving or deleting incriminating messages? How should offensive content be preserved or deleted?

7. Am I obligated to report criminal activity or serious risk behavior that the service brings to my attention?

8. In my state, what are the legal consequences of sexting, cyber-bullying, forwarding third-party offensive messages, issuing threats of violence, and other online criminal activities?

9. How long does the service company store my family’s messages and online activity logs?

10. Will my family’s private information be accessible for investigations centered around other families, or for out-of-state or national investigations?

For more information about bullying and other school safety issues, visit School Safety Partners at http://www.SchoolSafetyPartners.org.

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United Parents Protects Children and Their Privacy Online, Launches Early Alert System for Caring Parents

Tel Aviv, Israel (PRWEB) May 03, 2011

United Parents Child Protection Service (http://www.unitedparents.com) launched today as the free early-warning solution to help caring parents safeguard children from predators and bullies online, without invading their privacy.

The free software installed on a childs computer and those shared with the rest of the family offers parents serenity through the knowledge their children are shielded from online offenders. Social networking and instant messaging are monitored in the background and analyzed by over fifty behavioral parameters to root out potential threats. Parents dont see their childs online conversations, but instead receive an alert when suspicious relationships or activities are detected. They can also view a big picture assessment of the childs online behavior via web dashboard. Both tools provide increased opportunities to initiate conversations offline, building trust among the family.

Our kids today have more social interactions online than anyplace else, and its a challenge for even the most involved parent to keep up, said United Parents CEO Hanan Lavy. Our comprehensive solution represents the next generation of online child-safety. Unlike previous tools which only filter content or monitor sites over the public web, United Parents extends the reach of parents to where their kids really live online their personal social network and I.M. connections. Yet, we do it in a way that respects them and keeps their privacy intact.

The service uses the power of the crowd to amplify its safety net and build a protective community among enrolled families. It maintains a comprehensive digital fingerprint for every potential predator who interacts with a registered child. Parents are alerted whenever their child encounters one of these previously identified threats. As the user base grows, United Parents leverages the communitys collective power to provide increasingly secure protection for all members. Other features include:

Personal and Passtouch Receive Innovator Spotlight Award at Privacy Identity Innovation Conference (pii2011)

Sunnyvale, CA (PRWEB) May 26, 2011

Personal and Passtouch were each presented with an Audience Choice Award for their participation in the 2nd annual Privacy Identity Innovation conference (pii2011), which was held May 19-20 at the Santa Clara Marriott hotel in Silicon Valley. The two companies were among 12 tech start-ups selected to demo their technologies on stage as part of the pii2011 Innovator Spotlight program.

Personal and Passtouch were chosen by an audience of over 250 leading executives, technologists, policy experts and academic researchers that gathered at pii2011 last week to look at where innovation is heading and what it means for the future of digital privacy, identity and trust.

Personal, based in Washington, D.C., has developed a platform to enable individuals to own, control and benefit from their data instead of companies. Co-founder and CEO Shane Green demonstrated their first product, a Web and mobile data vault for organizing, finding and giving permission-based access to personal data, and introduced the companys Owner Data Agreement, which provides a new legal framework to protect individuals. To learn more about Personal, visit http://www.personal.com.

We are excited to receive the pii2011 Innovator Spotlight Audience Choice Award not only because it was the first time we introduced Personal to the industry, but also because it was decided by our peers many of whom have been working on these issues for years, said Green.

The other audience favorite was Passtouch, a stealth start-up located in Surf City, North Carolina that is in the process of developing a quick and secure password alternative for touch screen devices. In his five-minute on stage demo at pii2011, the companys founder and CEO Jason Boger demonstrated how his technologys interface was so user-friendly that even a four-year-old child could use it. Boger expects Passtouchs first product, an iPad application, to be available in the Apple iTunes Store later this summer. More information about Passtouch is available at http://www.passtouch.com.

The pi2011 Innovator Spotlight program, which was sponsored by Innovators Network, also featured presentations from the founders of 10 other start-ups:

Bluelight Bluelight is an iPhone app that notifies your friends and family when you don’t arrive at your destination as planned, maintaining both privacy and safety.

BUMP.com BUMP.com is a provider of cloud-based transaction, membership and communication technologies, including a social network utilizing license plate messaging and location couponing.

Connect.me Connect.me is the first social discovery network that works across all popular social networks, starting with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, enabling people to build their own personal trust networks by vouching for the people they respect most in the contexts they care about most.

Disconnect Disconnect helps people understand the data they share online and makes simple tools for them to control this data.

Everloop Everloop is the next generation in online social community platforms designed specifically for users under the age of 13.

FaceCash FaceCash is a payment system that turns your phone into a digital wallet. Instead of using your written signature to verify purchases, merchants use FaceCash to verify that your real face matches a digital image linked to your account.

idAngels idAngels maps the natural ability of people to recognize one another across the population. Through carefully choreographed social collaboration around photos, webcams and mobile phones, idAngels protect the people that they care about from identity fraud.

NeighborGoods NeighborGoods.net connects neighbors to save money, live more sustainably and strengthen their local community by sharing goods and skills in a safe and fun community.

SecretSocial SecretSocial is a real-time service for people to have authentic conversations on the social Web.

WanderID WanderID helps identify young children and people with cognitive difficulties like Alzheimer’s, autism, brain injury or Down syndrome who are often not able to identify themselves in an emergency.

All of the companies that participated in the Innovator Spotlight program did an incredible job of showcasing their technologies, and they deserve congratulations, said pii2011 co-founder and executive producer Natalie Fonseca. We look forward to watching their progress in the weeks and months ahead.

Independently produced by SageScape, the creators of the annual Tech Policy Summit conference, pii2011 offers an open forum for spirited and participatory dialogue about the future of digital privacy and identity in an increasingly interconnected world. Last weeks conference featured speakers from over 70 companies and organizations, including Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Intuit, HP, TRUSTe, Pattern Builders, BlueCava, Face.com, Loopt, the Federal Trade Commission, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse and SelectOut.

The next conference is currently being planned for the Fall of 2011. More information on pii2011 and the Innovator Spotlight program can be found online at http://pii2011.com.

Sponsors of the pii2011 conference include Google, TRUSTe, Innovators Network, TechAmerica, PrivacyCamp, Privacy by Design, Center for Democracy and Technology, Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies, Techdirt and Women 2.0.

About SageScape

Privacy Identity Innovation (pii2011) and pii Labs are independently produced by SageScape, a privately-held company founded in 2003 that specializes in producing and promoting executive-level conferences and online communities for the high technology industry. In addition to the annual Tech Policy Summit (TPS) and Privacy Identity Innovation conferences, SageScape works on leading industry events for a variety of clients — ranging from early-stage start-ups to top global brands. To learn more, visit our sites at http://pii2011.com and http://TechPolicyCentral.com You can also follow us on Twitter at @TechPolicy.

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Collegiate Nation’s Privacy Mom Tells College Students Don’t Let Congress Order Spying on You

Pembroke Pines, Fl (PRWEB) January 13, 2012

The maverick and outspoken founder of Collegiate Nation, also known as the “Privacy Mom” is kicking off her 2012 “Occupy Privacy” campaign by urging all college students to support the push to defeat H.R. 1981. “The bill would order online service providers to keep records of everyone’s online activities, to help the government identify the web sites we visit and the content we post,” says the leader of Collegiate Nation, Evelyn Castillo-Bach.

“H.R. 1981 is un-American and a direct threat to every person who uses the internet. It assumes everyone is a potential criminal that must be tracked, logged and monitored. For college students, it’s a super-threat because more than anyone else they post volumes online,” says Castillo-Bach who founded Collegiate Nation to protect college students from what she calls “privacy vultures.”

Collegiate Nation — also known as GoCNCN.com — finds it especially objectionable that the provision that explicitly violates everyone’s privacy is embedded within a bill that is intended to catch child pornographers. “Everyone wants child pornographers caught and prosecuted. But it is an insult to tell Americans that they must all give up their online privacy so law enforcement can catch child pornographers,” says Castillo-Bach, who adds: “What’s next? Will they want to put surveillance cameras in everyone’s home to make sure no child is being exploited and abused? Any law that allows government to track innocent people belongs in countries ruled by terrorists and dictators and not in the United States.”

Collegiate Nation urges all college students to visit the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) website where they can easily send an electronic message to their representative in Congress to oppose passage of H.R. 1981. The call to action is titled: “Don’t Let Congress Order Internet Companies to Spy on You Block the Data Retention Mandate.” EFF is a donor-funded nonprofit. By mobilizing concerned citizens through its Action Center, EFF beats back bad legislation. In addition to advising policymakers, EFF educates the press and public.

Company Information:

Collegiate Nation is the first and only private social network exclusively for college students. It launched in late 2009 and was reviewed by Read Write Web and the New York Times in 2010. In late 2011, the site was totally redesigned to meet the demands of its student members who wanted more features. Today, the site is open to all college students with an edu address. Collegiate Nation is known for fiercely protecting the privacy rights of college students. It has banned ads, all third party apps and games because they are back doors to extracting private information. The founder of Collegiate Nation is Evelyn Castillo-Bach. She earned her M.S. in 1993 from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has traveled extensively in Ethiopia and in the Balkans, accompanying her Danish husband who is a lawyer.

View videos by Collegiate Nation


Fieldhouse Media Offers Universities Social Media Monitoring Without Violating the Privacy of Student-Athletes

Oklahoma City, OK (PRWEB) March 07, 2012

There has been a lot of criticism in recent weeks about the tactics used by several universities and the consultants hired to monitor student-athlete social media activity. Should a bill recently introduced in Maryland become law, some of these practices would become illegal.

Fortunately for universities which still want peace of mind about how their students are using social media, Fieldhouse Media provides an alternative.

Fieldhouse Media, a firm established to educate student-athletes on how to properly use social media, announced in January its social media monitoring service called FieldTrack. According to founder Kevin DeShazo, Fieldhouse can monitor student-athletes’ online activity while respecting their privacy

“It’s unfortunate that some in this industry have chosen to operate in such an invasive manner. FieldTrack is designed to protect the image of the student-athlete, while also respecting their privacy. We never have access to their private information.”

DeShazo says that FieldTrack is an extension of the education and training provided by Fieldhouse. “Monitoring is necessary, but it should exist to supplement education. And it has to realize that, while yes it is the internet, there can be some privacy. I wanted a program that I would be comfortable with, should a school use it to monitor my child.”

Bradley Shear, co-author of the Maryland bill, stated in a recent MSNBC article that while schools certainly have reason to be concerned with what student-athletes are posting online, that they should “deal with that issue the way they deal with everything else. They should educate.”

DeShazo continues, “Education really is the key. It has to start there. Everything we do, from education to monitoring, is geared toward helping student-athletes make better decisions online.”

About Fieldhouse Media:

Founded in 2011, Fieldhouse Media is a leader in social media education for student-athletes. With the perspective that social media is a valuable and powerful tool, Fieldhouse Media partners with athletic departments to educate student-athletes on how to use social media in a positive way. Through FieldTrack, they monitor social media activity to help protect the online image of student-athletes.

To learn more about Fieldhouse Media, contact Kevin DeShazo directly at:





SociallyActive Exposes Facebook Privacy Loopholes and Helps Parents Protect Their Teens From Malicious Activity

Boston, MA (PRWEB) October 23, 2012

SociallyActive LLC, a family owned company passionate about protecting teens online announced today that it has released the Ultimate Facebook Privacy Toolkit for Parents. This toolkit is a parents best friend in helping to protect their childs online privacy.

At the core of this new offer is the SociallyActive Privacy Assurance Platform. It connects directly to Facebook and alerts parents to potential threats and dangers. The service is specially designed to protect teens against the various privacy loopholes in Facebook.

Its not necessarily what your teen is doing on Facebook that threatens their privacy, but what their friends are TAGGING-them-in that can be the biggest problem. Said Chris Crosby, cofounder and Managing Director of SociallyActive. Additionally, because of Facebooks difficult to understand privacy settings, parents arent always able to see what their teens are being tagged-in even if they are friends. We fix that by providing a robust set of tools to empower both parents and teens.

The Ultimate Facebook Privacy Toolkit includes a one-year membership to SociallyActives cutting edge Privacy Assurance Service, as well as exclusive guides and videos that walk parents and teens through exactly what settings to configure in your their Facebook account to ensure their privacy.

The toolkit bundle includes:

A one-year subscription to SociallyActives Privacy Assurance Service.
The Step-by-Step Guide to Securing your Teens Privacy on Facebook (a 30 page eBook).
Video course lessons. Each between 3 and 15 minutes that instruct parents how to adjust their teens Facebook privacy settings and provide expert tips to keep your teen safe online.
100% Money Back Guarantee anytime during membership.

At first I didnt think I needed to monitor my daughters Facebook activity. I thought I would respect her privacy. Said John Butler, a customer of SociallyActive. But after her ex-boyfriend starting tagging her in inappropriate photos that werent even her, I realized the only way to respect my daughters privacy is to help her protect it. SociallyActive helps me do that.

The Ultimate Facebook Privacy Toolkit and Monitoring Service is valued at $ 199 per year, however this exclusive bundle of resources is available through the end of October for a one-time special price of $ 69. For details on this special offer, go to SociallyActive.com

Netsmart to Conduct Data Segmentation Privacy Pilot as Part of Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technologys Data Segmentation for Privacy Initiative

Overland Park, KS (PRWEB) December 20, 2012

Netsmart, the leading provider of clinical solutions for health and human services organizations nationwide, today announced that it will conduct a pilot project as part of the Data Segmentation for Privacy (DS4P) Initiative of the U.S. Department of Human Services National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). The primary goal of the pilot is to demonstrate a viable method to exchange sensitive data, including substance abuse data protected by federal confidentiality law, between behavioral health and physical health providers. Data segmentation is the process of sequestering from capture, access or view certain data elements that would be perceived as sensitive by the patient.

Data Segmentation for Privacy aims to allow providers to electronically send and receive health information protected by jurisdictional, organizational, or patient-directed policies appropriately, said Scott Weinstein, Presidential Management Fellow with ONCs Office of the Chief Privacy Officer. This capability is extremely important to patients, as they want assurance that their sensitive health information will remain confidential when they choose to seek care.

Netsmart currently is helping more than 21,000 behavioral health and addiction services providers and more than a dozen HIEs and Regional Health Information Exchanges (RHIOs) across the country integrate the exchange of clinical data with healthcare provider organizations.

“We appreciate the amount of work the pilot project participants are doing and the rapid pace of the development. Were delighted to see the technology being implemented and know that it can actually work and support data segmentation,” said Johnathan Coleman, ONC Coordinator, Data Segmentation for Privacy.

Persons with mental health and addiction disorders have an extraordinary prevalence of co-occurring medical problems, including diabetes, cancer, heart disease and chronic respiratory illnesses, said Michael Valentine, CEO, Netsmart. As the leading provider of behavioral health technology solutions, we feel privileged to participate in this pilot program that supports the secure, coordinated exchange of key sensitive clinical data with the larger health care world, including physicians, hospitals, emergency facilities, medical/surgical specialists, labs and pharmacies all within the context of DS4P.

Initial work of the pilot will focus on providing a viable method to exchange sensitive data, including substance abuse treatment data, between behavioral health and physical health providers, including:

Development, testing, and release to production DS4P use cases that apply to data in transit for federally-supported substance abuse treatment programs (covered by the federal confidentiality law found at section 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations (42 CFR Part 2))
Consent directives that follow the record and ensure requirements for re-disclosure are upheld
Support for both document-level and section-level metadata
Support for sharing all and partial records
Measurement of the impact on the Electronic Health Record (EHR) for supporting privacy and consent policies of data at rest

The testing of consent management and data segmentation is critical to behavioral health providers so we can effectively and legally participate in HIEs, said Barbara Daire, CEO, Suncoast Center, Inc., a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based outpatient community social support services center, serving children and adults of all ages across multiple levels of programming. Our organization and others across the country will benefit greatly from this Netsmart-driven pilot program as we move toward more integrated, coordinated care for a broad spectrum of consumers.

The core of the pilots infrastructure will be the Netsmart CareConnect EHR-agnostic integration platform, which supports the core elements of secure DS4P-compliant data exchange, including security, auditing, data transformation, consent, orchestration, Business Activity Monitoring (BAM), complex events and rules generation.

About Netsmart

Netsmart helps health and human services organizations transform care through the collaborative, coordinated management and exchange of clinical data across the care spectrum and through effective practice management that improves revenue cycle management. More than 21,000 client organizations, including 350,000 care providers and more than 40 state systems, use Netsmart products to help improve the quality of life for tens of millions of people each year. Netsmart clients include mental health and substance use treatment agencies, psychiatric hospitals, private and group mental health practices, public health departments, social services and child and family health agencies, vital records offices, and managed care organizations. Netsmarts products are full-featured information systems that operate on a variety of operating systems, hardware platforms, and mobile devices, and offer unlimited scalability.

Netsmart provides the solutions and expertise that help its clients meet all the criteria for Meaningful Use of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.

Building upon Netsmarts Complete ARRA-Certified EHRs, Netsmart clients can also create a complete connected care environment encompassing e-prescribing and order entry, sharing clinical information and lab results, and using Web portals to provide secure and private consumer access to care information.

Netsmart is also pleased to support the EveryDay Matters Foundation, which was established for organizations within the behavioral and public health communities to learn from each other and share their causes and stories. Organizations can also request grants for their cause or to help fund technology that advances the way care is delivered. For more information, visit http://www.everydaymatters.com/foundation

For information about Netsmarts full range of solutions for health and human services organizations, visit http://www.ntst.com or call 1-800-472-5509. Also follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and visit us on YouTube.

CareConnect is a trademark of Netsmart Technologies, Inc.