Posts Tagged ‘privacy’

There are many possible uses for the Internet of things, but as any other technology, we cannot deny that this system have some dangers, too. How are we going to protect our privacy when the Internet of things will be extended? What would happen if, like it happened with some other technologies, it would be a failure in the system? This article offers a more sceptic point of view about the Internet of things. It exposes the concerns about a world where everything is connected and makes us think about the negative consequences that this system could have.

Are you interested in knowing more about the risks of the world that is coming? Check this article:

By Aneley Lampugnani


The Swiss drug company called “Novartis” will start testing pills with “The biotechstart-up’s ingestible chips” inside.

This chip is connected to an external chip and to a smartphone. In this process the three devices are exchanging information about the patient.

The “ingestible chip” is ain example of how the “internet of things” concept can contribute to make progress in life; not only getting life easier but even raising the level of global health.

One of the problems of this discovery is privacy: in their process is privacy between patient and doctor safe? Who could see the medical information?

Articol: “Smart Pills” Send Stats to Smartphones

by Melissa Daniels  17, February, 2012

“Pharmaceutical companies are developing a pill containing a biodegradable chip along with the medication to send information on patient’s vital statistics to a smartphone, according to a recent article in Chemical and Engineering News. Developed by Californian start-up Proteus Medical and Swiss drugmaker Novartis, the “smart pill” includes a sensor that sends vitals like heart rate or glucose level to a skin patch worn by the patient. The skin patch then sends the information to the smartphone.

The pill operates like a digital physician, able to track glucose, heart rate and respiratory rate. The science behind the discovery is revolutionary, and offers a window for pharmaceutical companies to gather more patient reaction information than ever. But the advance will likely require further testing before it can be safely implemented as a surefire benefit and not a risk.

Smartphones are increasingly becoming a tool for health monitoring. Already, doctors can instantly access patient info via smartphones and tablets. Transmitting vitals to a smartphone is also a recent development that uses physical interaction with technology to monitor patient information.

The benefits of a “smart pill” apply to patients, doctors and pharmaceutical companies alike. The speed of receiving information could be life-saving, in certain cases, if the information transmitted from the pill to the phone is faster than a trip to the doctor’s office. And if the app allows pharmaceutical companies access to the data, researchers can use the real-time patient information instead of conducting expensive clinical trials.

But the concept of ingesting a computer chip won’t be easily swallowed by all patients. Though the chip is reportedly biodegradable, it’s unclear if traces of it could last in the system long-term. Additionally, gathering information doesn’t equal a diagnosis and a doctor who sees the data but not the patient may miss physical manifestations of symptoms.

The Food and Drug Administration would have to sign off on the pill before its implementation, an agency intent on monitoring digital and medical technology integration on smartphones and tablets.

The biomedical field is often regarded as one of the most advanced technological industries, with its ability to create and use life-saving inventions. Should a “smart pill” become the next way for doctors to help their patients, it signals a new way to research and treat health problems that plays on a common, age-old treatment.”

Other articols and literature:

Saverio De Luca

Have you ever wondered why certain posts by your facebook friends show up on your feed, while others are noticeably absent? What you see and what you don´t, is actually no coincidence. In fact, facebook disseminates a lot of the information that is shared among its users. The communication which takes place on facebook is aided by an algorhithm called Edgerank. Edgerank ranks users status updates, determining which posts show up on other users’ screen. This is done by calculating users’ facebook activity in terms of a set of variables – often referred to as Affinity, Weight and Age.

Edgerank mediates the connectedness, interactivity and frequency of posting, tagging, liking, commenting, upload of pictures etc. It does so by calculating and qualifying your actions with a certain score according to the activity. But to what extent?

Edgerank arguably is meant to optimize your facebook experience, by making sure that what you see will actually catch and maintain your interest. For example, it makes sense that you are not as interested in the posts by peripheral friends as by those close to you. In optimizing the users facebook experience by means of the Edgerank algorithm, there is a ranking and connecting process going on that is outside of user control.

This has severe impacts on our conception of social life, how we interact – and, indeed how information is presented to us. Edgerank presents us with a certain set of rules, a lens through which we see, obtain and publish information. But who defines the scope of things and why are these not explicitly spelled out?


Google AdSense is a conception of publicity that appeals to the personal interest of each surfer. It is proposing a new advertising system based on algorithmic codes in order to choose the most interesting commercials for each one.

This can be a good way for the surfer to find what he finds interesting based on its individual researches on Google or in a website associated to this service.

In general, this service is seen as a good tool for the publishers and also for the users, because it helps putting in contact each publisher to the proper users. However, Adsense uses tracking cookies to find the surfers personal interest, and that can be seen as a violation of privacy. The tracking cookies make it possible to find out which websites the user has visited, and that way the advertisement can specialize to the user personally, which can make him feel like being watched. But for that reason there is a tool that allow the users to desactive this service.


It has been discussed a lot since the creation of Google Street View about the privacy problems of that program.  Thanks to an algorithm the problem is solved. What that algorithm does is to recognize the faces and the registration plates of the cars and then the program erase them automatically.

Here  is a demonstration about how Street View works after aplying this new algorithm.

This program has been created because of the hundred thousands complains from differents users accusing Google of not respecting their privacy. Germany has required Google to respect the privacity of people, creating a law to regulate the data of the german users.

Discorse about privacy legislation on Google Street View takes place also in other countries like USA or UK . If you are more interested in, you can have a look to this good case study :

“12345” has been released as the Sirian president password that gives acces to all his own private information. Owing to revealing this information, Anonymous hacktivists group intented to make people aware of the net’s fragility. In relation to that, they alert both world’s governments and ordinary citizens that privacy on the net is not guaranteed. In a time in which our identities are being constructed through Internet, be careful on what you share, you are being watched.


FRACKMAN, A; MARTIN, Rebecca; RAY, Claudia. Internet and online privacy. A legal and business guide; American Lawyer Meda, Inc; 2002

Authors: Clàudia Aragon, Iga Drobnik, Aneley Lampugnani, Ares Subirà.