With the question of privacy continuing at the forefront of our minds every time we touch a computer keyboard or our SmartPhones, yesterday a new bad guy emerged. Hold on to your hats; the latest “I want to steal your data” villain is . . . 60 Minutes.
Yes, that 60 Minutes. A few months ago the several-decades-old, started-it-all television news magazine created a Google Chrome App to make watching the TV program on-line as easy as possible for you. Then yesterday, when a new version of the Chrome Internet browser hit my computer, the 60 Minutes App became a privacy and security hazard. And Google’s browser caught it, and stopped 60 minutes from stealing my browser history.
The first time I started Chrome after yesterday’s update, I saw—just for a moment—this warning message:
That warning disappeared from my screen as quickly as it showed up, and has continued to behave that way each time I’ve started Chrome since the update. Interesting that Google throws a dialog box with two options at you but that the dialog box disappears so quickly you can’t make a selection, don’t you think? It’s almost a “press any key to continue” situation!
I figured out how to click that re-enable” button, and here’s what popped up next:
Thank you, Google, for having my back on security, by disabling a piece of software that had decided to steal my data and violate my privacy. And while I’m not happy that I had no control over the process until I Computer Answer Guy‘d it up, at least you had my back. But 60 Minutes . . . seriously?
This is not a business change you want to emulate. Dear 60 Minutes: If you want your
customers’ viewers’ private data, you need to ask for it.
On the user side, there are some simple lessons.
First, please keep your browser software up to date. Odd as this might sound, Microsoft, Google, and Mozilla are the best friends you have in the privacy game.
Second, whatever you think “privacy” is, the sad reality is that there’s really no such thing as private information.
And hey, 60 Minutes? Stop Stealing Peoples’ Data!
Maybe Warren Buffett is right to use Internet Explorer. Oh, that crafty guy!