control

Definition of Privacy in the Digital Age

We seem to be caught between two stools of thought on Privacy – either Privacy is dead (aka Mark Zuckerberg and more recent posts such ashttp://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2015/02/11/privacy-is-following-chivalry-to-the-grave-heres-why-thats-a-good-thing/) or the Go Dark movement. This seems to be looking at issues incorrectly, because we haven’t defined what Privacy is.

Specifically, being private doesn’t mean not sharing anything – it means being in control of what you share, to whom and when. For example, I am a private person, but I share sex with my wife, I share family issues within my family group, I share my finances with my financial advisor, I am happy for my supermarket to know what I buy. The point is that in the physical world I am largely (but never completely) in control of my privacy and that includes what I share and with whom.

So privacy does NOT mean no sharing. This is important as sharing is the grease to the future economy – combining different data sets that I share will enable radically new services and experiences that I have yet to even think of.  Privacy equates to controlled sharing. There is a spectrum of sharing for data items: from items I keep solely to myself, to items I share with one or a few people and ask not to be shared further, to data I may share more widely and allow to be re-shared, to data which I share with the world (either as me or in anonymised form).

We should include “for what purpose” in the above definition of what privacy implies re control and to most people they would. If I disclose to a close friend a secret so I can get feedback for example, I do not expect that secret to be disclosed to others – it was only for the purpose of our conversation. However, I can’t control my friend directly and he may tell others. In which case of course he has lost trust and I probably won’t share with him again – or at least will share more carefully. This is of course the same in the digital world. If I share with you for a purpose and you use for another purpose then I am unlikely to want to share with you again.

So, I propose we define Privacy as “The ability to control your personal data, including who you share it with, when and for what purpose“.

(Note: the dictionary defines Privacy as the “condition of being secret”. In my digital privacy definition we propose this is equivalent to “being in control of who is in on the secret”).

friday

Friday Fun: The Look Back One

Easter has gone,spring is here,why not take a look back at what you were doing this time last year?

Just like Facebook and Timehop we have a look back feature that you can use to see what you were up to this time last year.  You can schedule your lookback to automatically happen just like we have described in this article. Or alternatively you can just browse to this date last year using the calendar functionality and here’s how to do that:

Look Back Using The Calendar

Step 1.

Open digi.me.

Step 2.

Go to the calendar and select the current date but last year.

Lookback calendar

All the social media updates you now see in your timeline are on that day last year. Feel free to share them with your friends and colleagues.

Download

history

Guest Post: Social Media Forever Changes The Way We Explore History

Social media forever changes how we explore history.  That statement, while innocent enough, has profound implications for future generations.

I grew up learning history from textbooks and memorizing the exploits of explorers like Christopher ColumbusVasco Nunez de Balboa and Amerigo Vespucci who I remember writing a paper on. I know that today history is taught with a lot more attention to the every day people who lived rather than the famous ones but we still have so little information on the lives of the masses.  The everyday lives of most people is lost to us.  We see often see their lives through the eyes of those who wrote about them, not in their own words. Social media has changed forever the way we will record and learn history.

With the ability to record, photograph and video our daily lives, social media has given future generations a window into the everyday lives, thoughts and feelings of those that will come before them, “us”. Think of the wealth of information on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others.  For many people these social media sites provide a platform from which to explore their feelings, relationships, beliefs, opinions and the simple nuances of their everyday lives. Future generations will know what we thought about everything simply by having access to social media platforms.

Think of the ability for a family to pass on this type of personal information to future generations.  It will seem as if you were actually listening to your great great grandmother when you didn’t have the opportunity to know her at all. To me this wealth of historical information is an invaluable role that social media will play over the coming decades.  Technology has made it possible to know the everyday lives of generations so that history does not depend on those in power to tell the story.  Nor will history books be able to gloss over events that are “unpopular” or show a negative slant on things.  With everyone a journalist, photographer and videographer, the voices and pictures of the past will speak for themselves.

I did an oral history project many years ago for college and I remember talking to a 90 year old woman about her life in Manchester, Connecticut.  I recorded our meetings and then compiled a paper which fascinated me because of its personal richness.  It was the ancient art of history through storytelling that could now be kept on tape.  How far we have come even in the last 20 years with technology and the emergence of social media.

A platform such as digi.me which allows us to save our social media content provides everyone with the opportunity to pass on a living diary of their life to their family members.  How incredibly powerful the access and control of this personal information will be not only to those using it in their time but to the vast accumulation of personal historical knowledge.

About the Author

PETS picture (3)Debbie Harris is the President of Performance Intermedia, LLC a social media consulting company.  Debbie works with businesses both for profit and not for profit to ensure they are getting the most out of social media and understand best practices.  She has a Master’s Degree in Social Media Compliance and the Law. Performance Intermedia, LLC provides social media strategy, graphic design, training, effective social advertising and posting for their clients. Debbie is a very active Rotarian both on the Club and District level. She sits on the Advisory Board for a local high school.  She has just completed an e-book on 7 Strategic Techniques for Gaining Clients from LinkedIn and writes for several publications.  Debbie does workshops and seminars related to social media and its effective use.  Debbie can be reached at Debbie@PImedia.me.

onthisday

How To Get On This Day for All Your Social Networks

Last week Facebook announced at their annual F8 conference that they have just launched their “On This Day” feature.  Now many of you may have used services like TimeHop for the same thing but did you know that digi.me also has this option but across all your social networks?

The difference with using digi.me to do your “On This Day” look back is that you can look back across all your different social networks and not just Facebook.  So if you are a fan of the Facebook feature then why not try out our version and share what you find on your other social networks as a daily notification.

In addition to this you will soon be getting multi-year look back features on digi.me so you can look back at what you were doing 1, 2, 3 or even 4 years ago!  History is fascinating and this digital diary will help you share those interesting insights into your life history!

How to find the On This Day feature in digi.me

Step 1.

Set the time of day when you want your “On This Day” notification by going to Settings/ Settings and Enable Flashback every day and set the time to a time to suit you.

enableflashback

Step 2.

When the time arrives you will see a popup in the bottom right of your screen that looks something like this:

lookback popup

Click on the popup to see the expanded view.

lookback

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Share your favourite digi.me look back moments with us on our social media accounts!

Backup Computer Key

Useful Backup Tools

You know that you need to backup your computer and your online content but what are the best tools for the job?  This article gives you some suggestions of tools that you can use to do just that.

PC Backup Tools

There are lots of options when it comes to backing up a PC and some of these are free or relatively cheap and some are paid for services.

Online vs Offline Backups… You have two options with your PC.  You can back your content up online or you can back it up to an offline device.  If you have poor internet access then we would suggest you go with doing offline backups to an external hard drive.  This would be your quickest and simplest answer however it is easy to forget to do it so set a reminder in your calendar to do it regularly.

If you have decent internet access then online backups are certainly a quick and painless approach if you don’t have loads of large files to back up. There are a range of services out there that offer this.

This article from PC Pro gives a good comprehensive list of cloud backup services for you to choose from.

Mac Backup Tools

Similarly to backing up a PC you can back up a mac to an external hard drive if you don’t have a good internet connection.

Cloud backup tools are also an option but remember with a mac you also have the option of backing up to iCloud.  You can find the instructions on how to do this here.

Mobile Backup Tools

Mobiles can be one of those things that you just completely forget to back up and yet they are one of the things that we use most and capture a lot of our memories with.  So how exactly can you back up your phone contacts, pictures and more?  If you have an iPhone the answer is easy. Just use iCloud and voila.

If you are on an Android or Windows phone then backup services such as OneDrive and GoogleDrive are great alternative options. This article on the 10 Best Android Backup Apps may come in handy for those looking for a tool to just do it all without any technical know how.  For Windows phone just follow these simple instructions to set where you want your data backed up to.

Social Media Backup Tools

When it comes to our online social media content we often don’t consider backing it up and yet we would be lost without it!  So how do you back up your content from social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIN?  The answer here is simple. You can download digi.me for free and back up your four favourite social media accounts for free for a year this World Backup Day!

Make the most of the offer and tell your friends and family!

Digi.me Download Offer

Why backups are so important

Every day you probably hear at least one person in the office go “Aaah help I’ve just lost everything I did in the last hour!” or something similar.  That is unless they have a backup and then they just revert to that and off they go again.

On the 31st March 2015 it is World Backup Day and to celebrate the occasion we are offering our software free for 1 year to all those who download between now and the 31st March.

What is a backup?

A backup is a recent historical version of the document, update or information that you have been working on. It is usually not as up to date as the latest version but it is there for you to fall back on should you ever need it.

Why would I need that?

Well quite simply we all make mistakes. We save over things, we delete things that we really didn’t mean to delete and we do things without realizing what or how that will impact things in the future. If the content is on a mobile phone or laptop then the content or the device could get damaged, lost or stolen.

When should I backup?

It is worth backing up your computer, phone and tablet at least once a week but if that is just a bit too often aim for once a month.

What about your online content?

Many people don’t realize that they can backup their online content especially their social media content. By using digi.me they can backup their social media content quickly on a daily basis so they never lose their updates or images ever again.

 

data retention

Data Retention: Why is it such a challenging issue?

You may have read recently in the news about the Netherlands Data Protection law being scrapped as it breaches human rights legislation.  This isn’t the first time that a country has had challenges with data retention legislation or with the clash between data retention and human rights.

Data retention is a complex issue.  On the one hand data retention is a good thing as it ensures that historic data is captured forever and can be looked back over.  This means that historic data can be used for learning and building upon.  On the other hand that data could be used for all sorts of other uses.  It could be used for evidence in court cases, it could be used to fight crime and for all sorts of other purposes.

The use of data is the issue that adds the complexity to data retention. Collecting and retaining data for 1 year – 10 years isn’t a technical challenge or even a business challenge.  It is a moral one. Who should own that data, where should it be stored and who should have access to it?

Data Ownership

Who should own the data about you? Should it be you, your government, your service providers, your infrastructure providers or an independent third party? Each of these options have their benefits and drawbacks. On a personal level we all like to think that we own our data however on a broader spectrum we currently give our data to third parties such as our phone providers, our governments and even our social network providers.

It is our basic human right to decide who we provide our information to. What we don’t have control over is how long those providers have access to that information and how they then use that information about us. This is where the challenges get complicated.

Historically we have controlled our data but our providers have owned it. The trend now is that we are beginning to understand what that means and we no longer all want our data to be owned, managed and controlled by third parties to use as they please.

We will start to see data being seen as more important than ever and new innovative approaches to us owning and controlling our personal data and the access to that data.

Data Storage

When we provide our data to third parties such as our government or our service providers we have no idea where or how that data may be used. For that matter we don’t know where that data is being stored or shared unless someone contacts us to let us know.  This again is a challenge.

Where should our data be stored. Should it be under our control which countries and companies have access to our personal data?  How would that affect how our data was used and would it be in our best interest for it to be stored by us in a location of our choosing?

Data Access

We have already touched upon data access a little but when we are looking at personal data we can’t help but talk about the access to that data. When third parties control our data they have the ability to share that data with whomever they choose. (subject to regulation of course) When we talk about this in terms of governments each government in each country has their own regulations on what can and can’t be done with personal data. Just compare the UK and the US for example. The regulations in these areas are vastly different.

So how does this affect us?  On the simplest level data access is one of the key causes of cold callers to your phone.  However data access also provides the ability to personalize advertising and online experiences. It also provides that ability to purchase things like road tax online here in the UK. There are benefits to having your personal data available to third parties.  There are also down sides. If you don’t know how that data is being used or if it is used for malicious purposes it causes significant problems. Phishing scams online are just one example of this.

Access to our data is essential but who has access and how is key.  So when you read headlines around data retention and privacy it is worth understanding how and who has access to your data.

The future is changing constantly and it will be interesting to see where the regulations end up in Europe and the rest of the world.

How do you see data retention changing in the future and how important is historic data really?

friday

Friday Fun: Advanced Social Search

Did you know that with digi.me you can search not just all of your social media updates but also specific parts of your social media content?  For example you could search for the phrase “social media” within profiles to find all those people who have described their interests as including social media.

advanced search

To find advanced search. Click on the magnifying glass icon next to “All accounts” & select advanced. Here you can select the different types of content within each account.

You can even search the text associated with just images if you are looking for a specific image. Imagine the scenario that you shared an image or liked and image and left a comment but you can’t find it again.  Use the social search to find that image by just searching the photo’s shared via Facebook and Instagram.

What would you use the advanced search features for and how could you see this being useful for you?

budget

The Budget 2015 – How does it affect our digital landscape?

The latest UK budget announcement sets the scene for the startup landscape in 2015 and beyond.  There were some interesting trends in this years budget that will affect startups and freelancers along with some larger impact projects that will speed up innovation in parts of the UK. Take a look at a few of the trends that we thought were of particular interest.

The Death of the Tax Return

A major step for freelancers and the self-employed, Osborne confirmed rumours that there would be an end to the annual tax return. Claiming “people shouldn’t be working for the taxman”, annual tax returns will be abolished by 2020 with information HMRC needs automatically uploaded into new digital tax accounts. The chancellor said that this will enable businesses to feel they are paying a “simple single business tax” – “tax shouldn’t be taxing”.

Basically all your tax records will become digital and managed through the web. The plan is to save time doing taxing tax returns each year. It will be interesting to see how this pans out in the long run. s

National Insurance Cuts for Self Employed

Class 2 National Insurance contributions for the self-employed will be abolished in the next government. Further consultations on this are to be announced.

This combined with the death of the tax return suggests that the UK government is pushing towards more self-employment within the UK as an employment trend. This means for startups there is likely to be less red tape for freelancers and more flexibility and availability of skilled people within the UK as more people go freelance.

Investment in the Internet of Things

Science and innovation will receive a major cash injection with up to £140m on infrastructure and cities of the future, and £40m in research into what is known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Osborne explained that IoT, featured in our Tech Trends of 2014, is connecting up everything from urban transport to medical devices to household appliances.

This technology trend has seen increasing growth globally and is becoming the buzz phrase for 2015.  With it comes new uses for technology and more personal data becoming available for multiple purposes. Consider how you want your personal and business data used and managed. (By you or by the companies who create the devices)

Supporting the Sharing Economy

Measures to support the sharing economy include the launch of two pilot ‘Sharing Cities’ in Leeds City Region and Greater Manchester in 2015-16.  The two cities, which will share £700,000 of public money between them, will be encouraged to trial local sharing initiatives in the areas of shared transport, shared public space, and health and social care.

The government also said it plans to introduce legislation that will make it easier for individuals to sub-let a room and for non-residential properties to rent out their existing parking spaces.

This trend opens up opportunities for start ups in the private room rental space, transport sharing and such like.  We may see more innovation in this space and legislation may have to continue to evolve to match the changing ways in which we work, live and travel together. 

What did you find interesting in the budget and how will it affect you or your company?  What trends have you noticed and how do you think they will affect you and your personal data?

promo images.002

How To Select Date Ranges in digi.me

Last week we were asked how do you select a date range in digi.me?  This article details some quick and simple steps to achieve this.

Step 1: Download & Open digi.me

Download digi.me here: http://digi.me/download

Once you have downloaded digi.me open the application and register your social media accounts with it and let it sync your data. Once that is done you’ll be ready to start viewing it.

Step 2: Views & Selection

Go to the Journal view.

In the header you will see a calendar icon along with a date range.  Click on this and you will see a full calendar view along with a series of options for different time periods.  You can either use the preset time periods to view your data or use a custom one.Calendar 1

For the preset time periods you just click on them and voila. You are now seeing just the content from that date range.

For custom date ranges go to the start date within the calendar and click on the date you want the period to start.  Then find the date that you want the range to end and click on that. You will then see that the whole date range is highlighted green to indicate your date range.  The range will also show in the header next to the calendar icon and you will only see the content from that date range.

Calendar 2