Posts from author: TrueRep
Patriotic holidays—especially those involving firearms, alcohol and explosives—can occasionally get a little out of hand, resulting in legal repercussions for partygoers. Law enforcement officials even refer to July 4th as the second-most dangerous holiday of the year after New Year’s, due to the number of violations, infractions, and crimes that occur.
Intelius, a leading provider of online consumer background checks, combines data from multiple sources to create a database of nearly 20 billion public background and criminal records. We took a look at the numbers to understand the most common—and most unusual—criminal offenses during last year’s July 4th holiday weekend.
Out of 76,457 entries for offenses that happened between July 3 and July 6, 2011:
- 4,880 involved alcohol (largely related to driving under the influence, minors in possession, or open containers)
- 3,225 related to speeding charges
- 1,871 involved property (damage to, trespassing on, or incidents occurring on)
- 594 related to charges involving firearms
- 157 involved fireworks
- 142 involved boating (lack of proper equipment, violations of regulations, or operating while intoxicated).
- 123 related to noise violations
On the opposite end of the spectrum, some reported violations were a bit more…unexpected:
- Indecent exposure or public indecency (69 violations)
- Urinating or defecating in public (13 violations)
- Mail theft (28 records)
- Throwing or expelling bodily substances (4 violations, including one incident of throwing bodily fluids at an officer)
- Possessing crawfish out of season (2 violations)
- Waterskiing in a reckless manner (2 violations)
- Livestock at large (1 violation)
So what happens if you forget to use a Port-A-Potty, don’t keep your cattle properly contained, or steal your neighbor’s mail, and realize Independence Day activities might have added an entry to your public record?
One smart step is to sign up for a free TrueRep account, which allows you to see what others learn about you when they purchase a consumer background check from Intelius. Our enormous database is updated frequently, so if your holiday indiscretion is available in public records, you’ll almost certainly find out. And if what shows up doesn’t show you in a very good light, you can use our industry-leading Remarks tool to add your own explanation of what happened, so that anyone who runs a background check on you through our network of sites will hear what you have to say about the incident.
If you’d like to share a funny patriotic holiday story of your own, or if you’ve used TrueRep to explain why your party got a noise complaint, please visit the TrueRep Facebook page to join the conversation.
Twitter Introduces “Do Not Track” Privacy Feature
Last week, Twitter unveiled a brand new “Do Not Track” option that will prohibit the service from collecting data on the online behavior of its users. This new features prompted privacy experts to wonder how long Twitter has been tracking user behavior and what kind of information it collected.
The FBI’s New Tech Spy Shop: “They’re Doing the Best They Can to Avoid Being Transparent.”
The FBI is looking for ways to get past the digital locks that safeguard privacy on the Internet. They are currently pushing tech companies to build fed-friendly backdoors into their software to enable online wiretapping. Additionally, the FBI created a special unit that is responsible for developing hacks to circumvent built-in software safeguards.
Microsoft Takes Bing Streetside Offline in Germany After Privacy Complaints
Microsoft’s Bing Streetside service has been taken offline in Germany since citizens expressed their concerns about how Microsoft handles requests for blurring certain images. The German photos will be inaccessible while Microsoft evaluates the complaints and tries to figure out a solution.
FTC Appoints Privacy Advocate as Adviser
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has appointed Paul Ohm, a law professor who has been a frequent critic of current online privacy practices, as a senior privacy adviser for consumer protection and competition issues that affect Web and Mobile services.
Adobe Announces Privacy Solution for Digital Advertisers and Publishers
Last week, Adobe Systems Incorporated announced enhancements to Adobe TagManager, which allow digital advertisers and publishers to offer consumers more flexible privacy solutions including notice and control over how their data is used online. Additionally, TagManager can help digital advertisers quickly and effortlessly configure data collection practices by geography.
Can We Retain Privacy in the Era of Big Data?
The pervasiveness of social networks and the benefits of sharing personal information through social media resulted in people’s concern about their online privacy. In this article, author Don Tapscott questions the idea that privacy as a social norm is changing and becoming an outmoded concept.
Google Has Date with French Regulators
SNOPA Addresses Online Privacy Concerns
The Social Networking Online Protection Act (SNOPA) was created to prevent employers, schools and universities from asking students and employees for their usernames and passwords on social networks such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. In addition to the workplace, this issue has also been prevalent in the education sector, which is even more troubling due to children’s inability to properly defend their rights to the same extent as adults can. States like New York, Illinois, and Maryland have already begun to address this issue; however, a federal statute still needs to be involved in resolving these concerns.
Online transparency is best consumer protection
Online privacy advocates and digital advertisers continue deliberating on the issue that could limit information collected about American consumers, in addition to having the potential to significantly limit people’s access to online news, email, music and even social networks that are paid for by online advertising.
Can Schools Regulate Students’ Facebook Activity?
It’s clear from the prevalence of raunchy photos that appear regularly on various social networks that many students are unaware of online security laws as well as the effect of such actions on others. The only way that the school can lawfully enforce a punishment is if a student posts during school, at a school event, or on a student’s way to or from school.
DIY Online Reputation Management Tips
This article provides a few tips any company or business professional can master to protect their online reputation. The first thing to do is set up a strong defense against potential attacks, then set privacy settings on each of the company’s social media account and post strong, positive, compelling content.
South Bay Lawmaker’s Facebook Privacy Bill Nears Passage
A California bill to prevent companies from snooping on employees or prospective employees by logging onto their accounts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites has cleared a key committee, with little opposition expected when it goes for a vote.
Twitter Discover Highlights Pros and Cons of Personalization
Some individuals believe that the methods employed by Twitter to deliver relevant and personalized content on the Discover tab, which is based on the information that was gathered from monitoring people’s online activities and behaviors may seem like an invasion of their privacy. Although customizing content could yield positive results, it involves a certain degree of privacy infringement.
Google Street View privacy Scandal Broadens
A recent report from federal investigators and new information about the engineer behind the data collecting software used by Google Inc. are casting doubt on Google’s reassurances that its street-mapping cars were unknowingly collecting personal data from Wi-Fi networks. Looks like Google won’t be able to put this scandal behind it for a while longer.
Online Social Networking Site Facebook Introduces Feature to Help Users Donate and Share Bodily Organs
Facebook has unveiled a new initiative to utilize the social networking site to help connect organ donors with people in need of life-saving transplants. Mark Zuckerberg was the first user to sign up to donate on a social network.
Yahoo! Aggregates Marketing Tasks with New Dashboard
Yahoo! has launched a Marketing Dashboard that consolidates a view of many metrics including Website traffic analysis, company’s online reputation, as well as email tracking and SOC campaigns. These marketing campaign insights can help small businesses refine their investments.
Cybersecurity Bill’s Authors Will Add Amendments to Address Privacy Concerns
The authors of the cybersecurity bill stated that the legislation was amended before the House voted on it last Friday in response to privacy concerns. While the White House has declined to comment on the bill specifically, a senior administration official stated that cybersecurity legislation also needed to regulate critical infrastructure, such as the power grid, and include oversight to protect citizens’ privacy.
Privacy controls to be adopted by mobile phone operators
International mobile operators will adopt guidelines designed to give customers control over how their personal information and data gathered about their activities is used. A log will be created to determine which information consumers are willing to share, which will then be used to limit the kinds of data available to marketers and others if a subscriber adds restrictions.
Is Google Drive worse for privacy than iCloud, Skydrive, and Dropbox?
Why You Should Care About and Defend Your Privacy
While it may seem like online privacy is no longer an option, LifeHacker wanted to outline a few reasons why keeping your online information safe is important and share a few ways to keep it safe. Even if someone is not convinced that their data is worth protecting, there are others who need that protection. To that point, it’s worth remembering that on many social networks, people give up information about those they’re connected to when they let another app or service in.
End of Internet Privacy
The US is currently poised to pass a new law that would allow US agents to spy on almost everything people do online. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protecting Act (CISPA) would allow companies doing business in the US to collect information related to individuals’ online activity and hand it over to the US government. CISPA is being moved forward in Congress and will be voted upon in a matter of days.
Privacy Groups Launch Protest Against CISPA Bill
Several groups launched protests against a controversial proposed cybersecurity bill that would allow companies to send private data to government at any time. This bill was originally introduced in November and is scheduled for a vote in the US House of Representatives this week.
Facebook Doesn’t Have to Trample on Our Privacy Rights in the Name of Cybersecurity
Facebook has received a great deal of criticism from digital rights groups in order to get the company to drop support of the CISPA bill. In response to those criticisms, Facebook’s Vice President of US Public Policy Joel Kaplan published a statement last week admitting that they had privacy concerns with the bill. He also stated that Facebook’s major cybersecurity goal is to receive more data about cybersecurity threats from the government, which is something that doesn’t necessitate the sweeping data sharing provisions currently outlined in CISPA.
Internet Privacy Laws Lacking in U.S.
Over half of the Internet’s top sites use “Flash cookies” which track site visits and record clicks to specific sites as well as shopping carts created, and advertisements viewed. A survey by the University of California, Berkley and the University of Pennsylvania revealed that 86% of young adults don’t want tailored online advertising if it is a result of being anonymously followed on websites.
‘Friends’ & Teachers?
As social platforms become a bigger part of people’s lives, schools begin to debate which teacher-student social online interactions are appropriate. Some states have already created policies to address these concerns. For example, Missouri tried to prohibit teachers from befriending their students on social networks, however this legislation was repealed in favor of a revised version.
‘Do Not Track’ Web Browser Option Gains Steam
Government regulators in the United States and Europe are currently requesting the online advertising industry to adopt the “do not track” Web browser option. While some browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox already offer this function, there is no consensus on how much privacy the option entails.
Opinion: In The Digital Age, Everyone Is Becoming a Spook
A recent poll published by the American magazine Consumer Reports determined that 71% of adults are concerned about Internet companies abusing their personal information. While this poll is a good representation of how many individuals fear abuse of their information by private companies, it fails to reveal people’s concern of governmental abuse of the same information.
Privacy is Important – But Not an Antitrust Issue
While it makes sense that the ads individuals see pop up on their computers reflect their interests, there is a growing number of individuals getting concerned about online companies collecting consumer data. The demand from consumers for strong privacy protections, greater transparency and more control has significantly increased, therefore calling for privacy legislation. Both Rep. Blackburn and Sen. Franken are erroneously suggesting that there is an antitrust aspect to privacy and innovation. The law is clear in this area: privacy is not an antitrust issue.
Britain Cracks Down on Internet Privacy
In Great Britain’s Parliament next month, the Queen will introduce legislation that would change internet privacy in a dramatic way. This new law will make it mandatory for Internet companies to install hardware that would enable the government to use GCHQ, its listening agency, to examine on demand any phone call, text message or email delivered in “real time.”
Editorial: ‘Opt Out’ Should Be As Easy to Search as Googling
Recently a Frenchman sued Google over a satellite photo of him urinating in his front yard. While this case was dismissed on a technicality, many internet users share his concerns about privacy violation. And feel uncomfortable with the ease with which the computer programs such as Google and Facebook can pull together information about user’s contacts, whereabouts and shopping habits. They believe that Google and other Internet companies should make it easy for users to opt out of sharing information if they want to.
US Regulators Call for Tighter Online Privacy Rules
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) called for Internet users to be given an easy-to-use “Do Not Track” feature. They voted 3-to-1 to put its seal on recommendations for businesses and U.S. legislators to better protect people’s privacy. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said, “If companies adopt our final recommendations for best practices – and many of them already have – they will be able to innovate and deliver creative new services that consumers can enjoy without sacrificing their privacy.”
Why Google Isn’t the Privacy Villain (This Time)
Controversy Over Employer Requests For Applicant’s Social Network Access
Is Privacy Really So Important?
There has been an increase in articles surrounding internet privacy as employers continue to ask job candidates for their Facebook information in order to obtain more information than on what is on their public pages. David McCann goes knee deep to find out exactly how much of a problem this really is.
Senators investigate Facebook password privacy allegations
The recent trend of employers demanding access to job applicants’ social networks (predominantly Facebook) has sparked the interest of two government senators, who are calling on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Justice for a federal investigation on this privacy concern. “Before this disturbing practice becomes widespread, we must have an immediate investigation into whether the practice violates federal law,” said Schumer. “I’m confident the investigation will show it does.”
Want a job? Password, Please! – Facebook Won’t Sue Employers for Privacy Infringements
There have been numerous reports of employers asking their potential hires for their social network login information such as Facebook credentials in order to check their online interactions to use as a factor for hiring them. While Facebook wants to protect its users from employers asking for access to their personal social network accounts, they currently have no plans to sue any employers for any such actions.
FTC Gives First Online Privacy Framework
It seems that users’ online privacy is an issue that continues to be in the spotlight as more and more regulators and advocates require companies to adhere to data protection guidelines. While the government has promised to release a bill that will protect consumers online, so far such a bill has not been created. Meanwhile the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has made the first step and released the first online privacy framework.