Tag Archives: data

data-privacy-day

Happy #DataPrivacyDay – have 75% off digi.me to celebrate!

As personal data privacy pioneers, we’re delighted to be supporting the international initiative to promote better privacy security and awareness – and are offering 75% off our premium product to help you protect your data for less.

Here at digi.me, your personal data privacy is hugely important to us and, while we free your data to do amazing things for your benefit, we never see, touch or hold any of your personal information. So that’s about as private as you can get.

We know online privacy, as we explored in our recent blog, can be a tricky concept to pin down, but think it’s great that awareness campaigns like this are helping ever greater numbers of people get on top of what information they share with whom.

When even the likes of Google are getting in on the act, it’s clear that data privacy is an issue that arouses a great deal of interest. And we’re delighted that a subject so close to our hearts is finally starting to get the attention it deserves.

So we hope your data has a great day. And that it’s as private as you want it to be.

 

 

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50% off digi.me: #4 (of 12) reasons to love us – our fab personalised widgets!

Widgets. Great name, great tool – and one which adds layers of fun and surprises to digi.me’s peerless secure personal data gathering, search and flashback features by offering personalised insights that delight and inform. And because you can customise them yourself, the possibilities are pretty much endless!

We’ve already given you multiple reasons why digi.me is a must-have, never-to-be-missed, buy-now-or-be-sorry personal data and memory – based Christmas gift par excellence – and our all-new singing and dancing widgets are pretty much the icing on the (Christmas, naturally) cake – bite-sized, custom insights about YOUR data, YOUR friends and YOUR followers,  parcelled up into cute little packages that greet you when you open up the app’s home page.

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Aren’t they lovely? We automatically create a few for you to get you started (or the app does, we never, ever see your data so couldn’t do this for you even if we wanted too, but luckily our digi.me developers are some of the best in the business), and then it’s over to you to do, well, what you want!

Just hit the ‘create widget’ button and it’s a simple three-step process. Choose from 13 types of widget, including latest and oldest photos and posts, most influential followers, most popular day, remember this?, total comments and likes and things you favourited.

Then, choose which linked social media account you want this widget to draw its information from – choose one or select all – and a date range.

And then bingo! You new widget will magically appear next to others already there, and start cycling  through the pictures or posts it has pulled in, meaning your home page is constantly in motion with interesting things about you. Nice! And if (when!) you see something great you want to remember in more detail, simply click the picture and up it pops full size!

If you change your mind or want to shake things up – no problem! Simply hit the round minus button in the top right hand corner of the page, and a delete button will overlay all widgets, making switching things up very, very easy.

We really do spoil you – and with 50% off for the whole of December, what’s stopping you? Download now!

 

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50% off digi.me: #1 (of 12) reasons to love us – the gift of secure data!

On the first day of Christmas, my true love brought to me…all my social networks in one place for a fantastic limited-offer price! BUY DIGI.ME PREMIUM NOW!

Yes, no dodgy candle or bath products from the big man in red this year, the gift of digi.me is quite literally the gift that keeps on giving, combining posts from all your key social networks in one place to search, explore and enjoy for as long as you want!

Offering the option now to store all the important posts and pictures that make up the sum of the things you care about most, next year will see the change to add details such as finance, health and purchasing to your library which you can exchange with businesses of your choice for services, offers or rewards.

And the best bit? For this month we are offering our premium digi.me product – that’s the one with all the best bits we offer in – for 50pc off a year’s subscription, so $3.49 instead of $6.99. It was just what you asked for on your list, right? (We know you make a list, even if it’s just in your head)

So whether it’s Father Christmas’s present to you (which are always the best ones), or for someone who you love enough to give a gift that does something brilliant and doesn’t just sit on a shelf gathering dust, here’s the lowdown on why you should be jumping all over this offer.

Digi.me is completely private and all information is held on your computer. We never see it, it’s just for you to enjoy, use and share as you wish.

We support major networks including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, with more coming all the time.

You can search across all platforms, gaining new insight into yourself and your life, create collections of favourite events or people (Christmases past, anyone?) and export them as PDFs to share or just to keep as hard copies.

More you say? Well, how about a widget-based front page, which offers you the chance to slice and dice your data how YOU want – such as most popular posts, most active friends and most influential followers. Even better – create your own, with our easy three-step guide.

We can’t guarantee the turkey will defrost in time, that your favourite Bond film will be on the telly or that you’ve been good enough for a visit from Santa – but we can guarantee that your data is held securely on your computer so you can do more with it.

Oh, and if you forget to get a present until Christmas Eve? It’s a download, with you in seconds. Really, if digi.me could cook it would have Christmas totally covered. Enjoy!

Unlock the power of personal data(2)

Announcing the Internet of Me: an ideas forum for a technology revolution

digi.me, the personal data software company, has launched the Internet of Me forum , an initiative that aims to gather and publish information and opinion related to technologies, policies, industries and companies aiming to put people at the centre of their connected lives and back in control of their data.

With each of us creating ever-greater amounts of data about ourselves each and every day, what happens to that data and – crucially – who controls it has never been more important.

Wearable tech and connected devices will continue to grow and multiply, adding ease and convenience to our lives and combining to offer us tremendous benefit and insight, especially when brought together to form a complete picture of our lives.

This rich data store can – and should be – a catalyst for innovation and growth, but digi.me believes that the only way to realise the full potential of the personal data economy is for a fundamental shift in control over this information back to the individual.

This is where the Internet of Me comes in – the natural next step that puts individuals at the centre of their connected world, in control of their data, enabling them to see it, use it and share it on their terms for convenience, services and reward.

Digi.me’s social media app, which has already been used by over 300,000 people in 140 countries, lets users gather information from all their social media accounts and hold that data on their hard drive or in their personal cloud, ready to enjoy and explore as they choose. Digi.me is the enabler in this, and does not see or have access to any personal data at any stage of the process.

Next year, our app will offer users the chance to combine other personal information streams such as health and financial data. Users, if they choose, will then be able to give permission to companies to access it in exchange for personalised benefits. This unique approach that combines both privacy of information and exchange of personal data will enable a better and deeper relationship between users and companies for the benefit of both.

Apps and services such as digi.me will increase trust between those who create the data and those who wish to use it, as well as naturally resolving most of the current issues surrounding data privacy and security online.

But while we are excited to be a key component of this new technological advance, we know the Internet of Me is so much more than just us, which is why we are sponsoring a forum to explore and promote the different approaches and solutions surrounding personal data in the hopes of greater benefits and associated technological advances for all.

In doing so, we want to bring other voices into the conversation You can find our thoughts so far here – www.Internetofme.info – and we welcome all comments, suggestions and discussion.

As the Internet of Things looks to change how we interact with the world around us, the Internet of Me will put us at the very centre and in control of our connected life.

We look forward to exploring and developing its potential with you.

*digi.me is a sponsor of the Personal Information Economy 2015 event in London on December 8 and our founder Julian Ranger will be giving a keynote speech. Do come and see our stand if you’re there, or follow hot topics and subjects of interest on the event hashtag #pie2015.

Facebook-people

Back up your Facebook – or risk losing everything

Imagine you go to log into Facebook one day and your account, well, just isn’t there anymore. Scary, right?

Well that was the reality for US journalist Jeff Bercovici when a hacker took over an old email address of his that was associated with the account, and proceeded to change every single thing about it, including deleting nine years’ worth of his Facebook activity.

No red flags, no second chances, everything gone. Not worth thinking about, is it?

You can read the full story here – he is clear that a lot of the blame lies with him, in not having two-factor authentification enabled for his account, and for using an old email address that was in fact so ancient, and so unused, that it had been released back into circulation.

But, those key facts aside, just how easily the hacker was able to change everything about Jeff’s account once he was inside makes for chilling reading. Everything that made the account personal – its name, the profile picture, other pictures, posts and comments – were all either changed or deleted.

Seemingly with no comeback, without raising any security flags for unusual behaviour and with no chance to undo and get them back.

Now, because Jeff is an influential tech journalist based in San Francisco with over 7,000 Twitter followers, this is where his story starts to diverge from the usual user experience, something he acknowledges in his article.

A few phone calls and some insider assistance later, and his account has been fully restored. But, as was clear from the initial customer service response above, Facebook considers that once data has been deleted for any reason, as far as they are concerned it is gone for good.

So, how can you stop this happening to you? While this hacker wanted Jeff’s verified user status for himself, there’s nothing to stop people breaking into any account and taking it over, so what can you do to protect yourself?

Of course, taking all available security measures is a key one, so make sure you have enabled Facebook’s Login Approvals, which texts you a code if you access Facebook from an unrecognised device – ie one that hasn’t been used to log into your account before – and needs that code imputed before you can continue.

But the single most important thing you can do is back up your account. If the key details, such as your contacts, posts and pictures are saved, then anything happening to your account will not be such a disaster, right?

And how can you do that? With digi.me of course  – you can connect your personal accounts, as well as pages, to our app and run regular syncs so that the most important information you are sharing with your Facebook friends is backed up and so can’t be lost.

Check it out here – it’s free to download and use, and you get premium features including universal search, flashback and export ability free for a month as well!

Having your data – or at least a copy of the most important parts – in a place that you own and control (in this case the digi.me library on your computer) is the single most effective thing you can do to make sure that your data stays where it belongs- with you.

And why wouldn’t you want to do that?

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For trade not sale: digi.me and our role in the personal data economy

You may have seen digi.me quoted in a recent article in the FT about changes in the personal data economy which will lead people to only give information about themselves in return for something that benefits them.

This step change is certainly coming, and is arguably long overdue, but we have always believed it is about so much more than money, with a straight sale the least exciting thing we can do with our data.

Digi.me offers far greater benefits to both individuals and businesses than just the prospect of a sterile trade between data and cold, hard cash – it offers exchange of that information, with whom and when you choose, in return for any value which may be service, convenience or reward. Much more powerful and of ongoing benefit to your life.

Clearly, the data of each and every one of us has a monetary value to businesses. It tells businesses snippets of information about us, about what we are like and crucially what products or services we could be interested in or tempted by. But the key word there is snippets – this is snapshots of bits of personal information we have revealed about ourselves. Not whole, not wholly accurate, and therefore far from useful. But businesses use it because it’s still better than nothing.

How much better would accurate, rich data about each and every one of us be? Traded by the individual only with businesses they want to deal with, in exchange for service, convenience or reward.  That may be a health app to help you stay healthy or to allow you to share information with a doctor when you travel. It may be a new service to allow you to get more out of a product you use, it could be to tailor a service for you, it could be to allow you to directly engage with your bank on your credit history, and so on – innovation will flourish once you control your own data.  And that innovation will be much more than just selling your data to get tailored advertising!

Permissioned Access, coming to digi.me next year, does just this, turning this outdated and imperfect process on its head, with immediate and tangible benefits for both parties. Businesses can provide better services with more likelihood of deep consumer engagement if they know who they’re working with – and you can give them 100 per cent accurate and deep data going back months or years, with no errors thrown in.

If we’re getting personalised services based on actual data about ourselves, rather than some imagined self, we’re more likely to bite. There’s mutual trust, everyone’s happy, and the data for value exchange model becomes the new normal.

Here at digi.me we have always been crystal clear that the user regains control of their own data partly by having it under their control, which means stored in a local library on their computer or, with our coming release, encrypted in a cloud storage of their choice.

Crucially, we never see your data – you download our app and then populate it yourself, direct from your social networks, and then over the next year, your other data such as finance, health, from wearables and more. Under Permissioned Access, businesses will first have to demonstrate that they understand and will respect the importance and privacy of user data before they are certified and allowed to use our service. So we take your security and privacy, and that of your data, extremely seriously.

With the massive social media platforms of our age, the Facebooks, the Instagrams and the Twitters, has come the resigned understanding that, because we are allowed to use them for free, the inevitable trade is being tracked and our anonymised data sold on.

Companies like digi.me are working hard to show this does not have to be the model, that you can use us without us seeing or using your data, because we’re offering something new and different, which will change how you value your data forever.

Data exchange for value, whether service, convenience or reward, is where the personal data economy is undoubtedly heading – so remember you heard it here first.

*Want to also be the first to see new releases and get our new app when it is released? Download our desktop version for free.

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digi.me’s founder Julian Ranger asks PM to stop cuts to skilled migration

Plans to cut the number of skilled workers with job offers coming to the UK as part of a general immigration crackdown  are likely to have a major impact on digital startups.

Fears over the move have seen more than 230 founders working in the tech industry, including our chairman Julian Ranger, sign an open letter to the Prime Minister, published in today’s Daily Telegraph,  asking him to look again at plans to redesign the Tier 2 system, which gives visas to skilled nationals from outside the EEA who have an offer of employment.

Julian said: “Small businesses are the high growth engines of the UK and skills are needed to maintain pace of growth.

“Whilst internal training, and supporting STEM initiatives in the UK are all required, there are times when there is no one of the requisite skills available in the UK and to maintain growth skilled people from outside the UK are required.

“If we want to maintain the UK as a centre of excellence in STEM areas then we need to be able to bring in the best to support our businesses – and cross-pollinate their knowledge and experience here too.”

As The Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec), the tech non-profit behind the letter, explains in a blog: “The bar is already pretty high – would-be migrants need to have a degree level qualification and a definite job offer, and the company that wants to hire them need to become accredited as sponsors, advertise (non-shortage) roles for 28 days in the UK first, and meet salary thresholds for the role.”

The full text of the letter, which has also been signed by Martha Lane Fox as well as the founders of TransferWise, Zopa, Unruly, Crowdcube, Nutmeg and Shazam, reads:

Dear Prime Minister,

We represent a cross-section of the UK’s digital startup and scale-up ecosystem, including the founders of Citymapper, DeepMind and SwiftKey. The UK has the largest and fastest growing digital economy in the G20, worth over 10% of GDP.

During the election campaign you argued that the UK should be ‘the startup nation in Europe, and one of the great startup nations in the world.’ We share this ambition and applaud your government’s long-standing support for the UK’s tech community. From SEIS to support for FinTech and the sharing economy, you have championed entrepreneurs and innovators in the interest of securing our country’s long-term economic growth.

However, finding talent with the right skills and experience we need to grow our businesses remains one of the biggest barriers to achieving that ambition. The UK has become a global tech hub thanks in large part to startup founders, investors and employees from across the globe, including many of us who were not born in Britain but choose to invest our time and talents here. We are very concerned that changes to immigration policy will make it more difficult to attract and recruit the talent high-growth companies need to compete and succeed in a global marketplace.

The government’s Migration Advisory Committee is currently examining proposals aiming to further restrict the Tier 2 system of skilled work visas and to reform the Entrepreneur Visa. Further restrictions on skilled migration could restrict the growth of our businesses and hurt the UK’s digital economy.

We call on you to ensure that any future changes to the immigration system make it easier, not harder, for qualified digital entrepreneurs to come to the UK to start their business, and for growing startups to hire top international talent.

It is of course also vital that we continue to support the growth of digital skills within the UK, and we stand ready to do our part.

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TalkTalk hack: is stolen data really unencrypted?

The news that up to four million TalkTalk customers have had personal details stolen in a massive hack is serious enough – but suggestions that this crucial personal data may not have been encrypted seriously ups the ante.

The telecoms firm has revealed that information such as customers’ names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and partial bank details could now be in the hands of hackers. And we now know it may not have benefited from an extra layer of security known as encryption.

So what does this mean? Basically, unencrypted data is plain text – it can be read easily by anyone, without the need for special keys or passwords. But encrypted data is just that – encrypted. While hackers are able to steal it, they’re not necessarily able to read it or sell it on in any way – unless they have the key or code needed to unlock it, it is largely useless to them.

Encrypting data obviously has many uses, ranging from the obvious security benefits to companies holding personal data through to reassuring customers that hacks will not automatically see their personal information disseminated on the web.

It’s not a legal requirement, as TalkTalk’s CEO has been at pains to point out – but there’s a huge argument that it just makes sense to use it.

Hacking and cyber crime in general is on the increase, so no company is able to completely guarantee they will never be a victim, despite their best efforts. With this in mind, taking the best possible care with customer data, particularly sensitive information of exactly the type that can be used to scam people or clone online identities, just seems to make sense.

But that doesn’t seem to have been the case at TalkTalk, with CEO Dido Harding unable to guarantee all the data stolen was encrypted, although the company claimed that it had been kept securely (which is a very different thing).

But what does this all this talk of how secure the data was mean to us, the average user? Well, for starters, it’s a good lesson in finding out as much as we can about what each company who holds our personal data does with it, and how securely they treat it.

It’s also a good lesson, particularly if you may be one of those unfortunate TalkTalk victims, to keep an eye on your credit report, so you can see if anyone attempts to open new accounts in your name. If you do see any that you don’t recognise, contact your bank or financial services provider immediately, and also report any fraudulent activity to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or http://www.actionfraud.police.uk.

Looking to the future, moving to a place where we each have control of our data so that we keep our most important details safe and secure ourselves and share them only with people or companies we want to or trust is an obvious next step in the personal data revolution.

While companies such as digi.me are working on making just this happen, across multiple industries, for now you can keep your social media content safe and backed up with our free app – click here to get your copy now.

Apple-phone

Apple removes hundreds of apps that collected personal data

Apple has removed hundreds of apps from its online store that were using Chinese advertising software that collects personal data in violation of its privacy policies.

The iPhone maker made the announcement a day after researchers discovered 256 apps using the software, which extracts “personally identifiable user information.” and which have had more than a million downloads.

In a statement, the tech giant said: “We’ve identified a group of apps that are using a third-party advertising SDK (software development kit), developed by Youmi, a mobile advertising provider, that… gathers private information, such as user email addresses and device identifiers, and route data to its company server.

“This is a violation of our security and privacy guidelines. The apps using Youmi’s SDK will be removed from the App Store and any new apps submitted to the App Store using this SDK will be rejected.

“We are working closely with developers to help them get updated versions of their apps that are safe for customers and in compliance with our guidelines back in the App Store quickly.”

Apple does not allow third-party applications to share data about a user without obtaining users’ permission, and it rejects apps that require users to share personal information, such as email addresses or birth dates.

Researchers at the mobile analytics firm SourceDNA said on Sunday that they had discovered hundreds of apps that extract personal information, saying it was “the first time we’ve seen iOS apps successfully bypass the app review process.”

The researchers said they found 256 apps with an estimated one million downloads that have a version of Youmi that violates user privacy.

“Most of the developers are located in China,” the researchers said in a blog post. “We believe the developers of these apps aren’t aware of this since the SDK is delivered in binary form, obfuscated, and user info is uploaded to Youmi’s server.”

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Data privacy breach complaints leap by a third

New figures show that the Information Commissioner’s Office has received a record number of complaints from individuals concerned that their personal data is not being kept sufficiently secure by organisations holding it.

Reports to the ICO relating to personal information security jumped 30 per cent from 886 in 2013 to 1150 in 2014 – or more than two complaints a day on average.

Taken over a five year period, complaints to the ICO about the same issue have increased by 64 per cent.

International law firm Pinsent Masons, which obtained the information through a Freedom of Information request, says that the increase in consumer complaints highlights increasing levels of public unease over how big business and other organisations store personal information.

High profile attacks on trusted corporations like Sony and Target, and the recent damaging attack on infidelity site Ashley Madison, have raised public awareness about how personal data is treated, the firm says.

Luke Scanlon, technology lawyer at Pinsent Masons, said: “Information security isn’t a new issue; businesses have always had a responsibility to protect customer data. But as consumers are increasingly finding themselves left exposed as a result of cyber attacks, concern is clearly growing. The chances are that they wouldn’t be making these complaints without having been directly impacted in some way.”

Under the Data Protection Act, businesses can be fined up to £500,000 by the ICO if the regulator finds that the company has failed to take appropriate measures to protect customer information, and the financial penalties can be far higher if the individuals compromised opt to take legal action against the business.

He added: “There is increasing recognition that how an organisation responds to the compromise of customer data can impact its long term prospects as deeply as the incident itself.

“Many of the businesses and other organisations we are working with are working hard not just to implement good procedures and controls, but also to develop cross-disciplinary teams who understand the legal and reputational issues in the event of a crisis. Chief Executives, CIOs, General Counsel and Communications Directors are getting around the table to say: how do we respond if this happens to us?”

Around 90 per cent of large organisations and 74 per cent of small businesses experienced information security breaches in the past year, according to a UK Government-commissioned survey published in June 2015, however it is not currently mandatory to report data breaches.