Technology

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Letter to Congress: Virginia Workplace Privacy Laws

Published January 15, 2019 by Paradise Kendra
January 15th, 2019
 

[Virginia Senate Email List]

Dear Virginia House and Senate,

Good afternoon.  I write to you with great concern regarding the lack of existing workplace privacy laws.
 
At the start of the New Year, my company decided to transfer all employee information including social security numbers, bank and credit card information, medical information, insurance information, tax information, contact information, marital status, headshots, and the social security numbers of our emergency contacts to a third party company.  We were neither informed nor provided any information about the company to whom all of this personal information was given.
 
I asked my supervisors what to do in the case of a hack or breach, and also whom to contact at the 3rd party company to ask about their security protocols.  Not only was I told that “breaches happen all the time, it’s just the age we live in” but I was prohibited from contacting the 3rd party company.  I then asked how I would go about having my information removed from this 3rd party company in the event that I no longer work at my present job.  I was told that my information would always be hosted on the 3rd party’s server as my company needs a record of all past employees.  I was told that I had no right to access nor change my information at any point in time, and to drop the issue.
 
This personal information is also now shared on our internal database for all employees to access at will.  I am not overly thrilled about every employee having instant access to my home address, personal email and telephone number, my emergency contacts, my marital status, and my insurance information.  Unfortunately from a legal standpoint, there is no action that I can take at this point.
 
Virginia has no laws in effect that enable an individual to protect his or her personal information in the workplace, nor any laws enabling the right to take action against a company who distributes and/or sells an individual’s personal data against his or her wishes.
 
The only information I came across as to what my rights were was from this resource: Invasion of Privacy in Virginia.
 
This article states, If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re a Virginia resident and believe someone has invaded your privacy. Before you get too excited about all the different causes of action you might have grounds to pursue, let me share with you the harsh reality that–with one narrow exception–Virginia recognizes none of these claims. Virginia does have a statute providing a remedy for a very limited and specific type of misappropriation of another’s likeness, as well as a law addressing computer invasion of privacy, but there is no cause of action in Virginia for “invasion of privacy” as there is in many other states…” and proceeds to provide excellent information on exactly what privacy rights Virginians do not currently have.
 
In doing further research on privacy laws in America, I also found these articles: The best and worst US states for protecting online privacy, Top States for Online Privacy;
 
In conclusion of this research, it appears that Virginia is in vast need of updating and/or creating privacy laws to protect its people.  I respectfully request that new bills be drafted and laws be implemented as soon as possible.  My information and identity depend on it.
Thank you for your time.


Paradise Kendra

Alternatives to Photobucket Image Hosting

Published August 13, 2017 by Paradise Kendra

Photobucket, Dropbox, Imageshack, what will go next?

Dropbox has decided to discontinue their “Public Folder” feature. This means that all images embedded onto the site using it will no longer display, becoming broken links.

As far as alternatives for online image hosting, what are everyone’s favorites?

http://postimages.org
http://imgbb.com
http://www.forumimagehosting.com
http://wmpics.pics
http://imgur.com
http://photouploads.com

Your Private Life, Now For Sale

Published April 4, 2017 by Paradise Kendra

Monday evening, Donald Trump signed SR Res 34, a bill to slash the FCC’s Internet privacy rules and allow Internet Service Providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T to monitor, collect, and sell the details of their customers’ Internet activity to advertisers.

A couple cyber privacy tips:


1. Use DuckDuckGo instead of Google.

2. Do not store personal health info, wallet info or any purchases on your smart phone.

3. Shop via telephone, in person, and/or on your malware protected computer whenever possible.

4. Report all robo calls to: http://complaints.donotcall.gov/complaint/complaintcheck.aspx?panel=2  It’s fast, free, and does not require a user account.

5. Call your congresspersons and object to Trump’s bill. www.vanow.org/represent

###

Shutterfly Employees Now Access Your Personal Photo Albums

Published November 12, 2016 by Paradise Kendra

shutterfly 

I called Shutterfly‘s customer service and for the first time, they requested my name and e-mail so they could login into my account and view my personal photo albums when assisting me.

I was appalled when the service rep began reading my album names and even the names of some people I’ve taken photos of. I would NEVER go through someone’s most personal photos without their permission, not ever. I’m still unable to fathom the business meeting in which someone thought this up as a ‘better way to provide customer service’.  

Anyway, I promptly told the customer rep to exit my personal account, no longer caring about resolving my original troubleshooting issue. He said that he could not assist me if he was not inside my account. This is not true as everyone on their staff has their own Shutterfly account they may use as a template when assisting customers.

There’s no need to go into a client’s account.  Two additional service reps attempted to reassure me. “We don’t ever actually look at your albums or photos.” 

Really? Then why were the names of people I’d photographed being read out loud to me? Why do you ask to login to my account every time I call customer service? Instead try, “How may I assist you?”.

“We’re simply obeying the law.” 

Holy schlomoly. There is no law that requires a company to log into a client’s personal accounts for any reason.  These are company policies that you elected to enforce.

To My Fellow Shutterfly Customers: If  you have an account with Shutterfly, please be aware that the staff now logs into your personal account when assisting you and they may view your albums and photos. Also be careful who you tag and what email addresses you share albums with as they now collect that data and sell it to undisclosed companies.

I have been with Shutterfly for over 10 years because it was made clear to me on multiple occasions that my albums were 100% private, especially from the Shutterfly staff. No exceptions.

If policies have been updated so that Shutterfly now deems copyright of my photos, I as well as the rest of your clients need to be made aware of this immediately. Also, Shutterfly needs to reenable the option of pressing “0” to get to a person immediately. 

Through two of Shutterfly’s company mergers, I have always felt safe uploading boudoir photography and my Slumber Parties photos to their server — now, I’m frankly anxious about doing so. 

I did not expect this from Shutterfly. 

If you’d like to also voice a privacy complaint about this, please call Shutterfly at (888) 225-7159, or send feedback from their website.


Love and revolution,
Paradise

An Open Letter to Facebook: Revise Your Nude Photography Policy

Published September 6, 2016 by Paradise Kendra

An Open Letter to Facebook:

I am deeply concerned with your policies on nude photography and imagery. According to your current standards, photos of topless women or semi-naked men are prohibited, as are any photos of lovemaking, yet your corporation approves of images of mutilated and scarred breasts/genitals.

This is shocking.

Anyone who has experienced rape, assault, cutting, or mutilation will tell you that it is traumatizing to scroll down one’s timeline and see explicit photos of mutilated bodies.

Would you show an assault survivor photos of his or her perpetrator over and over and say it was in the name of “campaign advocacy”? No, of course not. So why are you supporting uncensored mutilation photography?

It greatly supports a corrupt value system when imagery of hacked body parts is acceptable for children in the eyes of Facebook, yet photos of naked flower children running free in a field is deemed too traumatizing.

Passionate pleasures, nude photography, (including bodouir and lovemaking photography) is not too frightening for people to handle. On the other hand, images of mutilated body parts is unacceptable. A 6-year-old child should not be exposed to graphic and violent mutilation imagery.

This policy also encourages shame of the body and shame of lovemaking. It slowly desensitizes our minds to images of violence, eventually making us more accepting of physical violence. The breastfeeding-only policy reminds women that she may only display her body if it’s in the ‘service of motherhood’ – not for her own freedoms and pleasures.

Please reconsider your nude photography policies as well as your unrestricted approval of violence-induced mutilation imagery, mastectomy mutilation imagery, and breastfeeding photography.

Violence, at any age, is always more disturbing than pleasures …. always.

I appreciate your time. Thank you.

–Signed

Ms. Hadley Elizabeth Hunter Hawks
“Paradise Kendra”