President Barack Obama is about to tear the wrapping off an apparent gift to Internet privacy advocates, the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights. The bill’s goal is to “protect all Americans from having their information misused by giving users new legal and technical tools to safeguard their privacy” from user data hogs like web giants Google, Apple and Microsoft. The measure will address your ability to control the information gathered about you as well as “transparency, respect for context, security, access and accuracy; focused collection and accountability.” Read More
One of the most interesting companies in New York these days is bit.ly. The service seems simple at first: it a makes long URLs into shorter ones. But in doing that at scale, bit.ly channels massive amounts of data about what users are creating, reading and sharing.
Today the company announced a partnership with Verisign, which, per the release we saw, “operates two of the Internet’s root nameservers and much of the web’s DNS infrastructure. If there’s a single company that qualifies as the steward of the internet, it’s Verisign.”
Data scientists from both companies will work together to answer the sort of metaphysical puzzlers that were once the reserved for astrophysicists. “Scientists at both companies are already poring over volumes of DNS resolution data–data that will help us answer fundamental (and fundamentally awesome) questions like: “what actually are the most popular websites on the internet?” and “just how big is the internet, anyhow?” Read More
Foursquare is combing through the venues in its location database, which contains at least 15 million user entries, sifting for duplicate venues and places like “random mountain in New Jersey” or “cab to Kenmare.”
But besides making the data more accurate, Foursquare is making its location database more comprehensive and inexpensive by assigning every place a unique ID number that can be used to find the place in any location database–meaning the Foursquare ID for Balthazar will be attached to its listing on nymag.com, Thrillist and MenuPages, so that developers can easily pull data about the same place from different sources. Today, Foursquare announced the first Canadian partner in this “Venue Harmonization Project“–Yellow Pages is opening up 1.5 million Canadian business listings and information through YellowAPI.com. Read More