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The Morning Briefing: Privacy concerns

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"The Morning Briefing" is SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-reads from the web. This morning we're reading about privacy concerns for businesses and consumers.

"The Morning Briefing" is SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-reads from the web. This morning we're reading about privacy concerns for businesses and consumers.

1.) Privacy group demands for FTC to punish Google; files lawsuit. Privacy advocates have filed a federal lawsuit aimed at forcing government officials to punish the Internet giant over alleged privacy violations. Within the complaint, the Electronic Privacy and Information Center believes that Google's plans to merge the data of users across services violates a settlement agreement from last summer.

2.) Path apologizes for user privacy uproar. The startup has now released an updated version of its iOS app which allows users to opt-in or out of having their address book details stored on servers without their knowledge. Path has faced a media storm over its policies of harvesting this information from smartphone users.

3.) GPS, Privacy and the Supreme Court: Anything can happen. The FBI would like to harvest information from Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites in relation to investigating criminals. But how far should governments be allowed to go without violating citizen privacy?

4.) Lawsuit raises questions about email privacy at work. A recent lawsuit filed against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration begs the question -- what should an employee be able to do on workplace computers? Can they expect any measure of privacy, even if they are permitted to check their personal email on the machines? This lawsuit was filed last month after six individuals alleged their private emails were being monitored through FDA-installed spyware.

5.) Analysis: "Privacy Advice Potpourri: Don't Lose Your iPhone, Don't Consider Anything On Your Work Computer Private, and Do Wonder About Mysterious 'Dings' On Your Conference Call". A plethora of excellent, should-be-common-sense tips to stay safe online.. and not lose your job.

6.) How willing are consumers to share brand preferences on social networking sites? The results of a new survey shed some light on the differences between gender and openness to sharing favorite brands across social networking sites. 80 percent of men are willing to share the brands they like, and only 7 percent said they would absolutely would not. 76 percent of women found it acceptable; whereas almost 10 percent stated they would definitely not be willing to share that information.

Bonus: iOS apps: Massive invasion of user privacy?

Bonus: Google program pays users to give up online privacy

Image credit: Sebastien Wiertz

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Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure