Chaminade posted Social Security numbers of thousands of students online
Chaminade University inadvertently posted confidential information, including Social Security numbers, of thousands of students, on its Web site for months, school officials said today.
The posting of a report with the information was discovered Wednesday [“No one, least of all management, knows what's on our website.” Bob] and the report was taken off the Web site and links disabled.
An investigation determined the report was placed on obscure — though publicly accessible — Web pages because of human error, according to a university news release. The information was accessible for about eight months, although there is no evidence of its use, [“We don't log activity.” Bob] officials said. The university estimates that personally identifiable data for 4,500 students were in the report. Those affected include undergraduate students who attended the university from 1997 to 2006.
Read more in the Star Bulletin.
[From the article:
Chaminade officials are putting in place procedures [“Yes, we should have done this years ago, but we were ignorant.” Bob]designed to prevent a recurrence and will provide additional training to staff regarding the protection of personal information, the university said.
The university is contacting the people whose information was put online. Those affected are being asked to monitor and review their credit report. [“No, we will not do what everyone else does.” Bob]
It would seem that the ability to surveil is addictive and causes otherwise rational(?) people to exceed all reasonable limits – or not consider them in the first place.
UK: CCTV of PE kids seized
Video footage of primary pupils changing for PE [physical education] lessons has been seized by police after a protest by furious parents. Police were called to diffuse the row at the gates after mums and dads found pupils were filmed round the clock.
There was no suggestion it was used inappropriately [suggesting that it is okay to video as long as your motives are pure? Bob] but police seized the footage after talks at Charlestown primary.
Salford council is reviewing use in its 82 schools. A parent said: “It is a breach of privacy.”
Source: The Mirror.
(Related) “Why would anyone find this objectionable?”
UK: Only a ‘minimal’ invasion of privacy: Snooping council spied on family 21 times in 3 weeks
A council which used controversial laws to spy on a mother and her family 21 times in three weeks insisted today that its actions only ‘minimally’ invaded their privacy.
Poole Borough Council had also used Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) legislation on two other occasions to determine whether families were living in the right school catchment areas, a landmark hearing was told.
Mother-of-three Jenny Paton had applied for a school in Poole which was ‘educational gold dust’, Ben Hooper, counsel for the district’s borough council, said.
Read more in the Daily Mail.
(Related) This will allow us to monitor children in wholesale lots! It will be ever so much more efficient.
ContactPoint database of 11 million children’s details to go ahead despite security fears
Martin Beckford and Graeme Paton report:
Ministers are pressing ahead with the introduction of ContactPoint to every local authority in the country after claiming that a pilot project has proved a success.
They say the long-delayed £224 project will make England’s 11million young people safer by providing a single register that can be used by all child protection professionals.
But there are concerns that the sensitive data could fall into the wrong hands, after an official review concluded that it could never be completely secure. [“A minor concern.” Bob]
It is also feared that police or council workers will use it to search for evidence of crime or pry into family arrangements, rather than safeguarding children.
The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are both committed to scrapping ContactPoint, should they win the general election.
Read more in the Telegraph.
[From the article:
"Every IT system the Government touches turns into a disaster – we cannot afford to let them mismanage the personal details of 11 million children. [Don't you love the calm, comradely discussions of UK politicians? Bob]
Is this “good government” as opposed to the “bad government” above?
GovHack: govt data + hackers + caffeine == good times
2009 November 5 by John Allsopp
… In all there were around 20 projects presented at the end of the 24 hours, almost all of which were conceived and built at the event itself. Many were geo/mapping focussed, but others focussed on data visualisation and exploration, the next wave of web applications in many people’s opinion.
… Projects that you can actually use right now included (keep in mind their alpha state)
The overall winners LobbyClue, by a team comprising members many of whom had never met before the event. LobbyClue is an in-depth visualisation of lobbying groups’ relations to government agencies, including tenders awarded, links between the various agencies, and physical office locations
Know where you live, a stylish presentation of ABS data (along with Flickr Geocoded photos), pulling in relevant information for a particular postcode: rental rates, average income, crime rates, and more. Built by a team of developers who work at News Digital Media.
What the Federal Government Does, an enormous tag cloud of the different functions of government, combined with visualisations of government functions shared between departments.
Rate A Loo demonstrates a community engagement idea, seeded with government provided data. Allows users to locate and then rate the condition of public toilets.
It’s buggered, mate, In true Australian style, allows you to report buggered toilets, roads, etc, with an easy-to-use graphical interface overlayed on a map. Their idea was to combine this with local government services to fix issues in the community. Built by a team of developers from Lonely Planet.
Many more fantastic projects can be found at the GovHack site.
Blog free or die!
NH Supreme Court Hears Case On Protections For Anonymous Sources Online
Posted by Soulskill on Saturday November 07, @09:16AM from the in-a-statement-provided-by-xsephirothx dept.
"The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit that calls into question the legal protections available to independent Web sites that cover news. The case involves mortgage lender Implode-Explode, a Las Vegas-based site launched in 2007 that publishes stories about the meltdown of the mortgage industry. Associate Justice Carol Ann Conboy pressed the point with [defense lawyer Jeremy Eggleton], questioning, 'Can anyone who posts a blog be considered a reporter,' for the purposes of claiming protection of anonymous sources? Eggleton answered yes, within limits: 'The test is whether the person has an intention to gather, analyze and disseminate.'"
For my website students
GifSoup.com - Effective Video Transformations
When it comes to transforming images and videos into GIFs this is a totally uncomplicated way to do it, with the right seasoning of additional features. GifSoup.com will help you to capture videos in order to convert them into animated GIFs straightforwardly enough. In essence, this is a free web-based tool you can use simply by pasting the YouTube URL of the video you want to transform into a GIF file and then setting the time you want it to start and end. After that, you just need to hit the “publish” button and that will be it.
The system is then going to capture the corresponding frames and make the necessary changes to convert it into a single animated GIF. One of the best things about this system is the fact that you are not required to be skilled in editing at all.
This will be a good way to save time and energy by letting the system do all the hard work for you.
...and they make great targets for my hacking students.
New ’smart’ electrical meters raise fresh privacy issues for consumers
Daniel Silva reports:
The new “smart meters” utilities are installing in homes around the world to reduce energy use raise fresh privacy issues because of the wealth of information about consumer habits they reveal, experts said Friday.
The devices send data on household energy consumption directly to utilities on a regular basis, allowing the firms to manage demand more efficiently and advise households when it is cheaper to turn on appliances.
But privacy experts gathered in Madrid for a three-day conference which wraps up Friday warned that the meters can also reveal intimate details about customers’ habits such as when they eat, what time they go to sleep or how much television they watch.
Read more on MB.com.ph
Talking about Privacy...
ACS Panel: Living Online – Privacy and Security Issues in a Digital Age
The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) hosted an event exploring challenges to privacy in a growing digital age. The event featured a keynote address by Christopher N. Olsen, the Assistant Director in the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection at the Federal Trade Commission, which was followed by a diverse panel of experts who discussed the myriad issues surrounding the availability of information in cyberspace, including privacy concerns such as potential government dissemination of financial and health
You can view the 2-hour presentation and discussion on their site.
Implications beyond GPS. What does this say about the “black boxes” everyone wants to install in our cars? Will they provide data with multiple “interpretations” and if so, who gets to do the interpreting? Lots of entertaining comments, but they argue without the facts. I can't find this in online court records, traffic court must not be available.
Radar Beats GPS In Court — Or Does It?
Posted by Soulskill on Saturday November 07, @05:14AM from the technology-deathmatch dept.
"More than two years ago in California, a police officer wrote Shaun Malone a ticket for going 62mph in a 45-mph zone. Malone was ordered to pay a $190 fine, but his parents appealed the decision, saying data from a GPS tracking system they installed in his car to monitor his driving proved he was not speeding. What ensued was the longest court battle over a speeding ticket in Sonoma county history. The case also represented the first time anyone locally had tried to beat a ticket using GPS. The teen's GPS pegged the car at 45 mph in virtually the same location. At issue was the distance from the stoplight — site of the first GPS 'ping' that showed Malone stopped — to the second ping 30 seconds later, [Between these pings, the car reached Light Speed and decelerated again. Bob] when he was going 45 mph. Last week, Commissioner Carla Bonilla ruled the GPS data confirmed the prosecution's contention that Malone had to have exceeded the speed limit and would have to pay the $190 fine. 'This case ensures that other law enforcement agencies throughout the state aren't going to have to fight a case like this [Care to wager? Bob] where GPS is used to cast doubt on radar,' said Sgt. Ken Savano, who oversees the traffic division. However, Commissioner Bonilla noted the accuracy of the GPS system was not challenged by either side in the dispute, but rather they had different interpretations of the data. Bonilla ruled the GPS data confirmed the prosecution's contention that Malone had to have exceeded the speed limit."
“I'm right, the rest of the world is wrong,” used to get you a padded room. Now it gets you an MBA?
Cable Exec Suggests Changing Consumer Behavior, Not Business Model
Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday November 06, @01:58PM from the customers-should-like-what-we-want-them-to-like dept.
Techdirt has pointed out yet another cable exec that just doesn't quite get it. Comcast's COO, Steve Burke, recently urged the TV industry to find ways to "get consumers to change" rather than figure out better methods to cater to demand.
"'An entire generation is growing up, if we don't figure out how to change that behavior so it respects copyright and subscription revenue on the part of distributors, we're going to wake up and see cord cutting.' How many consumers, in any market, are focused on 'respecting' vendors' revenue streams? How, exactly, does he propose to effect this sea change? And why not just develop products that consumers will willingly pay for, rather than trying to change consumer behavior in such a fundamental way?"
(Related) It's not the world you grew up in, and it's changing as you measure it.
AT&T's City-By-City Plan To Up Wireless Coverage
Posted by kdawson on Friday November 06, @12:23PM from the hockey-stick-gone-vertical dept.
"AT&T has created different mobile calling models for every major city in America as it tries to improve a network that has come under fire for poor performance as the data-friendly iPhone has proliferated, an executive said Thursday. Other carriers just use one nationwide calling model to plan for all cities, claimed CTO John Donovan, speaking at the Open Mobile Summit conference in San Francisco. The nation's second-largest mobile operator has had a hard time planning for bandwidth needs in the rapidly changing mobile world, Donovan said. AT&T has seen rapidly growing mobile data usage — and much criticism over its 3G coverage — as the exclusive iPhone carrier in the US. 'If a network is not fully loaded, it's hard to know exactly how much demand is out there,' Donovan said. 'You put all you can in the ground, and they eat it all up, and then you put more in there, and they eat it all up.'"
The story notes that mobile data at AT&T has grown 4,932% over the last 3 years.
(Related) Giving customers what they ask for... Pay attention to this one. Youtube (Google) might want to buy it, academics might want to emulate it. Imagine having students research and perform a bunch of short videos telling their peers how to solve linear equations or create a web page or research a legal issue. They get an “A,” professors get a pay raise!
The Answer Factory: Demand Media and the Fast, Disposable, and Profitable as Hell Media Model
By Daniel Roth October 19, 2009 3:00 pm Wired Nov 2009
… Plenty of other companies — About.com, Mahalo, Answers.com — have tried to corner the market in arcane online advice. But none has gone about it as aggressively, scientifically, and single-mindedly as Demand. Pieces are not dreamed up by trained editors nor commissioned based on submitted questions. Instead they are assigned by an algorithm, which mines nearly a terabyte of search data, Internet traffic patterns, and keyword rates to determine what users want to know and how much advertisers will pay to appear next to the answers.
… By next summer, according to founder and CEO Richard Rosenblatt, Demand will be publishing 1 million items a month, the equivalent of four English-language Wikipedias a year. Demand is already one of the largest suppliers of content to YouTube, where its 170,000 videos make up more than twice the content of CBS, the Associated Press, Al Jazeera English, Universal Music Group, CollegeHumor, and Soulja Boy combined. Demand also posts its material to its network of 45 B-list sites — ranging from eHow and Livestrong.com to the little-known doggy-photo site TheDailyPuppy.com — that manage to pull in more traffic than ESPN, NBC Universal, and Time Warner’s online properties (excluding AOL) put together.
… The result is a factory stamping out moneymaking content. […] This year, the privately held Demand is expected to bring in about $200 million in revenue; its most recent round of financing by blue-chip investors valued the company at $1 billion.
… because pay for individual stories is so lousy, only a high-speed, high-volume approach will work. The average writer earns $15 per article for pieces that top out at a few hundred words, and the average filmmaker about $20 per clip, paid weekly via PayPal. Demand also offers revenue sharing on some articles, though it can take months to reach even $15 in such payments. Other freelancers sign up for the chance to copyedit ($2.50 an article), fact-check ($1 an article), approve the quality of a film (25 to 50 cents a video), transcribe ($1 to $2 per video), or offer up their expertise to be quoted or filmed (free). Title proofers get 8 cents a headline. Coming soon: photographers and photo editors. So far, the company has paid out more than $17 million to Demand Studios workers; if the enterprise reaches Rosenblatt’s goal of producing 1 million pieces of content a month, the payouts could easily hit $200 million a year, less than a third of what The New York Times shells out in wages and benefits to produce its roughly 5,000 articles a month.
Here’s That Leaked Copyright Treaty Document
By David Kravets November 6, 2009 4:11 pm
The secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement document we wrote about on Wednesday appeared on Wikileaks today, and our source has cleared us to publish it here as well.
We wrote that the document, (.pdf) if true, amounted to policy laundering at its finest -– that the United States was pushing the world to require ISPs to adopt “graduated response” policies that amounted to terminating internet service of repeat, copyright offenders.
Maybe the Pirates were right?
Norwegian Court Rules ISP Doesn't Have To Block The Pirate Bay
Posted by Soulskill on Saturday November 07, @12:09AM from the arrr-me-hearties dept.
"In a sudden outbreak of uncommon sense yesterday, a Norwegian District Court handed down the decision that Telenor, Norway's largest ISP, will not have to block access to The Pirate Bay. Telenor was sued earlier this year by the IFPI after being threatened and not backing down. 'The court ruled that Telenor is not contributing to any infringements of copyright law when its subscribers use The Pirate Bay, and therefore there is no legal basis for forcing the ISP to block access to the site. ... In making its decision, the court also had to examine the repercussions if it ruled that Telenor and other ISPs had to block access to certain websites.'"
[From the article:
“This would be the same as demanding that the postal service should open all letters, and decide which ones should be delivered,” said Telenor boss Ragnar Kårhus.
… “At the same time it is important for us to emphasize that this case is not about being in favor of or opposed to copyright, but about whether or not it is reasonable to saddle Internet service providers with a censorship role in respect of content on the Internet,” he added.
Kårhus went on to say that the most important way for IFPI and other rights holders to maintain healthy revenue streams, is to develop business models and services that render the use of sites like The Pirate Bay less attractive to Internet users. [A recurrent theme... Bob]
I remember magazines! Great articles about what happened last month. Now I read about what's happening today (this minute)
Read 650 Magazines Online for Free With Maggwire
Nov. 6th, 2009 By Saikat Basu
… Maggwire (beta) is an online destination for those who are interested in free online magazines.
Free is good
CAINE 1.0: Forensic Distribution from Italy
Nov 03, 2009
CAINE, an Ubuntu live CD with forensic tools, is now available in version 1.0.
… CD and USB images for CAINE 1.0 are available for download on the project webpage.
Forward this to your Mac buddies
MacHeist offers nanoBundle worth $154, for free!
The biggest Mac software bundle makers are offering a what appears to be prelude to their christmas bundle, for free. The list includes:
* Shovebox * Twitterrific * Writeroom * TinyGrab * Hordes of Orcs * MarinerWrite
… It’ll be gone in 6 days.
All those Science Fiction writers were right?
Antimatter In Lightning
Posted by Soulskill on Saturday November 07, @08:15AM from the doc-brown-can-now-power-his-warp-drive dept.
"The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, launched last year, detects gamma rays from light years away, but recently it detected gamma rays from lightning on Earth. And the energy of the gamma rays is specific to the decay of positrons, which are the antimatter flavor of electrons. Finding antimatter in lightning surprised researchers and suggests the electric field of the lightning somehow got reversed."