Saturday, September 18, 2010

Perhaps unconditional access to personal data is not the best idea? They could at least have encrypted the data...

When your database of all staff is on a flash drive that goes missing…

September 17, 2010 by admin

On boy….

On September 9, Cooper University Hospital in New Jersey notified the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office that a flash drive with a database of employees’ personal information was discovered missing on July 8, less than 24 hours after the database had been copied to the drive. The drive went missing from the Graduate Medical Education Office.

Anyone who was a Resident at Cooper University Hospital during academic year 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 or is currently a member of house staff is affected.

According to their letter, information on the employees included their names, personal email addresses, beeper numbers, Social Security Numbers, employee ID numbers, citizenship and visa information, undergraduate, graduate, and medical school identification number, United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) number, Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) number, Step I/II scores, salary, address, telephone numbers, emergency contacts, marital status, spouse’s name, birth date and birth place, gender, race, forwarding address, home phone number, leave of absence information, license number, DEA number, CDS number, NPI number, and employer. For Visiting Residents, the information included their PA Training License Number. Not all individuals had all kinds of information in the database.

The loss was reported to the Camden Police Department and the State Police Cyber Crime Unit. The latter declined to investigate because the police department was already investigating

Hey, It's for the children!” How else could they acclimatize their users to accept Behavioral Advertising?

September 17, 2010

WSJ Investigates Extensive Web Tracking of Children Online

"A Wall Street Journal investigation into online privacy has found that popular children's websites install more tracking technologies on personal computers than do the top websites aimed at adults."

  • "Marketers are spying more on young Internet users than on their parents, building detailed profiles of their activities and interests. The Wall Street Journal’s What They Know series documents the new, cutting-edge uses of this Internet-tracking technology. The Journal analyzed the tracking files installed on people’s computers by 50 of the most popular U.S. websites for children and teenagers. The Journal also built an “exposure index” — to determine the degree to which each site exposes visitors to monitoring — by studying the tracking technologies they install and the privacy policies that guide their use."

Where do you cut off the process, at the start or just before you apply the results? Could they still sell the aggregated data and would that have a statistically significant variation from data that did not include “Opt-Outers? ”

Dear Google: Do Not Track Me

September 17, 2010 by Dissent

Emily Badger writes about the concept of an online Do Not Call List to block advertising. She quotes Chris Soghoian, who, as usual, nails it:

“The main issue with implementing such a mechanism — in addition to the technology issues — is this: If a consumer makes use of Do Not Track, whether it’s a list or something else, is that going to stop the consumer from being tracked?” asked Christopher Soghoian, a security and privacy researcher. “Or is it merely going to stop them from seeing ads based on the tracking that will continue to occur?”

Soghoian, who previously worked in the Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, says a better option would be to embed Do Not Track into a browser header. But this would require browser vendors to help develop the technology that today opposes their own interests (most major browsers derive revenue from ad networks).


Another one to watch. Are they automatically blocking based on keywords or do they read and evaluate messages?

T-Mobile Censoring Text Messages

A mobile-marketing company claimed Friday it would go out of business unless a federal judge orders T-Mobile to stop blocking its text-messaging service, the first case testing whether wireless providers can block text messages they don’t like.

EZ Texting claims T-Mobile blocked the company from sending text messages for all of its clients after learning that, an EZ Texting client, was using its service to send texts about legal medical marijuana dispensaries in California. “T-Mobile subjectively did not approve of one of the thousands of lawful businesses and non-profits served by EZ Texting,” according to New York federal lawsuit.

The suit against T-Mobile, which controls about 15 percent of the U.S. mobile market, comes as the company just announced it was raising its texting prices, which some claim is an abuse of its market share. And the case comes amid a fierce debate surrounding net neutrality, with net giant Google claiming that wireless carriers should not be bound by the same rules as wireline carriers.

Even the New York-based texting service acknowledges that the case raises novel issues. “At the very least, EZ Texting has raised serious questions about the legal ability of a wireless service provider, T-Mobile, to block its customers from exchanging text messages with EZ Texting’s customers,” according to the suit.

A similar text-messaging flap occurred in 2007, but ended without litigation, when Verizon reversed itself and allowed an abortion-rights group to send text messages to its supporters.

Intel Threatens to Sue Anyone Who Uses HDCP Crack

Intel threatened legal action Friday against anybody who uses its proprietary crypto key — leaked on the internet — to produce hardware that defeats the so-called HDCP technology that limits home recording of digital television and Blu-ray.

“There are laws to protect both the intellectual property involved as well as the content that is created and owned by the content providers,” said Tom Waldrop, a spokesman for the company, which developed HDCP. “Should a circumvention device be created using this information, we and others would avail ourselves, as appropriate, of those remedies.”

Intel’s comments came as it confirmed that the internet leak of the “master key” to the High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection system was authentic.

(Related) Dilbert summarizes the value of (IP) protection.

Another “Ready, Fire, Aim” CEO.

Best Buy: iPad cutting into laptop sales

Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that internal estimates showed the iPad had cannibalized sales from laptop PCs by as much as 50 percent.


Best Buy retreats from iPad cannibalization claim

It turns out that Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn may have been exaggerating a bit when he said the iPad was cutting into notebook sales at Best Buy by "as much as 50 percent."

Dunn doesn't say the basic idea is not true--just that it was a "gross" exaggeration. And he doesn't offer a more updated or accurate rate of cannibalization that his company actually is seeing.

Important new study? “How to build a better hooker”

The Prostitute's Allure: Examining Returns to Beauty, Productivity and Discrimination

September 18, 2010 12:14

The Prostitute's Allure: Examining Returns to Beauty, Productivity and Discrimination (PDF)

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