Monday, November 08, 2010

If we're going to advertise our candidates, we should use Behavioral Advertising to know what would attract and hold voter attention. “I'm __________ and I approve this surveillance.”

Cookie monsters: browser beware as political websites plant spy devices

November 7, 2010 by Dissent

Nicky Phillips reports:

Politicians are letting foreign-owned companies covertly gather information about voters.

The websites of Barry O’Farrell, Kristina Keneally, Tony Abbott and the Greens plant spying devices on visitors’ computers, which can track them as they browse the internet.


The websites of Ms Keneally, Mr Abbott and the Greens also planted flash cookies which can hold more data than standard cookies. They also have no expiration date and are stored on an external server, which makes them difficult for users to detect or delete.

Read more in the Sydney Morning Herald.

I don't think he likes it.

Should Legislatures, Commissions, and Such Figure Out Privacy Problems?

November 7, 2010 by Dissent

Jim Harper writes:

The recent European Commission proposal to create a radical and likely near impossible-to-implement “right to be forgotten” provides an opportunity to do some thinking about how privacy norms should be established.

After quoting some interesting thoughts from philosopher-lawyer Bruno Leoni, Jim comments:

The proposed “right to be forgotten” is a soaring flight of fancy, produced by detached intellects who lack the knowledge to devise appropriate privacy norms. If it were to move forward as is, it would cripple Europe’s information economy while hamstringing international data flows. More importantly, it would deny European consumers the benefits of a modernizing economy by giving them more privacy than they probably want.

Read his whole commentary on Tech Liberation.

Here's an interesting question. Are there unethical uses for the Behavioral Advertising data everyone is collecting on Internet users?

Article: “But the data is already public”: on the ethics of research in Facebook

November 7, 2010 by Dissent

Michael Zimmer’s article, “But the data is already public”: on the ethics of research in Facebook , which appeared in Ethics and Information Technology (Volume 12, Number 4, 313-325), is now available online for download at SpringerLink. Here’s the abstract:

In 2008, a group of researchers publicly released profile data collected from the Facebook accounts of an entire cohort of college students from a US university. While good-faith attempts were made to hide the identity of the institution and protect the privacy of the data subjects, the source of the data was quickly identified, placing the privacy of the students at risk. Using this incident as a case study, this paper articulates a set of ethical concerns that must be addressed before embarking on future research in social networking sites, including the nature of consent, properly identifying and respecting expectations of privacy on social network sites, strategies for data anonymization prior to public release, and the relative expertise of institutional review boards when confronted with research projects based on data gleaned from social media.

Go download a copy of the full article at SpringerLink.

Oh silly governments, who do you think collected all that data in the first place?

Don’t trust Google with anti-terror database, UK privacy watchdog warns

November 7, 2010 by Dissent

Murad Ahmed reports:

Google cannot be trusted to help manage Britain’s new anti-terror database, the UK Government’s privacy watchdog said yesterday.

Records of all communications, including e-mails, text messages and the use of Facebook, Twitter and Skype, will kept by the company and internet service providers for at least 12 months under a scheme being drawn up by the Home Office.

Christopher Graham, the Information Commissioner, said that involving Google would be flawed after he found the company responsible for a “significant breach” of data protection rules.

Read more in Australian IT.

(Related) Now here is a true boo-hoo moment. Someone is more trustworthy than we are, let's kill him! On the other hand, this suggest a market niche that is screaming to be filled. Anyone want a few shares in my start-up?

Google Scares Aussie Banks

Posted by samzenpus on Monday November 08, @04:18AM

"Google could be the biggest threat to Australia's big four banks because of the trust online users place in it and its ability to engage with customers, banking executives say. They told an audience from the finance sector that companies like Google and PayPal are more responsive and trusted than banks, and cited emerging technology with an emphasis on online applications as a means for the smaller credit unions to challenge the position of incumbent banks. It's welcome news for Australia's credit unions: the nation's banks have taken turns in being the first to lift interest rates above the official reserve bank rate, with others collectively following suit, leading some to speculate they are in collusion."

[From the article:

Panellists cited emerging technology with an emphasis on online applications as a means for the credit unions to challenge the position of incumbent banks.

Commonwealth Bank executive general manager Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said that an online-only upstart bank may challenge the position of banks by appealing to young customers and reacting faster to trends.

We heard about this last week, but only now is it 'official?”

November 07, 2010

FTC Names Edward W. Felten as Agency's Chief Technologist

News release: "Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz [November 4, 2010] announced the appointment of Edward W. Felten as the agency’s first Chief Technologist. In his new position, Dr. Felten will advise the agency on evolving technology and policy issues. Dr. Felten is a professor of computer science and public affairs and founding director of the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University. He has served as a consultant to federal agencies, including the FTC, and departments of Justice and Defense, and has testified before Congress on a range of technology, computer security, and privacy issues. He is a fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery and recipient of the Scientific American 50 Award. Felten holds a Ph.D. in computer science and engineering from the University of Washington. Dr. Felten’s research has focused on areas including computer security and privacy, especially relating to consumer products; technology law and policy; Internet software; intellectual property policy; and using technology to improve government."

For my Ethical Hackers. Now do you see why I suggest you take the Small Business Management class?

US wants upper hand in battling high-tech bad guys

The DoJ's research and development arm, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) said it was particularly interested in tools targeting forensic tools for mobile cellular devices; cloud computing environments; VoIP communication and vehicle computer systems.

… An article by my colleague Tim Greene earlier this year stated: Non-traditional communications devices such as smartphones and game consoles pose a particular problem to law enforcement agencies trying to milk them for forensic data that reveals criminal activity. "Forensic tools for cell phones are in their infancy," says Stephen Riley, a forensic examiner with the FBI's Computer Analysis and Response Team. "There's lots of different carriers, different phones, different cables - just try to keep up."

For my Ethical Hackers – this homework assignment is canceled.,2817,2372268,00.asp

Microsoft's Kinect Already Hacked?

Well, user AlexP over at the NUI Group Community Forums has posted a video that appears to show a Kinect being controlled via a standard PC interface. That's the only background we have so far, so it remains to be seen whether the potential submission will actually fulfill all the criteria of Adafruit's contest.

If the machines are talking to one another, what are they saying about us?

Sprint CEO: Internet of Things & Telco of Tomorrow

Connected devices are the single biggest opportunity for Sprint and other carriers, according to Dan Hesse, chief executive officer of the Overland Park, Kansas-based wireless company. In our conversation it became clear as day that Sprint’s future lies in being a wireless data provider.

Hesse is pretty enthusiastic about the opportunities machine-to-machine communications offer a company like Sprint. “Machine-to-machine (M2M) represents the largest growth opportunity for wireless network providers,” said Hesse. “It would help increase wireless penetration by between 200 percent to 300 percent.”

Sprint, like its mobile industry peers such as AT&T and Verizon, has set-up a dedicated business unit to tap into the rich M2M mine. According to estimates, there are about 20 million connected devices in the US. Ericsson has predicted 50 billion connected devices by the end of 2020.Soon, almost every device will have a wireless chip and it will be the driver for M2M communications,” said Hesse, who predicts that certain verticals such as medical equipment will see the earliest impact of these M2M connections.

When I asked Hesse about the future and if telecoms have to transform themselves and take a more software company-like approach to the market, he responded by candidly admitting to not knowing the answer.

I found his candor quite refreshing. Why? Because I personally believe the telecom industry is on the cusp of a profound shift that is making them reluctantly embrace the Internet ideologies, thanks to the growing popularity of smartphones.We see ourselves as open enabler of many ecosystem,” said Hesse. He pointed out that every time there is a generational shift in wireless technologies there is a 5X gain in performance and there is downward pressure on prices.

… “Big (Cable) carriers, potentially software and application companies like Google will be competition, but for now we have a good relationship with them,” he said.

So what is his plan? “We want to be the best wireless carrier,” he remarked when I asked him about the future of Sprint. “You don’t have to be the biggest to be really really good.”

No comments: