NYC police: Computer glitch led to mistaken visits
Fri Mar 19, 12:26 pm ET
NEW YORK – A senior New York City police official apologized Friday for the 50 or so door-pounding visits police made to the home of a bewildered elderly couple.
It seems a glitch in computer records had led them over and over to Walter and Rose Martin's modest home in Brooklyn. [And no procedure to correct errors? That's even more scary. Bob]
… On Thursday, detectives from the NYPD's Identity Theft Squad went to see the Martins again — this time to apologize. "And we wanted to be sure perps weren't using that address for identity theft," NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne told The Associated Press on Friday.
The detectives told 82-year-old Rose and 83-year-old Walter that Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly had ordered them to solve the problem, which had gone on for at least four years [That wasn't the motivator... Bob] and was reported this week in the New York Daily News. [...that was! Bob]
Police used the Brooklyn address as part of what Browne called "random material" to test an automated computer system that tracks crime complaints and records other internal police information. [Best Practice: Never ever use real data in a test. Bob]
The couple first complained about the harrowing police visits in 2007, "and we identified the problem then," Browne said. "It was a mistake by the police department."
Police wiped the Martins' address from the system.
Or so they thought, said Browne.
Instead, the visits continued.
Apparently, some computer files bearing the Martins' address stayed in the system. [and, apparently, there was no procedure to identify and remove them. Bob]
… To make sure it will never happen again, Browne said the Martins' address has been flagged with alerts, so if there's any record indicating an officer should visit the address, "they're barred from doing it." [Sounds like an open invitation to crooks of all kinds. Bob]
A skeptical Rose Martin has asked the department to write her an official letter to that effect.
Fifth Third was TJX's bank. This could be related to that breach, but more likely is a new one.
New 5/3 debit cards ’safety precaution’
March 19, 2010 by admin
A security breach through a third-party payment company prompted Fifth Third Bank to send new debit cards to its customers as a safety precaution.
Bank officials sent a letter to customers and said the debit cards may have been compromised, but other sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, were not accessed.
The news station is trying to get more information from Fifth Third.
So, is they is or is they ain't going to protect my data?
Swiss upper house approves five bank data deals
March 19, 2010 by Dissent
The Swiss parliament’s upper house on Wednesday approved deals with the United States and four other countries to share data on potential tax dodgers, bringing the Alpine state closer in line with international standards.
Under the deals Switzerland will have banking data sharing arrangements with France, Britain, the United States, Denmark and Mexico in cases of tax fraud and tax evasion, in accordance with OECD standards, except when those requests are based on stolen data.
Read more on Reuters.
[From the Article:
Switzerland's relations with both France and Germany have been strained in recent months after both countries obtained stolen information on possible tax dodgers with Swiss bank accounts.
"We won't give administrative assistance if stolen data is presented. That's our sovereign right," finance minister Hans-Rudolf Merz told television show Classe Politique.
"France has stolen data," he said. "If we get a request for administrative assistance from France, we're not honouring it."
All five agreements have been signed bilaterally but still have to be passed by parliament's lower house, where the right-wing SVP, which has said it opposes them, has the most seats.
Most likely, this is a case of “We can use big words too” rather than a clear plan.
Cloud-Based, Open-Source Future For Teachers?
Written by Audrey Watters / March 16, 2010 4:00 PM
A computing device for every teacher and student so they can access the Internet at school or at home? That, along with an embrace of cloud computing, Creative Commons, and open-source technologies is part of a new set of recommendations from the U.S. Department of Education.
On March 5, the department released an 80-page draft of its National Educational Technology Plan entitled Transforming Education: Learning Powered by Technology. The plan lays out an ambitious agenda for transforming teaching and learning through technology.