Saturday, February 12, 2011

Now do you see why we recommend encryption?

NYC: Health Records Stolen From Van, 1.7 Million People Affecte

February 12, 2011 by admin

Susanna Griffee reports on a breach involving backup tapes stolen from a vehicle that had been left unattended:

The personal information of 1.7 million patients, hospital staff and associated employees was recently stolen, and city officials are notifiying potential victims to warn them about the loss of the files.

The files were reported stolen in late December from a van operated by GRM Information Management Services, when the driver left the van unattended and unlocked.

The city’s Health and Hospitals Corporation says the files contain personal health records along with names, addresses, Social Security numbers and other private information.

The affected facilities are Jacobi Medical Center, North Central Bronx Hospital, Tremont Health Center and Gunhill Health Center.

Patients who have received care at North Bronx Healthcare Network hospitals since 1991 could have had their information stolen. Those who have worked at those centers also could be affected.


GRM did not respond to calls for comment.

According to HHC spokeswoman Pamela McDonnell, the data is not readily accessible without “highly specialized and technical expertise and certain tools.”

“The person who took them probably wouldn’t know what to do with them,” she said. “The files just look like cassette tapes in a box.”

Read more on NBC.

… A copy of the notification letter is also posted to the hospitals’ web sites. It lists the types of patient information on the backup tapes as name, address, telephone numbers, social security number, medical record number, health insurance information, diagnosis and treatment information, and birth, admission and discharge dates.

A video to start the discussion? How about Facebook has better “proof” of identity than most governments? If your employer won't buy you a tech tool (say, an iPhone) that you purchase an use to do your job, do they have any rights to access that tech?

Reporters' Roundtable: Who owns your online identity?

Today, we're talking about identity. You own your identity, right? That's why we talk about identity theft: Identity is clearly personal, and it can be stolen from us. But it can also, in some cases, be legally taken. If you work at a modern business and you create relationships with people during that employment, it can be argued that, if those relationships are work-related, your employer owns them. But if you create a rich social profile that supports your work, say on Facebook or Twitter, it can be unclear whose identity, persona, or reputation that is.

Meanwhile, Facebook, and to a lesser extent Google, are becoming de facto universal electronic identity providers. You can log in to many new Web sites with nothing but a Facebook ID. So does Facebook own our identity?

Do they mean 'oversight' as 'due process' or do they mean 'without their supervisor's knowledge?'

Justice Department assertion: FBI can get phone records without oversight

February 12, 2011 by Dissent

Marisa Taylor reports:

The Obama administration’s Justice Department has asserted that the FBI can obtain telephone records of international calls made from the U.S. without any formal legal process or court oversight, according to a document obtained by McClatchy Newspapers.

That assertion was revealed – perhaps inadvertently – by the department in its response to a McClatchy Newspapers request for a copy of a secret Justice Department memo.

Critics say the legal position is flawed and creates a potential loophole that could lead to a repeat of FBI abuses that were supposed to have been stopped in 2006.

Read more in the Miami Herald.

Old job or new jobs. (My job or your job.) If you want to make any process more efficient, you have to cut the dead wood.

The White House Asks: What's Blocking Innovation in America? - My Answer: IP Laws

… Let's take some specific examples to show why that is so. When Napster first showed up, it was innovative. Heaven knows it changed the world. And instead of letting this creativity flourish, make money, and create jobs, the law was used to kill it. And kill it it did. The law is still trying to kill or at least marginalize peer-to-peer technology, and so it has never been used to the full.

(Related) An example of peer-to-peer that doesn't result in the RIAA or MPAA sending letters to downloaders – but maybe the Teachers Union will?

BitTorrent and Khan Academy To Distribute Education

"BitTorrent, Inc. announced this morning that they have launched a partnership with the Khan Academy to distribute open education videos. They launched with more than 2,000 videos, covering high school and college level curriculum, across science, math, history, finance and test prep. All of the videos are free to download and open licensed with Creative Commons."

It's public, but it's not really public?

CMLP and Cyberlaw Clinic Urge First Circuit to Affirm First Amendment Right to Make Cellphone Recording of Police

February 11, 2011 by Dissent

David Ardia writes:

With the help of Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, the Citizen Media Law Project and a coalition of media and advocacy organizations submitted an amicus curiae brief last week to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in a case involving a lawyer who was arrested for using his cellphone camera to record on-duty police officers. Joined by a broadamicus coalition that included Dow Jones & Company, Inc., GateHouse Media, Inc., Globe Newspaper Company, Inc., The Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association, Metro Corp., NBC Universal, Inc., New England Newspaper and Press Association, Inc., The New York Times Company, Newspapers of New England, Inc., the Online News Association, and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, CMLP urged the court to affirm the First Amendment right to gather news in public places.

Read more on Citizen Media Law Project (another terrific organization worthy of your donation dollars).

The case is Glik v. Cunniffe.

Food for thought. Something for my Intro to Technology class? (Some are obvious, others may need a brief explanation for us old-timers...

Things Babies Born in 2011 Will Never Know

Video tape

Travel agents

The separation of work and home

Books, magazines, and newspapers

Movie rental stores


Paper maps

Wired phones

Long distance

Newspaper classifieds

Dial-up Internet


Forgotten friends: The next generation will automatically be in touch with everyone they've ever known even slightly via Facebook.

The evening news: The news is on 24/7.


Film cameras

Yellow and White Pages: Why in the world would you need a 10-pound book just to find someone?


Hand-written letters: For that matter, hand-written anything.

Mail (Snail mail, that is)

Hiding: Not long ago, if you didn't answer your home phone, that was that -- nobody knew if you were alive or dead, much less where you might be. Now your phone is not only in your pocket, it can potentially tell everyone -- including advertisers -- exactly where you are.

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