Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Monday I reported for Jury Duty. Apparently they didn't think I would make a good juror. (Could have been the “Hang 'em all” T-shirt) However, I was impressed by the security. You could tell the guys working the gate were from the jail next door. The TSA amateurs don't bother to have you remove your wrist watch or to go through your “metal objects” manually before scanning them. At least five times faster too with a smaller crew.

Would you recognize this as bogus? Watch the video. Note how he removes the skimmer, it might prevent theft of your card data!
Simple But Effective Point-of-Sale Skimmer
… A few months back, this blog spotlighted a professionally made point-of-sale skimmer that involved some serious hacking inside the device. Today’s post examines a comparatively simple but effective POS skimmer that is little more than a false panel which sits atop the PIN pad and above the area where customers swipe their cards.

Nicole Tachibana, one of the young (they all look young to me) lawyers developing the Privacy Foundation Blog, sent this interesting observation. I'll just add that it is the best snapshot of a politician's mind I have ever seen!
Sen. Rockefeller has been leading an investigation into the privacy practices of data brokers and websites. I was just wondering what his privacy policy looked like. It is, to be polite, very simple.

We can make people safer by insuring 24 hour surveillance!
CBS New York reports:
The NYPD wants business owners to help solve crime in one Harlem precinct by turning their security cameras to the street.
As 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reported Saturday, police believe crime has spun out of control in the 32nd Precinct, which is bounded by St. Nicholas and Bradhurst avenues on the west, 127th Street on the south, and the Harlem River on the north and east.
With that in mind, the Precinct Cmdr. Rodney Harrison has asked local businesses to help the NYPD by turning their security cameras outward in an attempt to capture crime and assist police in capturing criminals. The program has been dubbed “Grid Search.”
Read more on CBS.

(Related) As more “personal surveillance tools” come into daily use, Big Brother no longer seems so evil.
Sometimes Joe Cadillic sends me links to articles that infuriate me. This is one of them.
Victoria Woollaston reports:
It’s bad enough checking your partner’s phone when they leave the room, or taking a peek at their Facebook page, yet a new app takes this level of snooping not just a step further, but a giant leap forward.
The mSpy app works on select smartphones including Apple, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone and can be used to gain access to an unprecedented level of personal information.
It records phone calls, tracks a person’s location, lets users remotely read texts, Skype, Facebook and Viber messages, view browsing history and even see how much battery the phone has left.
Read more on Daily Mail.
My Spy (mspy.com) claims that the person doing the spying must own the device being tracked, or the person being tracked must give their permission. And they verify that…. how? Oh, look, here’s their disclaimer on their web site:
My Spy (mSpy) is designed for monitoring your children, employees or others on a smartphone or mobile device that you own or have proper consent to monitor. You are required to notify users of the device that they are being monitored.
Or what? Well, according to their site:
My Spy Legal Agreement
It is a considered federal and/or state violation of the law in most cases to install surveillance software onto a mobile phone or other device for which you do not have proper authorization, and in most cases you are required to notify users of the device that they are being monitored. Failure to do so may result in a violation of federal or state laws, if you install this software onto a device you do not own or if you do not have proper consent to monitor the user of the device.
We absolutely do not endorse the use of our software for illegal purposes.
In order to purchase and download surveillance software from My Spy, you must consent to and agree with the following conditions:
  1. You acknowledge and agree that you are the legal owner of the mobile phone or device onto which the software is installed, or that you have received the expressed, written consent of the device owner granting you the right to be the authorized administrator of the phone, it’s content and its users.
  2. If you install My Spy software onto a phone that is not owned by you, or for which you do not have proper consent, we are obligated to comply with law enforcement officials to the fullest extent of the law in these instances, or any instance where this use is deemed to be illegal by local, state or federal law. This obligation includes providing to the proper authorities any and all requested customer data, and any other purchase-related or product-oriented information.
  3. You agree that you will gain knowledge of all local, state and federal laws to ensure that you are in compliance with all laws and restrictions in your specific geographic region. It may be illegal in your area to monitor other individuals on a device whether or not your own the device. You agree that you will under no circumstances monitor any adult without their expressed prior knowledge and consent.
  4. You agree to the conditions in our End-User License Agreement, and you acknowledge and agree that My Spy is not liable for any incidental damage to you or your device, nor for any litigation or legal action that may arise as a result of the use, abuse or misuse of mSpy.
So it’s a pinky swear privacy protection system, it seems. I wonder how much their business would drop off if they sent a confirming email to the user of the device?

Expect more like this, if anyone bothers to ask...
Nursing Careers Allied Health has an article on patient privacy breaches when health care professionals use social media. Perhaps the most concerning finding of the study they discuss is that most nurses did not even think that what they were doing was a breach of privacy. From the article:
In the Nursing Times study, 27 per cent of nurses revealed they use social media to share stories about working life.
Forty one per cent of nurses in the survey reported their colleagues used social media inappropriately, 32 per cent of those posts contained information about patients and 12 per cent featured photos of patients.
Ms Bickhoff says one of the most common mistakes nurses make is believing their decision not to name a patient means they are not breaching patient privacy.

Perhaps we could send a couple bloggers to report what happens? Or a Professor to set them straight?
Mark your calendars! From the FTC:
This spring, the Federal Trade Commission will host a series of seminars to examine the privacy implications of three new areas of technology that have garnered considerable attention for both their potential benefits and the possible privacy concerns they raise for consumers.
As the tools available to track, market to and analyze consumers – often without their knowledge – grow, businesses are able to meet consumers’ demands more efficiently and effectively. But these tools may also carry significant risks to consumers’ privacy. The seminars, taking place over three months, will shine a light on new trends in Big Data and their impact on consumer privacy. The topics will include:
  • Mobile device tracking – tracking consumers in retail and other businesses using signals from their mobile devices. Mobile Device Tracking – 10 a.m. to noon, Feb. 19, 2014
  • Alternative scoring products – using predictive scoring to determine consumers’ access to products and offers. Alternative Scoring Products – 10 a.m. to noon, March 19, 2014
  • Consumer-generated and controlled health data – information provided by consumers to non-HIPAA covered websites, health apps and devices. Consumer Generated and Controlled Health Data – Date and location TBD

Good on ya, China! Nice to know someone took over when the US dropped out. Perhaps China will let us share some of the benefits, eventually and for a price.
China launches ‘Jade Rabbit’ rover to moon, precursor to manned mission
China took a significant step toward eventually landing a person on the moon with Monday’s successful launch of a rocket carrying its first moon rover, the “Jade Rabbit.”
The rocket blasted off from southwestern China at 1:30 a.m. Monday, a day after India’s maiden Mars orbiter left Earth’s orbit on its journey to the red planet, in what some observers characterize as Asia’s new space race.

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