Thursday, September 18, 2014

How should I interpret this? Home Depot has no record of the transactions involved? The breach is so big that it is easier to assume the entire population was involved that to accurately determine who was/was not involved? Neither Home Depot nor their lawyers have any idea how to manage a breach?
This just in:
Hogan Lovells, attorneys for Home Depot, sent the New Hampshire Attorney General a notification of the breach. Their letter, dated September 9, reiterates that they first learned of a possible breach on September 2 and confirmed it on September 9.
Home Depot still doesn’t have exact numbers, it seems. The letter says that “At this time we cannot determine how many residents of the state are affected.” Home Depot therefore notified every New Hampshire resident who used a payment card in their stores from April on, including an offer of free credit monitoring services.
You can read their notification (pdf) with the attached notice to consumers.

Local! Someone looking for a handy dumpster? Have these already been mined for personal information?
Jaclyn Allen reports that a passerby discovered boxes of folders with what appeared to be mortgage information files:
The folders have one company in common, Colorado First Commercial Mortgage, which has been out of business in Colorado for more than a decade.
But wait, there’s more, it seems. When the Sheriff’s office went to investigate, they discovered dozens of more boxes in back of the same complex.
Read more on The Denver Channel.

Ignorance is... well, ignorance.
Dian Schaffhauser reports:
Compared to parents in Malaysia, Poland and Italy, American parents look like babes in the woods when it comes to awareness of in-school data mining of their children’s information, including online behavior and email habits. Whereas 75 percent of Malaysians, 71 percent of Poles and 70 percent of Italians are aware of the practice, only 51 percent of parents in the United States know about it. But once they do know about it, more than nine out of 10 are “concerned or very concerned about the practice” and more than four out of five say they are likely to take action against the practice.
These results come from a set of surveys conducted by among parents worldwide to understand their views on the benefits and risks of expanding in-school access to Internet applications such as email, document creation and group collaboration. In the United States, 540 people were surveyed online in August 2012 for a margin of error of ±4.16. In other countries the surveys were done in 2013 and 2014 for a margin of error that ranged from ±4.33 to ±5.67.
Read more on THE Journal

Apple Won't Decrypt Your iPhone, Even if the Government Requests It
After the recent leak of nude celebrity photos, possibly due to an iCloud hack, it was reasonable to expect Apple to react at its iPhone event. Not a word was said about the incident during the event, but Tim Cook later said the company is taking additional steps to protect its users' security and privacy, and now, Apple is delivering on that promise.
We've noticed yesterday that Apple had strengthened its iCloud security with two-factor authentication; now, the company made public its updated Privacy Policy on an entirely new section of its website.
… Finally, Cook claims Apple has "never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services." "We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will," he writes.
The wording of that last paragraph is particularly interesting; when asked about its participation in NSA's PRISM program back in June 2013, Apple said it does not give any government agency "direct access" to its servers. "Any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order," Apple said at the time.
Now, Cook says flat out Apple has never allowed access to its servers — direct or not — and court orders are not mentioned.
That position is reiterated in a special section of Apple's new Privacy page, called "Government Information Requests". There, Apple goes a step further, claiming it cannot decrypt a user's phone (if it's protected by a passcode) even if a government requests it.
… There's a catch, though: even if Apple is unable to hand over the data from your phone, it can (and will, if asked via a court order) hand over the data from your iTunes or iCloud account.

Because only real 'Mericans should have guns. Not them thar A-rab-americans, or them Mes-i-can-americans or anyone else what ain't us.
Kelly Riddell reports:
The Obama administration quietly has been forcing new gun buyers to declare their race and ethnicity, a policy change that critics say provides little law enforcement value while creating the risk of privacy intrusions and racial profiling.
With little fanfare, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in 2012 amended its Form 4473 — the transactional record the government requires gun purchasers and sellers to fill out when buying a firearm — to identify buyers as either Hispanic, Latino or not. Then a buyer must check his or her race: Indian, Asian, black, Pacific Islander or white.
Read more on Washington Times.
Well, this should make a lot of heads explode – and put civil libertarians and the NRA on the same side of an issue.

“...Then we hit them with the “Your insurance is void” laser beam!”
New Radar Gun to Help Police Detect Texting Drivers
… A Virginia company is working on a device that detects the radio signals sent out from a vehicle when someone inside is using a cell phone.
The technology is able to differentiate text messaging from phone calls. Virginia law allows adults to talk on a cellphone while driving, but not send text messages.

Tools for self-surveillance.
iOS 8 Turns Your iPhone Into A Personal Healthcare Monitor

We offer classes to fix that...
Workers Don’t Have the Skills They Need – and They Know It
How do workers feel about the adequacy of their skills? Until now, few studies have examined their views. Today, a survey of employees is being released that provides strong confirmation of the notion that employees need better skills to do their jobs well, especially skills related to technology.
… The new survey, commissioned by Udemy, a company that provides online training courses, sharply challenges the view that the skills gap is a corporate fiction. Polling 1,000 randomly selected Americans between the ages of 18 and 65, the survey found that 61% of employees also feel that there is a skills gap. Specifically, 54% report that they do not already know everything they need to know in order to do their current jobs. Moreover, about one third of employees report that a lack of skills held them back from making more money; a third also report that inadequate skills caused them to miss a promotion or to not get a job.
The most important skills that employees are missing are computer and technical skills. Of those reporting that they needed skills for their current job, 33% reported lacking technical skills, including computer skills.

For my Data Analytics students.
IBM's Watson May Change the Face of Business Analytics
IBM on Tuesday announced Watson Analytics, a natural language-based cognitive service designed to provide businesses with instant access to powerful predictive and visual analytics tools.
It runs on desktop PCs and mobile devices.
Some features will be offered to beta testers within 30 days. IBM later this year will offer a variety of Watson Analytics freemium and premium packages.

(Related) Need I say more?
Algorithms Make Better Predictions — Except When They Don’t

A warning for my Math students?
People Are More Selfish and Dishonest After Doing Math
Research participants who had spent 15 minutes solving math problems were 4 times more likely to lie for personal gain in an ethics game than those who had answered randomly selected verbal questions from a standardized test, says a team led by Long Wang of the City University of Hong Kong. The act of calculating appears to crowd out people’s social and moral concerns, resulting in behavior that is more self-interested and even immoral. Stimuli such as family photos that prompt thoughts about social values appear to diminish these negative effects, the researchers say.

Just because...

No comments: