Friday, January 08, 2016

Would the response be similar in any jurisdiction? I would think so.
Andrew Paplowski reports:
Montreal Police will not confirm, but there is a report this morning they are going all out to try to recover sensitive information stolen from the private vehicle of a senior police officer, while he was attending a Christmas party.
The Journal de Montreal says the bag of Captain Patrice Vilceus was taken in a smash and grab near Union Street December 17.
The bag contained files and other confidential information regarding ongoing police investigations.
Read more on CJAD. If this info was really left in an unattended vehicle, well…. Yikes.
[From the article:
It also included a USB memory stick which contained the numbers of several police sources, information about misconduct involving several police officers and details of a criminal investigation that had just been concluded which was going to be sent on to the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions.

Less than encouraging words.
Your Tax Refund May Take Longer, But at Least You'll Get It
Last year's income tax season was marked by an explosion of refund theft. Will this year be any different?
Increased protections may cut down on fraud but will likely draw out the wait for your money. Changes will be visible when you use tax preparation firms and filing software, with warnings akin to those from your bank if you try to log in from a new device or change account information. Less visible will be broader changes, such as revamped fraud-sniffing programs used by the IRS, states, and the tax prep industry, as well as new information-sharing agreements among all three.
Whether theses measures will make it appreciably harder for someone to use your identity to claim your refund isn't clear. One of the best consumer defenses against refund fraud is to file as early as possible, starting Jan. 19, beating would-be thieves who depend on your procrastination. But the best defense is to set your deductions ahead of time so that you get no refund at all.

How quickly will this deviate from Census data?
Joe Cadillic writes:
Under a proposed new law, Missouri cops will record a person’s race, their perceived sexual orientation, religion, disability and their English language proficiency!
Reams of data now show that “driving while black” is a real offense in the eyes of some Missouri officers and departments and it’s about to get worse!
Below are a some excerpts taken from the new law….
Read more on MassPrivateI.
The law reads as if the intent is to collect data, aggregate it, and determine if there is a problem reflecting bias. There is no indication that the observations will be tied to any individual’s name. Disturbingly, however, the data will not be tied to any officer’s name or ID, either, meaning that if a police officer is biased, the public will not know who s/he is…? One of the provisions of the law:
iv. Provide for the protection of the privacy of individuals whose data is collected by not providing to the public individual names and identifying information regarding the particular law enforcement officers who made the stops and the pedestrians, drivers, and passengers who were stopped.
And if this is all about “perceived” sexual orientation, etc., why does Joe say that police will ask? I put the question to Joe, who responded:
Officers conduct what’s know as ‘threshold inquiries’ which allow them lots of
latitude to question (interrogate) a person(s).
Knowing the police world as intimately as I do, what they’re really saying is
question them about everything.
Once DHS took over our Police, everything’s changed.

Will other major content providers follow? I don't think so. So are these the major players of the future?
ProPublica Launches the Dark Web’s First Major News Site
… On Wednesday, ProPublica became the first known major media outlet to launch a version of its site that runs as a “hidden service” on the Tor network, the anonymity system that powers the thousands of untraceable websites that are sometimes known as the darknet or dark web. The move, ProPublica says, is designed to offer the best possible privacy protections for its visitors seeking to read the site’s news with their anonymity fully intact. Unlike mere SSL encryption, which hides the content of the site a web visitor is accessing, the Tor hidden service would ensure that even the fact that the reader visited ProPublica’s website would be hidden from an eavesdropper or Internet service provider.
Everyone should have the ability to decide what types of metadata they leave behind,” says Mike Tigas, ProPublica’s developer who worked on the Tor hidden service. “We don’t want anyone to know that you came to us or what you read.”

“Give us a decade or two and we'll figure out what we're supposed to be doing.” See the next article for their next attempt.
Alan L. Friel and Gerald J. Ferguson of Baker Hostetler provide their interpretation of recent rulings:
Both the administrative law judge’s decision in LabMD and the Third Circuit’s recent decision in Wyndham, which we previously blogged about, put the FTC on notice that it cannot assume that in the wake of a security breach, allegedly inadequate data security will necessarily constitute an unfair practice under Section 5 of the FTC Act. Further, the FTC’s body of data security consent orders – basically private settlements of uncontested and unadjudicated cases (most of which also include deception claims), where the remedies include “fencing in” that goes beyond what the law requires – are merely indications of best practices and not some sort of “common law” as some have contended. Indeed, to treat consent orders as precedential would fly in the face of Congress’ purposeful curtailment of the FTC’s rulemaking authority under Mag Moss, as compared to the APA standards applicable to other federal agencies. Finally, the decisions suggest that the application of Section 5 unfairness authority to consumer privacy, especially in the context of interest-based advertising, is limited.
Read more on Data Privacy Monitor.

(Related) “How's this?”
Adam H. Greene of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP discusses the consent order Henry Schein Practice Solutions signed to settle an FTC complaint, and finds it noteworthy for a number of reasons. One of the reasons, he writes, is that it is the first consent order in a data security case to involve a monetary penalty.
Greene also mentions some take-home messages, beginning with:
HIPAA compliance may not be enough.
Read Greene’s full article on Privacy & Security Law Blog.

The criminal justice system in China works a bit differently.
Another Chinese billionaire goes missing
The billionaire founder of Metersbonwe, one of China’s best-known fashion brands, has gone missing, the latest in a series of Chinese business people and financiers apparently embroiled in the country’s anti-corruption campaign.
Metersbonwe suspended trading in its shares on the Shenzhen stock exchange on Thursday while the company said it was investigating reports in the Chinese media that Zhou Chengjian, its chairman, had been picked up by police.
The company is a household name on the Chinese high street and Mr Zhou was China’s 65th-richest man last year, according to the Hurun Rich list, with a fortune of Rmb26.5bn ($4.01bn).
The company said in a second statement on Thursday night that it was unable to reach Mr Zhou or the secretary of the board, Tu Ke. The statement gave no further details.

Oh look. They drew pretty pictures so even Congress can understand.
CBO Releases New Budget Infographics
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jan 7, 2016
“View CBO’s budget infographics to see how much the federal government spent and took in during fiscal year 2015, as well as broader trends in the budget over the past few decades.”

Like self-driving cars, but for indoor commuting – cuts the twenty minute walk from the front door to the master bedroom.
Segway’s Hoverboard Robot Uses Intel RealSense To Find Its Way Around
… When a rider hops off of the hoverboard, the Ninebot Segway can shape shift into a robot that'll follow that person around, taking pictures and commands.
The robot uses Intel's RealSense camera to make its way around dynamic environments and it can interact with both users and sensors in the home. The robot also has an Intel Atom processor inside.
But just because this thing is a bot doesn't mean it slacks on speed and performance. The Ninebot Segway can hit a top speed of over 11 mph and can travel up to 18 miles on a single charge.

Perspective. What can Watson do for you?
IBM's Rometty Takes Watson to CES
… at CES Rometty announced that Under Armour and IBM have developed a new cognitive coaching system that will serve as a personal health consultant, fitness trainer and assistant by providing athletes with timely, evidence-based coaching about health and fitness-related issues, including outcomes achieved based on others "like you."
… Omar Ishrak, CEO of Medtronic joined Rometty onstage to unveil the latest advances in applying Watson for diabetes management.
Softbank Robotics and IBM announced plans to take their partnership on a Watson-powered robot global. Through their joint work, Softbank has infused Watson into their "empathetic" robot Pepper, enabling it to understand and answer questions in real time, opening up new possibilities for the use of robotics in business scenarios such as banking, retail and hospitality.
… And Whirlpool and IBM announced that real-time data from Whirlpool's connected appliances will be combined with analytics in the Watson IoT cloud to create a range of new cognitive products and services. For example, a cognitive oven, over time, could learn about a family's eating habits, health issues and food preferences—and suggest healthy recipes customized for each family member.

Do you suppose this means teens are accepting of surveillance or have found simple ways to avoid detection? That's a survey I'd like to see.
Pew – Parents, Teens and Digital Monitoring
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jan 7, 2016
“The widespread adoption of various digital technologies by today’s teenagers has added a modern wrinkle to a universal challenge of parenthood – specifically, striking a balance between allowing independent exploration and providing an appropriate level of parental oversight. Digital connectivity offers many potential benefits from connecting with peers to accessing educational content. But parents have also voiced concerns about the behaviors teens engage in online, the people with whom they interact and the personal information they make available. Indeed, these concerns are not limited to parents. Lawmakers and advocates have raised concerns about issues such as online safety, cyberbullying and privacy issues affecting teens. A Pew Research Center survey of parents of 13- to 17-year-olds finds that today’s parents take a wide range of actions to monitor their teen’s online lives and to encourage their child to use technology in an appropriate and responsible manner.”

Implications for teaching, too.
Trump Supporters Appear To Be Misinformed, Not Uninformed
Donald Trump has a consistently loose relationship with the truth. So much so, in fact, that the fact-checking website PolitiFact rolled his numerous misstatements into one big “lie of the year.” But all the fact-checking in the world hasn’t pushed Trump toward a more evidence-based campaign, and his support has held steady or even increased in some polls. What explains Trump’s ability to seemingly overcome conventional political wisdom?
… Trump’s backers tend to be whiter, slightly older and less educated than the average Republican voter. But perhaps more importantly, his supporters have shown signs of being misinformed. Political science research has shown that the behavior of misinformed citizens is different from those who are uninformed, and this difference may explain Trump’s unusual staying power.
… Furthermore, in 2010, political scientists Brendan Nyhan1 and Jason Reifler2 found that when misinformed citizens are told that their facts are wrong, they often cling to their opinions even more strongly with what is known as defensive processing, or the “backfire effect.”

I do try to get better, but not too hard.

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