Sunday, June 12, 2016
How the government “handles” breach notification? That’s why we love ya, IRS!
IRS Did Not Identify, Assist All Potentially Affected Taxpayers After ‘Get Transcript’ Access
In May 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that identity thieves had illegally accessed tax information tied to taxpayer accounts. In February 2016, the IRS announced that the attack was worse than initially thought: approximately 390,000 additional taxpayer accounts were potentially accessed with more accounts – 295,000 taxpayers – targeted. As a result, IRS shut down the “Get Transcript” online tool and pledged to notify taxpayers about the unauthorized access and access attempts.
Following that initial announcement, a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) audit was conducted to evaluate IRS identification and assistance to affected taxpayers. Assistance included a combination of sending potential victims a notification letter, marking affected accounts with an identity theft incident marker, offering free credit monitoring and/or issuing an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN), depending on the level of access.
· In its audit, TIGTA found that the IRS did not identify all potentially affected taxpayers about the access or attempted access.
· TIGTA also found that the IRS did not place identity theft incident markers on the tax accounts of 3,206 potentially affected taxpayers
· The IRS did not offer an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) or free credit monitoring to 79,122 individuals whose tax accounts the IRS identified as being involved in an attempted access.
Will the FBI brand Vermont as a haven for terrorists? (If not, why not?)
Signed By the Governor: Sweeping Vermont Privacy Law Will Hinder Several Federal Surveillance Programs
Tenth Amendment Center writes:
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin has signed a sweeping bill that establishes robust privacy protections in the state into law. It not only limits warrantless surveillance and helps ensure electronic privacy in Vermont, it will also hinder several federal surveillance programs that rely on cooperation and data from state and local law enforcement.
The new law bans warrantless use of stingray devices to track the location of phones and sweep up electronic communications, restricts the use of drones for surveillance by police, and generally prohibits law enforcement officers from obtaining electronic data from service providers without a warrant or a judicially issued subpoena.
Read more on Tenth Amendment Center.
Vermont may need another law…
The government continues to assert the right to warrantless access to fight the war on drugs. I’ve previously noted that Utah was fighting them. It appears Oregon is, too. Joe Cadillic sends this report by Christopher Moraff:
… The DEA has claimed for years that under federal law it has the authority to access the state’s Prescription Drug Monitor Program database using only an “administrative subpoena.” These are unilaterally issued orders that do not require a showing of probable cause before a court, like what’s required to obtain a warrant.
In 2012 Oregon sued the DEA to prevent it from enforcing the subpoenas to snoop around its drug registry. Two years ago a U.S. District Court found in favor of the state, ruling that prescription data is covered by the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unlawful search and seizure.
But the DEA didn’t stop there. It appealed the ruling to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco and has been fighting tooth and nail ever since to access Oregon’s files on its own terms.
Read more on The Daily Beast.
Again I suggest a “public” account where you can to put pictures of you rescuing kittens from a burning building, and a “real” account that lets you talk with your fellow soccer hooligans.
UK company proposes extensive data mining on renters for landlords benefit
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jun 11, 2016
Washington Post – Creepy startup will help landlords, employers and online dates strip-mine intimate data from your Facebook page
“…Tenant Assured, is already live: After your would-be landlord sends you a request through the service, you’re required to grant it full access to your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and/or Instagram profiles. From there, Tenant Assured scrapes your site activity, including entire conversation threads and private messages; runs it through natural language processing and other analytic software; and finally, spits out a report that catalogues everything from your personality to your “financial stress level.”
(Related) Refusing to admit anyone who might fail would also increase graduation rates.
Carrie Wells reports:
Officials at the University System of Maryland have begun to analyze student data — grades, financial aid information, demographics, even how often they swipe their ID cards at the library or the dining hall — to find undergraduates who are at risk of dropping out.
Law enforcement agencies, political campaigns, retailers and other universities all mine data to help focus their efforts. University system officials say the practice, called predictive analysis, will boost graduation rates by enabling educators to intervene with struggling students before failure becomes inevitable.
Read more on Baltimore Sun.
Something for my Ethical Hacking students? I certainly hope not! If he really is the best, what can we learn from him? (Long and fluffy article)
Meet The Maserati-Driving Deadhead Lawyer Who Stands Between Hackers And Prison
A summary. Interesting that MakeUseOf is writing this.
Hillary Clinton’s Email Scandal: What You Need to Know
Perspective. For my IT Architecture class.
The auto industry will change more in next five years than prior 50, says GM’s president
“We see more change in the next five years than there’s been in the last 50,” said Dan Ammann, president of General Motors in an interview. Ammann sat down with MarketWatch and The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday to discuss the company’s recent acquisitions and the road ahead for transportation technology.
Specifically, the shift in consumer behavior from car ownership to ride sharing will drive the development of self-driving cars and electric vehicles, Ammann said. As people drive less — vehicles spend only about 5% of the time on the road, he estimates — and the opportunity cost of driving increases with the inability to perform tasks on a mobile device while driving, [I must admit, I had not considered that. Bob] consumers will gradually turn to ride-sharing and ride-hailing services. In January, GM announced a $500 million investment in ride-hailing company Lyft.
… “The average age of a car on the road is 11 years. This is a decades-long transition.”
… Driverless cars are also much more efficient than taxis and other ride-hailing vehicles currently on the road. A self-driving car operated by a ride-hailing service could generate revenue 85% of the time it spends on the road, compared with the current rate of 49% for New York City taxis and 53% for UberX vehicles, according to a March report by Deutsche Bank.
… Along with more ride-hailing and self-driving cars, electric vehicles will also soon become more prevalent, Ammann said.
… The timeline of these transitions is still unclear, Ammann said, but they are inevitable.
A lesson in basic economics? Milton Freeman talked about making a pencil. Same idea. His video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5Gppi-O3a8
The All-American iPhone
Donald Trump says that if he becomes president, he will “get Apple to start making their computers and their iPhones on our land, not in China.” Bernie Sanders has also called for Apple to manufacture some devices in the U.S. instead of China.
Why they are “immune” is interesting. They became Amazon-like.
Retailer Williams-Sonoma Is “Amazon-Proof”
… Williams-Sonoma has differentiated itself from the sector with one of the most robust Internet operations in retail, a crucial advantage as brick-and-mortar stores struggle with an existential crisis. The company garners just over half its revenue online and has built a customer database of nearly 60 million households. It calls the stores “billboards for our brands” that inspire customers to shop online. Internet sales also carry higher margins than in-store sales and are growing faster—8.2% versus 4.7% in the most recent quarter.
… “Williams-Sonoma is very Amazon-proof,” says Cody Wheaton, an analyst and assistant portfolio manager at Janus Capital, which boosted its stake in the company in the most recent quarter. “Because Williams-Sonoma controls its own inventory—it’s exclusive to their channel and their brand—and it has a very strong e-commerce business, the company is more immune than most to the lurking Amazon threat.”
We should be teaching all of these in our MBA program.
Top 10 Mobile Business Intelligence Apps
What would a viable application for self-education look like? Is there a way to identify a potential Mozart, Einstein, DaVinci?
The high cost and complex barriers to open access knowledge
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jun 11, 2016
Via ars technica uk this is a long read that documents the long, circuitous, challenging and unfulfilled promise of access to human knowledge provided without impediments specific to economic or social status, country of origin, age, ethnicity, i.e., for everyone – Open access: All human knowledge is there—so why can’t everybody access it?
“…imagine, for a moment, if it were possible to provide access not just to those books, but to all knowledge for everyone, everywhere—the ultimate realisation of Anthony Panizzi [who later became principal librarian of the British Museum] dream. In fact, we don’t have to imagine: it is possible today, thanks to the combined technologies of digital texts and the Internet. The former means that we can make as many copies of a work as we want, for vanishingly small cost; the latter provides a way to provide those copies to anyone with an Internet connection. The global rise of low-cost smartphones means that group will soon include even the poorest members of society in every country. That is to say, we have the technical means to share all knowledge, and yet we are nowhere near providing everyone with the ability to indulge their learned curiosity…”