Privacy


Privacy & Punditry17 Oct 2006 06:09 pm

Here are tonight’s news items that I’ll be talking about on when I join my friend, David Lawrence, for my weekly segment on his radio show, The David Lawrence Show:

Don’t like a privacy policy? Tough!

Shocking News: U.S. Government is sloppy with privacy!

Netflix fixes Web 2.0 bugs

Making Smart Phones More Secure

Remember, you can always download the audio of this hour, or any hour, from David Lawrence’s website for a micro-payment of 25ยข. You can also subscribe to them and have them automatically downloaded to your iPod via iTunes at David Lawrence Unplugged.

Privacy & Punditry10 Oct 2006 09:34 pm

Here are tonight’s news items that I’ll be talking about on when I join my friend, David Lawrence, for my weekly segment on his radio show, The David Lawrence Show:

HP Scandal Moves to Criminal Court

Websense Tallies the Phishing Toll

Congratulations Randy Boe!

Arnie Terminates RFID Bill

Privacy & Punditry07 Oct 2006 11:48 pm

Justin and I are still in Los Angeles and we decided to meet up with David and Lili for dinner. Naturally, rather than fill the last hour of the show with actual content, David asks me to give some unscripted tips on protecting privacy online. We also spend an inordinate amount of time futzing with the new FlashMic from Sennheiser, which Justin procured for his job. You can download the audio of the show at this link, only $0.25 through BitPass.

Politics & Privacy22 Aug 2006 06:19 pm

Here are tonight’s news items that I’ll be talking about on when I join my friend, David Lawrence, for my weekly segment on his radio show, The David Lawrence Show:

My Column at eSecurity Planet on the AOL Search Data Fiasco

Three Leave AOL Over Search Data Debacle

AOL Looking for Gold in Spam Case

Internet Privacy Group Files Complaint Against AOL

NHTSA Urges Disclosing Car ‘Black Boxes’

Privacy groups slam use of CIA-backed Software

Law & Politics & Privacy17 Aug 2006 01:32 pm

An article at Findlaw.com discusses today’s news: a federal judge in Michigan has ruled that the Bush Administration’s warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and violates numerous federal laws.

Today’s decision is a powerful and sweeping indictment of the Bush Administration’s practice of ignoring laws and the Constitution when it doesn’t suit their vision of what presidential power is. The decision of the judge focuses on the fact that there are laws governing how to get wiretaps, and the Bush Administration has brazenly and willfully ignored them.

The judge also rejected the administration’s claim that the case should be thrown out because it involves “state secrets.” In rejecting that claim, the judge pointed out that she didn’t need to see a single secret thing to review whether they’d followed applicable laws and constitutional processes.

Attorney General and torture memo guy, Alberto Gonzales, said in a press conference today that he had documents in his office safe that would show why the warrantless wiretapping is both necessary and legal. As my friend and old law school prof Jonathan Turley said tonight on Countdown: “Unless he’s got a federal authorizing statute in that safe, it’s irrelevant.”

Here are some juicy quotes from the decision, as reported by CNN.com :

The defendants “are permanently enjoined from directly or indirectly utilizing the Terrorist Surveillance Program in any way, including, but not limited to, conducting warrantless wiretaps of telephone and Internet communications, in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and Title III,” she wrote.

She declared that the program “violates the separation of powers doctrine, the Administrative Procedures Act, the First and Fourth amendments to the United States Constitution, the FISA and Title III.”

Her ruling went on to say that “the president of the United States … has undisputedly violated the Fourth in failing to procure judicial orders.”

The decision can be read here.

Of course the Bush Administration is appealing the decision.

News & Culture & Privacy09 Aug 2006 07:44 pm

Here are tonight’s news items that I’ll be talking about on when I join my friend, David Lawrence, for my weekly segment on his radio show, The David Lawrence Show:

AOL apologizes for releasing user search data

An AOL user is tracked down using “anonymous” search information

RFID Equipped Passports are a threat, but easy to disable.

Credit bureau forced to pay for not fixing ID Theft records

News & Culture & Privacy01 Aug 2006 07:04 pm

Here are tonight’s news items that I’ll be talking about on when I join my friend, David Lawrence, for my weekly segment on his radio show, The David Lawrence Show:

Medical Data Companies Sue New Hampshire over Privacy Law

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Indiana’s Stronger Do-Not-Call Law

IRS Issues New Advisory on Refund “Phishing” Scams

Senate Minority Leader Suffers ID Theft

News & Culture & Privacy & Punditry25 Jul 2006 06:31 pm

Here are tonight’s news items that I’ll be talking about on when I join my friend, David Lawrence, for my weekly segment on his radio show, The David Lawrence Show:

DHS’ New Chief Privacy Officer Gets No Honeymoon

Email Scammers Try New Bait in ‘Vishing’ For Fresh Victims

One Judge Declines to Dismiss One Privacy Suit Against AT&T…

…while Another Judge Dismisses Another Privacy Suit Against AT&T

VA Withdraws Credit-Monitoring Service for Vets with ID Theft Risk

News & Culture & Privacy06 Jul 2006 04:35 pm

Here are tonight’s news items that I’ll be talking about on when I join my friend, David Lawrence, for my weekly segment on his radio show, The David Lawrence Show:

Theft at NASD spurs data concerns

Payroll Giant Gives Scammer Personal Data on Hundreds of Thousands of Investors

AT&T Privacy Policy Promises No Privacy

Privacy & Security & Sillycon Valley Biz06 Jun 2006 03:04 pm

Today Google launched “Google Spreadsheets,” the latest in a long line of ideas tossed out the door before it was done cooking — I think the term is “half-baked” — and slapped with the “beta” complaint-deflector. Already the uncritical fawning has begun, with predictions of mass self-immolations in Redmond, WA, soon to follow.

According to C|Net’s News.com, it’s Google’s intent to make Microsoft quake in its boots, fearing that an advertising-littered web-based spreadsheet will be more attractive to consumers than Microsoft’s overpriced Office suite. So the theory goes, once Google can win over millions of consumers, enterprises will be forced to adopt it, and then the days of the villainous paperclip will finally be over.

Setting aside for a moment the abysmal history of consumer-oriented web companies who tried to create enterprise versions of their products, I think the deeper question is: Who in their right mind would trust their critical personal and financial data to the data mining machinery of Google? And assuming you could find individual takers, what company would do the same?

Google makes its money by sifting through the world’s data and dotting it with advertisements. Assuming you want to be bombarded with ads while you’re wrestling with some amortization formula (and no doubt thinking to yourself, “wow, a mocking advertisement for lessons in using spreadsheets would be handy right about now!”), all that data will be residing on Google’s servers, where it can be sifted through looking for advertising opportunities.

Even if you assume that Google keeps true to its “don’t be evil” mantra, there’s still the small matter that systems get hacked, employees get greedy and larcenous, and government investigators get overzealous and demand service providers keep data for two years.

Will that data include your “undos”? Think about the time when you entered in bogus tax data into a spreadsheet, just to see what your finances would look like if you didn’t report some extra taxable income. Would that be introduced as evidence of intent to defraud?

What if their algorithms, while searching through your spreadsheet to find relevant ads to serve, discover you have indeed been cheating on your taxes? Will they serve up ads for tax attorneys and bail bondsmen before the Feds come after you? Will they know the Feds are coming because they turned over your records to the IRS in one of the government’s regular subpoena “fishing expeditions” and illegal warrantless search and surveillance schemes?

These are not insignificant questions, and Google doesn’t have a track record of inspiring faith in their foresight and thoughtfulness on the tough questions of how data will stay private and secure. These are critical questions that Google will have to answer, not only to the satisfaction of clueless consumers and analysts but also to corporate privacy and security experts, before Google Spreadsheets can be taken as a credible alternative — much less a threat — to Microsoft Excel.

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