International Data Privacy Day is Saturday. There are a variety of events occurring this week to celebrate, including a live-streamed event from Twitter in San Francisco on Friday. Visit the official site to find events near your area. Take the time to think about how privacy is important in your life and how you can protect your rights from being infringed upon. Please also donate to any number of organizations out there trying to protect your privacy rights.
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
The Indiana Business Journal reports on a privacy case (Hinchy v. Walgreen Co., et al.) concerning a Walgreens pharmacy and a customer’s private medical information. (We’ve discussed misuse or abuse of access privileges by insiders before.) IBJ reports:
A Marion County jury verdict affirmed Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals upholds a $1.4 million verdict for a Walgreen pharmacy customer whose prescription information was provided to a third party and sets a national precedent, according to the Indianapolis lawyer who argued the case.
“This is the first published court decision in the nation in which a health care provider has been held liable for HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) violations committed by its employees,” plaintiffs attorney Neal Eggeson said of the decision. Read more »
CBS Chicago: Illinois Attorney General Madigan Says Federal Government Should Investigate Data BreachesFriday, July 18th, 2014
CBS’s Chicago affiliate reports on statements by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan concerning data security and privacy:
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Wednesday called for the formation of a new federal agency to investigate data breaches in much the same way the National Transportation Safety Board investigates plane and train crashes.
WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports Madigan said the federal government lacks a single group to determine the extent of damage caused by a data breach, and come up with ways to fix them and prevent them in the future. [...]
Madigan said data thieves are more likely to make online purchases with stolen private information in Chicago than Los Angeles or Miami. [...]
She also said too many companies collect too much private information, and keep it too long, enhancing the risk of identity theft.
The World Privacy Forum has released a new report, “The Scoring of America” (pdf), concerning new types of consumer scoring and how they can affect individuals. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction:
To score is human. Ranking individuals by grades and other performance numbers is as old as human society. Consumer scores — numbers given to individuals to describe or predict their characteristics, habits, or predilections — are a modern day numeric shorthand that ranks, separates, sifts, and otherwise categorizes individuals and also predicts their potential future actions.
Consumer scores abound today. Credit scores based on credit files receive much public attention, but many more types of consumer scores exist. They are used widely to predict behaviors like, spending, health, fraud, profitability, and much more. These scores rely on petabytes of information coming from newly available data streams. The information can be derived from many data sources and can contain financial, demographic, ethnic, racial, health, social, and other data. […]
Predictive scores bring varying benefits and drawbacks. Scores can be correct, or they can be wrong or misleading. Consumer scores – created by either the government or the private sector – threaten privacy, fairness, and due process because scores, particularly opaque scores with unknown ingredients or factors, can too easily evade the rules established to protect consumers. Read more »
A new survey by USA Today and the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press finds that even after President Obama’s speech last week announcing changes and proposed reforms, the public remains skeptical of surveillance programs revealed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
The new national survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY, conducted Jan. 15-19 among 1,504 adults, finds that overall approval of the program has declined since last summer, when the story first broke based on Edward Snowden’s leaked information.
Today, 40% approve of the government’s collection of telephone and internet data as part of anti-terrorism efforts, while 53% disapprove. In July, more Americans approved (50%) than disapproved (44%) of the program.
In addition, nearly half (48%) say there are not adequate limits on what telephone and internet data the government can collect; fewer (41%) say there are adequate limits on the government’s data collection. About four-in-ten Republicans (39%) and independents (38%) – and about half of Democrats (48%) – think there are adequate limits on the information that the government can collect. [...] Read more »
The New York Times reports that electronic books are gathering information about readers’ habits, which raises privacy questions:
SAN FRANCISCO — Before the Internet, books were written — and published — blindly, hopefully. Sometimes they sold, usually they did not, but no one had a clue what readers did when they opened them up. Did they skip or skim? Slow down or speed up when the end was in sight? Linger over the sex scenes?
A wave of start-ups is using technology to answer these questions — and help writers give readers more of what they want. The companies get reading data from subscribers who, for a flat monthly fee, buy access to an array of titles, which they can read on a variety of devices. The idea is to do for books what Netflix did for movies and Spotify for music. [...]
The move to exploit reading data is one aspect of how consumer analytics is making its way into every corner of the culture. Amazon and Barnes & Noble already collect vast amounts of information from their e-readers but keep it proprietary. Now the start-ups — which also include Entitle, a North Carolina-based company — are hoping to profit by telling all. [...]
The services say they will make the data anonymous so readers will not be identified. The privacy policies however are broad. “You are consenting to the collection, transfer, manipulation, storage, disclosure and other uses of your information,” Oyster [a New York-based subscription start-up] tells new customers.