Posts tagged "Privacy"
What makes a privacy expert nervous? Glimpsing the size of the iceberg under the surface. When National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden became a whistle blower earlier this year, I think we all knew we were really just seeing the tip of the iceberg about exactly how much information the NSA was gathering on the average American citizen. And it was a pretty large tip to start with.
Here’s a reminder of what started the whole thing. Snowden provided reporters at The Guardian and The Washington Post with top-secret documents detailing two NSA surveillance programs being carried out by the U.S. Government, all without the average voter’s knowledge. One gathers hundreds of millions of U.S. phone records and the second allows the government to access nine U.S. Internet companies to gather all domestic Internet usage (so they are tapping pieces of your phone calls and emails, in other words). The intent of each program respectively is to use meta-data (information about the numbers being called, length of call, etc., but not the conversation itself, as far as we know) to detect links to known terrorist targets abroad and to detect suspicious behavior (by monitoring emails, texts, social media posts, instant messaging, chat rooms, etc.) that begins overseas. As a privacy expert, I understand the need to detect connections among terrorists; the troubling part is the scope of the information being gathered.
Universities perfect learning environment for data security
Higher Ed Organizations are among the highest risk groups to become victims of identity theft and data breach. Because students are relative “beginners” when it comes to personal finances, because university environments are predicated on trust and credibility, and because of the recent progress towards a mobile-centric, social-networking-dominated campus, higher education’s digital footprint is constantly exposed to manipulation.
“The most engaging speaker I’ve ever heard – period.” Debbie Bumpous, NSU Chief Information Technology Officer speaking about John Sileo
“John Sileo was the secret sauce in launching our cyber security awareness program” – University of Massachusetts Director of IT
Facebook is masking privacy erosion with a deceptive executive summary. The latest changes make me very uncomfortable in three ways:
- It appears that Facebook has left open the option to collect and utilize your mobile phone number when you access Facebook from your mobile device. That is valuable information to advertisers who want to text, call or serve up ads to you directly.
Do you want to know how to turn off Facebook Graph Search?
If you walk onto a used-car lot and brag to the salesman that you’re rich, who’s to blame: the salesman for exploiting that information to sell you a car for more than it’s worth, or you for naively sharing in the first place? Both! The same is true in the hacking of the Facebook Graph Search data; Facebook AND poorly informed users SHARE the responsibility for this latest breach.
In case you haven’t heard the latest, Brandon Copley, a mobile developer in Dallas, Texas, was able to exploit Facebook’s Graph Search to collect 2.5 million phone numbers of Facebook users. Copley is not a malicious hacker; he was simply trying to show how vulnerable the information is that people leave “public” on Facebook.
And in the latest installment of “breaking news” that shouldn’t surprise you at all…
…FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III admitted that the United States has used drones over US airspace. It was the first time an FBI official publicly admitted such a program exists, but if you want to believe pop culture (the latest Bourne installment, a recent Castle episode, the Call of Duty video game), drone use is more common than we think.
What we know:
- Drones (or unmanned, remotely piloted aircraft) have been used since the early 1900s, for various purposes, primarily military and law enforcement, though there are increasing demands for public use.
- The Drug Enforcement Agency and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have both tested drones for use in investigations.
- The Federal Aviation Administration has to approve all drone use in US airspace.