jm + privacy   270

"Stylish" browser extension steals all your internet history | Robert Heaton
'Stylish, the popular CSS userstyle browser extension [collects] complete browser history, including sites scraped from Google results. Instant uninstall.' (via Andy Baio)
privacy  browser  extensions  stylish  css  history  data-protection 
16 days ago by jm
Template GDPR video request for CCTV images
in this case, to the ICBR anti-abortion protesters wearing bodycams outside Dublin maternity hospitals
hospitals  bodycams  icbr  abortion  gdpr  privacy  sar  cctv 
24 days ago by jm
Antonio Regalado Twitter thread on genetic genealogy, DNA privacy, and total DNA de-anonymity
I used to know some technicians in the NYC Medical Examiner's lab. They had all been DNA typed (to detect accidental contamination). So, their little society was a picture of what is to come, of total DNA transparency.

They would do stuff like find out who stuck gum under the table. Also, who was peeing on the toilet seat in the bathroom.

So There’s a second technology at play: environmental DNA sampling. Once police get a name they tail the suspect and try to get some DNA he leaves behind. To make the match to crime scene sample. Police have gotten DNA from:
- a car door handle
- a straw
- a paper napkin

Imagine storm troopers of a repressive regime descending on a meeting place of the resistance. Just swab the whole place and find out who was there from DNA left behind.
Technically, total DNA de-anonymity is possible. Far as I know there’s no law, no protection, against identifying you from your DNA.

In crime cases, [this is] being done by “amateur” using a database (GEDmatch) that itself is highly informal.
privacy  dna  genetics  genetic-genealogy  gedmatch  law  transparency 
24 days ago by jm
Val on Programming: Making a Datomic system GDPR-compliant
Proposed solution: complementing Datomic with an erasure-aware key/value store.
In cases where Excision is not a viable solution, the solution I've come up with is store to privacy-sensitive values in a complementary, mutable KV store, and referencing the corresponding keys from Datomic.


This seems to be turning into a common pattern for GDPR compliant storage.
gdpr  privacy  clojure  datomic  data-protection  storage  architecture 
5 weeks ago by jm
Software Development and GDPR
You could think, as a developer, that the lawyers worry about this kind of fine-grained issue. They don’t. This is one of those situations where they say, well, here’s the risk, you have to make a decision, document it, and be ready to back that up in front of a judge should the soup hit the fan.

In this particular case it’s straightforward enough. Are you in control of the presence of data in your database? Yes. It’s up to you to delete it when requested. Are you in control of the data on your harddrive? Yes. It’s up to you to delete it when requested. Are you in control of the operating system implementation or database implementation of deletion? No. Could you get the data back if you wanted to? Yes – but that’s not part of your usual run of business, so why would you explicitly do that? What if some bad dude steals your harddrive and then rummages through it? Ok we are getting a little far-fetched here for most businesses that are not keeping special category data, but if this does happen, then you have failed in your security controls.

I guess my overall point here is that GDPR Compliance is a continuum, not a tickbox. You want to be doing the best you can with it and document why you can go so far and not further. The companies that will be getting the big legislative fines are the guys that are willy-nilly exporting special category data out of the EEA en masse without the knowledge of the people associated with that data. The rest of us just need to muddle along as best we can.

gdpr  privacy  dev  tech  coding  data-protection  law  eu  storage 
6 weeks ago by jm
How to revoke all ad permissions from Oath GDPR pages
in summary:
document.querySelectorAll('input[type=checkbox]').forEach(val => val.checked = false)


(via stx)
via:stx  oath  gdpr  privacy  tracking  ads 
7 weeks ago by jm
ACLU to Amazon: Get out of the surveillance business
This is a fair point from the ACLU:
Already, Rekognition is in use in Florida and Oregon. Government agencies in California and Arizona have sought information about it, too. And Amazon didn't just sell Rekognition to law enforcement, it's actively partnering with them to ensure that authorities can fully utilize Rekognition's capabilities.

Amazon has branded itself as customer-centric, opposed secret government surveillance, and has a CEO who publicly supported First Amendment freedoms and spoke out against the discriminatory Muslim Ban. Yet, Amazon is powering dangerous surveillance that poses a grave threat to customers and communities already unjustly targeted in the current political climate.
We must make it clear to Amazon that we won't stand by and let it pad its bottom line by selling out our civil rights.
aclu  amazon  rekognition  facial-recognition  faces  law  privacy  data-privacy  civil-rights 
8 weeks ago by jm
Face recognition police tools 'staggeringly inaccurate' - BBC News
"In figures given to Big Brother Watch, South Wales Police said its facial recognition technology had made 2,685 "matches" between May 2017 and March 2018 - but 2,451 were false alarms."

This is going to be a disaster.
surveillance  bbc  wales  facial-recognition  privacy  false-positives  ml 
9 weeks ago by jm
GDPR will pop the adtech bubble
Without adtech, the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) would never have happened. But the GDPR did happen, and as a result websites all over the world are suddenly posting notices about their changed privacy policies, use of cookies, and opt-in choices for “relevant” or “interest-based” (translation: tracking-based) advertising. Email lists are doing the same kinds of things.

“Sunrise day” for the GDPR is 25 May. That’s when the EU can start smacking fines on violators.

Simply put, your site or service is a violator if it extracts or processes personal data without personal permission. Real permission, that is. You know, where you specifically say “Hell yeah, I wanna be tracked everywhere.”

Of course what I just said greatly simplifies what the GDPR actually utters, in bureaucratic legalese. The GDPR is also full of loopholes only snakes can thread; but the spirit of the law is clear, and the snakes will be easy to shame, even if they don’t get fined. (And legitimate interest—an actual loophole in the GDPR, may prove hard to claim.)

Toward the aftermath, the main question is What will be left of advertising—and what it supports—after the adtech bubble pops?
advertising  europe  law  privacy  gdpr  tracking  data-privacy 
9 weeks ago by jm
DNA databases: biology stripped bare
Unlike other biometrics, [DNA] also provides revealing [data regarding] thousands of other related individuals; even to an entire ethnic group.

Such markers may reveal a genetic predisposition towards cancer, or early onset dementia. Mining that data and linking it to family trees and thus, individuals, might interest insurance companies, or state health bodies, or – as ever – advertisers. Or? Who knows?

And the ability of a third-party potentially to reveal such information about me, about you, without us having any say, by providing their DNA profile for some personal purpose? Consider how furious so many have been on the basis of their Facebook profile data going to Cambridge Analytica via some Facebook friend deciding to do a quiz.

Facebook profile data is revealing enough. But DNA is you, fully, irrevocably, exposed. And whatever it displays about you right now, is trivial compared to what we will be able to read into it in the future.

That’s why this case isn’t just about a solitary law enforcement outcome, but about all of us doing an unintended, genetic full monty.
dna-matching  dna  data-privacy  privacy  future  health  cancer  insurance  karlin-lillington 
11 weeks ago by jm
I tried leaving Facebook. I couldn’t - The Verge
Facebook events, Facebook pages, Facebook photos, and Facebook videos are for many people an integral part of the church picnic, the Christmas party, the class reunion, the baby shower. (The growing scourge of gender reveal parties with their elaborate “reveal” rituals and custom-made cakes seems particularly designed to complement documentation on social media). The completeness of Facebook allows people to create better substitutes for in-person support groups in a wide range of ever-narrowing demographics — from casual interests like Instant Pot recipes for Korean food to heavy life-altering circumstances like rare forms of cancer.

Of all people, I know why I shouldn’t trust Facebook, why my presence on its network contributes to the collective problem of its monopolistic hold on people. Everyone is on Facebook because everyone is on Facebook. And because everyone is on Facebook, even the people who aren’t are having their data collected in shadow profiles. My inaction affects even the people who have managed to stay away. I know this, I barely use Facebook, I don’t even like Facebook, and I find it nearly impossible to leave.
privacy  facebook  deletefacebook  social-networking  social  life  social-media  data-privacy 
11 weeks ago by jm
The brave new world of genetic genealogy - MIT Technology Review
The combination of DNA and genealogy is a potentially a huge force for good in the world, but it must be used responsibly. In all cases where public databases like GEDmatch are used, the potential for good must be balanced against the potential for harm. In cases involving adoptee searches, missing persons, and unidentified bodies, the potential for good usually markedly outweighs the potential for harm.

But the situation is not so clear-cut when it comes to the use of the methodology to identify suspects in rape and murder cases. The potential for harm is much higher under these circumstances, because of the risk of misuse, misapplication or misinterpretation of the data leading to wrongful identification of suspects. The stakes are too high for the GEDmatch database to be used by the police without oversight by a court of law. 

However, we are not looking at a dystopian future. In the long run the public sharing of DNA data, when done responsibly, is likely to have huge benefits for society. If a criminal can be caught not by his own DNA but through a match with one of his cousins he will be less likely to commit a crime in the first place. With the move to whole genome sequencing in forensic cases in the future, it will be possible to make better use of genetic genealogy methods and databases to identify missing people, the remains of soldiers from World War One and World War Two as well as more recent wars, and casualties from natural and manmade disasters. We will be able to give many more unidentified people the dignity of their identity in death. But we each control our own DNA and we should all be able to decide what, if anything, we wish to share.
gedmatch  genealogy  dna  police  murder  rape  dna-matching  privacy  data-privacy 
11 weeks ago by jm
The Australian Bureau of Statistics Tracked People By Their Mobile Device Data.
The ABS claims population estimates have a “major data gap” and so they’ve been a busy bee figuring out a way to track crowd movement. Their solution? Mobile device user data. “…with its near-complete coverage of the population, mobile device data is now seen as a feasible way to estimate temporary populations,” states a 2017 conference extract for a talk by ABS Demographer Andrew Howe.

While the “Estimated Resident Population” (ERP) is Australia’s official population measure, the ABS felt the pre-existing data wasn’t ‘granular’ enough. What the ABS really wanted to know was where you’re moving, hour by hour, through the CBD, educational hubs, tourist areas. Howe’s ABS pilot study of mobile device user data creates population estimates with the help of a trial engagement with an unnamed telco company. The data includes age and sex breakdowns. The study ran between the 18th April to 1st May 2016. [....]

Electronic Frontiers Australia board member Justin Warren also pointed out that while there are beneficial uses for this kind of information, “…the ABS should be treading much more carefully than it is. The ABS damaged its reputation with its bungled management of the 2016 Census, and with its failure to properly consult with civil society about its decision to retain names and addresses. Now we discover that the ABS is running secret tracking experiments on the population?”

“Even if the ABS’ motives are benign, this behaviour — making ethically dubious decisions without consulting the public it is experimenting on — continues to damage the once stellar reputation of the ABS.”

“This kind of population tracking has a dark history. During World War II, the US Census Bureau used this kind of tracking information to round up Japanese-Americans for internment. Census data was used extensively by Nazi Germany to target specific groups of people. The ABS should be acutely aware of these historical abuses, and the current tensions within society that mirror those earlier, dark days all too closely.”
abs  australia  tracking  location-data  privacy  data-privacy  mobile 
12 weeks ago by jm
Use the GDPR to find who has advertised to you on Facebook, and get them to delete your details
Sometimes you get ads on Facebook and you are just not interested in what they’re selling. This is a way to find out who has uploaded your email address into facebook to target ads at you, and then- if you’re in the EU- how to use the new General Data Protection Regulation to get those advertisers to delete you from their system.


Totally going to do this. roll on May 25
gdpr  facebook  privacy  ads  data-privacy  eu 
12 weeks ago by jm
Palantir Knows Everything About You
This is so fucking dystopian:
Operation Laser has made L.A. cops more surgical — and, according to community activists, unrelenting. Once targets are enmeshed in a [Palantir] spidergram, they’re stuck.

Manuel Rios, 22, lives in the back of his grandmother’s house at the top of a hill in East L.A., in the heart of the city’s gang area. [...] He grew up surrounded by friends who joined Eastside 18, the local affiliate of the 18th Street gang, one of the largest criminal syndicates in Southern California. Rios says he was never “jumped in”—initiated into 18. He spent years addicted to crystal meth and was once arrested for possession of a handgun and sentenced to probation. But except for a stint in county jail for a burglary arrest inside a city rec center, he’s avoided further trouble and says he kicked his meth habit last year.

In 2016, Rios was sitting in a parked car with an Eastside 18 friend when a police car pulled up. His buddy ran, pursued by the cops, but Rios stayed put. “Why should I run? I’m not a gang member,” he says over steak and eggs at the IHOP near his home. The police returned and handcuffed him. One of them took his picture with a cellphone. “Welcome to the gang database!” the officer said.

Since then he’s been stopped more than a dozen times, he says, and told that if he doesn’t like it he should move. He has nowhere to go. His girlfriend just had a baby girl, and he wants to be around for them. “They say you’re in the system, you can’t lie to us,” he says. “I tell them, ‘How can I be in the hood if I haven’t got jumped in? Can’t you guys tell people who bang and who don’t?’ They go by their facts, not the real facts.”

The police, on autopilot with Palantir, are driving Rios toward his gang friends, not away from them, worries Mariella Saba, a neighbor and community organizer who helped him get off meth. When whole communities like East L.A. are algorithmically scraped for pre-crime suspects, data is destiny, says Saba. “These are systemic processes. When people are constantly harassed in a gang context, it pushes them to join. They internalize being told they’re bad.”
palantir  surveillance  privacy  precrime  spidergrams  future  la  gangs  justice  algorithms  data-protection  data-privacy  policing  harrassment 
april 2018 by jm
A flaw-by-flaw guide to Facebook’s new GDPR privacy changes | TechCrunch
Overall, it seems like Facebook is complying with the letter of GDPR law, but with questionable spirit. Sure, privacy is boring to a lot of people. Too little info and they feel confused and scared. Too many choices and screens and they feel overwhelmed and annoyed. Facebook struck the right balance in some places here. But the subtly pushy designs seem intended to steer people away from changing their defaults in ways that could hamper Facebook’s mission and business.
gdpr  design  facebook  privacy  data-protection  data-privacy  social-networking  eu  law 
april 2018 by jm
Palantir has secretly been using New Orleans to test its predictive policing technology - The Verge
Predictive policing technology has proven highly controversial wherever it is implemented, but in New Orleans, the program escaped public notice, partly because Palantir established it as a philanthropic relationship with the city through Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s signature NOLA For Life program. Thanks to its philanthropic status, as well as New Orleans’ “strong mayor” model of government, the agreement never passed through a public procurement process.

In fact, key city council members and attorneys contacted by The Verge had no idea that the city had any sort of relationship with Palantir, nor were they aware that Palantir used its program in New Orleans to market its services to another law enforcement agency for a multimillion-dollar contract.

Even James Carville, the political operative instrumental in bringing about Palantir’s collaboration with NOPD, said that the program was not public knowledge. “No one in New Orleans even knows about this, to my knowledge,” Carville said.
palantir  creepy  surveillance  crime  forecasting  precrime  new-orleans  us-politics  privacy 
february 2018 by jm
Artificial intelligence is going to supercharge surveillance - The Verge
What happens when governments can track huge numbers of people using CCTV? When police can digitally tail you around a city just by uploading your mugshot into a database?


Or, indeed, when CCTV combined with AI and big data is routinely tracking everybody all the time?
ai  surveillance  privacy  cctv  big-data  government  big-brother  anpr 
february 2018 by jm
Amazing thread from @gavinsblog on the Strava leak
'This often led to the same results you see with Strava. In low population countries, or countries with low smartphone penetration, it was often easy to detect Westerners (usually soldiers) in remote areas.

this usually led to being able to identify bases and other types of things based solely on social data. Iraq, Afghanistan = always easy to find US troops (Instagram being a common sharing tool). Same true of IDF troops in staging areas before invasion of Gaza in 2014.

and the same true in 2014 with Russian troops in Ukraine. All too easy. Of course the other thing you might be nosey about [is] known military facilities. Social geotagging can give you staff/visitor lists if you persist long enough.

the difference between this technique and Strava was you could usually quickly deduce first name/last name if you wanted, and infer other social profiles eg LinkedIn -> FB -> FB friends -> work colleagues. Not only that but it was possible to automate.'
strava  privacy  military  security  geotagging  geodata  gavin-sheridan 
january 2018 by jm
Strava app gives away location of secret US army bases
This is a privacy nightmare. Even with anonymized userids the data was far too user-specific.
The details were released by Strava in a data visualisation map that shows all the activity tracked by users of its app, which allows people to record their exercise and share it with others. The map, released in November 2017, shows every single activity ever uploaded to Strava – more than 3 trillion individual GPS data points, according to the company. The app can be used on various devices including smartphones and fitness trackers like Fitbit to see popular running routes in major cities, or spot individuals in more remote areas who have unusual exercise patterns.
strava  privacy  fail  army  us-army  data 
january 2018 by jm
Aadhaar’s Dirty Secret Is Out, Anyone Can Be Added as a Data Admin
If you think your Aadhaar data is only in the hands of those authorised to access the official [Indian national] Aadhaar database, think again. Following up on an investigation by The Tribune, The Quint found that completely random people like you and me, with no official credentials, can access and become admins of the official Aadhaar database (with names, mobile numbers, addresses of every Indian linked to the UIDAI scheme). But that’s not even the worst part. Once you are an admin, you can make ANYONE YOU CHOOSE an admin of the portal. You could be an Indian, you could be a foreign national, none of it matters – the Aadhaar database won’t ask. A person of your choosing would then have access to the data of all 119,22,59,062 Aadhaar cardholders.
aadhaar  security  fail  vulnerabilities  privacy 
january 2018 by jm
Handling GDPR: How to make Kafka Forget
How do you delete (or redact) data from Kafka? The simplest way to remove messages from Kafka is to simply let them expire. By default Kafka will keep data for two weeks and you can tune this as required. There is also an Admin API that lets you delete messages explicitly if they are older than some specified time or offset. But what if we are keeping data in the log for a longer period of time, say for Event Sourcing use cases or as a source of truth? For this you can make use of  Compacted Topics, which allow messages to be explicitly deleted or replaced by key.


Similar applies to Kinesis I would think.
kafka  kinesis  gdpr  expiry  deleting  data  privacy 
december 2017 by jm
creepy fake motion-detector cameras in AirBnBs
Jason Scott on Twitter: "In "oh, that's a thing now" news, a colleague of mine thought it odd that there was a single "motion detector" in his AirBNB in the bedroom and voila, it's an IP camera connected to the web. (He left at 3am, reported, host is suspended, colleague got refund.)"
airbnb  motion-detectors  cameras  surveillance  creepy  privacy 
november 2017 by jm
Spam is back | The Outline
it’s 2017, and spam has clawed itself back from the grave. It shows up on social media and dating sites as bots hoping to lure you into downloading malware or clicking an affiliate link. It creeps onto your phone as text messages and robocalls that ring you five times a day about luxury cruises and fictitious tax bills. Networks associated with the buzzy new cryptocurrency system Ethereum have been plagued with spam. Facebook recently fought a six-month battle against a spam operation that was administering fake accounts in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and other countries. Last year, a Chicago resident sued the Trump campaign for allegedly sending unsolicited text message spam; this past November, ZDNet reported that voters were being inundated with political text messages they never signed up for. Apps can be horrid spam vectors, too — TechCrunch writer Jordan Crook wrote in April about how she idly downloaded an app called Gather that promptly spammed everyone in her contact list. Repeated mass data breaches that include contact information, such as the Yahoo breach in which 3 billion user accounts were exposed, surely haven’t helped. Meanwhile, you, me, and everyone we know is being plagued by robocalls. “There is no recourse for me,” lamented Troy Doliner, a student in Boston who gets robocalls every day. “I am harassed by a faceless entity that I cannot track down.”
“I think we had a really unique set of circumstances that created this temporary window where spam was in remission,” said Finn Brunton, an assistant professor at NYU who wrote Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet, “and now we’re on the other side of that, with no end in sight.”


(via Boing Boing)
spam  privacy  email  social-media  web  robocalls  phone  ethereum  texts  abuse 
november 2017 by jm
Quad9
Quad9 is a free, recursive, anycast DNS platform that provides end users robust security protections, high-performance, and privacy. 

Security: Quad9 blocks against known malicious domains, preventing your computers and IoT devices from connecting malware or phishing sites. Whenever a Quad9 user clicks on a website link or types in an address into a web browser, Quad9 will check the site against the IBM X-Force threat intelligence database of over 40 billion analyzed web pages and images. Quad9 also taps feeds from 18 additional threat intelligence partners to block a large portion of the threats that present risk to end users and businesses alike. 

Performance: Quad9 systems are distributed worldwide in more than 70 locations at launch, with more than 160 locations in total on schedule for 2018. These servers are located primarily at Internet Exchange points, meaning that the distance and time required to get answers is lower than almost any other solution. These systems are distributed worldwide, not just in high-population areas, meaning users in less well-served areas can see significant improvements in speed on DNS lookups. The systems are “anycast” meaning that queries will automatically be routed to the closest operational system. 

Privacy: No personally-identifiable information is collected by the system. IP addresses of end users are not stored to disk or distributed outside of the equipment answering the query in the local data center. Quad9 is a nonprofit organization dedicated only to the operation of DNS services. There are no other secondary revenue streams for personally-identifiable data, and the core charter of the organization is to provide secure, fast, private DNS


Awesome!
quad9  resolvers  dns  anycast  ip  networking  privacy  security 
november 2017 by jm
The naked truth about Facebook’s revenge porn tool
This is absolutely spot on.

If Facebook wanted to implement a truly trusted system for revenge porn victims, they could put the photo hashing on the user side of things -- so only the hash is transferred to Facebook. To verify the claim that the image is truly a revenge porn issue, the victim could have the images verified through a trusted revenge porn advocacy organization. Theoretically, the victim then would have a verified, privacy-safe version of the photo, and a hash that could be also sent to Google and other sites.
facebook  privacy  hashing  pictures  images  revenge-porn  abuse  via:jwz 
november 2017 by jm
How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You've Ever Met
Oh god this is so creepy.
Facebook’s machinery operates on a scale far beyond normal human interactions. And the results of its People You May Know algorithm are anything but obvious. In the months I’ve been writing about PYMK, as Facebook calls it, I’ve heard more than a hundred bewildering anecdotes:

A man who years ago donated sperm to a couple, secretly, so they could have a child—only to have Facebook recommend the child as a person he should know. He still knows the couple but is not friends with them on Facebook.
A social worker whose client called her by her nickname on their second visit, because she’d shown up in his People You May Know, despite their not having exchanged contact information.
A woman whose father left her family when she was six years old—and saw his then-mistress suggested to her as a Facebook friend 40 years later.
An attorney who wrote: “I deleted Facebook after it recommended as PYMK a man who was defense counsel on one of my cases. We had only communicated through my work email, which is not connected to my Facebook, which convinced me Facebook was scanning my work email.”
facebook  privacy  surveillance  security  creepy  phones  contacts  pymk 
november 2017 by jm
The Israeli Digital Rights Movement's campaign for privacy | Internet Policy Review
This study explores the persuasion techniques used by the Israeli Digital Rights Movement in its campaign against Israel’s biometric database. The research was based on analysing the movement's official publications and announcements and the journalistic discourse that surrounded their campaign within the political, judicial, and public arenas in 2009-2017. The results demonstrate how the organisation navigated three persuasion frames to achieve its goals: the unnecessity of a biometric database in democracy; the database’s ineffectiveness; and governmental incompetence in securing it. I conclude by discussing how analysing civil society privacy campaigns can shed light over different regimes of privacy governance. [....]

1. Why the database should be abolished: because it's not necessary - As the organisation highlighted repeatedly throughout the campaign with the backing of cyber experts, there is a significant difference between issuing smart documents and creating a database. Issuing smart documents effectively solves the problem of stealing and forging official documents, but does it necessarily entail the creation of a database? The activists’ answer is no: they declared that while they do support the transition to smart documents (passports and ID cards) for Israeli citizens, they object to the creation of a database due to its violation of citizens' privacy.

2. Why the database should be abolished: because it's ineffective; [...]

3. Why the database should be abolished: because it will be breached - The final argument was that the database should be abolished because the government would not be able to guarantee protection against security breaches, and hence possible identity theft.
digital-rights  privacy  databases  id-cards  israel  psc  drm  identity-theft  security 
september 2017 by jm
London police’s use of AFR facial recognition falls flat on its face
A “top-of-the-line” automated facial recognition (AFR) system trialled for the second year in a row at London’s Notting Hill Carnival couldn’t even tell the difference between a young woman and a balding man, according to a rights group worker invited to view it in action. Because yes, of course they did it again: London’s Met police used controversial, inaccurate, largely unregulated automated facial recognition (AFR) technology to spot troublemakers. And once again, it did more harm than good.

Last year, it proved useless. This year, it proved worse than useless: it blew up in their faces, with 35 false matches and one wrongful arrest of somebody erroneously tagged as being wanted on a warrant for a rioting offense.

[...] During a recent, scathing US House oversight committee hearing on the FBI’s use of the technology, it emerged that 80% of the people in the FBI database don’t have any sort of arrest record. Yet the system’s recognition algorithm inaccurately identifies them during criminal searches 15% of the time, with black women most often being misidentified.
face-recognition  afr  london  notting-hill-carnival  police  liberty  met-police  privacy  data-privacy  algorithms 
september 2017 by jm
'Let’s all survive the GDPR'
Simon McGarr and John Looney's slides from their SRECon '17 presentation
simon-mcgarr  data-privacy  privacy  data-protection  gdpr  slides  presentations 
september 2017 by jm
Comment: 'Mandatory but not compulsory' - what exactly is the justification for the Public Services Card? - Independent.ie
TJ McIntyre nails the problem here:
'Mandatory but not compulsory". This ill-judged hair-splitting seems likely to stick to Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty in the same way that "an Irish solution to an Irish problem" and "on mature recollection" did to politicians before her. The minister used that phrase to defend against the criticism that the public services card (PSC) is being rolled out as a national ID card by stealth, without any clear legal basis or public debate. She went on to say that the PSC is not compulsory as "nobody will drag you kicking and screaming to have a card".
This is correct, but irrelevant. The Government's strategy is one of making the PSC effectively rather than legally compulsory - by cutting off benefits such as pensions and refusing driving licences and passports unless a person registers.
Whether or not the PSC is required by law is immaterial if you cannot function in society without it.
psc  id-cards  ireland  social-welfare  id  privacy  data-protection 
august 2017 by jm
The data for the Irish theory driving test is stored in the US
Prometric is the company which adminsters the test and they appear to store it on US-based servers
prometric  data  privacy  data-protection  driving-test  ireland  theory-test 
august 2017 by jm
The Guardian view on patient data: we need a better approach | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian

The use of privacy law to curb the tech giants in this instance, or of competition law in the case of the EU’s dispute with Google, both feel slightly maladapted. They do not address the real worry. It is not enough to say that the algorithms DeepMind develops will benefit patients and save lives. What matters is that they will belong to a private monopoly which developed them using public resources. If software promises to save lives on the scale that drugs now can, big data may be expected to behave as big pharma has done. We are still at the beginning of this revolution and small choices now may turn out to have gigantic consequences later. A long struggle will be needed to avoid a future of digital feudalism. Dame Elizabeth’s report is a welcome start.


Hear hear.
privacy  law  uk  nhs  data  google  deepmind  healthcare  tech  open-source 
july 2017 by jm
GDPR Advisors and Consultants - Data Compliance Europe
Simon McGarr's new consultancy:
Our consultancy helps our clients understand how EU privacy law applies to their organisations; delivers the practical and concrete steps needed to achieve legal compliance; and helps them manage their continuing obligations after GDPR comes into force. Our structured approach to GDPR provides a long-term data compliance framework to minimise the ongoing risk of potential fines for data protection breaches. Our continuing partnership provides regulator liaison, advisory consultancy, and external Data Protection Officer services.
gdpr  simon-mcgarr  law  privacy  eu  europe  data-protection  regulation  data 
may 2017 by jm
'I've Got Nothing to Hide' and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy by Daniel J. Solove :: SSRN
In this short essay, written for a symposium in the San Diego Law Review, Professor Daniel Solove examines the nothing to hide argument. When asked about government surveillance and data mining, many people respond by declaring: "I've got nothing to hide." According to the nothing to hide argument, there is no threat to privacy unless the government uncovers unlawful activity, in which case a person has no legitimate justification to claim that it remain private. The nothing to hide argument and its variants are quite prevalent, and thus are worth addressing. In this essay, Solove critiques the nothing to hide argument and exposes its faulty underpinnings.


Via Fred Logue
law  philosophy  privacy  security  essay  papers  daniel-solove  surveillance  snooping 
may 2017 by jm
Government urged to declare if it wants mandatory ID cards
“The move from a voluntary or small-scale project of Public Services Cards to requiring all passport and driving licence applicant to present these cards is very significant.” Dr TJ McIntyre, a UCD law lecturer and chairman of the privacy advocacy group Digital Rights Ireland said on Sunday these measures marked the introduction of a “national ID card by stealth” and he believed it was being done “in a way which appears to be illegal”.
privacy  government  ireland  id-cards  law 
may 2017 by jm
Quividi - Leader in Attention Analytics
more "Anonymous Video Analytics" which is currently deployed in Dublin on-street billboards by a company called Orb with cameras pointing into public spaces. I am very curious whether this is legal under Irish DPA law given that sensitive personal data (your face) is being, while not _stored_ per se, _processed_ by this system without any provision for opt-in/opt-out.
advertising  privacy  technology  tracking  opt-in  quividi  orb 
may 2017 by jm
Unroll.me sold your data to Uber
'Uber devoted teams to so-called competitive intelligence, purchasing data from Slice Intelligence, which collected customers' emailed Lyft receipts via Unroll.me and sold the data to Uber'.

Also: 'Unroll.me allegedly "kept a copy of every single email that you sent or received" in "poorly secured S3 buckets"': https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14180463

Unroll.me CEO: 'felt bad “to see that some of our users were upset to learn about how we monetise our free service”.'
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/apr/24/unrollme-mail-unsubscription-service-heartbroken-sells-user-inbox-data-slice
uber  unroll.me  gmail  google  privacy  data-protection  lyft  scumbags  slice-intelligence 
april 2017 by jm
Australian Doctor on Twitter: "Outcry as MyHealthRecord default privacy setting left open to universal access"
Funnily enough, this is exactly what Ross Anderson warned about 10 years ago re patient record digitisation in the UK.

'Occupational therapists working for an employer, doctors working for insurance companies, a dietitian, an optometrist or a dentist or their staff can view the [patient] record and see if individuals have a sexually transmitted disease, a mental illness, have had an abortion or are using Viagra.'
privacy  heaith  australia  myhealthrecord  data-protection  data-privacy  healthcare  medicine 
april 2017 by jm
serviette/serviette.py at master · heathervm/serviette · GitHub
Delete tweets based on search terms. Wonder why you'd want that
twitter  tweets  delete  privacy  social-media 
april 2017 by jm
Research Blog: Federated Learning: Collaborative Machine Learning without Centralized Training Data
Great stuff from Google - this is really nifty stuff for large-scale privacy-preserving machine learning usage:

It works like this: your device downloads the current model, improves it by learning from data on your phone, and then summarizes the changes as a small focused update. Only this update to the model is sent to the cloud, using encrypted communication, where it is immediately averaged with other user updates to improve the shared model. All the training data remains on your device, and no individual updates are stored in the cloud.

Federated Learning allows for smarter models, lower latency, and less power consumption, all while ensuring privacy. And this approach has another immediate benefit: in addition to providing an update to the shared model, the improved model on your phone can also be used immediately, powering experiences personalized by the way you use your phone.

Papers:
https://arxiv.org/pdf/1602.05629.pdf , https://arxiv.org/pdf/1610.05492.pdf
google  ml  machine-learning  training  federated-learning  gboard  models  privacy  data-privacy  data-protection 
april 2017 by jm
UN privacy watchdog says 'little or no evidence' that mass surveillance works | ZDNet
The United Nations' special rapporteur on privacy has lambasted a spate of new surveillance laws across Europe and the US, saying that there is "little or no evidence" that mass monitoring of communications works. In a report published this week, Prof. Joseph Cannataci, the first privacy watchdog to take up the post, said he was neither convinced of the effectiveness or the proportionality "of some of the extremely privacy-intrusive measures that have been introduced by new surveillance laws."

He also said that bulk records collection, such as call and email metadata, runs the risk of "being hacked by hostile governments or organized crime."

Cannataci singled out recently-passed laws in France, Germany, the UK and the US, all of which have pushed through new legislation in the wake of the threat from the so-called Islamic State. He said that the passed laws amount to "gesture-politics," which in his words, "have seen politicians who wish to be seen to be doing something about security, legislating privacy-intrusive powers into being -- or legalize existing practices -- without in any way demonstrating that this is either a proportionate or indeed an effective way to tackle terrorism." A rise in public support of increased surveillance powers is "predicated on the psychology of fear," he said, referring to the perceived threat of terrorism.
surveillance  law  privacy  un  joseph-cannataci  watchdogs  terrorism  fear  fud 
march 2017 by jm
Minor Infractions — Real Life
When our son turned 12, we gave him a phone and allowed him to use social media, with a condition: He had no right to privacy. We would periodically and without warning read his texts and go through his messenger app. We would follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (though we wouldn’t comment or tag him — we’re not monsters). We wouldn’t ambush him about what we read and we wouldn’t attempt to embarrass him. Anything that wasn’t dangerous or illegal, we would ignore.


Food for thought. But not yet!
surveillance  family  kids  privacy  online  social-media  teenagers 
february 2017 by jm
What Vizio was doing behind the TV screen | Federal Trade Commission
This is awful:
Starting in 2014, Vizio made TVs that automatically tracked what consumers were watching and transmitted that data back to its servers. Vizio even retrofitted older models by installing its tracking software remotely. All of this, the FTC and AG allege, was done without clearly telling consumers or getting their consent.

What did Vizio know about what was going on in the privacy of consumers’ homes? On a second-by-second basis, Vizio collected a selection of pixels on the screen that it matched to a database of TV, movie, and commercial content. What’s more, Vizio identified viewing data from cable or broadband service providers, set-top boxes, streaming devices, DVD players, and over-the-air broadcasts. Add it all up and Vizio captured as many as 100 billion data points each day from millions of TVs.

Vizio then turned that mountain of data into cash by selling consumers’ viewing histories to advertisers and others. And let’s be clear: We’re not talking about summary information about national viewing trends. According to the complaint, Vizio got personal. The company provided consumers’ IP addresses to data aggregators, who then matched the address with an individual consumer or household. Vizio’s contracts with third parties prohibited the re-identification of consumers and households by name, but allowed a host of other personal details – for example, sex, age, income, marital status, household size, education, and home ownership.  And Vizio permitted these companies to track and target its consumers across devices.

That’s what Vizio was up to behind the screen, but what was the company telling consumers? Not much, according to the complaint.

Vizio put its tracking functionality behind a setting called “Smart Interactivity.”  But the FTC and New Jersey AG say that the generic way the company described that feature – for example, “enables program offers and suggestions” – didn’t give consumers the necessary heads-up to know that Vizio was tracking their TV’s every flicker. (Oh, and the “Smart Interactivity” feature didn’t even provide the promised “program offers and suggestions.”)
privacy  ftc  surveillance  tv  vizio  ads  advertising  smart-tvs 
february 2017 by jm
Data from pacemaker used to arrest man for arson, insurance fraud
Compton has medical conditions which include an artificial heart linked to an external pump. According to court documents, a cardiologist said that "it is highly improbable Mr. Compton would have been able to collect, pack and remove the number of items from the house, exit his bedroom window and carry numerous large and heavy items to the front of his residence during the short period of time he has indicated due to his medical conditions."

After US law enforcement caught wind of this peculiar element to the story, police were able to secure a search warrant and collect the pacemaker's electronic records to scrutinize his heart rate, the demand on the pacemaker and heart rhythms prior to and at the time of the incident.
pacemakers  health  medicine  privacy  data  arson  insurance  fraud  heart 
february 2017 by jm
The hidden cost of QUIC and TOU
The recent movement to get all traffic encrypted has of course been great for the Internet. But the use of encryption in these protocols is different than in TLS. In TLS, the goal was to ensure the privacy and integrity of the payload. It's almost axiomatic that third parties should not be able to read or modify the web page you're loading over HTTPS. QUIC and TOU go further. They encrypt the control information, not just the payload. This provides no meaningful privacy or security benefits.

Instead the apparent goal is to break the back of middleboxes [0]. The idea is that TCP can't evolve due to middleboxes and is pretty much fully ossified. They interfere with connections in all kinds of ways, like stripping away unknown TCP options or dropping packets with unknown TCP options or with specific rare TCP flags set. The possibilities for breakage are endless, and any protocol extensions have to jump through a lot of hoops to try to minimize the damage.
quic  tou  protocols  http  tls  security  internet  crypto  privacy  firewalls  debugging  operability 
december 2016 by jm
IPBill ICRs are the perfect material for 21st-century blackmail
ICRs are the perfect material for blackmail, which makes them valuable in a way that traditional telephone records are not. And where potentially large sums of money are involved, corruption is sure to follow. Even if ICR databases are secured with the best available technology, they are still vulnerable to subversion by individuals whose jobs give them ready access.
This is no theoretical risk. Just one day ago, it emerged that corrupt insiders at offshore call centres used by Australian telecoms were offering to sell phone records, home addresses, and other private details of customers. Significantly, the price requested was more if the target was an Australian "VIP, politician, police [or] celebrity."
blackmail  privacy  uk-politics  uk  snooping  surveillance  icrs  australia  phone-records 
november 2016 by jm
Stealth Cell Tower
'an antagonistic GSM base station [disguised] in the form of an innocuous office printer. It brings the covert design practice of disguising cellular infrastructure as other things - like trees and lamp-posts - indoors, while mimicking technology used by police and intelligence agencies to surveil mobile phone users.'
gsm  hardware  art  privacy  surveillance  hacks  printers  mobile-phones 
november 2016 by jm
Remarks at the SASE Panel On The Moral Economy of Tech
Excellent talk. I love this analogy for ML applied to real-world data which affects people:
Treating the world as software promotes fantasies of control. And the best kind of control is control without responsibility. Our unique position as authors of software used by millions gives us power, but we don't accept that this should make us accountable. We're programmers—who else is going to write the software that runs the world? To put it plainly, we are surprised that people seem to get mad at us for trying to help. Fortunately we are smart people and have found a way out of this predicament. Instead of relying on algorithms, which we can be accused of manipulating for our benefit, we have turned to machine learning, an ingenious way of disclaiming responsibility for anything. Machine learning is like money laundering for bias. It's a clean, mathematical apparatus that gives the status quo the aura of logical inevitability. The numbers don't lie.


Particularly apposite today given Y Combinator's revelation that they use an AI bot to help 'sift admission applications', and don't know what criteria it's using: https://twitter.com/aprjoy/status/783032128653107200
culture  ethics  privacy  technology  surveillance  ml  machine-learning  bias  algorithms  software  control 
october 2016 by jm
Snooping powers saw 13 people wrongly held on child sex charges in the UK
Sorry, Daily Mail article --
Blunders in the use of controversial snooping powers meant 13 people were wrongly arrested last year on suspicion of being paedophiles. Another four individuals had their homes searched by detectives following errors in attempts to access communications data, a watchdog revealed yesterday.

Other mistakes also included people unconnected to an investigation being visited by police and delayed welfare checks on vulnerable people including children whose lives were at risk, said the Interception of Communications Commissioner. [....] A large proportion of the errors involved an internet address which was wrongly linked to an individual.

Of the 23 serious mistakes, 14 were human errors and the other nine ‘technical system errors’.
surveillance  ip-addresses  privacy  uk  daily-mail  snooping  interception  errors 
september 2016 by jm
The Internet Thinks I’m Still Pregnant - The New York Times
This is pretty awful -- an accidental, careless and brutal side effect of marketers passing on sensitive info to one another, without respect for their users' privacy:

'I hadn’t realized, however, that when I had entered my information into the pregnancy app, the company would then share it with marketing groups targeting new mothers. Although I logged my miscarriage into the app and stopped using it, that change in status apparently wasn’t passed along. Seven months after my miscarriage, mere weeks before my due date, I came home from work to find a package on my welcome mat. It was a box of baby formula bearing the note: “We may all do it differently, but the joy of parenthood is something we all share.”'
privacy  pregnancy  miscarriage  data-protection  apps  babies  parenthood 
september 2016 by jm
Sex toy tells manufacturer when you’re using it
the "We-Vibe 4 Plus" phones home with telemetry data including temperature, and when the user "changes the vibration level". wtf
wtf  privacy  sex-toys  telemetry  metrics  vibrators  we-vibe 
august 2016 by jm
Self-driving cars: overlooking data privacy is a car crash waiting to happen
Interesting point -- self-driving cars are likely to be awash in telemetry data, "phoned home"
self-driving  cars  vehicles  law  data  privacy  data-privacy  surveillance 
july 2016 by jm
Cops Use Stingray To Almost Track Down Suspected Fast Food Thief
Law enforcement spokespeople will often point to the handful of homicide or kidnapping investigations successfully closed with the assistance of cell site simulators, but they'll gloss over the hundreds of mundane deployments performed by officers who will use anything that makes their job easier -- even if it's a tool that's Constitutionally dubious.

Don't forget, when a cell site simulator is deployed, it gathers cell phone info from everyone in the surrounding area, including those whose chicken wings have been lawfully purchased. And all of this data goes... somewhere and is held onto for as long as the agency feels like it, because most agencies don't seem to have Stingray data retention policies in place until after they've been FOIA'ed/questioned by curious legislators.

Regular policework -- which seemed to function just fine without cell tracking devices -- now apparently can't be done without thousands of dollars of military equipment. And it's not just about the chicken wing thieves law enforcement can't locate. It's about the murder suspects who are caught but who walk away when the surveillance device wipes its feet on the Fourth Amendment as it serves up questionable, post-facto search warrants and pen register orders.
stingrays  mobile  surveillance  imsi-catchers  data-retention  privacy  chicken-wings  fast-food 
june 2016 by jm
Sample letter to refuse permission for a child's data to be transferred into POD - Tuppenceworth.ie blog
The Department of Education has issued a new circular accepting it cannot defund the education of children whose parents do not want their kid’s data to be in POD [the privacy-infringing database of all Irish primary-school children]. They’ll only accept a written request as the basis of that refusal, however. So, here’s one you can use that meets the requirements. Send or give it to your school.
pod  privacy  ireland  children  kids  school 
june 2016 by jm
Differential Privacy
Apple have announced they plan to use it; Google use a DP algorithm called RAPPOR in Chrome usage statistics. In summary: "novel privacy technology that allows inferring statistics about populations while preserving the privacy of individual users".
apple  privacy  anonymization  google  rappor  algorithms  sampling  populations  statistics  differential-privacy 
june 2016 by jm
Ireland goes Big Brother as police upgrade snooping abilities - The Register
The Garda Síochána has proposed to expand its surveillance on Irish citizens by swelling the amount of data it collects on them through an increase in its CCTV and ANPR set-ups, and will also introduce facial and body-in-a-crowd biometrics technologies. [...] The use of Automated Facial Recognition (AFR) technology is fairly troubled in the UK, with the independent biometrics commissioner warning the government that it was risking inviting a legal challenge back in March. It is no less of an issue in Ireland, where the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) audited Facebook in 2011 and 2012, and scolded the Zuckerborg over its use of facial recognition technology.
afr  facial-recognition  minority-report  surveillance  ireland  gardai  cctv  anpr  biometrics  privacy 
june 2016 by jm
German Privacy Regulators Fined Adobe, Others Over U.S. Data Transfers
Adobe was fined 8,000 euros, Punica 9,000 euros and Unilever 11,000 euros. The regulator said they had put in place alternative legal mechanisms for transferring data to the United States following the fine. “The fact that the companies have eventually implemented a legal basis for the transfer had to be taken into account in a favorable way for the calculation of the fines,” said Johannes Caspar, the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection. “For future infringements, stricter measures have to be applied.”
data-protection  eu  fines  us  privacy  safe-harbor 
june 2016 by jm
MPs’ private emails are routinely accessed by GCHQ
65% of parliamentary emails are routed via Dublin or the Netherlands, so liable to access via Tempora; NSA's Prism program gives access to all Microsoft Office 365 docs; and MessageLabs, the anti-spam scanning system in use, has a GCHQ backdoor program called Haruspex, allegedly.
snowden  privacy  mps  uk  politics  gchq  nsa  haruspex  messagelabs  symantec  microsoft  parliament 
june 2016 by jm
Public preferences for electronic health data storage, access, and sharing – evidence from a pan-European survey | Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Results: We obtained 20 882 survey responses (94 606 preferences) from 27 EU member countries. Respondents recognized the benefits of storing electronic health information, with 75.5%, 63.9%, and 58.9% agreeing that storage was important for improving treatment quality, preventing epidemics, and reducing delays, respectively. Concerns about different levels of access by third parties were expressed by 48.9% to 60.6% of respondents. On average, compared to devices or systems that only store basic health status information, respondents preferred devices that also store identification data (coefficient/relative preference 95% CI = 0.04 [0.00-0.08], P = 0.034) and information on lifelong health conditions (coefficient = 0.13 [0.08 to 0.18], P < 0.001), but there was no evidence of this for devices with information on sensitive health conditions such as mental and sexual health and addictions (coefficient = −0.03 [−0.09 to 0.02], P = 0.24). Respondents were averse to their immediate family (coefficient = −0.05 [−0.05 to −0.01], P = 0.011) and home care nurses (coefficient = −0.06 [−0.11 to −0.02], P = 0.004) viewing this data, and strongly averse to health insurance companies (coefficient = −0.43 [−0.52 to 0.34], P < 0.001), private sector pharmaceutical companies (coefficient = −0.82 [−0.99 to −0.64], P < 0.001), and academic researchers (coefficient = −0.53 [−0.66 to −0.40], P < 0.001) viewing the data.

Conclusions: Storing more detailed electronic health data was generally preferred, but respondents were averse to wider access to and sharing of this information. When developing frameworks for the use of electronic health data, policy makers should consider approaches that both highlight the benefits to the individual and minimize the perception of privacy risks.


Via Antoin.
privacy  data  medicine  health  healthcare  papers  via:antoin 
april 2016 by jm
Primary Online Database: POD now (mostly) not compulsory (for now)
Ever since the introduction of the Primary Online Database of schoolchildren by the Department of Education, the Department and its Minister have been eager to point out that any parent who refused to allow a child’s data to be transferred would see that child’s education defunded.

Well, for all children other than this week’s crop of new Junior Infants, that threat has now collapsed. This is despite the Minister and her department having claimed that the drastic threat of defunding was because it simply wasn’t possible to give grants without a child’s full data being transferred. [...]

Oddly, as the prospect of defunding the education of 30% of the nation’s children in the run up to an election loomed large, the Department discovered it could, after all, pay for a child’s education without all its POD data.
pod  law  ireland  data-protection  privacy  children  school 
april 2016 by jm
Mass surveillance silences minority opinions, according to study - The Washington Post
This is excellent research, spot on.
Elizabeth Stoycheff, lead researcher of the study and assistant professor at Wayne State University, is disturbed by her findings. “So many people I've talked with say they don't care about online surveillance because they don't break any laws and don't have anything to hide. And I find these rationales deeply troubling,” she said.

She said that participants who shared the “nothing to hide” belief, those who tended to support mass surveillance as necessary for national security, were the most likely to silence their minority opinions.

“The fact that the 'nothing to hide' individuals experience a significant chilling effect speaks to how online privacy is much bigger than the mere lawfulness of one's actions. It's about a fundamental human right to have control over one's self-presentation and image, in private, and now, in search histories and metadata,” she said.
culture  privacy  psychology  surveillance  mass-surveillance  via:snowden  nothing-to-hide  spiral-of-silence  fear 
march 2016 by jm
Microsoft warns of risks to Irish operation in US search warrant case

“Our concern is that if we lose the case more countries across Europe or elsewhere are going to be concerned about having their data in Ireland, ” Mr Smith said, after testifying before the House judiciary committee.
Asked what would happen to its Irish unit if the company loses the case or doesn’t convince Congress to pass updated legislation governing cross-border data held by American companies, the Microsoft executive said: “We’ll certainly face a new set of risks that we don’t face today.”
He added that the issue could be resolved by an executive order by the White House or through international negotiations between the Irish Government or the European Union and the US.
microsoft  data  privacy  us-politics  surveillance  usa 
february 2016 by jm
Exclusive: Snowden intelligence docs reveal UK spooks' malware checklist / Boing Boing
This is an excellent essay from Cory Doctorow on mass surveillance in the post-Snowden era, and the difference between HUMINT and SIGINT. So much good stuff, including this (new to me) cite for, "Goodhart's law", on secrecy as it affects adversarial classification:
The problem with this is that once you accept this framing, and note the happy coincidence that your paymasters just happen to have found a way to spy on everyone, the conclusion is obvious: just mine all of the data, from everyone to everyone, and use an algorithm to figure out who’s guilty. The bad guys have a Modus Operandi, as anyone who’s watched a cop show knows. Find the MO, turn it into a data fingerprint, and you can just sort the firehose’s output into ”terrorist-ish” and ”unterrorist-ish.”

Once you accept this premise, then it’s equally obvious that the whole methodology has to be kept from scrutiny. If you’re depending on three ”tells” as indicators of terrorist planning, the terrorists will figure out how to plan their attacks without doing those three things.

This even has a name: Goodhart's law. "When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure." Google started out by gauging a web page’s importance by counting the number of links they could find to it. This worked well before they told people what they were doing. Once getting a page ranked by Google became important, unscrupulous people set up dummy sites (“link-farms”) with lots of links pointing at their pages.
adversarial-classification  classification  surveillance  nsa  gchq  cory-doctorow  privacy  snooping  goodharts-law  google  anti-spam  filtering  spying  snowden 
february 2016 by jm
Journalists, this GSOC story isn’t all about you, you know
Karlin Lillington in the Irish Times, going through journos for a shortcut:
All the hand-wringing from journalists, unions and media companies – even politicians and ministers – over the GSOC’s accessing of journalist’s call records? Oh, please. What wilful ignorance, mixed with blatant hypocrisy. Where have you all been for the past decade and a half, as successive Irish governments and ministers for justice supported and then rammed through legislation for mandatory call data retention for one of the longest periods in the world, with some of the weakest legal constraints and oversight?
karlin-lillington  privacy  data-protection  dri  law  journalists  gsoc  surveillance  data-retention 
january 2016 by jm
EU counter-terror bill is 'indiscriminate' data sweep
"To identify if someone is travelling outside the EU, we don't need an EU PNR. This data are already easily available in the airline reservation system,” [Giovanni Buttarelli, the European data protection supervisor] said. EU governments want more information in the belief it will help law enforcement in tracking down terrorists and are demanding access to information, such as travel dates, travel itinerary, ticket information, contact details, baggage information, and payment information of anyone flying in or out of the EU. ... EU PNR data would be retained for up to five years
pnr  eu  law  privacy  data-protection  europe  counter-terrorism  travel  air-travel 
december 2015 by jm
One of the Largest Hacks Yet Exposes Data on Hundreds of Thousands of Kids | Motherboard
VTech got hacked, and millions of parents and 200,000 kids had their privacy breached as a result. Bottom line is summed up by this quote from one affected parent:
“Why do you need know my address, why do you need to know all this information just so I can download a couple of free books for my kid on this silly pad thing? Why did they have all this information?”


Quite. Better off simply not to have the data in the first place!
vtech  privacy  data-protection  data  hacks 
november 2015 by jm
Did you know that Dublin Airport is recording your phone's data? - Newstalk
Ugh. Queue tracking using secret MAC address tracking in Dublin Airport:
"I think the fundamental issue is one of consent. Dublin Airport have been tracking individual MAC addresses since 2012 and there doesn't appear to be anywhere in the airport where they warn passengers that this is this occurring. "If they have to signpost CCTV, then mobile phone tracking should at a very minimum be sign-posted for passengers," he continues.


And how long are MAC addresses retained for, I wonder?
mac-addresses  dublin-airport  travel  privacy  surveillance  tracking  wifi  phones  cctv  consent 
november 2015 by jm
No Harm, No Fowl: Chicken Farm Inappropriate Choice for Data Disposal
That’s a lesson that Spruce Manor Special Care Home in Saskatchewan had to learn the hard way (as surprising as that might sound). As a trustee with custody of personal health information, Spruce Manor was required under section 17(2) of the Saskatchewan Health Information Protection Act to dispose of its patient records in a way that protected patient privacy. So, when Spruce Manor chose a chicken farm for the job, it found itself the subject of an investigation by the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner.  In what is probably one of the least surprising findings ever, the commissioner wrote in his final report that “I recommend that Spruce Manor […] no longer use [a] chicken farm to destroy records”, and then for good measure added “I find using a chicken farm to destroy records unacceptable.”
data  law  privacy  funny  chickens  farming  via:pinboard  data-protection  health  medical-records 
november 2015 by jm
User data plundering by Android and iOS apps is as rampant as you suspected
An app from Drugs.com, meanwhile, sent the medical search terms "herpes" and "interferon" to five domains, including doubleclick.net, googlesyndication.com, intellitxt.com, quantserve.com, and scorecardresearch.com, although those domains didn't receive other personal information.
privacy  security  google  tracking  mobile  phones  search  pii 
november 2015 by jm
Tesla Autopilot mode is learning
This is really impressive, but also a little scary. Drivers driving the Tesla Model S are "phoning home" training data as they drive:
A Model S owner by the username Khatsalano kept a count of how many times he had to “rescue” (meaning taking control after an alert) his Model S while using the Autopilot on his daily commute. He counted 6 “rescues” on his first day, by the fourth day of using the system on his 23.5 miles commute, he only had to take control over once. Musk said that Model S owners could add ~1 million miles of new data every day, which is helping the company create “high precision maps”.


Wonder if the data protection/privacy implications have been considered for EU use.
autopilot  tesla  maps  mapping  training  machine-learning  eu  privacy  data-protection 
november 2015 by jm
Your Relative's DNA Could Turn You Into A Suspect
Familial DNA searching has massive false positives, but is being used to tag suspects:
The bewildered Usry soon learned that he was a suspect in the 1996 murder of an Idaho Falls teenager named Angie Dodge. Though a man had been convicted of that crime after giving an iffy confession, his DNA didn’t match what was found at the crime scene. Detectives had focused on Usry after running a familial DNA search, a technique that allows investigators to identify suspects who don’t have DNA in a law enforcement database but whose close relatives have had their genetic profiles cataloged. In Usry’s case the crime scene DNA bore numerous similarities to that of Usry’s father, who years earlier had donated a DNA sample to a genealogy project through his Mormon church in Mississippi. That project’s database was later purchased by Ancestry, which made it publicly searchable—a decision that didn’t take into account the possibility that cops might someday use it to hunt for genetic leads.

Usry, whose story was first reported in The New Orleans Advocate, was finally cleared after a nerve-racking 33-day wait — the DNA extracted from his cheek cells didn’t match that of Dodge’s killer, whom detectives still seek. But the fact that he fell under suspicion in the first place is the latest sign that it’s time to set ground rules for familial DNA searching, before misuse of the imperfect technology starts ruining lives.
dna  familial-dna  false-positives  law  crime  idaho  murder  mormon  genealogy  ancestry.com  databases  biometrics  privacy  genes 
october 2015 by jm
How is NSA breaking so much crypto?
If a client and server are speaking Diffie-Hellman, they first need to agree on a large prime number with a particular form. There seemed to be no reason why everyone couldn’t just use the same prime, and, in fact, many applications tend to use standardized or hard-coded primes. But there was a very important detail that got lost in translation between the mathematicians and the practitioners: an adversary can perform a single enormous computation to “crack” a particular prime, then easily break any individual connection that uses that prime.
How enormous a computation, you ask? Possibly a technical feat on a scale (relative to the state of computing at the time) not seen since the Enigma cryptanalysis during World War II. Even estimating the difficulty is tricky, due to the complexity of the algorithm involved, but our paper gives some conservative estimates. For the most common strength of Diffie-Hellman (1024 bits), it would cost a few hundred million dollars to build a machine, based on special purpose hardware, that would be able to crack one Diffie-Hellman prime every year.
Would this be worth it for an intelligence agency? Since a handful of primes are so widely reused, the payoff, in terms of connections they could decrypt, would be enormous. Breaking a single, common 1024-bit prime would allow NSA to passively decrypt connections to two-thirds of VPNs and a quarter of all SSH servers globally. Breaking a second 1024-bit prime would allow passive eavesdropping on connections to nearly 20% of the top million HTTPS websites. In other words, a one-time investment in massive computation would make it possible to eavesdrop on trillions of encrypted connections.


(via Eric)
via:eric  encryption  privacy  security  nsa  crypto 
october 2015 by jm
After Bara: All your (Data)base are belong to us
Sounds like the CJEU's Bara decision may cause problems for the Irish government's wilful data-sharing:
Articles 10, 11 and 13 of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995, on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, must be interpreted as precluding national measures, such as those at issue in the main proceedings, which allow a public administrative body of a Member State to transfer personal data to another public administrative body and their subsequent processing, without the data subjects having been informed of that transfer or processing.
data  databases  bara  cjeu  eu  law  privacy  data-protection 
october 2015 by jm
Tech companies like Facebook not above the law, says Max Schrems
“Big companies didn’t only rely on safe harbour: they also rely on binding corporate rules and standard contractual clauses. But it’s interesting that the court decided the case on fundamental rights grounds: so it doesn’t matter remotely what ground you transfer on, if that process is still illegal under 7 and 8 of charter, it can’t be done.”


Also:
“Ireland has no interest in doing its job, and will continue not to, forever. Clearly it’s an investment issue – but overall the policy is: we don’t regulate companies here. The cost of challenging any of this in the courts is prohibitive. And the people don’t seem to care.”


:(
ireland  guardian  max-schrems  privacy  surveillance  safe-harbor  eu  us  nsa  dpc  data-protection 
october 2015 by jm
net.wars: Unsafe harbor
Wendy Grossman on where the Safe Harbor decision is leading.
One clause would require European companies to tell their relevant data protection authorities if they are being compelled to turn over data - even if they have been forbidden to disclose this under US law. Sounds nice, but doesn't mobilize the rock or soften the hard place, since companies will still have to pick a law to violate. I imagine the internal discussions there revolving around two questions: which violation is less likely to land the CEO in jail and which set of fines can we afford?


(via Simon McGarr)
safe-harbor  privacy  law  us  eu  surveillance  wendy-grossman  via:tupp_ed 
october 2015 by jm
ECJ ruling on Irish privacy case has huge significance
The only current way to comply with EU law, the judgment indicates, is to keep EU data within the EU. Whether those data can be safely managed within facilities run by US companies will not be determined until the US rules on an ongoing Microsoft case.
Microsoft stands in contempt of court right now for refusing to hand over to US authorities, emails held in its Irish data centre. This case will surely go to the Supreme Court and will be an extremely important determination for the cloud business, and any company or individual using data centre storage. If Microsoft loses, US multinationals will be left scrambling to somehow, legally firewall off their EU-based data centres from US government reach.


(cough, Amazon)
aws  hosting  eu  privacy  surveillance  gchq  nsa  microsoft  ireland 
october 2015 by jm
The Surveillance Elephant in the Room…
Very perceptive post on the next steps for safe harbor, post-Schrems.
And behind that elephant there are other elephants: if US surveillance and surveillance law is a problem, then what about UK surveillance? Is GCHQ any less intrusive than the NSA? It does not seem so – and this puts even more pressure on the current reviews of UK surveillance law taking place. If, as many predict, the forthcoming Investigatory Powers Bill will be even more intrusive and extensive than current UK surveillance laws this will put the UK in a position that could rapidly become untenable. If the UK decides to leave the EU, will that mean that the UK is not considered a safe place for European data? Right now that seems the only logical conclusion – but the ramifications for UK businesses could be huge.

[....] What happens next, therefore, is hard to foresee. What cannot be done, however, is to ignore the elephant in the room. The issue of surveillance has to be taken on. The conflict between that surveillance and fundamental human rights is not a merely semantic one, or one for lawyers and academics, it’s a real one. In the words of historian and philosopher Quentin Skinner “the current situation seems to me untenable in a democratic society.” The conflict over Safe Harbor is in many ways just a symptom of that far bigger problem. The biggest elephant of all.
ec  cjeu  surveillance  safe-harbor  schrems  privacy  europe  us  uk  gchq  nsa 
october 2015 by jm
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