information

Wed
04
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

Justifying Mass Surveillance: A Fallacious Myth

Is it a 'good' thing that Britain, the United States, and several other countries are developing more sophisticated surveillance technology ? The premise that individuals have nothing to hide and nothing to fear in a 'big brother' society is nothing ... more than a myth riddled with false assumptions. A multitude of problems can arise from continuously gathering too much data. Trusting the government and private companies -- entities full of people, some of which will inevitably have an immoral few -- make it easier for data to be misused and error prone. That said, people who have nothing to ... (view more)

Fri
27
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Facebook Opens Forum to Discuss Terms of Use Policy

Facebook is taking criticisms of its recent terms of use debacle to heart. According to reports, the social networking company is now asking members to help contribute to a more popular policy by making their own suggestions. Last week the popular ... social networking site faced condemnation from members after it was reported that its new terms of use policy would allow third parties to access user information even after they terminated an account. Although some felt users had long surrendered their privacy by joining such a network, most members were outraged with Facebook and demanded ... (view more)

Tue
24
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Software Glitch Exposes 600 Student Accounts Online

Ryerson University students and their families are very concerned this morning amidst reports that 600 student accounts were leaked through a software glitch that exposed Social Insurance numbers and personal information. Although the problem was ... first reported to the Toronto, Canada school's information and privacy coordinator Heather Driscoll as early as December 27, the university was unable to correct the situation, which it may have felt was a one-time occurrence. "Based on the information from the first student we could get the scope of the problem," Driscoll admitted. "But we didn't ... (view more)

Tue
10
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Ethical Hacker Proves RFID Tags Remain Vulnerable to 'Skimming'

According to recent reports, $250 worth of electronic equipment allowed Chris Paget, an "ethical hacker," to scan and copy the information stored on radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips embedded in new passport cards (but not the traditional ... passport books), as well as some enhanced drivers' licenses while he drove around San Francisco. The 20-minute experiment was captured on video by The Register. According to Paget, it would be trivial to program blank tags with the skimmed identification numbers -- a key part of the process of creating counterfeit cards. Because the embedded RFID ... (view more)

Thu
05
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Ambivalent About Advertising, Privacy

As noted by the New York Times, new technologies have become so powerful that protecting individual privacy may no longer be the only issue. With the Internet, wireless sensors, and the capability to analyze an avalanche of data, a person's profile ... can be drawn without monitoring him or her directly. (Source: nytimes.com ) Every time you use your credit card to make a purchase, you give up your privacy. When you use your credit or debit card, a record of that transaction is logged into a database of information collected by your credit card issuer. (Source: creditcards.com ) Tracking systems ... (view more)

Mon
02
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Secret Military Files Found On Used MP3 Player

A 29-year-old New Zealand man reportedly got more than he bargained for when he bought an MP3 player from an Oklahoma thrift shop. When Chris Ogle hooked up his MP3 player to sync with his computer, he found 60 files containing military information ... including the names and personal details of American soldiers stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq including: cellphone numbers, information that appeared to be from a mission briefing, details of military equipment deployed to the bases, and social security numbers. (Source: tvnz.co.nz ) Files found were marked with a warning saying the release of ... (view more)

Fri
30
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Technology Has Mixed Effects On Child Development, Research Suggests

According to a UCLA professor, today's kids might use their brains much differently than children in previous generations. The findings could mean that current teaching and testing methods are ineffective in estimating their intelligence. Patricia ... Greenfield looked at more than 50 studies of technology's effects on children. She found that media such as television and video games do limit some aspects of their mental skills, but also help improve them in other ways. Tests over the last 50 years show a clear and consistent increase in visual reasoning skills. These involve seeing information ... (view more)

Fri
16
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Are Bush Admin Computers a Crime Scene?

David Gewirtz, author of 'Where Have All the Emails Gone?' reportedly wrote an open letter to President-elect Obama asking that his administration please treat the White House computers like crime scene evidence. By failing to preserve official ... emails, the Bush White House has technically committed a federal crime by violating the Presidential Records Act and The Federal Records Act. The first few weeks of the Obama Administration taking office are going to be critical in preserving that information. Forensic evidence needs to be gathered before it's lost in the flurry of incoming activity. ( ... (view more)

Tue
06
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

British Government Wants Private Firm To Monitor Super Database Of Every Person In Britain

The British Government is contemplating the third-party construction of a super database containing the identities and location of every person in Britain. The 'super database,' which comes at the hefty cost of 12 billion British pounds, would be ... run by one or a number of private companies and would track every citizen's Internet usage, every phone call, every text message, as well as many other transactions. The government claims the database is necessary to fight terrorism and serious crime. Of course, the government also claims it would come with stringent safeguards to protect a user's ... (view more)

Wed
24
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

Major Web Browsers Fail Password Protection Testing

The password management feature in your favorite web browser could be helping identity thieves steal your personal data, according to a survey recently conducted by Chapin Information Services (CIS). Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Safari and ... Chrome are vulnerable to a total of 20 vulnerabilities that could result in exposing your password-related information. Three problems are among those that, when combined, allow password thieves to steal your password without your knowledge: The destination where passwords are sent is not checked. The location where passwords are requested is not ... (view more)

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