Drones, phones and other 2012 privacy threats
Despite some movement in attracting the attention of legislators, 2012 is set to close without any major changes to online consumer privacy rules.
The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights , released by the Obama Administration in February, sought to encourage the creation of new industry standards for collecting, sharing, storing and using private data on the Internet and mobile networks.
The administration said at the time that the document is part of an effort to require that companies limit the collection of personal data, protect any sensitive data collected, and give consumers the right to access and to correct mistakes in personal data collected by Internet service providers, carriers and mobile application companies.
While many consumer rights groups and privacy advocates have praised the Administration's intent, they have expressed disappointment at the continued focus on industry self-regulation.
Many of them fear that the "multi-stakeholder process" outlined in Obama's Consumer Bill of Rights will be hijacked by deep-pocketed Internet companies with little real concern for consumer privacy. The consumer advocacy groups continue to maintain that meaningful privacy protections can result only from strong legislation.
Predictably, industry groups such as the Digital Advertising Alliance, the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Direct Marketers Association have cautioned against any legislation and have insisted that self-regulation is the best way forward.
NYC Domain Awareness System: Surveillance city?
A New York City-wide Domain Awareness System (DAS) rolled out by the New York Police Department (NYPD) in July has left groups like the American Civil Liberties Union uneasy about its privacy implications.
The city's data aggregation and real-time analytics tool, built in collaboration with Microsoft, is designed to combat crime and terror threats in the city.
The system gives city police a way to quickly aggregate and analyze data from 3,000 surveillance cameras, along with license plate readers, radiation detectors, 911 calls and multiple public safety databases.
Housed in the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative command center, DAS is designed to provide real-time alerts on potential security threats. Operators and analysts at the command center can use the system's graphical interface to quickly pull up and correlate public safety, geospatial, chronological and other information that might be relevant to an unfolding event.
While city officials have described the system as an invaluable security tool, the ACLU and others have expressed concern about its privacy implications.
For instance, some fear that DAS -- and especially components like its license plate readers -- make it much easier for police to track and conduct warrantless surveillance of individuals and groups.
It's too soon to measure the extent of the systems privacy threat,
City officials have insisted that they have put in various, privacy-friendly measures -- such as purging license plate data every 30 days. Even so, with other cities likely to follow New York's lead, DAS could well become a barometer of things to come.
Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan, or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com.
- Franken presses Ford on location data collection practices
- Justices let stand appeals court decision on border searches of laptops
- California lawmakers move to bar state help to NSA
- Appeals court again nixes Google's bid to overturn Street View case
- Older Mac webcams can spy without activating warning light
- Update: Judge rules NSA spy efforts may be unconstitutional
- Perspective: Privacy concerns could keep Amazon delivery drones grounded
- NSA collects data from millions of cellphones daily
- Perspective: Curbing data use is key to reining in NSA
- Lavabit-DOJ dispute zeroes in on encryption key ownership
Read more about Security in Computerworld's Security Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- Mobile Policy Checklist Here's what to consider when putting together a mobile policy designed to support a highly productive workforce.
- Securing BYOD Mobile computing is becoming so ubiquitous that people no longer bat an eye seeing someone working two devices simultaneously. Individuals and organizations are...
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Endpoint Backup & Restore: Protect Everyone, Everywhere Arek Sokol from the bleeding-edge IT team at Genentech/Roche explains how he leverages cross-platform enterprise endpoint backup in the public cloud as part...
- Streamline Software Asset Management, Compose a software Management Symphony Keeping track of your organization's software is easy with effective software management solutions from CDW. View the videos in our software solutions channel
- Druva inSync: Endpoint Data Protection & Governance CLICK HERE to watch this video about protecting corporate data on laptops and mobile devices, sponsored by Druva. All Security White Papers | Webcasts