Archive for March, 2012

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Biometric market set to grow to $14.685 billion by 2019.

March 26, 2012

Frost & Sullivan has carried out a new assessment of the global biometrics market that predicts 2010 revenues of $4.49 billion will increase to $14.685 billion by 2019. Universal adoption of biometric passports will be the driving force in this growth as so-called eGates are implemented at borders around the world. Portable devices used by the police and the military will also become increasingly common in the fight against crime and terrorism, according to the report. Frost & Sullivan also suggests that biometrics will be almost universally adopted in the identification of citizens through IDs, driver’s licenses and healthcards complete with biometric capabilities. Research analyst Krzysztof Rutkowski explained: “The civil and military biometric market will be highly influenced by the universal adoption of biometric passports. This will pave the way for the adoption of other measures, such as eGates, that will enhance the biometric possession experience.”

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Google wants to serve you ads based on the background noise of your phone calls

March 23, 2012

Just when you think that we’re pretty tech savvy, companies like Google and Nokia file outlandish “forward-thinking” patents that make you feel like we’re all in a Star Trek episode. In the case of Google’s latest patent, it makes us feel like we’re in a police state.

The patent discusses the technology to analyze the background noise during your phone call and serve up ads for you based on the environmental conditions Google picks up on.

 

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Reading Over Your Shoulder: Social Readers and Privacy Law

March 19, 2012

Margot Kaminski has an article in Wake Forest Law Review. Online that begins:

My friends, who are generally well educated and intelligent, read a lot of garbage. I know this because since September 2011, their taste in news about Justin Bieber, Snooki, and the Kardashians has been shared with me through “social readers” on Facebook.[1] Social readers instantaneously list what you are reading on another website, without asking for your approval before disclosing each individual article you read. They are an example of what Facebook calls “frictionless sharing,” where Facebook users ostensibly influence each other’s behavior by making their consumption of content on other websites instantly visible to their friends.[2] Many people do not think twice about using these applications, and numerous publications have made them available, including the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Guardian.[3]

Footnotes

  1. See, e.g., Ian Paul, Wall Street Journal Social on Facebook: A First Look, Today @PCWorld Blog (Sep. 20, 2011, 7:02 AM), http://www.pcworld.com/article/240274/wall_street_journal_social_on_facebook
    _a_first_look.html.
  2. Jason Gilbert, Facebook Frictionless App Frenzy Will Make Your Life More Open, Huffington Post (Jan. 18, 2012), http://www.huffingtonpost.com
    /2012/01/18/facebook‑actions‑arrive‑major‑changes_n_1213183.html.
  3. See The Washington Post Social Reader, Wash. Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/socialreader (last visited Feb. 26, 2012); Press Release, The Guardian, Guardian Announces New App on Facebook to Make News More Social (Sept, 23, 2011), available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/gnm
    -press-office/guardian-launches-facebook-app; Paul, supra note 1.
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Health Officials Seeking More Secure Mobile Devices

March 14, 2012

Mobile devices, from smartphones to tablet computers, are increasingly used in hospitals and other health care settings. But regulators fear that manufacturers have not taken adequate steps to safeguard privacy and security with the technology.

To help seal those gaps, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched the Privacy & Security Mobile Device project. The initiative will be managed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONC) Office of the Chief Privacy Officer and the HHS Office for Civil Rights.

The project also will work to develop case studies to help communicate to health care providers how to secure and protect health information when using mobile devices. An example of a provider use case scenario is the health care provider who is at home and on call, using a laptop to read a patient’s electronic medical record.

“The rationale behind this specific project is that the use of mobile devices in health care has skyrocketed in the last year,” said Joy Pritts, JD, chief privacy officer for ONC, in an interview. “The concern is that health information is some of the most sensitive information that there is.”

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Free cloud services compared

March 13, 2012

Not all cloud services are built alike. We take a look at some of the most popular options — what they’re for, how you can use them and, most importantly, what you get.

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Majority mobile device users do not use security measures

March 12, 2012

96 percent of business professionals surveyed use mobile devices to store, access and send sensitive material, and the majority are doing so without e-mail encryption or metadata removal, thus posing significant security risks. Over a third acknowledged the high risk of sensitive information leaking via document metadata.

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Researchers: How ‘leaky’ smart phones give up their crypto keys

March 4, 2012

Smart phones being used for sensitive transactions leak data that can be used to recover the cryptographic keys securing connections, researchers say. CPUs from as far away as 30 feet, said Benjamin Jun, vice president of technology at Cryptography Research Inc.

The data can be analyzed to reveal the cryptographic keys being generated and used. “That distance was a surprise to me,” said Jun, who is presenting results of the research at this week’s RSA Conference.“What we’re trying to do here is not show the limits of what can be done,” but to determine the amount of data leakage and demonstrate the dangers it poses, Jun said. By analyzing power consumption in the CPU during cryptographic processes, data — including crypto keys — could be extracted.