Sep 182014

CBS reports:

Police may soon have a new weapon in their efforts to prevent drivers from texting while on the road.

A Virginia company is working on a device that detects the radio signals sent out from a vehicle when someone inside is using a cell phone.

The technology is able to differentiate text messaging from phone calls. Virginia law allows adults to talk on a cellphone while driving, but not send text messages.

Read more on CBSDC.

Sep 182014

Loek Essers reports:

Storing someone’s private information in a crime database for 20 years when charges against that person have been dropped violates privacy rights, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled Thursday.

The court ruled in a case brought by a French citizen, Francois Xavier Brunet, against the French government.

Read more on CIO.

Sep 182014

Dian Schaffhauser reports:

Compared to parents in Malaysia, Poland and Italy, American parents look like babes in the woods when it comes to awareness of in-school data mining of their children’s information, including online behavior and email habits. Whereas 75 percent of Malaysians, 71 percent of Poles and 70 percent of Italians are aware of the practice, only 51 percent of parents in the United States know about it. But once they do know about it, more than nine out of 10 are “concerned or very concerned about the practice” and more than four out of five say they are likely to take action against the practice.

These results come from a set of surveys conducted by SafeGov.org among parents worldwide to understand their views on the benefits and risks of expanding in-school access to Internet applications such as email, document creation and group collaboration. In the United States, 540 people were surveyed online in August 2012 for a margin of error of ±4.16. In other countries the surveys were done in 2013 and 2014 for a margin of error that ranged from ±4.33 to ±5.67.

Read more on THE Journal

Sep 182014

Elizabeth Warmerdam has an update on one of the yuckiest workplace privacy cases I’ve ever covered on this blog.

Accused of checking the underwear of female employees for period blood, a cosmetics company cannot demand coverage from its insurer, a California Court of Appeals ruled.


Jon Davler tendered the action to its insurer, but Arch Insurance Co. denied coverage based on an employment-related practices exclusion in the policy.

A three-judge panel with 2nd Appellate District affirmed Monday that the insurance company that it does not owe coverage to the company, despite Jon Davler’s argument that the false imprisonment claim is not employment-related.

Read more on Courthouse News.

Sep 182014

A somewhat stunning headline to start my day.

Craig Timberg reports:

Apple said Wednesday night that it is making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police — even when they have a search warrant — taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in government efforts to collect user information.

The move, announced with the publication of a new privacy policy tied to the release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, amounts to an engineering solution to a legal quandary: Rather than comply with binding court orders, Apple has reworked its latest encryption in a way that prevents the company — or anyone but the device’s owner — from gaining access to the vast troves of user data typically stored on smartphones or tablet computers.

Read more on Washington Post.

Sep 172014

Brian Donnelly reports:

In the same day this week, a Westchester teen and Long Island teen learned the same lesson – anonymity isn’t real.

In separate incidents on Tuesday, police say the teens used an anonymous app called Yik Yak to post threats to their schools. Both suspects were located by police using GPS provided by the app and then arrested.

Read more on Rivertowns.