Oct 312010
 October 31, 2010  Posted by  Non-U.S., Surveillance

Big Brother Watch was recently alerted to the case of an East Midlands school which had deployed automatic facial recognition software as a means by which to sign their pupils in and out of school.

Rotterdam City Council, it appears, have gone one step further in announcing the roll-out of facial recognition scanners on their public transport network as a means by which to prevent those with travels bans from boarding trams.

Read more on Big Brother Watch.

Thanks to Ian Geldard for this link.

Oct 312010
 October 31, 2010  Posted by  Business, Online

Geoffrey A. Fowler and Emily Steel report:

Facebook Inc. said that a data broker has been paying application developers for identifying user information, and that it had placed some developers on a six-month suspension from its site because of the practice.

The announcement, which Facebook made on its developers’ blog Friday, follows an investigation by Facebook into a privacy breach that The Wall Street Journal reported in October.


Facebook didn’t specify which app developers it had suspended, but said it affects fewer than a dozen, mostly small ones. Facebook also said it was adding a mechanism so app developers that need to share a unique identifier with outside parties, such as content partners, can do so in an anonymous fashion. This new function will be released next week, and will be required of all apps by Jan. 1, 2011.

Read more in the Wall Street Journal.

Oct 312010
 October 31, 2010  Posted by  Breaches

ID theft is never good, but here’s another example of how potentially serious the consequences can be. Helen Kennedy reports:

The 22-year-old Yemeni coed arrested for mailing the two Al Qaeda cargo bombs was released Sunday after officials determined she was a victim of identity theft.

“Another woman had used her name and ID. Authorities are looking for that woman,” a government official told Reuters.

Read more in the NY Daily News

Oct 312010
 October 31, 2010  Posted by  Featured News, Non-U.S.

A   man desperate to raise money for an operation his father needs could be exposing himself to prosecution for putting his identity up for sale.  Rhianne Pope reports that Preston Likely, a print worker from Littlemore, may find that he’s gone from the financial frying pan into the fire:

He said: “I have decided to sell my entire identity – my passport number, my credit card number, share dealing numbers, birth certificate – anything with personal information and numbers on.

“I needed to raise money for my dad’s operation and I’ve got mortgage payments and bills coming out – it’s just money I don’t have any more.

“I was cutting up my credit cards in the bin one day and got the idea to do this.”

Since the notices were first placed in newsagents last Wednesday, the married father-of-one has had offers ranging from £10 to £1,000.

But a police spokesman was quoted as saying,  “Anyone selling their personal documents or identification numbers must be aware that they may be used for fraudulent purposes.

“This could be considered an attempted fraud in that the seller is willing for others to use his name and credit cards for a dishonest purpose whilst pretending to be him, for a fee.

“The information about this incident has been passed to our Police Enquiry Centre to investigate further to ascertain whether any offences have been committed.”

A Identity and Passport Service spokesman said: “Any action which could assist fraudulent activity is a serious offence and may lead to prosecution.”

Read more in the Oxford Times.  Even if Mr. Likely doesn’t wind up in legal trouble, I think he’ll be disappointed to find out how little an identity is worth on the market these days.