Jan 312011
 January 31, 2011  Posted by  Misc

David Rowan writes:

A few selected readers have received an ultra-personalised cover on their issue of Wired this month. We wanted to see how much personal data we could easily find about them from publicly available sources — as a means of emphasising some of the points made in our cover story by Andrew Keen, Jeff Jarvis and Steven Johnson on “what the end of privacy means for you”.

Wary of scaring off our entire readership, we sent the personalised copies of Wired to some randomly selected subscribers rather than all of them, as well as to a few people we know with some media influence. Well, the media can take a little scaring.

Read more on Wired.co.uk.

Jan 312011
 January 31, 2011  Posted by  Breaches, Court, Online

Caroline Moses reports:

It may be hard to believe, but personal information on rape victims in Tennessee is online for anyone to find. Their names, addresses and sometimes even family members’ names are all listed, along with details of the crimes committed against them.

The Channel 4 I-Team found officials, from police officers to Davidson County’s district attorney, said it’s just wrong.

With a simple Internet search, anyone in Tennessee can find out information on sexual assault victims from across the state. Even Davidson County’s district attorney said it’s outrageous that this information is online — especially when you learn who put it there.


The I-Team also uncovered dozens of cases where the state appellate court posted victims’ full names, their parents’ names, even their addresses — and in some cases, the victims were minors.


The courts are not required by statute to omit names of sexual assault victims and minors from opinions posted on the state’s website. A spokeswoman from the administrative office of the courts said they do have an unwritten policy to use first names and initials instead of full names.

But the I-Team found that clearly isn’t happening.

Read more on WSMV.

Jan 312011
 January 31, 2011  Posted by  Online, Surveillance

Erica Newland writes:

Three years after CDT and other public interest groups first introduced the idea of “Do Not Track,” Microsoft and Firefox have both committed to building Do Not Track mechanisms into their browsers. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) featured Do Not Track prominently in its recent privacy report. The message is clear: Do Not Track is here to stay.

The mechanisms for implementing Do Not Track vary considerably, but the underlying principle is the same: it’s time to empower consumers to prevent the collection and correlation of data about their Internet activities across websites.

Translating this principle into practice, however, is not simple — it requires a difficult conversation about how to define “tracking.” Achieving consensus on this question would guide the development and implementation of browser-based DNT tools, would serve as the basis for educating consumers about their options, and would guide enforcement bodies, such as the Federal Trade Commission, as they consider the implications of the concept.

Read more on Center for Democracy and Technology.

Jan 312011
 January 31, 2011  Posted by  Laws, Surveillance

Starting tomorrow, if you’re arrested for certain misdemeanors in North Carolina, you may have to provide your DNA. Yes, you read that right. Misdemeanors. Arrest (not conviction). DNA.

Marissa Jasek of WWAY3 reports:

Beginning tomorrow, law enforcement in North Carolina can collect DNA from suspects in certain violent felony and misdemeanor arrests. Opponents say it violates privacy rights.

A suspect’s DNA will be sent to the State Bureau of Investigation to be analyzed and uploaded to state and national databases.

The new law applies to anyone arrested for violent felonies and some misdemeanors, like stalking and cyberstalking. This is an addition to the old law, which only allowed DNA collection from those convicted of violent crimes.

Read more on WWAY3-TV