Being an attorney with an iPhone, I've wondered about the privacy of my SMS-text messages and whether they can be withheld from prying eyes. I don't mean that dinner date across from you, but in a larger sense. Think about what we've all begun to say via text messages: Carrie Underwood got dumped this way and Detroit's mayor was brought down by his text messages, for example. Like it or not, texting has become a communication medium that is here to stay, meaning that the contents of those messages are also susceptible to legal discovery, i.… Read more
Imagine every question you've typed into an Internet search engine suddenly appearing online for the world to scrutinize. What would the queries say about you? Would the world view you as totally mundane? Totally bizarre?
Would your search log be intriguing enough to draw thousands upon thousands of viewers?
Brat Productions, a theater company in Philadelphia, found one such search string more than compelling enough to form the basis of its new play, User 927.
The show--which opened Wednesday and runs through June 22--is based on a now infamous real-life search log that included queries ranging from "purple … Read more
It's tough to stay on top of Google, but I thought I'd draw some attention to some developments involving the search powerhouse.
More Street View with more privacy: One year into Google's launch of the Google Maps feature to show a driver's-eye view of the world, Google added 37 new cities, including Atlanta, Buffalo, N.Y., Ann Arbor, Mich., Fresno, Calif., and Cincinnati. It effectively doubles the coverage of Street View, engineer Jiajun Zhu said in a Google LatLong blog posting.
Am I living in a world where privacy doesn't matter? One where my right to do what I want within legal boundaries is stymied by the incorrigible desire to spy on me and know exactly what I'm doing at all times? One where the world is a big fish bowl and I'm swimming around trying desperately to find a private place?
It certainly looks that way.A new study from Northeastern University secretly tracked the locations of 100,000 people outside the United States by monitoring their cell phone use and found that most people rarely travel more than a few miles from their home.
I'm not too sure why anyone really cares how far people travel from their homes, but this study does raise one important issue: Northeastern University researches tracked individuals without their knowledge with total disregard for privacy concerns. Obviously heeding the advice of legal counsel, the researchers conducted the study in "an industrialized nation" so they wouldn't be tracking US citizens while in the same country.
According to the Associated Press, "Researchers used cell phone towers to track individuals' locations whenever they made or received phone calls and text messages over six months. In a second set of records, researchers took another 206 cell phones that had tracking devices in them and got records for their locations every two hours over a week's time period."
Unbelievable.… Read more
Updated 12:34 p.m. PDT to correct the attribution of the cellular phone tracking story. The story that focused on the privacy issues was written by Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press.
Cell phone usage tracked in an undisclosed industrial nation revealed a majority of users tend to remain close to home for months at a time, according to a study conducted by Northeastern University and cited Wednesday in the journal Nature.
While the study of 100,000 cell phone users in a country outside the U.S. demonstrated that 75 percent remained within a 20-mile radius of their … Read more
Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan's private MySpace photos are all over the Internet now, thanks to a glitch in the bad APIs.
While the not-so-publicity-shy stars probably won't mind, and none of the photos are all that racy (except for the one of a fully dressed, provocatively posed Hilton in a tanning booth), there's a lesson for us all in this social network privacy flap du jour.
"Anything you upload to a public Web site is not private; it's public. Even if you think it is password protected," says Jeremiah Grossman, chief technology officer … Read more
The Bank of New York Mellon says sensitive data of more than 4 million people owning shares in public companies was exposed after a box of back-up data storage tapes went missing in February. The data included names, addresses, and Social Security numbers.
In a separate incident in April, a back-up data storage tape containing images of scanned checks and other documents relating to payments made to nearly 50 institutional clients went missing.
In both instances, the tapes were being transported by outside vendors, a company spokesman told CNET News.com on Wednesday.
An unnamed national courier was transporting one … Read more
Updated 3:30 p.m. PT with idCure opinion.
Personal information of some 1,000 former patients of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center may have been leaked via a peer-to-peer network, hospital investigators say.
Hospital officials learned of the security breach last month and publicized it on the Walter Reed Web site early on Tuesday, however the message has since been removed, according to an article on the SearchSecurity.com site.
It's unclear what information was compromised, but the hospital specified certain types of data that were not included on the unsecured hospital computer.
"The information did … Read more
Updated at 10:33 a.m. PDT with comments from privacy groups during a press call. Updated again at 12:08 p.m. PDT with Google's response and comment from an Internet lawyer.
A small town in Minnesota has told Google that its Street View feature can hit the road.
North Oaks, a private community of 4,500 residents north of St. Paul, isn't too keen on outsiders traipsing through its privately owned streets--even if is only on the Internet. According to the city's Web site, the roads are privately owned, and a no-trespassing sign greets potential visitors to the city.