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Posts Tagged ‘Security’

Right to private life ‘at risk’ in plan to store DNA of innocent people

In Big Brother, Europe News on October 11, 2011 at 1:02 am

By The Telegraph (UK)

The Home Secretary’s plan to retain the DNA of people charged but then cleared of offences may breach human rights law, a group of MPs and peers have said.

A “catch-all” discretionary power to allow police to hold the DNA of innocent people indefinitely for reasons of “national security” should also be scrapped, the Joint Committee on Human Rights [JCHR] said.

Its report on the Protection of Freedoms Bill, due to proceed through its remaining stages next week, said proposals on DNA retention should be reconsidered.

Theresa May has said the plans to curb the state’s right to intrude in private lives would see the names of one million innocent people removed from the DNA database. Only adults convicted or cautioned would have their DNA stored indefinitely, while those charged but later cleared would have their profiles stored for up to five years.

But the committee said this would create “a significant risk of incompatibility with the right to a private life’’. The Bill would also “create a broad catch-all discretion for police to authorise the retention of material indefinitely for reasons of national security’’. “We are concerned that the minister has not provided a justification of why this power is necessary and proportionate, particularly in light of specific measures targeted towards retention in relation to counter-terrorism and immigration,’’ the report said.

“Without further justification or additional safeguards, these measures should be removed from the Bill.’’

Dr Hywel Francis, the chairman of the…

Full article…

Apple, Google Collect User Data

In Big Brother on April 24, 2011 at 2:01 pm

By Julia Angwin

Apple Inc.’s iPhones and Google Inc.’s Android smartphones regularly transmit their locations back to Apple and Google, respectively, according to data and documents analyzed by The Wall Street Journal—intensifying concerns over privacy and the widening trade in personal data.

Google and Apple are gathering location information as part of their race to build massive databases capable of pinpointing people’s locations via their cellphones. These databases could help them tap the $2.9 billion market for location-based services—expected to rise to $8.3 billion in 2014, according to research firm Gartner Inc.

In the case of Google, according to new research by security analyst Samy Kamkar, an HTC Android phone collected its location every few seconds and transmitted the data to Google at least several times an hour. It also transmitted the name, location and signal strength of any nearby Wi-Fi networks, as well as a unique phone identifier.

Google declined to comment on the findings.

Until last year, Google was collecting similar Wi-Fi data with its fleet of StreetView cars that map and photograph…

Full article…

An open letter to Facebook about safety and privacy

In Tech on April 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm

By Graham Cluley

Dear Facebook,

As you know, for some years we have been discussing with your security team our concerns about safety and privacy on Facebook.

Every day, victims report to us numerous incidents of crime and fraud on Facebook. They have been personally affected and are desperate for advice on how to deal with the consequences.

A frequent refrain from users who contact us is, ‘Why doesn’t Facebook do more to protect us?’

We have identified three simple steps you can take to better protect your users:

Full letter…