Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts in Privacy

Do I have to give permission for my health records to be in an HIE? from World Privacy Forum on Vimeo.

A health care provider does not need your permission to share your medical information for treatment purposes within an HIE, just as a doctor does not need permission to send your records via fax to another doctor for treatment purposes. This is true even if your health record is going to a doctor you have never met before. The idea is that this information is shared only when necessary and only for treatment purposes. However, some HIEs, recognizing that HIEs involve many more patients and new methods of sharing, do give patients the ability to opt out of the HIE.

Taken from the video series at World Privacy Forum.

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Hiding in Foursquare’s revamped mobile app is a feature some users might find creepy: It tracks your every movement, even when the app is closed.

users who download or update the Foursquare app will automatically let the company track their GPS coordinates any time their phone is powered on. Foursquare previously required users to give the app permission to turn on location-tracking. Now users must change a setting within the app to opt out.

Tracking user whereabouts could arm Foursquare with more valuable data it can sell to partners and advertisers as it searches for new streams of revenue. The company hopes to analyze trends in where users go and what destinations are popular, and may sell that data to its partners, Chief Executive Dennis Crowley said in an interview.

But this type of persistent location tracking could scare off users who are growing increasingly wary of threats to their mobile privacy. A third of smartphone owners surveyed by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in 2012 said they have turned off the location-tracking capability on their devices, and most of those people were motivated by privacy concerns.


More at The Wall Street Journal
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Social media consultant Sarah Milston, who runs The Spark Mill, said the new changes with Facebook Messenger will affect users starting this week.

Milston said she has already received calls from clients and explained that those who choose to download the app are giving Facebook the right to access their cameras and microphones.

The app will also be able to access your contact list, and see your phone call log including who you called and how long the call lasted.

Downloading the app also gives permission for Facebook to send photos back and forth. Milston said that if you choose not to download it, it does mean you won’t be able to send messages through the Facebook application on your phone.

Snopes is already on the case on this one.

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When GameStop buys used video games from customers, the chain says it is following a local law that allows the store to collect thumb prints, which go into a database to help law enforcement track down thieves who fence stolen goods.

City Solicitor Shelley Smith says, however, the city is not requiring GameStop to abide by the pawnbroker’s ordinance:

“What GameStop does doesn’t meet any of the elements of the definition in the code, so the pawnbreaker ordinance doesn’t apply to GameStop.”

The Philadelphia Police Department says the company is being proactive by storing fingerprints in a secure database – LeadsOnline – which is the nation’s largest online investigation system.

Don’t sell your games back at GameStop. Sell them on ebay or Amazon, or anywhere else.

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text driving

Drivers in the UK are now going to be assumed guilty of using their cell phones in crashes just because they have them on their person.

Drivers involved in crashes will have their mobile phone seized as part of police crackdown aimed at cutting the number of deaths caused by calling and texting at the wheel.

Officers will check all phones for evidence that motorists broke the law by allowing themselves to be distracted by their hand-held device.

New guidance issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers instructs officers to check the phones of all drivers.

This sets a dangerous precedent. Once people are accustomed to this policy, it will change to a broader sense where anyone being pulled over can have their phones checked.

A phone contains private information that will automatically become public once the information is confiscated by the police. What if the person is a doctor, lawyer, child welfare advocate, etc?

If the police suspect texting/talking while driving, a simple subpoena to the phone company would reveal this information. Prying into personal lives isn’t going to stop this behavior.

Photo credit.

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