Loss of Privacy

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

Browsing Posts in UK Privacy

Security expert Graham Cluley shares background on the case, and shows how it involves Sven-Göran Eriksson, Paul McCartney, Heather Mills, Piers Morgan and Jeremy Paxman amongst others.

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fingerprint

Pupils at Redhill School in Stourbridge, United Kingdom are set to have their fingerprints taken. The schools say the controversial technology is part of a cashless system throughout the school and is necessary to reduce queues and monitor pupils’ diets.

The 1,200-pupil school in Junction Road detailed its plans in a letter to parents last month. Headteacher Stephen Dunster said the scheme was part of a long-term plan to allow parents to pay for any school related fees over the internet.

He said: “We are aiming to have a cashless system throughout the school. The catering system is better for parents because they don’t have to provide children with lunch money every morning. From our perspective it is far more efficient as it reduces waiting times.”

“We will also be able to monitor what children are buying to make sure they are eating a healthy diet.”

Just because a student takes an orange to eat for lunch does not mean the student eats that orange. You can force children to take healthy foods at lunch, but you can’t make them eat it.

Around half of Dudley’s secondary schools use some form of biometric system. But its use has come under fire from civil liberties campaigners, who fear the information could be stored on school databases. Mr Dunster added: “We don’t hold fingerprints on file. This is about using technology to benefit our pupils and parents.”

If the fingerprints are not held on file, who has them? Who has access to these fingerprints and how secure are they?

More at the Express and Star.

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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.

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These guys search for unauthorized wi-fi signals and then shut them down.

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British Airways is suffering a backlash from privacy advocates after they announced their plans to create dossiers on their passengers by using Google to search for photos and other information about its passengers.

The airline said it wanted to be able to deliver a more personal touch by researching passengers. The “Know Me” programme will use Google images to find pictures of passengers so that staff can approach them as they arrive at the terminal or plane.

BA staff will also search individual data held by the airline, including if a regular traveller has experienced problems on previous flights, such as delays, so that crew are primed to apologise.

Jo Boswell, head of customer analysis at BA, said: “We’re essentially trying to recreate the feeling of recognition you get in a favourite restaurant when you’re welcomed there, but in our case it will be delivered by thousands of staff to millions of customers. This is just the start — the system has a myriad of possibilities for the future.”

No, just no. A restaurant that a person frequents is a small business. If a person wants to visit Chilis for dinner every Friday and have ribs, that’s fine. People in the community will recognize them. If they go to Chilis in another state, no one there is going to recognize them. That’s the way it should be.

It’s highly creepy for strangers that you are likely to never see again to know personal details about you, including what you look like because an airline did some data mining on you. It’s creepy and borderline stalkerish.

“The most recent advancement of the system enables the British Airways team to search Google images for a photo of specific customers so they can recognise them and proactively approach them. The airline is aiming to send 4,500 personal recognition messages a day by the end of the year.”

Why would anyone think this is a good thing? Who determined that it’s okay for an airline to start playing detective and putting information in a dossier about us? How do we even know that this information is correct? If it’s not, how do we change it?

British Airways has however, been added to my list of airlines I will never fly on so long as this policy is in place.

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