Loss of Privacy

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

Browsing Posts in UK Privacy

The MPs on the Science and Technology select committee called for the Government to draw up new guidelines for websites and apps explaining clearly how they use personal data, warning that laws will be needed if companies fail to comply.

The committee highlighted terms for Facebook Messenger’s mobile app, used by more than 200,000 million people a month, that means it can gain direct access to a mobile or tablet, including to take pictures or make videos, at any time without explicit confirmation from the owner.

The MP said that they should simplify the conditions of using their services, which are designed for US courts, because they are so impenetrable that “no reasonable person” can be expected to understand them.

Android users can try tinfoil as a workaround. It’s available at Google play.

More at The Telegraph.

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An unprecedented grab of personal data: this programme reveals that a communications firm not only handed over its own information to GCHQ, but also allowed access to the internet traffic of another telecoms company.

Read More.

Video.

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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.

Source.

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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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