Loss of Privacy

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

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President Obama is at Stanford University today, hosting a cybersecurity summit. He and about a thousand guests are trying to figure out how to protect consumers online from hacks and data breaches.

Meanwhile, in the cyber underworld, criminals are trying to figure out how to turn every piece of our digital life into cash. The newest frontier: health records.

Security experts say health data is showing up in the black market more and more. While prices vary, this data is more expensive than stolen credit card numbers which, they say, typically go for a few quarters or dollars.

More at NPR.

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From Schiphol Airport:

Schiphol regularly tries out new technologies as part of our ongoing commitment to innovation. Recently, we began using Google Glass in the terminal and outside on the airfield. By tapping into this innovative technology, we hope to both gain a better insight into the passenger experience and support operations at the airport.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is one of the busiest in Europe. Airport authority officers are trialling Google Glass as a hands-free way to look up gate and airplane information.

The airport started its trial of Glass last month, and has developed a Glass app which lets staff ask the device for gate or aircraft data and have the results displayed via the headset or on their smartphone. Another future feature the airport hopes to implement is the ability to measure the placement distance of barriers on the taxiway just by looking at them, rather than officers having to manually take measurements. It goes without saying that that’s going to require a very thin margin of error.

The airport is not committed to Glass beyond trialling it at this point. Any decision about whether the face computers will become a permanent fixture on staff will be taken next year, it said.

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(Photo: William Petroski/Register photo)

(Photo: William Petroski/Register photo)

The Iowa Department of Transportation would like it if everyone would carry their driver’s license on their cell phone.

The app, which will be provided to drivers at no additional cost, will be available sometime in 2015, DOT Director Paul Trombino told Gov. Terry Branstad during a state agency budget hearing Monday.

“We are really moving forward on this,” Trombino said. “The way things are going, we may be the first in the nation.”

People will still be able to stick a traditional plastic driver’s license in their wallet or purse if they choose, Trombino said. But the new digital license, which he described as “an identity vault app,” will be accepted by Iowa law enforcement officers during traffic stops and by security officers screening travelers at Iowa’s airports, he said.

“It is basically your license on your phone,” he said.

At least for now, it’s possible to stick to the traditional license, but what happens when that becomes mandatory? What if you don’t have a cell phone? Will you be forced to get one in order to have a driver’s license or not be allowed to drive?

There are also privacy concerns. Right now, nearly every state requires some sort of warrant before police can unlock your phone. Once you unlock your phone to show your driver’s license, police are free to search it at will.

The new app should be highly secure, Trombino said. People will use a pin number for verification.

Should be. How long is the PIN? If it’s the traditional 4-digit PIN, it’s not highly secure.

While Iowa may be the first to allow driver’s licenses on phones, it is among 30 states that already allow electronic proof of insurance.

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Samuel Bryant of Brooklyn Park was charged with sexual abuse of a minor, second-degree assault and a fourth-degree sex offense. (Anne Arundel police photo)

Samuel Bryant of Brooklyn Park was charged with sexual abuse of a minor, second-degree assault and a fourth-degree sex offense. (Anne Arundel police photo)

Yet another TSA employee has been arrested on sex abuse charges.

Samuel Bryant, 40, was charged with sexual abuse of a minor, second-degree assault and a fourth-degree sex offense.

Bryant is accused of inappropriately touching a 14-year-old girl on three occasions at his Brooklyn Park home on Jan. 5. The girl told a sibling about the alleged abuse on Feb. 4,and the sibling told their mother, according to charging documents.

Attorney Peter O’Neill, who is representing Bryant, said his client “vehemently denies having any improper relationship or improper touching with this young lady.”

A TSA spokeswoman said early Wednesday afternoon the agency was terminating Bryant’s employment. Bryant later updated his social media page to say he is unemployed.

“These alleged crimes are egregious and intolerable,” said TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein.

O’Neill called the termination “wholly inappropriate.”

“That’s essentially convicting him before he has a chance to defend himself.”

Bryant was a lead transportation security officer for the TSA, according to his LinkedIn professional networking page. People in that position screen passengers, manage and train employees, and oversee the operations of TSA checkpoints, according to the TSA website.

Bryant had worked for the TSA since March 2004, according to his networking page.

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