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Tag Archives for " data "

DHS Plans to Start Collecting Eye Scans and DNA

US Department of Homeland Security is planning to collect unprecedented levels of biometric information from immigration applicants and their sponsors — including U.S. citizens.

While some types of applicants have long been required to submit photographs and fingerprints, a rule currently under consideration would require practically everyone applying for any kind of status, or detained by immigration enforcement agents, to provide iris scans, voiceprints and palmprints, and, in some cases, DNA samples. A tangled web of defense and surveillance contractors, which operate with little public oversight, have already begun to build the infrastructure that would be needed to store these records.

Source: DHS Plans to Start Collecting Eye Scans and DNA

Disaster apps share personal data in violation of their privacy policies

Madelyn Sanfilippo – professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – and a team of experts tracked the personal data sent by popular disaster apps and examined whether those practices conformed to their own privacy policies and government regulations.

The research team looked at 15 apps, selected based on their popularity or the fact that they were recommended in news articles or promoted by app markets. Researchers found that many of them ignore their own privacy policies, capture location data as the default setting as soon as the apps are launched and don’t identify all third parties that might receive personal data.

Source: Disaster apps share personal data in violation of their privacy policies

DEA Pursues Vast Expansion of Patient Surveillance

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is looking to expand its anti-diversion surveillance infrastructure by being able to search and analyze myriad patient behaviors for the vast majority of controlled and scheduled drug prescriptions—all accompanied by a rapid process for legally unveiling personally identifying information.

In early September, the agency requested proposals for the creation of software capable of searching at least 85 percent of all US residents’ controlled-substance prescriptions for certain patient behaviors, as well as prescriber and pharmacist practices.

Source: DEA Pursues Vast Expansion of Patient Surveillance

Tim Berners-Lee launches enterprise-friendly decentralised web platform in move to ‘restore power on the web’

Tim Berners-Lee has launched an enterprise-friendly decentralised web platform using the open-source technology, Solid, to “restore power” on the web.

On November 9, founding father of the World Wide Web, Berners-Lee – in collaboration with John Bruce – launched Enterprise Solid Server, the enterprise-friendly infrastructure that supports the company’s decentralised web platform, Inrupt.

The premise of the technology is straightforward: store your personal information separately in a personal “pod” (personal online data store) and share only what is necessary with services only when you are using them.

Source: Tim Berners-Lee launches enterprise-friendly decentralised web platform in move to ‘restore power on the web’

Forensic Genealogy Cracks Cold Cases Amid Privacy Concerns

Millions of people will unwrap at-home ancestry testing kits this holiday season and eagerly swab their cheeks and mail in the saliva, hoping their DNA will unlock clues about their heritage or reveal long-lost relatives.

The tests, which can cost as little as $59, offer entertainment and a chance to uncover family secrets. But with law enforcement increasingly mining the DNA databases to solve cold cases, as in the arrest last week of a Lehigh County man suspected in the 1969 murder of a San Diego woman, experts say consumers should think about their privacy when they hand over their DNA.

Source: Forensic Genealogy Cracks Cold Cases Amid Privacy Concerns | Pennsylvania News | US News

How the U.S. Military Buys Location Data from Ordinary Apps

A Muslim prayer app with over 98 million downloads is one of the apps connected to a wide-ranging supply chain that sends ordinary people’s personal data to brokers, contractors, and the military.

The U.S. military is buying the granular movement data of people around the world, harvested from innocuous-seeming apps, Motherboard has learned. The most popular app among a group Motherboard analyzed connected to this sort of data sale is a Muslim prayer and Quran app that has more than 98 million downloads worldwide. Others include a Muslim dating app, a popular Craigslist app, an app for following storms, and a “level” app that can be used to help, for example, install shelves in a bedroom.

Source: How the U.S. Military Buys Location Data from Ordinary Apps

How the NYPD gets people’s personal data with no oversight

The NYPD has used tens of thousands of questionable subpoenas over the last decade to intimidate private companies into handing over the personal information of cops and civilians alike — all with no oversight from the city or the courts.

While most of the subpoenas are believed to target cops, some have also gone after journalists in an attempt to uncover their sources — and the four orders obtained by The Post reveal they can be sweeping in nature, potentially creating a trove of personal data on cops and those in their orbit.

Source: How the NYPD gets people’s personal data with no oversight

The Covid App Ecosystem Has Become a Privacy Minefield

An analysis of nearly 500 Covid-related apps worldwide shows major differences in how much data they expect you to give up.

The results show that only 47 of that subset of 359 apps – that handle contact tracing, exposure notification, screening, reporting, workplace monitoring, and Covid information from public health authorities around the globe- use Google and Apple’s more privacy-friendly exposure-notification system, which restricts apps to only Bluetooth data collection.

More than six out of seven Covid-focused iOS apps worldwide are free to request whatever privacy permissions they want, with 59 percent asking for a user’s location when in use and 43 percent tracking location at all times. Albright found that 44 percent of Covid apps on iOS asked for access to the phone’s camera, 22 percent of apps asked for access to the user’s microphone, 32 percent asked for access to their photos, and 11 percent asked for access to their contacts.

Source: The iOS Covid App Ecosystem Has Become a Privacy Minefield | WIRED

Border officer provides device passwords to police

A Canadian border officer who dealt with Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver’s airport in the hours before her arrest said he made an “embarrassing” and “heart-wrenching” mistake, when his handwritten note with the passwords of Meng’s electronic devices ended up in police hands, breaching privacy laws.

Meng’s lawyers say it was part of a covert plot by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), to gather evidence for the American FBI.

Source: Canada border officer says giving police Meng Wanzhou’s device passwords was ‘embarrassing, heart-wrenching’ blunder

DHS Authorities Are Buying Moment-By-Moment Geolocation Cellphone Data To Track People

The Department of Homeland Security is purchasing consumer cellphone data that allows authorities to track immigrants trying to cross the southern border, which privacy advocates say could lead to a vast “surveillance partnership” between the government and private corporations.

In an internal memo obtained by BuzzFeed News, the DHS’s top attorney, Chad Mizelle, outlined how ICE officials can look up locations and track cellphone data activity to make decisions on enforcement.

Mizelle also believes the agency can use the data without obtaining a warrant or violating the Fourth Amendment, which protects the public against unreasonable searches and seizures. That logic could lay the groundwork for the government to use the same data to track everyday Americans, raising red flags among privacy advocates.

Source: DHS Authorities Are Buying Moment-By-Moment Geolocation Cellphone Data To Track People

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