Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Privacy Under Serious Threat

How much do they know about you? Have you ever figured out all the personal information you already shared around? Not only information collected online as everything you unfolded about your life to banks, stores, universities, clubs, etc. The recent scandal of unauthorized data mining, eavesdropping and real espionage the NSA (National Security Agency) led all over the US shows off the massive misuse of state power as well as how our privacies are at risk.

In fact, recently, Americans have watched with growing alarm a series of big mistakes that have resulted in the personal information of millions falling into the wrong hands. The extent of fraud that will result from these privacy breaches can probably never be quantified. What is known, however, is that privacy has become a serious issue for everyone.

Sound Advice (from cio.com)

Latanya Sweeney, founder and director of the Laboratory for International Data Privacy at Carnegie Mellon University, says the snowballing of collected personal data can be measured by what she calls global disk storage per person. Sweeney calculates GDSP by dividing the amount of hard disk storage sold each year by the world’s adult population. The GDSP has grown from 20KB of data in 1983 to 472MB in 2000, and the number continues to grow. “Experience shows that once our information is captured, someone will inevitably use it at some time for their strategic advantage,” Sweeney says


Reinaldo Schulze said...

It´s important to define "wrong hands", because we can divide at least in two groups as follow:

Wrong and BAD hands: People who buy or steal data to use against those people, for example, using credit card information, try to intimidate people, or even use data to have any advantage for smthg.

Wrong, but WARM hands: People who use this privacy data to increase his contact net, try to sell smthg, or even to prepair some jokes.

If you're a victim of the second group, welcome board, because nowadays it's very usual this kind of stuffs happen, we have our profile in lots of websites, orkut, webmails, etc..

But buddy... if you're a victim of the first group.. call 911! hehehe

Cheers guys!

Ethan75 said...

Que tal ser monitorado através de dispositivos implantados nas roupas que você comprou?
O "Consumidor RS" publicou essa semana:
A tecnologia de etiquetas com microtransmissores de rádio (RFIDs), que já tem uma década de desenvolvimento, promete ser uma das maiores revoluções para o setor de varejo e para a cadeia de suprimentos, em escala mundial. Mas o grande senão é o crescente temor por parte dos consumidores de que os transmissores quase invisíveis permaneçam ativos após a compra, enviando sinais para bancos de dados remotos. É claro que muitas dessas preocupações não têm base técnica: há muita desinformação a respeito da tecnologia, mas é justamente esse grau de desinformação que representa o maior risco para a adoção global dos RFIDs.

Lucas said...

Some words about surveillance

Surveillance is just one more tool in service of power. Wielding power has always fascinated human beings. Wars come, genocides go and nothing can reduce this desire to keep people under control. However, this desire isn’t a privilege of presidents and generals. It’s happened also in business environment, according to the text “Privacy under serious threat”, and also in the streets, at home and in bed. Power. This small word insists on being present in each human interpersonal relationship.
Systems as the satellite tracking, adopted by transportation companies mean much more security to the company, to its profits and obviously, to their own drivers. However, what’s the limit between the driver security and the driver individual freedom? How far can his work be observed, without his personal life being snooped?
In the company where I work for we have a data processing department to guarantee the inexistence of any virus in our computers what is essential currently, specially in a kind of job as mine (I work with graphic communication). But that finishes with my privacy. Gradually, I was noticing “they” have access to any digital document created or accessed by m, that’s a big discomfort. After all, I have at least one third of my day tracked down.
In these cases, probably the use of surveillance as a way to reach or to keep power doesn’t deserve the newspaper covers, because it doesn’t involve subjects about national security, it doesn’t represent everybody (perhaps ‘cause it doesn’t matter either). But, just because of that it can be more harmful for what we call individual freedom. Acting in a more personal way or restricted in small communities (as business, for example), this kind of surveillance device is closer to each one of us and many times acts without we even noticing or questioning them, as a kind of commonplace. As a possible result people become more used to and indifferent to surveillance. And maybe less upset by more wide-ranging measures, as the recent discovery of the agreements complied between the American government and the telecommunication companies of that country aiming to keep an eye on the phone calls made in the United States, looking for possible terrorists.
I don’t know how far this surveillance policies will go but I want to keep alert.