“Roman says volunteers worked in shifts to monitor the Internet around the clock, and his group swiftly contacted American media outlets to remove any reference to Sotloff’s Jewish background. That included one piece in The New York Times, which swiftly disappeared. “The New York Times article, with the reference, was removed in 27 minutes,” Roman says. The effort also went far beyond media accounts. The volunteers asked friends of Sotloff to remove tags of him in Facebook photos, and it successfully petitioned Facebook to remove Sotloff’s profile. It persuaded a rabbi in Los Angeles to remove a sermon online about Sotloff’s Jewish background, and even contacted members of the synagogue to ask them to keep quiet. One volunteer even went to Sotloff’s old college campus in Israel and removed a graduation photo of him from the wall, Roman said. All in all, Roman says, there were some 4,000 online mentions of Sotloff’s Jewish and Israeli identity the group worked to remove.”
“Our bacterial signatures are so persistent and so unique, a new study published Thursday in Science reports, that they could even be used in forensic investigations — and eventually become more useful to police than an old-fashioned fingerprint. And the same research that could track down a serial killer could also help you raise healthier kids.”
“In some situations, a complex password can help you. But in others—like when the company holding your password stores it in plain text, without encrypting it—that complexity is meaningless. And some passwords may seem complex, when they’re actually pretty easy to guess. They can trip you up, even if they’re stored using cryptographic techniques, when someone hacks into the machines that they live on. The lesson here is that system administrators—the people who oversee all those password rules you have to follow—need to shoulder a bit more of the work. They need to better understand what makes a secure password—and how passwords should be stored. “Everyone is confused in this space,” says Cormac Herley, a Microsoft researcher who’s been studying passwords for years. System administrators will lay down rules for passwords but often, “we don’t know half of why we’re doing this stuff.,” says Herley. And they may not realize they should be spending their time securing systems in other ways.”
It turns out that all that de-identified data may not be so anonymous after all.
So argues Arvind Narayanan, a Princeton computer scientist who first made waves in the privacy community by co-authoring a 2006 paper showing that Netflix users and their entire rental histories could be identified by cross-referencing supposedly anonymous Netflix ratings with the Internet Movie Database. Narayanan and fellow Princeton professor Edward Felten delivered the latest blow to the case of de-identification proponents (those who maintain that de-identification is viable) with a July 9 paper that makes a serious case for data paranoia.
They argue that de-identification doesn’t work—in theory or in practice—and that those who say it does are promoting a “false sense of security” by naively underestimating the attackers who might try to deduce personal information from big data.
“The agency intercepts “millions of images per day” — including about 55,000 “facial recognition quality images” — which translate into “tremendous untapped potential,” according to 2011 documents obtained from the former agency contractor Edward J. Snowden. While once focused on written and oral communications, the N.S.A. now considers facial images, fingerprints and other identifiers just as important to its mission of tracking suspected terrorists and other intelligence targets, the documents show.”
“The high number of hacking victims is said to be due to two factors: the increasing dependency of Americans on online transactions and the sophistication of a new generation of hackers. “Now attackers are very focused,” Brendan Hannigan, the head of IBM’s security systems division, told CNN Money. “There are teams of them, and they create malware to attack specific organizations.””
“Maybe down the road our heartbeat, for example, becomes the main way we prove our identities," Sethi said. "And if we didn’t protect it 10 years ago, we don’t have a way of correcting it. So we have to treat it as serious now because we can’t predict the future.”
“Facebook created order out of chaos," Bader said in an interview with us. "But that order was very constricting. It trained us to share in a certain way, to curate our identities, to put forward things we wouldn’t be judged for. … It can be stressful after a while.”
“The records we received show that the face recognition component of NGI may include as many as 52 million face images by 2015. By 2012, NGI already contained 13.6 million images representing between 7 and 8 million individuals, and by the middle of 2013, the size of the database increased to 16 million images. The new records reveal that the database will be capable of processing 55,000 direct photo enrollments daily and of conducting tens of thousands of searches every day.”