Enforcing Privacy Policies; Strengthening Oversight

Wired News is reporting that e-mail marketing giant Datran Media has agreed to a $1.1 million fine for knowingly buying marketing lists from companies with privacy policies that promised not to sell or transfer the lists to a third party.…

Commercial Data Aggregation…of My Image?

Today's Colloquium on Information Technology & Society at NYU Law School featured talk by Jonathan Phillips of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on recent developments in facial recognition technologies and algorithms. Some of the results suggested that…

NYT: US Looking for New Ways to Mine Your Data

Today's New York Times features the article "Taking Spying to Higher Level, Agencies Look for More Ways to Mine Data," which focuses on government meetings with venture capitalists and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, hoping to find or develop advanced technologies…

Federal Court: Financial Institution Has No Duty To Encrypt Customer Databases

Bruce Schneier reports that a Federal Court has ruled that a financial institution has no duty to encrypt customer databases under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley statute. From the article:In a legal decision that could have broad implications for financial institutions, a court…

Amateur Data Mining: The Case of the Lost (Stolen) Camera

I've blogged about the concerns with commercial data aggregation, the power of data mining, and about how "security via obscurity" no longer applies when databases are online and searchable. Here's a case showing just how easy it can be for…

Does Targeted Marketing (with Personal Data) Work?

One of the key arguements for collecting personal search histories is that a "perfect search engine" will use this personal information to deliver more relevant advertisements. The supposition is that the search engines benefit from selling a more detailed profile…

Federal Government Considered Web-surveillance Project

ComputerWord reports that the government was approached by the data-aggregation firm Acxiom to conduct widespread surveillance of web sites discussing topics such as “abortion, racial superiority, politics, religion, immigration, and foreign affairs,” using technology designed to extract business contact information…