• Personal genetic information vulnerable to hacking

    Using only a computer, an Internet connection, and publicly accessible online resources, a team of researchers has been able to identify nearly fifty individuals who had submitted personal genetic material as participants in genomic studies.

  • Police depts. reviews policy on retaining data from license plate readers

    License plate readers (LPRs) have been used more and more by law enforcement agencies across the United States, but as they gain popularity in law enforcement, they have become the subject of debate, and concern, in many local governments.

  • Instant DNA analysis worries privacy advocates

    In the past, it took weeks to analyze a person’s DNA, but with new technology it can take less than a day, and in most cases less than two hours; Rapid DNA analyzers can process a DN sample in less than ninety minutes; these machines, the size of a household printer, are now being marketed to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies around the country; privacy advocates worry

  • Proliferation of license plate readers worry privacy advocates

    Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology has taken off in recent years, and the police says it is the greatest innovation since fingerprints and DNA; the technology has changed the way police finds cars  connected to crimes, but in the process it has upset many privacy advocates

  • Privacy advocates succeed in delaying drone purchase by California country sheriff

    Congress earlier this year passed legislation earlier this year ordering the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to accelerate the approval of the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for law enforcement and other domestic purposes, and, law enforcement agencies around the country are moving to purchase drones; Alameda Country, California planned to buy a drone, but action by the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation forced the county to hold a public hearing on drone use and formulate guideless for, and set limits on, drone use by police

  • U.S. skies may soon be open to drones

    Unmanned drones are cheaper than manned aircraft and can be used in a variety of ways, such as assessing environmental threats and damage from natural disaster, tracking criminals trying to escape on a highway, and assessing wildfires; according to an FAA prediction, 30,000 drones could be flying in the United States in less than twenty years; lawmakers and privacy advocates want the use of these drones more tightly regulated

  • Arizona police departments test shirt-worn, high-tech cameras

    Two police departments in Arizona – Surprise and Peoria — are testing several brands of high-tech cameras that attach to an officer’s shirt; police in Mesa, Arizona used about fifty cameras for a 1-year study; the Phoenix Police Department plans on using the cameras full-time starting early next year; privacy and civil-liberties experts say the cameras can be used in a positive way, but that there needs to be a clear baseline of rules when it comes to how and when the cameras are used

  • Kansas history says DHS opened his mail -- again

    Grant Goodman, a retired professor at the University of Kansas, was shocked when he found out that DHS opened his mail in 2005, but now that it has happened again, he just wants to know why; CBP does not need a warrant or probable cause to check international mail or cargo

  • License plate scanners in Canada under fire from privacy commissioners

    British Columbia’s privacy commissioner is not happy about the way police departments are using their license-plate scanners; in a report released last week, Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said changes must be made to the Victoria police department’s Automated License Plate Recognition Program (ALPR), after it was discovered that the program could be used as a surveillance tool

  • DARPA seeking surveillance technology to predict future behavior

    DARPA has teamed up with scientists from Carnegie Mellon University to create an artificial intelligence system that can watch and predict what a person will “likely” do in the future, using specially programmed software designed to analyze various real-time video surveillance feeds; the system can automatically identify and notify officials if it recognized that an action is not permitted, detecting what is described as anomalous behaviors

  • New cell phone surveillance method raises privacy concerns

    The FBI is using a new method to access cell phone customer data,butthe American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) contends that the method is overly invasive

  • Ensuring that software security policies reflect user needs

    Researchers have developed a new natural language processing tool that businesses or other customers can use to ensure that software developers have a clear idea of the security policies to be incorporated into new software products

  • As domestic use of drones grows, privacy advocates worry

    Small aerial drones are moving from the battlefield to local communities, and the pace grows faster; during the next year, drones may be used in cities and towns to help fight crime and keep officers out of danger; their use would save on the cost of fuel for police helicopters; some would feel safer as a result, but activists worry that this could be the beginning of a systemic invasion of privacy

  • New app uses scattered public information to put together a digital footprint of individuals, organizations

    A new app application can collect scattered online clues to provide a picture of individuals or organizations; the application draws on public data sources in order to put together a graphical digital footprint

  • NIST awards $9 million to promote online security and privacy

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) last month announced more than $9 million in grant awards to support the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC); five U.S. organizations will pilot identity solutions which increase confidence in online transactions, prevent identity theft, and provide individuals with more control over how they share their personal information