Identity, Privacy and Trust

April 8, 2008  12:54 PM

The Seven Deadly Sins of the Internet

tobystevens tobystevens Profile: tobystevens

The Vatican recently fired up a debate about updating the Seven Mortal Sins (pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, sloth) for the modern age. I read with interest – and a very great deal of disappointment – that controversial online ad service Phorm has admitted to “over zealous” correcting of its Wikipedia entry. This really does not bode well for Phorm’s chances of shaking off accusations that it is a privacy-invasive service, and one would hope that the responsible individual there is now re-evaluating their likely career prospects.

I’d like to propose “Over zealous editing of Wikipedia” as the first of a new set of Mortal Sins for the Internet, which begs the question about what the others might be. Please submit your suggestions for the other six as comments!

April 8, 2008  9:30 AM

The stocks are too good for them

tobystevens tobystevens Profile: tobystevens
incidents, privacy

HSBC has admitted the loss of a CD containing 370,000 customers’ details that were destined for a reinsurer. Apparently the normal network connection was unavailable, so a password-protected CD was burned and bunged in normal Royal Mail post. Of course it never arrived. Sound familiar? What sort of maniac could possibly authorise such an action in light of the publicity around HMRC? Are they dead? Or in a coma? Or have they travelled back in time?

A few days in the stocks for whoever authorised this sounds like an appropriate punishment.

Continued »

April 7, 2008  5:52 PM

The end of biometric security at airports?

tobystevens tobystevens Profile: tobystevens
Biometrics, Data protection, identity, Security, Surveillance, technologies

Media attention is shifting away from London Heathrow’s new Terminal 5. A backlog of 28,000 bags is being cleared via Milan, and the number of cancelled flights seems to be gradually coming down. But what about the biometric security controls?

Continued »

April 1, 2008  4:28 PM

Revelations about ID cards

tobystevens tobystevens Profile: tobystevens

The pranksters have been at play again – apparently there are plans to scrap ID cards in favour of subcutaneous chips at birth. Meanwhile a secretive Whitehall memorandum describes the surveillance system that was behind the original ID Card plans…

March 26, 2008  4:38 PM

Heathrow Terminal 5 Suspends Biometrics

tobystevens tobystevens Profile: tobystevens

BAA has confirmed that London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 will not be using fingerprint biometric controls when it opens, due to concerns raised by Privacy International and the Information Commissioner.

March 26, 2008  4:14 PM

RFID: Doing things against the law is against the law (in Washington anyway)

tobystevens tobystevens Profile: tobystevens
consent, privacy

A new bill introduced in the state of Washington has outlawed the use of RFID technologies for malicious purposes. Anyone caught scanning a person remotely “without his or her knowledge and consent, for the purpose of fraud, identity theft, or some other illegal purpose” will be charged with a felony. What the bill omits is any concept of an ‘opt-in’, so it’s still fine for companies to affix and read tags without the subject’s knowledge.

I’m at a complete loss to understand what the benefit of that legislation might be.

March 26, 2008  3:47 PM

Pay by Touch: Consumers Blow a Big Raspberry to Biometric Payments

tobystevens tobystevens Profile: tobystevens

Back in 2006 the MidCounties Cooperative made the news when it introduced “Pay by Touch” – a system to allow shoppers to pay for their purchases at the checkout using a pre-registered fingerprint biometric. The scheme was hailed as a success in the UK, but that opinion hasn’t applied across the boardPay By Touch has just shut up shop. In my opinion this was a case of a solution looking for a problem, and until we see a broader switch from existing plastic cards to new tokens (possibly mobile phones?) we won’t get widespread acceptance of biometrics for payment purposes.

March 24, 2008  11:24 AM

The cost of privacy: biometrics at London Heathrow T5

tobystevens tobystevens Profile: tobystevens
Biometrics, CCTV, consent, identity, privacy, Security, Surveillance, technologies

London Heathrow’s new Terminal 5 is back in the news: the Information Commissioner is investigating BAA’s use of biometric security controls. But this fight isn’t about security, it’s about economics.

Continued »

March 14, 2008  11:36 AM

Will one have one’s biometrics taken?

tobystevens tobystevens Profile: tobystevens
Biometrics, identity, Security

Her Majesty the Queen is opening London Heathrow’s new Terminal 5. I’ve written about the biometric security controls at the new terminal before, and am waiting to see whether the opening will include checking the royal biometrics…

March 14, 2008  10:50 AM

The other big identity story – Microsoft acquires Credentica

tobystevens tobystevens Profile: tobystevens
identity, privacy, technologies

With all the fuss about the National Identity Scheme and the publication of Sir James Crosby’s report, much of the media missed last week’s other big identity story. Microsoft has purchased Credentica, and this could be a significant step forward for ‘privacy positive’ identity systems.

Continued »

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