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!
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.
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?
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…
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.
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.
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 board – Pay 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.
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.
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…
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.