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The Future of Privacy

December 18, 2014 Comments off

The Future of Privacy
Source: Pew Research Internet Project

The terms of citizenship and social life are rapidly changing in the digital age. No issue highlights this any better than privacy, always a fluid and context-situated concept and more so now as the boundary between being private and being public is shifting. “We have seen the emergence of publicly as the default modality, with privacy declining,” wrote Stowe Boyd, the lead researcher for GigaOm Research in his response in this study. “In order to ‘exist’ online, you have to publish things to be shared, and that has to be done in open, public spaces.” If not, people have a lesser chance to enrich friendships, find or grow communities, learn new things, and act as economic agents online.

Moreover, personal data are the raw material of the knowledge economy. As Leah Lievrouw, a professor of information studies at the University of California-Los Angeles, noted in her response, “The capture of such data lies at the heart of the business models of the most successful technology firms (and increasingly, in traditional industries like retail, health care, entertainment and media, finance, and insurance) and government assumptions about citizens’ relationship to the state.”

This report is a look into the future of privacy in light of the technological change, ever-growing monetization of digital encounters, and shifting relationship of citizens and their governments that is likely to extend through the next decade. “We are at a crossroads,” noted Vytautas Butrimas, the chief adviser to a major government’s ministry. He added a quip from a colleague who has watched the rise of surveillance in all forms, who proclaimed, “George Orwell may have been an optimist,” in imagining “Big Brother.”

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IBM Study: Organizations Struggling to Defend Against Sophisticated Cyber Attacks

December 18, 2014 Comments off

IBM Study: Organizations Struggling to Defend Against Sophisticated Cyber Attacks
Source: IBM

More than 80 percent of security leaders believe the challenge posed by external threats is on the rise, while 60 percent also agree their organizations are outgunned in the cyber war, according to findings released today by IBM (NYSE: IBM). The study additionally reveals that technology is seen as a critical component in addressing these security issues and threats, with big data, cloud and mobile named as the most significant areas of prioritization.

IBM’s third annual Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) study was conducted by the IBM Center for Applied Insights and is based on responses from 138 in-depth interviews with the surveyed organizations most senior security leaders. Sophisticated external threats were identified by 40 percent of security leaders as their top challenge with regulations coming in a distant second at just under 15 percent. As enterprise leaders continue to outline business priorities, external threats will require the most organizational effort over the next three to five years – as much as regulations, new technologies, and internal threats combined.

CRS — Legislation to Facilitate Cybersecurity Information Sharing: Economic Analysis (December 11, 2014)

December 17, 2014 Comments off

Legislation to Facilitate Cybersecurity Information Sharing: Economic Analysis (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Data breaches, such as those at Target, Home Depot, Neiman Marcus, and JPMorgan Chase, affecting financial records of tens of millions of households seem to occur regularly. Companies typically respond by trying to increase their cybersecurity by hiring consultants and purchasing new hardware and software. Policy analysts have suggested that sharing information about these breaches could be an effective and inexpensive part of improving cybersecurity. Firms share information directly on an ad hoc basis and through private-sector, nonprofit organizations such as Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs) that can analyze and disseminate information.

Firms sometimes do not share information because of perceived legal risks, such as violating privacy or antitrust laws, and economic incentives, such as giving useful information to their competitors. A firm that has been attacked might prefer to keep such information private out of a worry that its sales or stock price will fall. Further, there are no existing mechanisms to reward firms for sharing information. Their competitors can take advantage of the information, but not contribute in turn. This lack of reciprocity, called “free riding” by economists, may discourage firms from sharing. In addition, the information shared may not be applicable to those receiving it, or it might be difficult to apply.

Because firms are reluctant to share information, other firms suffer from vulnerabilities that could be corrected. Further, by not sharing information about effective cybersecurity products and techniques, the size and quality of the market for cybersecurity products suffer.

Top health industry issues of 2015

December 15, 2014 Comments off

Top health industry issues of 2015
Source: PriceWaterhouseCoopers

Issue 1: Do-it-yourself healthcare

Issue 2: Leap from mobile app to medical device

Issue 3: Balancing privacy and convenience

Issue 4: High-cost patients spark innovations

Issue 5: Putting a price on positive outcomes

Issue 6: Open everything to everyone

Issue 7: Getting to know the newly insured

Issue 8: Scope of practice expands

Issue 9: Redefining well-being for millennials

Issue 10: Partner to win

Managing the Cyber Security Threat

December 12, 2014 Comments off

Managing the Cyber Security Threat (PDF)
Source: Hoover Institution

Cyber insecurity is now well established as a serious, unconventional threat. It is a far more serious threat to the United States than to any other state because the US economy and critical infrastructure are both more valuable and more dependent on cyber systems than those of any other state. The US government and US companies are spending billions of dollars each year to protect their information systems and operations, whether intelligence, military, or commercial, and the level of spending is growing faster than any other area of national security activity.

The cyber-security policies adopted thus far reflect a unilateralist, combative mentality, aimed at finding ways to protect the United States from cyber attack and to develop forms of cyber attack to deter or retaliate when appropriate. Congress has created a Cyber Command to lead the military dimension of this effort, which supplements a massive intelligence program at the National Security Agency, Homeland Security, and other agencies, in addition to huge increases in private spending.

The Internet of Things and Wearable Technology: Addressing Privacy and Security Concerns without Derailing Innovation

December 9, 2014 Comments off

The Internet of Things and Wearable Technology: Addressing Privacy and Security Concerns without Derailing Innovation
Source: Mercatus Center (George Mason University)

The “Internet of Things”—smart devices that are connected to both the Internet and other devices—and wearable technology promise to usher in the next great wave of Internet-enabled services and data-driven innovation. The Internet will be “baked in” to almost everything that consumers own. Some critics are worried about the privacy and security implications of the Internet of Things and wearable technology, so they are proposing regulation.

In a new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, scholar Adam Thierer shows that preemptive, top-down regulation would derail the many life-enriching innovations that could come from these new technologies. The study argues that permissionless innovation, which allows new technology to flourish and develop in a relatively unabated fashion, is the superior approach to the Internet of Things. Combining public education, oversight, industry best practices, and transparency in a balanced, layered approach will be the proper way to address concerns about the Internet of Things—not prospective regulation based on hypothetical scenarios.

Data Breach Reports (December 2, 2014)

December 9, 2014 Comments off

Data Breach Reports (December 2, 2014)
Source: Identity Theft Resource Center

Breaches on this list typically have exposed information which could potentially lead to identity theft, including Social Security numbers, financial account information, medical information, and even email addresses and passwords. ITRC follows U.S. Federal guidelines about what combination of personal information comprise a unique individual, and the exposure of which will constitute a data breach.

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