Sunday, March 24, 2013

Week 3 - Don't Panic, let's talk security, Privacy and IP

Q1. A Privacy Breach that has happened in the last 6 months in Australia

The Age newspaper recently had a news column called

'Google app store policy raises privacy concerns'

 "Google's privacy practices are drawing heat after an Australian software developer said the company was providing him with personal information, including email addresses, of everyone who purchased his mobile app".

A number of privacy advocates are suggesting that Google has not done enough to clearly identify the privacy terms to consumers.

So what has been done about this?
Nothing any software developer of an app on the google store right now could be given access to the personal information of those who purchase their app, this is what Google say they do in their terms and conditions whether or not consumers are aware of them.

Yes it is concerning that Google are giving every app developer on the Google store, personal information of its purchasers, including email addresses, however Google are still within legal bounds.

Still there is more that Google could do, and certainly more effort should be made in promoting this fact, making sure it is stated in clear terms.

It must be said that Google is placing too much trust in the developer of apps on the Google store, trusting that they will abide by the rules and not use email addresses to the purpose of spamming consumers, or selling them to third party persons who most likely would.

This Week we will look at Ambient intelligence and what it has to do with security and privacy.

What is Ambient Intelligence?
Well ambient intelligence are electronic environments that are sensitive and responsive to the presence of people.

AIR lab at Stanford university describe ambient intelligence "as the field to study and create embodiments for smart environments that not only react to human events through sensing, interpretation and service provision, but also learn and adapt their operation and services to the users over time"
There are several fields of study in Ambient intelligence technology
  •  wearable computing 
  • pervasive/ubiquitious computing 
  • tangible interactions, 
  • augmented reality 
  • multimodal human-computer interaction, 
  • data mining  
  • sonification

We will be looking at a made up case scenario from the series called the dark scenarios in ambient intelligence by SWAMI click here to read case scenario

Q2. a) What AMI (Advance metering infrastructure - Click here for definition) technologies are identified in the case?
An Iris scanner which grants access by having the eye scanned, Camera surveillance in the boardroom to show who is approaching, Networks of AMI in developed and developing countries, location implants, sensor networks monitoring employee's homes and cars, and city surveillance networks.

b.) What drove the three DMC officers to take the actions that they did?
Quote Perrier - "It’s hard to break into DMC offices, but it’s not hard to get out.”

The officers each had authorised partial access but together they had the ability to take it all, they knew the procedures to get into the system, and also knew it was easy enough to get out without being detected.
One of the factors that might have drove them to do it, was the security measures that the company used to keep track of them, it was suggested that these officers might have surgically removed their location implants because their location implants were 'inoperable'.
Here was their chance to take most of the company's valuable data and leave the country, to a country that is not developed, because developed countries have AMI networks.

c.) Comparisons to other modern companies in the real world
First thing I  think of was when the PlayStation Network was hacked in 2011, the whole customer database became at risk, many PlayStation network customers had unauthorized charges to their bank account, Here is an example of a victim effected by the hacking

d.)  How realistic is the description of governments using the technology and prohibiting immigration from states with no AMI data aggregation information?
 Yes it must be noted that governments have public surveillance systems, while it is also true that developed countries like the U.S are less likely to take immigrants from countries less developed, that do not have a sufficient AMI network.

e.)  What would be the impact of this digital divide?
There would be a greater increase in economy and social polarization internationally, those searching for a better life in developed countries will less likely be given that chance, while those living in developed countries can be tracked and monitored by governments and powerful organizations without consent being given.

Thus the rich would get richer and the poor become poorer because only the rich can afford access to such technologies.

The only way the poor would have access to such technology would be through 'illegal' means of stealing or gaining access, like Julian Assange who is an Australian by the way.

f.) List some of the ‘unintended consequences’ described in the case.
They did not intend to be seen as an organization that held people's lives in the balance, with making profile records of people which they would give to the government and indicate what persons were likely terrorists or suicide bombers.

Another consequence they didn't intend was the public finding out on the research undertaken on acquiring and selling personal information of the general population to certain clients.

The unintended consequence from trying to protect the share price in not announcing security breaches, was that clients sued for not being told about security breaches.

g.) Do members of the class all agree on the issues raised by this case? What were the main points of difference (if any) in discussions?
If anyone who has read this case scenario click here to read case scenario doesn't agree or wants to add information to what is listed please leave a comment on this page, much appreciated.

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