Society has always had its share of bad apples. Even now, in the midst of an unprecedented crisis all some people can see is the opportunity to take advantage of others. There’s been a huge uptick in all kinds of fraud, usually targeting people’s understandable anxieties about the virus or their own financial situation. Here’s what you … Continue reading One man’s crisis is another man’s opportunity.
Since Plato, philosophers have invested countless hours and words on the investigation of ethics. What makes something right or wrong? What do we mean by acting morally or immorally – or indeed amorally. Are good and bad fixed and objective facts, or just opinions relative to your culture, your religion, your circumstances, your place in … Continue reading Deus ex machina
This is getting silly. We're all familiar with password complexity rules intended to help us create "strong" passwords that are harder to crack. Those of us who have been paying attention will know that the real outcome of this approach is to create passwords that are surprisingly easy for computers to crack but really hard … Continue reading Oh for Pete’s sake (passwords again)!
Bit of a technical one for the privacy nerds here. There's an interesting update from the ECJ: The Advocate General proposes to rule that under the Data-Protection-Directive the operator of a website who has embedded on its website a third-party plugin (such as the Facebook Like button), which causes the collection and transmission of the user’s … Continue reading Who’s in control? (wonkish)
UKDPA 2018 says: 171 Re-identification of de-identified personal data (1) It is an offence for a person knowingly or recklessly to re-identify information that is de-identified personal data without the consent of the controller responsible for de-identifying the personal data. (2) For the purposes of this section and section 172— (a) personal data is “de-identified” … Continue reading Advertising cookies and the law
Here's why: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-30/google-and-mastercard-cut-a-secret-ad-deal-to-track-retail-sales Short version - if you buy something in a US store with your Mastercard, they tell Google about it. Google then reconciles your purchase with your advertising exposure while logged in with a Google account, and sends a report to advertisers to show how on-line ads drive offline sales. This is, of course, … Continue reading Why do we need data protection laws?
If I get one more email telling me that “GDPR means we have to ask you to opt-in” I think I’m going to go postal. Let’s do this slowly, and this time with feeling. Marketing (and fundraising) emails are covered by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation 2003. That’s right, a 15-year-old piece of legislation. … Continue reading GDPR: you’re all getting it wrong
Hoo boy. Here we go again. More silly codenames, more incomprehensible tech gobbledegook, more security flaws, more worry. What does it all mean? I’m not going to give a detailed technical explanation. The best one is here. The very very short version is that processor speeds have run ahead of memory speeds for some time, … Continue reading Meltdown, Spectre and other James Bond movie titles
I wrote a blog entry five years ago, explaining why using security questions for password resets was a bad idea. (Why “improved” on-line security could compromise your bank account). It's still true, and we're still getting it wrong. Last week saw an American fined about £200k and sent to prison for nine months for hacking … Continue reading It’s 2018 and we still can’t get basic things right
I wasn't going to blog about Carphone Warehouse being fined £400k by the ICO for a breach, because boring-boring-you've-done-this-before, but then I couldn't help myself. Carphone's offence? A data breach. Resulting from poor maintenance of cyber security on an internet-facing webserver. You remember TalkTalk? They were fined £400,000 just over a year ago. For a … Continue reading What does it take?