Monday, November 11, 2013

Privacy and science fiction



“Hello Mr Yakamoto, welcome back to the GAP.  How’d those assorted tank top work out for you?”. This scene from the movie Minority Report already predicted the implementation of biometric recognition to reach a never seen before level of customization in advertising.

Science fiction is becoming reality. The British multinational grocery Tesco will install a face tracking technology in its petrol/gas stations to determine the sex and age of customers while waiting in the checkout line and show them some advertising pieces according to these data. Some people see this technology as another serious threat to the privacy of individuals.

Meanwhile, the shadow of Big Brother also hangs over U.S. schools. Some schools from California have hired companies to monitor the online activity of their students so as to prevent suicides, or detect situations of bullying, violence or drug use.

In Mexico there is also serious concern about the privacy of its citizens due to buscardatos.com, a website that provides details of any of them as voter credentials, their CURP, their home address and their Federal Register of Taxpayers. It also affects citizens from Argentina, Chile and Paraguay.

Even though the following news could seem science fiction, it is very real. Stuxnet malware, which is considered to have been developed by U.S. and Israel to disrupt Iran's nuclear program, has seriously infected the internal network of a Russian nuclear plant, as CEO of Kaspersky said.

Obviously it has not been disclosed which one the affected plant is. A lot of companies also prefer to remain anonymous when they suffer a major breach in their security, especially those with more than 500 employees, according to a blind survey of 200 of malware analysts.

In closing, we recommend reading the article in net-security.org in which they describe seven security controls that any company should take regardless of their budget.


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