News

3/21/2008
10:38 PM
Terry Sweeney
Terry Sweeney
Commentary
Connect Directly
Facebook
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

But Cling If You Must To The Illusion Of Privacy

I'm trying to work up a head of steam over the presidential candidate passport snooping. But my contract with TechWeb limits my self-righteousness to certain decibel levels, which, frankly is quite smart when the subject is data privacy.

I'm trying to work up a head of steam over the presidential candidate passport snooping. But my contract with TechWeb limits my self-righteousness to certain decibel levels, which, frankly is quite smart when the subject is data privacy.That, plus I thought I probably emitted all the harrumphs I possibly could over the snooping in Britney Spears' medical files earlier this week. So there won't be any more calling the wrath of justice down on the overly curious.

Instead, the takeaway here is that personal data snooping is common, pervasive, and probably considered a perk by those who do it. As Machiavelli might have said, "What good is access to information if you don't use it?"

A lot of what makes the personal information of pop stars and presidential candidates so enticing is that they're public figures. That information also can be used for blackmail, commercial gain, or political advantage. But my bet is that Medicare files, Social Security contributions, or tax returns get reviewed (and passed around, and talked about) way more often than we care to think about.

The difference is the tabloids don't care about my peccadilloes or yours, and my political opponents are much more obsessed with the wall I built along my driveway. (Built to code or not? Do your own snooping.) And god only knows what your enemies are trying to dig up on you.

Speaking of peccadilloes, this also circles back to former New York governor Eliot Spitzer. His downfall, as we all know now, was triggered by automated reviews of financial transactions he was making. The point: There's a good deal of legal scrutiny that's completely transparent where our bank accounts, credit cards, and phone records are concerned.

So whether you and your big sunglasses appear frequently on page one of the National Enquirer, or you're just another member of the great unwashed, let's save the self-righteousness about infringement on personal privacy. Hooray for well-meaning laws, but they don't lock down the personal bits and bytes any tighter.

In this era of data mining and an information-based economy, personal privacy's no longer a reasonable expectation. Those days are long passed.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Ransomware Grabs Headlines but BEC May Be a Bigger Threat
Marc Wilczek, Digital Strategist & CIO Advisor,  10/12/2017
20 Questions to Ask Yourself before Giving a Security Conference Talk
Joshua Goldfarb, Co-founder & Chief Product Officer, IDDRA,  10/16/2017
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Be a unicorn, not a donkey...
Current Issue
Security Vulnerabilities: The Next Wave
Just when you thought it was safe, researchers have unveiled a new round of IT security flaws. Is your enterprise ready?
Flash Poll
The State of Ransomware
The State of Ransomware
Ransomware has become one of the most prevalent new cybersecurity threats faced by today's enterprises. This new report from Dark Reading includes feedback from IT and IT security professionals about their organization's ransomware experiences, defense plans, and malware challenges. Find out what they had to say!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.