Wednesday, February 29, 2012

France Says Google Privacy Plan Likely Violates European Law

Pfanner, Eric. "France Says Google Privacy Plan Likely Violates European Law." The New York Times, February 28, 2012.

From the article: "The French data protection authority said on Tuesday that Google’s new privacy policy appeared to violate European Union law. Google announced the new policy last month, billing it as a way to streamline and simplify the privacy practices it employed worldwide across about 60 different online services, and to introduce greater clarity for users.

But the French privacy agency, the National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties, said in a letter to Larry Page, Google’s co-founder and chief executive, that the proposed policy was murky in the details of how the company would use private data. Google and other Internet companies gather personal information in an effort to build anonymous profiles of users, helping them to sell advertising." Read more

Privacy Fears As Twitter Allows Data Mining

Mitchell, Stewart. "Privacy Fears As Twitter Allows Data Mining." PC Pro, February 28, 2012.

From the article: "Companies can now access two years of Twitter data after UK company Datasift launched a service called Historics to tap into trends.

The company said it set up the system to make better use of Twitter's trove of data, allowing it to be mined for brand management, financial trends, or for social and political data to gauge public opinion…. However, the move drew criticism from privacy campaigners who were concerned Twitter users would not expect to have their thoughts scrutinised two years later…. "This is meant for macro-level analysis, not looking at individuals," the company said, adding that private profiles or deleted tweets would not be included in results.

"Twitter is not like Facebook where much more is private - it's a public forum." Read more

FCC Commissioner: Ending ICANN Could Lead to "an Engineering Morass"

Fulton, Scott M. III. "FCC Commissioner: Ending ICANN Could Lead to "an Engineering Morass." ReadWriteMobile, February 28, 2012.

From the article: "The man who helped put the issue of possible United Nations oversight of Internet governance back on the radar in the United States, stepped up his rhetoric Tuesday at a speech at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell told the audience that a move back to the regulatory model of the International Telecommunications Union - the UN-sponsored body that Russia and other nations would like to see put in charge - would lead to a nightmare scenario of bureaucracy and multi-government regulation.

But learning a lesson from the SOPA/PIPA debate, this time Comm. McDowell added one more element to the mix: He argued ITU oversight could threaten the way the Internet actually works."  Read more

Why We'll Never Get a Cashless Society

Mims, Christopher. "Why We'll Never Get a Cashless Society." Technology Review, February 28, 2012.

From the article: "The End of Money, a new book from Wired contributing editor David Wolman, is ostensibly about the twilight of cash and its replacement with a panoply of more efficient means of exchange. (Think transfers via NFC on smartphones and biometric wallets.) But Wolman is such a thorough reporter of the subject that it's possible to finish his (excellent, highly readable) book and come away with a conclusion opposite his own….The problem with all of the arguments for a cashless society is that they're rational, and our attachment to cash is not. This might be less true in nations that have already given up their national currency to become part of a regional currency block (the EU, and countries like El Salvador that have adopted the dollar as a national currency), but as long as there are financial superpowers whose paper money is covered with what amounts to propaganda for the strength of their central banks, cash is here to stay."  Read more

See Also
Wolman, David.  The End of Money. Da Capo Press, February 2012.

Social-Networkers of the World, Unite and Take Over: A Meta-Introspective Perspective on the Facebook Brand

Patterson, Anthony. "Social-Networkers of the World, Unite and Take Over: A Meta-Introspective Perspective on the Facebook Brand." Journal of Business Research, Vol. 65, pp. 527-534, 2012.

From the abstract: "Every marketer knows that the hottest barometers of popular culture are social networking sites like Facebook. Along with other forms of computer mediated communication, they have transformed consumers from silent, isolated and invisible individuals, into a noisy, public, and even more unmanageable than usual, collective. At the same time, grappling with social media strategies has been difficult for many companies. By adopting a meta-introspective approach, this paper attempts to synthesize the insights garnered from a large collection of introspective essays about Facebook penned by the very consumers for whom it was invented. Ultimately, the paper illuminates the dynamics of the Facebook brand, and illustrates how a meta-introspective approach can potentially be of utility to consumer researchers." Read more

Nations Must Step Up to Set Global Rules for Internet Governance, Conference Told

Pilieci, Vito. "Nations Must Step Up to Set Global Rules for Internet Governance, Conference Told.", February 27, 2012.

From the article: "While they couldn't agree on how it should be done, all of the speakers at Monday's 2012 Canadian Internet Forum agreed that government needs to take a more active role in Internet governance. The Ottawa event, held annually by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), brought together more than 250 people from government, law enforcement agencies and the technical sector to discuss a smorgasbord of issues affecting Canadians' access to the Internet.

Bertrand de La Chapelle, a member of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), called on governments to set global ground rules for Internet governance. Governments around the world are trying to set rules and regulations governing Internet practices within their own countries, but La Chapelle says go-it-alone policies are largely useless. "If I am a French guy travelling in Brazil and post something defamatory about a British guy over Twitter, what is the process for handling that?" he asked. "The Internet is being governed by geographical boundaries. The more the Internet grows, the more it is successful, the more we need common rules."  Read more

Researchers Suggest U.S, China Engage on Cyberattack Issues

Sternstein, Aliya. "Researchers Suggest U.S, China Engage on Cyberattack Issues." Nextgov, February 28, 2012.

From the article: "A new report proposes China and the United States discuss taboo hacking topics, such as cyberattacks, to cool cybersecurity relations before the dispute becomes as explosive as global finance.

Unlike many recent accounts condemning China for gross cyber spying, the Brookings Institution paper avoids pointing fingers at either side. In fact, much of the analysis recounts instances of computer sabotage and espionage in other countries, such as Russia allegedly bringing down Estonia's Internet and a Spanish-origin virus that infiltrated more than 12 million computers worldwide. Authors Kenneth G. Lieberthal and Peter W. Singer, both senior fellows at the Washington think tank, plan to distribute a Chinese-language version of the report to the foreign country's policymakers."  Read more

See Also
Lieberthal, Kenneth and Peter W. Singer, Cybersecurity and U.S.-China Relations, report prepared for the 21st Century Defense Initiative and the John L. Thorton China Center at Brookings, February 2012.

Microsoft Outlines Evolved Security, Privacy and Reliability Strategies for Cloud and Big Data

From the press release: "Today at the RSA Conference 2012, Scott Charney, corporate vice president of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, shared his vision for the road ahead as society and computing intersect in an increasingly interconnected world. In a new paper, “Trustworthy Computing (TwC) Next,” Charney encouraged industry and governments to develop more effective privacy principles focused on use and accountability, improve end-to-end reliability of cloud services through increased fault modeling and standards efforts, and adopt more holistic security strategies including improved hygiene and greater attention to detection and containment."  Read more

See Also

Online Subscriptions Upselling Working Group Best Practices

Online Subscriptions Upselling Working Group Best Practices, report prepared by the Center for Democracy & Technology, February 27, 2012.

From the report: "In recent years, there has been increasing attention given to the issue of online subscription upselling, the practice of marketing subscription offers to consumers while they are engaged in other separate ecommerce transactions. For example, a consumer purchasing a book from an online vendor might see an offer for an unrelated “shoppersʼ club membership” from an unknown third party while completing the first transaction…. Online subscription upselling is a relatively new practice without clear standards and guidelines for companies to follow in presenting consumers with subscription upselling offers in a clear, consistent, and fair fashion…." Read more

Report: NATO Needs More Cyber Capabilities

Smith, Josh. "Report: NATO Needs More Cyber Capabilities." Nextgov, February 28, 2012.

From the article: "Government officials have warned that cyberattacks are rapidly becoming one of the greatest threats to the United States and its allies, but a new report says the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is still playing catch up.

"NATO's central missions of collective defense and cooperative security must be as effective in cyberspace as they are in the other domains of air, land, sea, and space," concluded a report released by the Atlantic Council on Monday.

While NATO enacted a new cyberdefense policy in June, the alliance now needs to focus on a core set of priorities to make cybersecurity efforts more effective, the report said."  Read more

See Also
Healey, Jason and Leendert van Bochoven, NATO's Cyber Capabilities: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, report prepared for the Atlantic Council's Smarter Alliance Initiative, February 27, 2012.

How Companies Are 'Defining Your Worth' Online

"How Companies Are 'Defining Your Worth' Online." Radio interview discussing The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry Is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth, by Joseph Turow. NPR, February 22, 2012.

From the radio coverage: “One of the fastest-growing online businesses is the business of spying on Internet users. Using sophisticated software that tracks people's online movements through the Web, companies collect the information and sell it to advertisers. Every time you click a link, fill out a form or visit a website, advertisers are working to collect personal information about you, says Joseph Turow, a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. They then target ads to you based on that information….Turow — the author of the book The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth — details how companies are tracking people through their computers and cellphones in order to personalize the ads they see."  Read more

See Also
Turow, Joseph. The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry Is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth. Yale University Press, 2012.

Cookie Wars: How New Data Profiling and Targeting Techniques Threaten Citizens and Consumers in the “Big Data” Era

From the abstract: "Digital marketers have unleashed powerful and far-reaching data collection, profiling, and targeting technologies online, incorporating the latest developments in such fields as semantics, artificial intelligence, auction theory, social network analysis, data mining, and neuroscience. Consumers and policymakers, however, are largely unaware of how online advertising operates nor are they prepared to assess the impact of tracking technologies that monitor our travels on the Internet and generate information for digital targeting profiles. Unlike more traditional advertising, digital marketing watches us, relying on such techniques as data optimization, “self-tuning” algorithms, “intent” data, and “immersive” multimedia to enable personalized, highly targeted marketing. Such marketing has also been integrated into the core business models of social networks, mobile communications, gaming platforms, virtual worlds, and online video. With the repeated failure of industry self-regulation, strong privacy safeguards are urgently needed, including provisions that will fully apprise consumers of the privacy implications of contemporary digital data collection practices." Read more

Monday, February 27, 2012

White House, NSA Weigh Cybersecurity, Personal Privacy

Nakashima, Ellen. "White House, NSA Weigh Cybersecurity, Personal Privacy." The Washington Post, February 27, 2012.

From the article: "The National Security Agency has pushed repeatedly over the past year to expand its role in protecting private-sector computer networks from cyberattacks but has been rebuffed by the White House, largely because of privacy concerns, according to administration officials and internal documents. The most contentious issue was a legislative proposal last year that would have required hundreds of companies that provide critical services such as electricity generation to allow their Internet traffic be continuously scanned using computer threat data provided by the spy agency. The companies would have been expected to turn over evidence of potential cyberattacks to the government. NSA officials portrayed these measures as unobtrusive ways to protect the nation’s vital infrastructure from what they say are increasingly dire threats of devastating cyberattacks. But the White House and Justice Department argued that the proposal would permit unprecedented government monitoring of routine civilian Internet activity, according to documents and officials familiar with the debate. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe administration deliberations; internal documents reviewed by The Washington Post backed these descriptions."  Read more

Why We All Need a Drone of Our Own

Fukuyama, Francis. "Why We All Need a Drone of Our Own." The Financial Times, February 24, 2012.

From the opinion: As the technology becomes cheaper and more commercially available, moreover, drones may become harder to trace; without knowing their provenance, deterrence breaks down. A world in which people can be routinely and anonymously targeted by unseen enemies is not pleasant to contemplate.
Drones have plenty of legitimate uses, in police work, traffic control and farm management. Pressure from these users is why the FAA liberalised its rules, making it a great wild west out there for hobbyists and tinkerers. Only when people start thinking through the nature of a world in which drones are cheap and ubiquitous will they start to get worried. That’s why I want to build mine now, before the government makes them illegal.”  Read more (registration may be required)

Cybersecurity 2.0

Crovitz, L. Gordon. "Cybersecurity 2.0." The Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2012.

From the commentary: "Congress and the White House have considered dozens of bills over the past few years to address cybersecurity, chiefly how countries such as China and Russia are using the Web to access confidential information from companies and U.S. agencies.
The original approach was to create a "kill switch" empowering regulators to turn off access to the Web. New legislation would instead break down silos between U.S. companies and intelligence agencies so that cyber attacks can be tracked and reported, raising prospects for identifying cyber spies.

The U.S. is experiencing mind-boggling violations of cyber security…. The debate on cybersecurity has echoes from the recent battle over the Stop Online Piracy Act, because earlier approaches similarly threatened the mechanics of the Web. The cybersecurity bills now in Congress avoid the overreaching of SOPA, which was withdrawn when it became clear that the government cure of regulation of the Web was worse than the disease."  Read more (subscription may be required)

Friday, February 24, 2012

New Meaningful-Use Rules Stress Online Contact With Patients

Lowes, Robert. "New Meaningful-Use Rules Stress Online Contact With Patients." Medscape Medical News, February 23, 2012.

From the article: "Physicians will need to communicate with patients online to satisfy new and tougher federal rules for "meaningful use" of electronic health records (EHRs), earn 5-figure bonuses, and avoid a penalty down the line. Under proposed regulations released today by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), physicians must receive "secure messages" — an encrypted form of email — from more than 10% of patients seen. In addition, they must give patients timely electronic access to their healthcare information. The new requirements will not take effect until 2014."  Read more (subscription may be required)

See Also
CMS Proposes Definition of Stage 2 Meaningful Use of Certified Electronic Health Records (EHR) Technology, press release by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, February 23, 2012.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Anti-piracy Pact Falters After Protests

From the article: "An anti-piracy agreement reviled by internet freedom campaigners faces delays of over a year after the European Union opted on Wednesday to ask its own courts whether the treaty was in line with European law.The anti-counterfeiting trade agreement, or Acta, is the latest high-profile copyright measure to falter in late stages as a result of concerted opposition campaigns organised on the internet. … Karel De Gucht, the EU’s trade commissioner, said he was referring the trade pact to the European Court of Justice so that it could assess whether Acta was in any way incompatible with EU fundamental rights and freedoms, as campaigners say."  Read more (registration may be required)
See Also
De Gucht, Karel, "Statement by Commissioner Karel De Gucht on ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement)" (press release by the European Union, Brussels, Belgium, February 22, 2012).

Sen. Warner Calls for Tougher Standards for Electronic Medical Records

Pecquet, Julian. "Sen. Warner Calls for Tougher Standards for Electronic Medical Records." The Hill, February 22, 2012.

From the article: "Congresss gambit to create a national system of electronic health records is at risk of failure or mediocrity” if federal regulators continue to water down the standards that doctors and hospitals must meet, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) wrote in a letter to federal health officials.

Lawmakers have set aside $27 billion in Medicare and Medicaid incentives for medical providers to switch to paperless records, and 780 products have already been certified under the first stage of the program created by the 2009 stimulus bill. 

Warner said the process so far has been too limited. For example, regulators dont publish performance data for certified vendors, and failing to deliver medical data to a public health agency is still acceptable."  Read more

See Also
Warner, Mark R. Senator Mark R. Warner to Acting Administrator Tavenner and Coordinator Mostashari, February 21, 2012. Letter regarding standards for electronic health records. From the United States Senate, Washington, DC.

White House, Consumers in Mind, Offers Online Privacy Guidelines

Wyatt, Edward. "White House, Consumers in Mind, Offers Online Privacy Guidelines." The New York Times, February 23, 2012.

From the article: "The Obama administration on Wednesday outlined a set of online privacy principles that officials said would help consumers control the use of their personal data gleaned from Internet searches. The framework for a new privacy code moves electronic commerce closer to a one-click, one-touch process by which users can tell Internet companies whether they want their online activity tracked. …. Even before Congress approves privacy legislation, the Federal Trade Commission will have the ability to enforce compliance with a code of conduct to be developed by the Commerce Department or with advertising industry guidelines that companies would adopt voluntarily, Jon Leibowitz, the chairman of the F.T.C., said during a call with reporters on Wednesday.

Companies responsible for the delivery of nearly 90 percent of online behavioral advertisements — ads that appear on a user’s screen based on browsing and buying habits — have agreed to comply when consumers choose to control online tracking, the consortium said on Wednesday." Read more

See Also
We Can’t Wait: Obama Administration Unveils Blueprint for a “Privacy Bill of Rights” to Protect Consumers Online, press release by the Office of the Press Secretary, The White House, February 23, 2012.

Web Firms to Adopt 'No Track' Button

Angwin, Julia. "Web Firms to Adopt 'No Track' Button." The Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2012.

From the article:  "A coalition of Internet giants including Google Inc. has agreed to support a do-not-track button to be embedded in most Web browsers—a move that the industry had been resisting for more than a year. The reversal is being announced as part of the White House's call for Congress to pass a "privacy bill of rights," that will give people greater control over the personal data collected about them…. The new do-not-track button isn't going to stop all Web tracking. The companies have agreed to stop using the data about people's Web browsing habits to customize ads, and have agreed not to use the data for employment, credit, health-care or insurance purposes. But the data can still be used for some purposes such as "market research" and "product development" and can still be obtained by law enforcement officers."  Read more (subscription may be required)

See Also
Kang, Cecilia. "State Attorneys General: Google Privacy Changes Appear to Harm Consumers." The Washington Post with Bloomberg, February 22, 2012.

What the App Economy Can Teach the Whole Economy

Mandel, Michael. "What the App Economy Can Teach the Whole Economy." The Atlantic, February 22, 2012.

From the article: "But the App Economy didn't just mean more fun games and more ways to do work on the go -- it meant more jobs as well. Based on research I did for Technet, the association of high-tech innovative companies, the App Economy has generated nearly 500,000 jobs since 2007. This is an impressive total, especially during the worst labor market downturn since the Great Depression. It's also an indication of the growing macroeconomic impact of the App Economy.

We can draw three lessons from the success of the App economy to help us understand how we can drive prosperity forward."  Read more

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Google Says IE Privacy Policy is Impractical in Modern Web

From the article: "Microsoft's privacy protection feature in Internet Explorer, known as P3P, is impractical to comply with while providing modern web functionality such as cookie-based features, Google said Monday in response to an accusation from Microsoft that Google had bypassed privacy protections in Internet Explorer…. IE by default blocks third-party cookies unless a site presents to the browser a P3P Compact Policy Statement describing how the site will use the cookie and pledging not to track the user. Third party cookies are those dropped by domains other than the one in the user's browser address bar."  Read more

Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress

Lennard G. Kruger, Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress, prepared by the Congressional Research Service for Members and Committees of Congress, February 9, 2012.

From the report: "National governments have recognized an increasing stake in ICANN policy decisions, especially in cases where Internet policy intersects with national laws addressing such issues as intellectual property, privacy, law enforcement, and cybersecurity. Some governments around the world are advocating increased intergovernmental influence over the way the Internet is governed. For example, specific proposals have been advanced that would create an Internet governance entity within the United Nations (U.N.). Other governments (including the United States), as well as many other Internet stakeholders, oppose these proposals and argue that ICANN’s multistakeholder model, while not perfect and needing improvement, is the most appropriate way to govern the Internet.

The outcome of this debate will likely have a significant impact on how other aspects of the Internet may be governed in the future, especially in such areas as intellectual property, privacy, law enforcement, Internet free speech, and cybersecurity. Looking forward, the institutional nature of Internet governance could have far reaching implications on important policy decisions that will likely shape the future evolution of the Internet." Read more

The Economic Benefits of New Spectrum for Wireless Broadband

From the report: “Wireless broadband has the potential to transform many different areas of the American economy by providing a platform for new innovation. Areas where the innovations will likely have significant impact include consumer products and services, such as media-rich mobile apps and high definition streaming video; products to enhance business productivity, such as mobile video conferencing solutions and access to web-based business applications; health care, where the quality of care will be enhanced and costs reduced through products like patient-physician video conferencing and remote transmission of diagnostic information and images; and education, where digital classroom materials and educational applications are already enhancing learning.” Read more

See Also
Barkoff, Kendra, February 21, 2012, "New Report Highlights Wireless Broadband Benefits for Public Safety and Job Creation," The White House Blog.

Texting Affects Ability to Interpret Words

Myers, Jennifer. "Texting Affects Ability to Interpret Words." UToday, February 17, 2012.

From the article: "Research designed to understand the effect of text messaging on language found that texting has a negative impact on people’s linguistic ability to interpret and accept words. The study, conducted by Joan Lee for her master’s thesis in linguistics, revealed that those who texted more were less accepting of new words. On the other hand, those who read more traditional print media such as books, magazines, and newspapers were more accepting of the same words….Lee suggests that reading traditional print media exposes people to variety and creativity in language that is not found in the colloquial peer-to-peer text messaging used among youth or ‘generation text’. She says reading encourages flexibility in language use and tolerance of different words. It helps readers to develop skills that allow them to generate interpretable readings of new or unusual words."  Read more

Effects of Two Commercial Electronic Prescribing Systems on Prescribing Error Rates in Hospital In-Patients: A Before and After Study

From the abstract: "Considerable investments are being made in commercial electronic prescribing systems (e-prescribing) in many countries. Few studies have measured or evaluated their effectiveness at reducing prescribing error rates, and interactions between system design and errors are not well understood, despite increasing concerns regarding new errors associated with system use. This study evaluated the effectiveness of two commercial e-prescribing systems in reducing prescribing error rates and their propensities for introducing new types of error."  Read more

The Militarisation of Cyber Security as a Source of Global Tension

Dunn Cavelty, Myriam, The Militarisation of Cyber Security as a Source of Global Tension, Strategic Trends Analysis, Zurich, Möckli, Daniel, Wenger, Andreas, eds., Center for Security Studies, February 1, 2012.

From the abstract: "Cyber security is seen as one of the most pressing national security issues of our time. Due to sophisticated and highly publicized cyber attacks, most prominently among them the sabotaging computer worm Stuxnet, it is increasingly framed as a strategic-military concern. The result of this perception is too much attention on the low probability of a large scale cyber attack, a focus on the wrong policy solutions, and a detrimental atmosphere of insecurity and tension in the international system. Though cyber operations will be a significant component of future conflicts, the role of the military in cyber security will be limited and needs to be carefully defined."  Read more

Search Engines, the New Bottleneck for Content Access

Nico, Van Eijk, Search Engines, the New Bottleneck for Content Access. Telecommunication Markets, Drivers and Impediments, pp. 141-157, B. Preissl, J. Haucap, P. Curwen, eds., Springer, 2009; Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2012-21; Institute for Information Law Research Paper No. 2012-18.

From the abstract: "The core function of a search engine is to make content and sources of information easily accessible (although the search results themselves may actually include parts of the underlying information). In an environment with unlimited amounts of information available on open platforms such as the internet, the availability or accessibility of content is no longer a major issue. The real question is how to find the information. Search engines are becoming the most important gateway used to find content: research shows that the average user considers them to be the most important intermediary in their search for content. They also believe that search engines are reliable. The high social impact of search engines is now evident. This contribution discusses the functionality of search engines and their underlying business model - which is changing to include the aggregation of content as well as access to it, hence making search engines a new player on the content market. The biased structure of and manipulation by search engines is also explored. The regulatory environment is assessed - at present, search engines largely fall outside the scope of (tele)communications regulation - and possible remedies are proposed."  Read more

Agents of Change: How the Law ʻCopesʼ with Technological Change

Bennett Moses, Lyria. "Agents of Change: How the Law ʻCopesʼ with Technological Change." Griffith Law Review, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp. 764-794, 2011; UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2012-2.

From the abstract:  "The difficulty of adapting legal frameworks to changing circumstances is often represented by images of ʻlawʼ losing a race. Such visions are commonly raised in scholarship concerned with particular problems that arise in applying existing legal rules to new situations, particularly situations involving new technologies. The dilemmas encountered in adapting legal frameworks to technological change rarely persist indefinitely, however. While no institution or methodology is exclusively concerned with changing the law in response to technological change, parliamentary committees, government departments, royal commissions, law reform organisations, technology assessment agencies, ethics bodies, courts, the Productivity Commission and an array of individuals and ad hoc bodies have all been sources of adjustment at various points in history. The diverse array of organisations represents a multiplicity of disciplinary perspectives and evolving methodologies. Each one focuses on part of the story of the mutual adjustment between technology, society and law. This article represents an initial attempt to survey the landscape in order to understand better how Australia has dealt with both technological ʻcrisesʼ and the more mundane process of ensuring that legal rules operate sensibly and predictably in an evolving technological environment. From this, the article will explore briefly the gaps in Australiaʼs current mechanisms for ensuring law ʻkeeps upʼ with technology."  Read more

Reconciling Privacy With Social Media

Heather Richter Lipford, Pamela J. Wisniewski, Cliff Lampe, Lorraine Kisselburgh, and Kelly Caine. 2012. "Reconciling Privacy With Social Media." In Proceedings of the ACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work Companion (CSCW '12). ACM, New York, NY, 19-20.

From the abstract: "Social media is one way that individuals share information, present themselves, and manage their social interactions in both personal and professional contexts. While social media benefits have been examined in the literature, relatively little attention has been paid to the relationship of privacy to these benefits. Privacy has traditionally been framed as a way for individuals to protect themselves from the consequences of too much information disclosure. However, privacy can be a means to enhance social media outcomes and is essential for coordinating cooperative relationships. In this workshop we seek to: a) broaden the lens of social media privacy research to examine the benefits and outcomes of interactional privacy as they relate to social media goals; and b) discuss the design of social media interfaces that are responsive to both relational and privacy needs."  Read more

Cloud Computing Report Slams Brazil, India, China

Palmer, Doug. "Cloud Computing Report Slams Brazil, India, China." Reuters, February 22, 2012.

From the article:  "A U.S. software industry report on Wednesday chided Brazil, China and India for policies it said threatened the future of cloud computing, but also took aim at developed countries such as Germany that did well on its inaugural scorecard. The Business Software Alliance, which represents U.S. industry heavyweights such as Microsoft Corp, said Brazil finished last in its survey of 24 countries, earning only 35.1 points out a possible 100 because of its policies in areas such free trade, security, data privacy and cybercrime."  Read more

See Also
Business Software Alliance. "BSA Global Cloud Computing Scorecard."

SFN Report: Communication and Gatekeeper Research

Vinter, Hannah. "SFN Report: Communication and Gatekeeper Research." Shaping the Future of the Newspaper Blog, February 20, 2012.

From the article: "Once upon a time, news flows were relatively simple. Information would travel from a source to a news organisation, to the general public. Although that chain might not have been quite as simple as it seemed (a journalist might influence his or her sources, or public reactions might influence a news organisation) for the most part, information flowed one way, and one way only.

Now a new regional SFN report from WAN-IFRA, authored by Professor Christof Seeger and Leander Blumenthal describes the way that social media and digital publishing has turned this news flow upside-down. The report, titled "Communication and gatekeeper research" points out that media organisations are no longer the primary "gatekeepers" of information; an engaged public also plays an important role in curating news by deciding what content to republish, recommend or pass on." Read more

See Also
Blumenthal, Leander and Prof. Christof Seeger. Kommunikation und Gatekeeper-Forschung, WAN-IFRA report, February 16, 2012.

Scope of Policy Issues in eHealth: Results From a Structured Literature Review

From the introduction: "eHealth policy can be defined as “a set of statements, directives, regulations, laws, and judicial interpretations that direct and manage the life cycle of eHealth” [1]. Recognition is growing in both developed and developing countries that eHealth is an important tool to reduce discrimination based on lack of access to information and to provide timely responses to matters affecting both personal and community health [2,3]. However, the use of eHealth within or between institutions involves several factors that require proper planning, supported by well-defined policies, rules, standards, or guidelines at the institutional, jurisdictional, and global levels. The absence of these policies may cause problems during the cycle of eHealth planning that may lead to failures in achieving the intended goals. … The objective of this study was to conduct a detailed review of the literature to determine the scope of policy issues faced by individuals, institutions, or governments in implementing eHealth programs. The study does not recommend any policies or suggest the importance of any of the policy issues over the others." Read more

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

HHS Touts Big Strides in Health IT Adoption

Miliar, Mike. "HHS Touts Big Strides in Health IT Adoption." Healthcare IT News, February 17, 2012.

From the article:  "The number of hospitals using health information technology has more than doubled in the last two years, said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Friday.

Speaking at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley Health Science Institute in Kansas City, Sebelius also unveiled new data showing that nearly 2,000 hospitals and more than 41,000 doctors have received $3.1 billion in incentive payments for ensuring meaningful use of health IT, particularly certified electronic health records…. The announcement today detailed information from a new survey conducted by the American Hospital Association and reported by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), found that the percentage of U.S. hospitals that had adopted EHRs has more than doubled from 16 to 35 percent between 2009 and 2011.

In addition, 85 percent of hospitals now report that by 2015 they intend to take advantage of the incentive payments made available through the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs."  Read more

See Also
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Announces Major Progress in Doctors, Hospital Use of Health Information Technology, press release by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, February 17, 2012.

ONC to Survey Consumer EHR Privacy, Security Concerns

Mosquera, Mary. "ONC to Survey Consumer EHR Privacy, Security Concerns." Government Health IT, February 17, 2012.

From the article: "The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT plans to conduct a nationwide survey to gauge the percentage of individuals who are concerned about the privacy and security of electronic health records (EHRs).ONC will also inquire if individuals have kept any part of their medical history from their physician due to privacy concerns and if they are concerned that an unauthorized person would see their medical information if it is sent electronically,… ONC expects to interview 100 individuals for the pretest survey as part of the 2012 implementation year and interview 2,000 individuals annually for five years for the main survey."  Read more

See Also
Tucker, Keith A., Agency Information Collection Request. 30-Day Public Comment Request, prepared by the Office of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services, February 21, 2012.

HIMSS12: Data Will Be Driver of Health Care Change

Ackerman, Kate. "HIMSS12: Data Will Be Driver of Health Care Change." iHealthBeat, February 21, 2012.

From the article: "The power of data was an overarching theme of the first day of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's annual conference in Las Vegas. "This is the golden age of information, and we're going to use it to help people live longer lives and better lives," Lowell Catlett, an economist and futurist, said…. He predicted that increased transparency will lead to a new form of medical tourism where insurers use data to determine where patients should go to get certain services.  New models could change the health care industry the same way iTunes changed the music industry, he said.  Paul Grundy -- president of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative and director of Healthcare Transformation at IBM -- explained how data already are starting to transform the health care industry. … Grundy called it a "no brainer" to re-engineer the health care system with available data that can be used to hold health care providers accountable. He said that initial data show that implementing patient-centered medical homes led to a drop in hospital emergency department use, shorter hospital stays, lower health care spending and lower mortality rates."  Read more

See Also
HIMSS Conference. "HIMSS12 Annual Conference and Exhibition."
HIMSS Conference. "2012 CIO Forum."

The Patient of the Future

Cohen, John. "The Patient of the Future." Technology Review, March/April 2012.

From the article: "Back in 2000, when Larry Smarr left his job as head of a celebrated supercomputer center in Illinois to start a new institute at the University of California, San Diego, and the University of California, Irvine, he rarely paid attention to his bathroom scale…. Smarr, who directs the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology in La Jolla, dropped from 205 to 184 pounds and is now a fit 63-year-old. But his transformation transcends his regular exercise program and carefully managed diet: he has become a poster man for the medical strategy of the future. Over the past decade, he has gathered as much data as he can about his body and then used that information to improve his health. And he has accomplished something that few people at the forefront of the "quantified self" movement have had the opportunity to do: he helped diagnose the emergence of a chronic disease in his body."  Read more

The U.N. Threat to Internet Freedom

McDowell, Robert M. "The U.N. Threat to Internet Freedom." The Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2012.

From the opinion: “On Feb. 27, a diplomatic process will begin in Geneva that could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet. Dozens of countries, including Russia and China, are pushing hard to reach this goal by year's end. As Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said last June, his goal and that of his allies is to establish "international control over the Internet" through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a treaty-based organization under U.N. auspices.

If successful, these new regulatory proposals would upend the Internet's flourishing regime, which has been in place since 1988. That year, delegates from 114 countries gathered in Australia to agree to a treaty that set the stage for dramatic liberalization of international telecommunications. This insulated the Internet from economic and technical regulation and quickly became the greatest deregulatory success story of all time.”  Read more

Alert on Hacker Power Play

Gorman, Siobhan. "Alert on Hacker Power Play." The Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2012.

From the article: "The director of the National Security Agency has warned that the hacking group Anonymous could have the ability within the next year or two to bring about a limited power outage through a cyberattack. Gen. Keith Alexander, the director, provided his assessment in meetings at the White House and in other private sessions, according to people familiar with the gatherings. While he hasn't publicly expressed his concerns about the potential for Anonymous to disrupt power supplies, he has warned publicly about an emerging ability by cyberattackers to disable or even damage computer networks." Read more (subscription may be required)

See Also
Estes, Adam Clark. "The Future of Hacking Sounds Pretty Ridiculous." The Atlantic Wire, February 21, 2012.

Netburn, Deborah. "Anonymous' Flash Mob Targets Wall Street Journal's Facebook Pages." The Los Angeles Times, February 21, 2012.

Mobile Apps for Kids: Current Privacy Disclosures Are Disappointing

From the report:While staff encountered a diverse pool of apps for kids created by hundreds of different developers, staff found little, if any, information in the app marketplaces about the data collection and sharing practices of these apps. Staff found almost no relevant language regarding app data collection or sharing on the Apple app promotion pages, and minimal information (beyond the general “permission” statements required on the Android operating system ) on just three of the Android promotion pages. In most instances, staff was unable to determine from the promotion pages whether the apps collected any data at all, let alone the type of data collected, the purpose of the collection, and who collected or obtained access to the data. … FTC staff believes that all members of the kids app ecosystem – the app stores, developers, and third parties providing services within the apps – should play an active role in providing key information to parents who download apps…. App developers should provide this information through simple and short disclosures or icons that are easy to find and understand on the small screen of a mobile device.”  Read more

Friday, February 17, 2012

Most Small Healthcare Practices Hacked In The Past 12 Months

Higgins, Kelly Jackson. "Most Small Healthcare Practices Hacked In The Past 12 Months." Dark Reading, February 16, 2012. 

From the article
: "If you were wondering how safe your medical records are at your doctor's office, then this might make you sick: Ninety-one percent of small healthcare practices in North America say they have suffered a data breach in the past 12 months. The survey, conducted by the Ponemon Institute and commissioned by MegaPath, queried more than 700 IT and administrative personnel in healthcare organizations of no more than 250 employees. Among the findings: Only 31 percent say their management considers data security and privacy a top priority, and 29 percent say their breaches resulted in medical identity theft."
Read more

See Also
Exclusive Ponemon Study on Security Issues in the Healthcare Industry, MegaPath.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Brewing Battle Over Warrantless Wiretapping

Jaffer, Jameel."A Brewing Battle Over Warrantless Wiretapping." The Huffington Post, February 15, 2012.

From the article: "One of the hardest-fought civil liberties battles of the George W. Bush era involved the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the post-Watergate statute that was meant to rein in domestic surveillance undertaken in the name of national security. It's almost certain that we'll have an equally hard-fought battle over FISA this year, both in the courts and in Congress. The first volley may come as early as next week, because the administration must decide by Tuesday whether to ask the Supreme Court to intervene in the ACLU's constitutional challenge to the FISA Amendments Act, the 2008 law that ratified and expanded the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program. And that law is scheduled to sunset in December, which means that the litigation will unfold against the background of a congressional reauthorization debate." Read more

Health Care Innovation: From Regulation To ‘Bigger Brains’

Kolawole, Emi. “Health Care Innovation: From Regulation To ‘Bigger Brains.’” The Washington Post, February 14, 2012.

From the article: "Andrew von Eschenbach finds it surprising that people are so willing to share nearly every detail of their lives online but suddenly become squeamish over electronic health care records...But the excitement for the future of health care technology was tempered by the high regulatory bar, one that must take into account the life-and-death implications of the products that stand to be used on people in their most physically and emotionally vulnerable moments. According to von Eschenbach, it’s all about how new developments are presented to people. "If you’re telling them this is for them, it’s amazing how cooperative and open people can be," he said. Read more

DOJ Kills Wireless Network In Budget Request

Lipowicz, Alice. “DOJ Kills Wireless Network in Budget Request.” Federal Computer Week, February 15, 2012. 

From the article: "The Justice Department has made it official—the Integrated Wireless Network program is over and there is no funding requested for it in the next fiscal year…The termination of the wireless network is just one of dozens of relatively small cuts being proposed for an array of smaller programs in the department. While the major agency budgets in the department budget remain relatively intact, there are small shifts in funding, both up and down, proposed for information-sharing and intelligence technologies and programs…The integrated wireless network project was initiated in 2004 and within a short time grew to $5 billion in projected costs and coverage for more than 80,000 agents at Justice, Homeland Security and Treasury. About $350 million had been spent to date, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office." Read more

Cyber Attacks Can Spark Real Wars

Clarke, Richard A. "Cyber Attacks Can Spark Real Wars." The Wall Street Journal, February 16, 2012.

From the article: "For most of this year, Arab-Israeli tensions have been spilling off the streets and airwaves and onto the region's fiber optic cables. Citizen hackers on both sides have engaged in tit-for-tat raids on Israeli, Saudi and other regional computer networks. Stock exchanges, airlines, government offices and even hospitals have had their websites defaced or shut down. Credit-card numbers and personal emails have been stolen and posted on the Internet. One Israeli official has labeled the escalating cyber hostility "terrorism" and called for it to be dealt with as such.

It has not been terrorism. No one has died and, so far, nothing has blown up as a result. Indeed, most of the activity has involved the use of relatively commonplace hacker tools and techniques. This ongoing cyber "hacktivism" has, however, demonstrated three things that should cause nations to act." Read more (subscription may be required)

Electronic Health Record–Based Messages to Primary Care Providers: Valuable Information or Just Noise?

Murphy, Daniel R., Brian Reis, Himabindu Kadiyala, Kamal Hirani, Dean F. Sittig, Myrna M. Khan, and Hardeep Singh. "Electronic Health Record–Based Messages to Primary Care Providers: Valuable Information or Just Noise?" Archives of Internal Medicine. 2012;172(3):283-285, February 13, 2012.

From the article: "Communication between clinicians is critical to coordination of care and prevention of adverse outcomes in the outpatient setting. Increasing the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) and medical home-based care models will greatly increase electronic communication between different members of the health care team.1-3 One method of clinician-to-clinician communication is note-based messaging through the EHR, where the recipient is requested to provide their "additional signature" to a message to attest that it was received. We recently found that primary care providers (PCPs) receive a large number of EHR-based additional signature request (ASR) alerts and spend considerable time processing them.4 Large numbers of messages5-6 might also cause PCPs to miss certain higher-priority notifications." Read more

See Also

Smartphone Apps Dial Up Privacy Worries

Google's New Privacy Policy: When Consumers' Worlds Collide, the Company Stands to Profit

"Google's New Privacy Policy: When Consumers' Worlds Collide, the Company Stands to Profit." Knowledge@Wharton, The Wharton School of Pennsylvania, February 15, 2012.

From the article: On March 1, the Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet giant plans to toss out more than 60 different privacy policies and consolidate its services under a single set of guidelines. The harmonization will remove separation between YouTube, Google+, Gmail, Google search and other Google products, meaning that the company will be able to use data it collects from users in one area across all of its platforms. The goal, as Google tells it, is to "create one beautifully simple, intuitive user experience" that treats consumers "as a single user across all our products."

"The reason this becomes a non-trivial piece of news is because our data can now be used out of context from what might have been expected when the user first provided the information," notes Anindya Ghose, a visiting professor at Wharton and co-director of New York University's Center for Digital Economy Research. "That is, data provided in one setting might now be used in a different setting. It is precisely this data sharing across contexts that creates privacy concerns." Read more

Finland Has Largest Share of Economy Based on Information Technology

"Finland Has Largest Share of Economy Based On Information Technology." United Nations News Centre, February 15, 2012.

From the article: "Finland has the world’s largest portion of domestic economic activities related to information and communication technology, with almost a tenth of the European country’s non-agricultural business workforce employed in the ICT sector, according to United Nations data released today. The data, released by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva, also shows that the ICT sector is still in its infancy in many developing economies. The UNCTAD database currently contains information on 57 economies. The lack of more comprehensive data can be seen as yet another illustration of the digital divide, the agency said in a press release." Read more

See Also
"Information Economy Report 2011: ICTs as an Enabler for Private Sector Development." Paper presented at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, February 15, 2012.

Making IT Meaningful: How Consumers Value and Trust Health IT

"With Government Providing Incentives for Widespread Adoption of Health Information Technology, Survey Finds that Consumers Value Electronic Health Records — But Worries Persist About Breaches of Data." The National Partnership for Women and Families, February 15, 2012.

From the press release: "As more and more consumers see their doctors using electronic health records (EHRs), trust in doctors is high and patients have confidence that health information technology (health IT) can improve the quality and coordination of care. Those with online access to their own medical records are especially supportive of health IT. But consumers have persistent concerns that data breaches will occur.… Making IT Meaningful: How Consumers Value and Trust Health IT takes an unprecedented look at consumer confidence in health IT. Survey respondents had an ongoing relationship with a care provider and knew whether that provider uses an electronic or paper record system. Among the findings:...There are concerns about data breaches and current privacy laws. Three in five respondents whose doctors use EHRs (59 percent) agree that widespread adoption of EHRs will lead to even more personal information being lost or stolen, as do 66 percent of respondents whose doctors use paper records. Similarly, more than half of those whose doctors use EHRs (51 percent) and 53 percent of those whose doctors use paper records agree that the privacy of personal medical records and personal health information is not currently well protected by federal and state laws and organizational practices." Read more

See Also
"Making IT Meaningful: How Consumers Value and Trust Health IT." The National Partnership for Women and Families, February 15, 2012.