In India, a few million people have been registered so far - only a billion left to go!
An estimated 500 million people have no form of reliable identification. It's a problem the Indian government has set out to fix through a five-year project with a budget of US $430 million for this year. Starting six months ago with rural populations, the government has begun to create a biometric database that will eventually contain an unprecedented hundreds of millions of records. "We are talking about 10 times more than anything else that has been done before," says Anil Jain, an IEEE Fellow and distinguished professor at Michigan State University, who is an expert in biometrics.
From each volunteer participant, the government collects 10 fingerprints, 2 iris images, and a photo, and if the new data don't match any identity already enrolled, it assigns the person a unique 12-digit number. After that, a single fingerprint or iris scan should be all that's needed to verify the identity of any person. As of the end of March, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has registered more than 4 million people this way. The UIDAI hopes to eventually collect biometrics from a majority of the Indian population...
Apple Inc.'s iPhones and Google Inc.'s Android smartphones regularly transmit their locations back to Apple and Google, respectively, according to data and documents analyzed by The Wall Street Journal—intensifying concerns over privacy and the widening trade in personal data.
Google and Apple are gathering location information as part of their race to build massive databases capable of pinpointing people's locations via their cellphones. These databases could help them tap the $2.9 billion market for location-based services—expected to rise to $8.3 billion in 2014, according to research firm Gartner Inc.
In the case of Google, according to new research by security analyst Samy Kamkar, an HTC Android phone collected its location every few seconds and transmitted the data to Google at least several times an hour. It also transmitted the name, location and signal strength of any nearby Wi-Fi networks, as well as a unique phone identifier.
Google declined to comment on the findings...
Security researchers have discovered that Apple's iPhone keeps track of where you go – and saves every detail of it to a secret file on the device which is then copied to the owner's computer when the two are synchronised.
The file contains the latitude and longitude of the phone's recorded coordinates along with a timestamp, meaning that anyone who stole the phone or the computer could discover details about the owner's movements using a simple program.
For some phones, there could be almost a year's worth of data stored, as the recording of data seems to have started with Apple's iOS 4 update to the phone's operating system, released in June 2010.
"Apple has made it possible for almost anybody – a jealous spouse, a private detective – with access to your phone or computer to get detailed information about where you've been," said Pete Warden, one of the researchers...
The Obama administration is urging the Supreme Court to allow the government, without a court warrant, to affix GPS devices on suspects’ vehicles to track their every move.
The Justice Department, saying “a person has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his movements from one place to another,” is demanding the justices undo a lower court decision that reversed the conviction and life sentence of a cocaine dealer whose vehicle was tracked via GPS for a month without a court warrant.
The petition, if accepted by the justices, arguably would make it the biggest Fourth Amendment case in a decade — one weighing the collision of privacy, technology and the Constitution...
The White House just approved a plan for a voluntary Internet cyber-identity system. Consumers would be able to use one number for all their digital transactions.
The problem is, this sounds like the Social Security number, and it is somewhat scary. If people do not trust their passwords online, why would they trust the government with one password that would identify all transactions? The new password is supposed to boost privacy and security online.
Does the idea of a number generator like NSTIC gives one a chill? It sounds like a nice idea, but it also sounds like George Orwell's 1984 on steroids. Sure, people would like a secure system to help prevent identity theft, but do they want the White House handling their password when they cannot pass a budget and keep their own house in order?...
A thermal imaging project in the city of Boston has been put on hold because of privacy concerns.
Boston officials had hoped to have aerial and street-level photos taken across about four square miles of the city this winter using infrared cameras that would show heat loss in the city homes.
Officials planned on sharing the photos and analysis with homeowners, and were hoping the findings would increase enrollment in efficiency programs and also create business opportunities.
But, the project hit a snag when the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts raised concerns that the infrared cameras would reveal information about what’s going on inside the homes. Sagewell’s cameras can take up to 20,000 images of homes per day...
Surveillance is booming. It's now a multibillion-dollar global industry, and an increasingly pervasive part of our daily lives. But today's version has evolved beyond the Big Brother model - a monstrous oppressor peering down a giant microscope - into a more sophisticated, multi-directional and complex beast. Surveillance has spawned so many offshoots, and spread in such unforeseen directions, that we are struggling to keep up with its ethical and legal ramifications...