via Peter Rudegeair and AnnaMaria Andriotis - writing at The Wall Street Journal - comes a good example of crime reportage, regaling us with an exposé of pernicious criminality within the Identity Theft arena: The utilization of Synthetic Identities leveraged to abscond with fungible assets... In this case, to the tune of billions of dollars. While not new - as the article erroneously claims in both it's title and body copy - the use of synthetic identities targeting our children's identities and unused Social Security Numbers has been an ever-increasing fraud modality for a number of years. Today's Must Read.
Lewis Lapham's eponymous essay targeting the Surveilling of America, 'Open to Inspection delineates the highly unfortunate state of affairs we now find ourselves in... Lapham is at his best in this work, and in typically erudite fashion, provides a strikingly lucid view on pervasive surveillance in the Home of the Free, and Land of the Brave. Quite likely, this weeks' most portentious read. Carry On, That Is All.
via CEPro's Julie Jacobson, comes the tale of one company, with two long tails... With published plans for only one, that is. Vizio, the well known television manfuacturer seen so often in membership wholesale club stores, is going public, and divulging the true nature of it's business, originally founded in 2002. in Irvine, California.
However, in the documents germaine to that IPO, is a secret, and not one well kept, I might add. In this case, the real business of the company is not, in reality, TV sets, speakers, soundbars and the like, but data mining of it's customer's behaviors through those purchased systems.
'Vizio isn’t really luring investors with promises of really good TVs. That prospect is buried in its plans to deliver customer data, monitoring tools and e-commerce platforms to advertisers and online resellers. The core mission, as stated in Vizio’s filing, reads, “VIZIO’s mission is to deliver the ultimate entertainment experience through our community of connected consumers, advertisers and media content providers.”' - via CEPro's Julie Jacobson
Old, still relevant, and the reasons' why... Wouldn't you say?
via ProPublica, comes word of a decision at AT&T, Incorporated (NYSE: T) ; of plans to drop the use of the dreaded Permacookie (fundamentally, a method to permanently track your web usage, regardless of the co-called browser do-not-track parameters). Certainly a first world problem, yet quite vexing, particularly for our right to privacy...
Pernicious privacy violators, permacookies are not the already aggravating cookies we all love to hate; as such, users can set browsers to delete normal cookies in a variety of ways and methods - yet not permacookies. As objects, co-called permanent cookies are are typically maintained and manipulated by the Carrier/ISP, and not the user, therefore not permitting deletion. Welcome to your new Surveillance Overlords.
Unfortunately, Verizon Communications, Inc. (NYSE: VZ) users are not so lucky, as the company continues to utilize permacookies in daily operations... Our advice: Get thee to a VPN, why woulds't thou be an enabler of trackers?
iOS 8, that is... Apparently, Apple Inc.'s (NasdaqGS: AAPL) soon-to-be-released iOS 8, shows' evidence of significant attack surface minimization (e.g., File Relay, also known as com.apple.mobile.file_relay - the service that permits data egress via WiFi is now protected from, at least, easy attacks) . Jonathan Zdziarski's white paper informs us of the necessity to curtail iOS paths of data exfiltration, and such. Today's Must Read.
"File Relay (com.apple.mobile.file_relay) was the service responsible to causing the biggest potential privacy threat, by dumping large amounts of personal data from the device and bypassing the user’s backup encryption password. The file relay service is now guarded. While the service still exists, all attempts to extract data from it will fail with a permission denied error" -via the Jonathan Zdziarski Blog
Perhaps a good idea for the Nigerians. Nevertheless, it is doubtful the Nigerian spammers will be hampered by the newly implemented national ID system... The interesting news, of course was announced via a press release, is the assistance bestowed on the Federal Republic of Nigeria by MasterCard Incorporated (NYSE:MA) .
Municipalities just as private corporations, engage in seemingly mad, long dashes for revenue; to what end? In this case, speeding and red light traffic infraction generated income is the goal, whilst minimizing law enforcement hands on in the process. Unfortunately, the corporate entity that facilitates that revenue stream with traffic recording devices and cameras apparently possess clear-cut, if you will, evidence of proverbial feet of clay...