ID Theft Alerts for July 2014

Supreme Court Rules on Privacy

A recent ruling by the Supreme Court has a significant impact on how the court sees the protection of digital information and your 4th amendment rights. In Riley v. California the court ruled that the police needed a warrant to search the cell phone of someone they arrested. This was a surprising 9-0 ruling by the court to limit the power of the government to search your data.

Prior to this ruling the police were using the search-incident-to-arrest (SIA) exception. This exception allows police to search and seize the personal items when someone is arrested. The court said that there is a significant difference between looking at what you have in your pocket with looking at the volumes of data a smartphone contains about you.

Small Business Data Breach Fine

The Vermont Attorney General has fined a small Internet retailer for failing to notify customers of a data breach to their website. The site was hacked and 721 consumers were affected. According to the Vermont Security Breach Notice Act; the Attorney General’s Office should have been notified within 14 days and the consumers within 45 days. The fine was only $3,000 but it should let all Vermont businesses know that there is no business that is too small to comply with the law.

Identity Theft Fallout

While you may be concerned about identity theft and its affect on your finances; it can also hurt you in many hidden ways. Bob Sullivan posted 9 threats from someone stealing your identity. My favorite is finding out that your identity is on the death list. Then you are spending your time trying to prove that you are still alive to the bureaucracy. I wonder if there is a form for that at the social security office.

Facebook Knows What You Look Like

The FBI is launching a new facial recognition software called Next Generation Identification (NGI). The idea is the same as collecting a database of fingerprints for solving crimes. The system will have 52 million faces that it will match with suspects pictures. The system will return 50 possibilities when given a picture.

Now compare NGI to what Facebook has developed. Facebook can identify a person by their picture with 97% accuracy. They don’t even need to look at your feed to know who is happy and who is sad. Just watch the pictures as they are uploaded.