Feeds

Digital data can bite you in the ass, researcher warns

Beware of those contributions on Flickr and Myspace

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Daniel Klein as he is today - shaved head, trimmed beard, hands on head, wearing blue shirt, smilingThere are also more immediate ways to monitor someone. A service provided by World-Tracker makes it possible to monitor the real-time location of cell phones anywhere in the UK. "I registered my girlfriend while she was in the shower," Klein joked.

If there was a shortcoming to Klein's presentation, which was titled "Perfect Data in an Imperfect World," it's that he never articulated a solution to the problem. "I want to be able to control my digital information, I need some sort of digital rights management," he said, without elaborating on how we might bring such a thing about. "It would be nice if digital materials had a limited life and limits to accessibility." Yeah, and we'd like to eat ice cream three times a day, too.

Lest Klein appear as an alarmist, it's worth noting that he's not squeamish about collecting, and in many cases, sharing huge amounts of information related to him He records a wealth of information relating to the environment around his home, including its location, hot water usage, lighting, temperature and air-conditioning activity.

A few minutes after his talk ended, he checked one graph he makes publicly available and was able to deduce that his girlfriend probably took a shower the previous night around midnight. He also detected that there had been lightning earlier that evening. His site also includes plenty of other details, including his phone number, postal address and global positioning system coordinates for his home located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

"What do I have to hide?" he said with a shrug. "Because all that information is elsewhere, I'm not worried about publishing it."

But he closely guards other information. His MacBook Pro, for instance, logs every IP address he uses to connect to the net and periodically snaps an image through the laptop's built-in camera. He permanently logs every incoming and outgoing cell call. While he archives this data, he doesn't make it available publicly.

Ultimately, Klein's message seems is that we must recognize that there is no way to recall anything we say or do publicly, and therefore we have to balance the benefits of having digital data against their risks.

"When you're in a position to publish the data," he said, "just be aware of what can be done with it." ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?
If you do, tell NOBODY what it's for or how it works
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Syrian Electronic Army in news site 'hack' POP-UP MAYHEM
Gigya redirect exploit blamed for pop-rageous ploy
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.