Security breaches on TV and in movies always seem action packed—the hero takes it down to the wire and saves the day. But what happens when it involves you and your information? It’s not fun, and though it may be action packed, the hassle is going to be awful and you will not be happy when it’s over.
What we’re dealing with now are “supercookies”, and they’re not nearly as appetizing as they sound. The latest tracking device also goes by “Flash cookies” or “zombie cookies” (that one makes me feel safe) and are essentially regular cookies for your computer, but on steroids. They’re tougher to track and remove, plus they have the power of regeneration—so why exactly are sites using them to capture data? Mainly because the data the companies that use them are getting from us is beyond what the normal cookies provide… and beyond common industry practice. Security breach question #1: Are you okay with the thought of supercookies?
Keeping with the action packed/security breach theme, I’m not sure if any of you watch the TV series Homeland, but a character in the show actually had a pacemaker that was continually submitting information back to his doctor (which of course the government was able to monitor because he was the Vice President), which I associated with the data gathered by Medtronic Inc. plant/Heart Gadgets article. In the event you don’t watch Homeland (you should, I highly recommend it) I won’t spoil what happens, but this article and the espionage that went into the episode was not that far off. It made me wonder if the writers saw the article and had Brody follow protocol loosely based on a story such as this. Security question #2: Would you allow your medical information to be sold if you thought it could prevent future disease/illness for you or your family?
I don’t mind sharing a lot of things and/or information, most of this is with my friends and family, but there are some limits. There is however a major security breach, in my personal opinion, when my potential (key word: potential) employer wants the password to my Facebook account. You have my email address and the ability to search my profile, we’ve learned what search graph has given you the ability to do, what are you really looking for? You can run a background check on me, which leads me to ask… Security question #3: What information do you think employers are looking for with access to your Facebook profile via your password?
Facebook bought out Instagram and now we’re dealing with some of the same security issues that Facebook has had come up in the past, including the rights to your images. Wiggling around the security of the subject with the language they wrote it in, they’ve essentially told their followers that if they’re unhappy with potentially having their images used in promotional ads, they should delete their accounts. Depending on how much you care or how invested in your Instagram account you are, here goes security question #4: Will you/would you/have you deleted your Instagram account over these policy updates?
When you consider how data storage and information relay is taking over our lives, it’s quite scary. The expectation is that everyone is going to know about what we’re doing and want to sell us something based on what we’re telling them already or have already signed up for. I’m going to go wait it out in the bunker and hope my WiFi connection holds strong from there…