Big Credit Card Data Breach Hits Bars And Restaurants Using Harbortouch Point-of-Sale Systems

Big Credit Card Data Breach Hits Bars And Restaurants Using Harbortouch Point-of-Sale Systems

In much of the country, this is the first truly warm week of the year. The change of seasons has us turning to shorts, dresses, sandals, and chilled fruity drinks served in rooftop bars. But data breaches, alas, are always in style, and buying that beverage may land you with a stolen credit card number. [More]

Congress Has One Month Left To Change Or Renew Controversial Bulk Phone Data Surveillance Program

Congress Has One Month Left To Change Or Renew Controversial Bulk Phone Data Surveillance Program

It’s been two years since we found out that the NSA has been quietly scooping up basically everyone’s phone records, willy-nilly, without warrants. The revelations of widespread surveillance freaked plenty of people out, but under existing law, the agency has acted legally. To get change, then, you’d need to change the law… and Congress has 33 days remaining in which to do exactly that. [More]

(Ken Fager)

Digital Privacy And Parental Rights Act Would Put Restrictions On The Use Of Student Data Online

Students are more dependent than ever on technology and the Internet for their education, but those same apps and online learning tools that help educate them could be putting their personal information at risk if shared improperly. Nearly a month after it was first expected, a pair of U.S. representatives have introduced a bill aiming to restrict third-party use of students’ sensitive personal data. [More]

New Ratings Service Claims To Know Which Netflix Originals Are Most Popular

New Ratings Service Claims To Know Which Netflix Originals Are Most Popular

Netflix is a very data-driven company. They no doubt have clear internal metrics not only on just how many people are watching Orange Is The New Black, House of Cards, and Daredevil, but on how many episodes they’re watching in a single sitting, what part of the country they’re watching from, what time of day they’re doing it, and which bits, if any, they fast-forward. And they keep them all secret. Super duper secret. [More]

Supreme Court To Decide If You Can Sue When Data Aggregators Are Wrong

Supreme Court To Decide If You Can Sue When Data Aggregators Are Wrong

There’s a true 21st-century case a-brewing at the Supreme Court, one of those unsexy legal questions with enormous potential repercussions. At heart of the matter is personal data. There’s an insane amount of it out there, on each and every one of us, and it’s all for trade, barter, and sale. But that doesn’t mean it’s all correct or true. So if some website or service goes around saying you’re someone you’re not, do you have the right to sue?
[More]

RadioShack Bankruptcy Trustee Wants Customer Mailing Lists Removed From Auction

RadioShack Bankruptcy Trustee Wants Customer Mailing Lists Removed From Auction

Bankrupt RadioShack doesn’t have a lot of assets left that anyone might want, but one very marketable asset is its mailing lists. Specifically, 65 million names and addresses and 13 million e-mail addresses. In March, RadioShack said that it wouldn’t be selling that information…yet. Now that it’s time to sell off the former company’s intellectual property, all of that contact inforamtion is potentially for sale again. [More]

(C x 2)

The Other Danger Of Online Payday Loans: Identity Theft

Many people who seek online payday loans are already in a very vulnerable position when they take on the added risk of the excessive interest rates and often exorbitant fees associated with these short-term loans. But there’s another danger possibly lurking in the payday shadows: Having all their personal and financial data end up in the hands of cyber criminals. [More]

(БРАТСТВО)

Potential FICO Credit Score Changes Could Hurt, Rather Than Help Some Consumers’ Creditworthiness

The Fair Isaac Corporation – better known to consumers as FICO – is on the verge of turning the credit score game on its head with the release of a new credit-scoring approach that would consider consumers’ monthly bills, such as those for utilities and wireless plans, when determining creditworthiness. The change is purportedly intended to help consumers on the low end of the credit spectrum, but some consumer advocates are concerned that lower-income Americans could be the ones most adversely affected. [More]

(Pamela Greer)

Retailers Only Have Eyes For You With Latest Online Marketing Efforts

On the one hand, it can be very convenient to get a coupon emailed to you based on your obsession with tacos. On the other, having every website you visit blast your eyes with ads for the same darn pair of lime green shoes you already bought as part of a Halloween costume and never intend to buy again. But some retailers say they’re working on tailoring such marketing efforts down to each person individually, to maximize effectiveness and cut down on irritation. [More]

(me and the sysop)

Big Data Is Here To Stay. So Can We Use It To Make Recalls Actually Work?

Sometimes products are unsafe. From bacteria-filled food to shrapnel-shooting airbags, on occasion even the most conscientious company will find itself needing to recall a product if it turns out to be harmful to consumers. But recalls are a big pain in the butt all around. One of the biggest issues? Actually letting consumers know that the stuff in their hands or on their shelves has, in fact, actually been recalled. [More]

The Privacy And Consent Issues With Apple’s New ResearchKit

The Privacy And Consent Issues With Apple’s New ResearchKit

Earlier this week, Apple gave us wrist computers and took away almost all of the ports in its notebook computers, and also announced something that gadget fans may not have expected: a set of apps called ResearchKit designed to help medical researchers collect data from ordinary citizens for their research. Tens of thousands of people have already signed up for studies, which is potentially great for science. Is it good for us, the potential research subjects, though? [More]

Lawmakers Want To Know Who’s Tracking You Online, And Where The Info Goes

Lawmakers Want To Know Who’s Tracking You Online, And Where The Info Goes

Everything you do online — on your phone, on your computer, with anything — leaves a digital wake. Put those trails together and you’ve got one massive big data industry that can (and does) track it all and sell it to the highest bidder. After decades of digital detritus building up, regulators and Congress both are contemplating some steps that would help protect consumers’ info. [More]

(frankieleon)

Is Your Social Security Number A Public Record? Depends Where You Live

A pile of sensitive personal data from Florida residents is now on the loose online. But it wasn’t leaked from a hack or a breach. It was from a completely legitimate public records dump by the state’s former governor. [More]

AT&T To Free Up More Data For Mobile Subscribers, At Cost Of Net Neutrality

AT&T To Free Up More Data For Mobile Subscribers, At Cost Of Net Neutrality

Most of us are used to mobile companies clinging tightly to every precious bit and byte of data like a dragon hoards gold. Unlimited data plans were everywhere for a while, then went away, and then kinda sorta came back but not really. This week, AT&T has announced two big changes that will work to free up “bonus” data for their subscribers. One is harmless and maybe even good, but the other could have big, negative repercussions for mobile internet use. [More]

(Amanda Hoffman)

Forget Computer Cookies: People Happily Give Up Personal Data For The Baked Kind

It’s never a bad time for a cookie. Warm, just sweet enough, fresh from the oven… man, I could totally use a cookie right about now. How about you? Yeah? Excellent. Just hand over your address, mother’s maiden name, and the last four digits of your SSN and you can have this fresh hand-made dessert for free. Wait, what’s that you say? Yes, all this personal information does seem like too high a price to pay for one baked confection, no matter how delicious. And yet it was a deal that nearly 400 people were happy to make. [More]

(Bob Avery)

Facebook’s New Ad Service Lets Advertisers Get Up Close And Personal Everywhere You Are

Facebook ads: we’ve all seen a million of them. While some are generic spam, many are very creepily on-target. Until now, Facebook has mostly used its massive hoard of detailed user data for itself, and to sell ads on its own site. But now the site you love to hate is finding a new way to bank on your favorite bands and brands, with a new advertising service that can let companies chase down and advertise to any specific group they want. [More]

People In Alaska Are The Best Tippers, People In Delaware The Worst

People In Alaska Are The Best Tippers, People In Delaware The Worst

Sure, Internet comment threads seem to be evenly split between generous tippers and people who resent the practice, but what about the population at large? Credit card payment service Square analyzed their transaction data and found some interesting patterns in tipping by state. We don’t want to draw any wider conclusions, but we’re also giving Delaware a sidelong glance. [More]

Sample 834 data. It's not supposed to be diagonal, don't worry.

What Is An 834 Transaction, And Why Should I Care?

The good news is that Healthcare.gov, the health insurance marketplace for states that haven’t set up their own exchanges, is now up and functional. Well, the front end is working. Now that eligible people in need of insurance are able to log in and sign up, the next step is for the site to send their information over to the health insurance companies. That’s where things might go very wrong. [More]