John Hanley

Police Charge Arson Suspect Based On Records From His Pacemaker

How would you weigh the choice to have a pacemaker implanted if you knew that information from the device could be used against you in a criminal case? A man in Ohio is having his own cardiac rhythm used against him as he faces charges of aggravated arson and insurance fraud. This week, he pleaded not guilty to those charges. [More]

ibraheem kurdieh

Court: No, You Don’t Have a Reasonable Expectation Of Privacy With Your PSN Account

How do you communicate with most of the folks in your life, these days? Is it face-to-face, or is it digital communication over someone else’s private service? If it’s the latter, there’s a recent court ruling from a federal court in Kansas that should remind you about where you should — and shouldn’t — reasonably expect your data to remain private. [More]

Byron Chin

The things we buy and use every day are increasingly connected — to the internet, and to each other — and while this new level of interconnection provides a slew of benefits, it also raises a new set of privacy problems and security challenges. Yet, as we recently learned, consumers are often self-centered when it comes to protecting their data and don’t give much thought to making their friends’ info available. [More]

It’s Creepy, But Not Illegal, For This Website To Provide All Your Public Info To Anyone

This week, the social media world has been alight with warning about a “genealogy” site that makes just about anyone’s information — addresses (current and former), age, family members, possible associates — available for free to any user. While this has caused a minor uproar, with concerned folks telling each other how to opt out of having their data shared by this site, this sort of data-aggregating service isn’t exactly anything new — and while what this site is doing might seem remarkably creepy, it is, in fact, completely legal. [More]

Nicholas Eckhart

Sports Authority Bankruptcy Means Now Dick’s Sporting Goods Owns 114M Customer Records

Sports Authority is no more. The sporting goods store folded earlier this year, and for the past few weeks all their assets have been up on the auction block. That included all their intellectual property, which was snapped up this week by competitor Dick’s Sporting Goods. And that now means that if you were a Sports Authority customer, Dick’s just bought your information.

[More]

(Mike Mozart)

Flaw In Target’s Wish List App Feature Can Expose Phone Numbers, Emails, Other Personal Info

There’s just something about the holiday season and Target that leaves customers’ personal information open for the taking. Two years after the retailer suffered a massive data breach affecting more than 100 million customers, another – albeit smaller – security flaw in the company’s mobile app has left the emails and phone numbers for some users vulnerable.  [More]

A&P Brand Names And Customer Data Are Up For Auction

A&P Brand Names And Customer Data Are Up For Auction

If you’ve always wanted to own the brand name of a venerable but defunct supermarket company, now is your opportunity. After A&P filed for bankruptcy for the second time in five years and the last time ever, the company is getting rid of the last of its assets. The leases and locations of individual stores were sold off to rival grocery chains, and now what’s left are brands, customer names, and e-mail addresses. [More]

Federal Data Breach Included 5.6M Compromised Fingerprints, Five Times The Original Estimate

Federal Data Breach Included 5.6M Compromised Fingerprints, Five Times The Original Estimate

Federal investigators underestimated the number of fingerprints stolen in a massive breach of the Office of Personnel Management earlier this year: the agency announced Wednesday that 5.6 million individuals’ finger prints were stolen, nearly five times the original estimate of 1.1 million compromised prints. [More]

Federal Data Breach Reportedly Affects An Additional 21 Million People

Federal Data Breach Reportedly Affects An Additional 21 Million People

Remember when it was announced that more than four million federal employees in the country were part of a massive data breach last month? Well, turns out that was just one of two rather large data breaches to hit the Office of Personnel Management, with the newly announced second, larger hack affecting upwards of 21 million current and former employees, as well as prospective employees, their families and others who applied for federal background investigations in the last 15 years. [More]

4 Million Federal Employees Are The Latest Victims Of A Massive Data Breach

4 Million Federal Employees Are The Latest Victims Of A Massive Data Breach

There are millions of federal employees in the country, and not just in Washington, DC. The government is a big bureaucracy and a big employer — and that makes it a nice, juicy target for a big data breach.

[More]

Anthem Says Data From As Far Back As 2004 Exposed During Hack, Offering Free Identity Theft Protection

Anthem Says Data From As Far Back As 2004 Exposed During Hack, Offering Free Identity Theft Protection

A week after health insurer Anthem announced that it was the latest victim of a security breach, the company revealed that hackers had access to tens of millions of customers’ data going back as far as 2004. [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]

Anthem

“Tens Of Millions” Of Personal Records Stolen In Hack On Health Insurance Company Anthem

Any data breach is bad, but the more personal they are — and the more widespread — the worse. And by both metrics, the hack just announced by major health insurer Anthem is particularly terrible.

[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]

WhatsApp Founder: Just Because Facebook Bought Us Doesn’t Mean We’re Selling Users Out

WhatsApp Founder: Just Because Facebook Bought Us Doesn’t Mean We’re Selling Users Out

Amidst concern from users and industry trade groups over private information changing hands between WhatsApp and its new overlords at Facebook, the wireless messaging service’s CEO and founder is attempting to assuage fears in a new blog post promising that the company won’t sell users out. [More]

Sony Confirms Yet Another Credit Card Data Breach

Sony Confirms Yet Another Credit Card Data Breach

As if it wasn’t bad enough that 10 million credit card numbers may be at risk due to a hacker’s takedown of PlayStation Network, Sony is also facing a data hemorrhage on another front. Sony Online Entertainment — maker of EverQuest — confirmed another data breach has left 12,700 non-U.S. credit card numbers and 10,700 bank account numbers exposed.

[More]

Two Facebook Apps To Help You Fight Back Against Facebook

Two Facebook Apps To Help You Fight Back Against Facebook

If you’re unhappy with the latest Facebook privacy settings but don’t want to kill your account completely, ReadWriteWeb has highlighted two services–both Facebook apps–that might give you back some control. They’re not perfect solutions, though. The Green Safe app scrapes all your data into a stand-alone tab that only your friends can access, but it also means a third-party developer will replace Facebook as your data holder (the app will use your data to serve ads as well). The Give Me My Data app lets you export all of your Facebook content so that you don’t lose anything if you disconnect your profile from Facebook’s pages.

[More]

American Express Keeps Emailing Sensitive Customer Info To A Random Stranger

American Express Keeps Emailing Sensitive Customer Info To A Random Stranger

We’re starting to think Amex doesn’t take this whole “data security” thing very seriously. First they confused a customer, and us, a few months ago with their random confirmation phone call, where they demanded a customer turn over bank account information over the phone without giving him a way to verify they were really Amex. Now a reader says the company has “for years” been sending him someone else’s account info via email, including the customer’s name and the last 5 digits of his account number. J.R. writes, “Seriously, I’ve seen better security on a video game forum.”