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Friday, June 7, 2013

"Data flowing at the speed of trust"?

"Data flowing at the speed of trust"?

That statement was made last year by ONC chief Farzard Mostashari, extolling the promise of HIE (Health Information Exchange). Today, following a long, delayed trip back to Vegas from Orlando, I groggily arose to a total media shitstorm over new revelations regarding personal data apparently flowing to the National Security Agency (NSA) absent any private citizens' knowledge, consent, or "trust."

See my 2008 blog post Privacy and the 4th Amendment amid the "War on Terror"
"You have no privacy, anyway. Get over it."
- Scott McNealy, 1999

I've been studying and writing about privacy issues since grad school in the mid 1980's. I helped kill the original DARPA "Total Information Awareness" proposal. I served on the privacy and security task force for our Nevada HIE, HealtHIE Nevada. I know my HIPAA stuff. I know my 4th Amendment stuff.

Ironic to a significant degree, given that I am so public. Same website address since the 80's. I never post on blogs and news sites anonymously or using some untraceable handle. I'm pretty open.

Will have to watch how this NSA story develops.

MSNBC story link here
Bits of you are all over the Internet. If you've signed into Google and searched, saved a file in your Dropbox folder, made a phone call using Skype, or just woken up in the morning and checked your email, you're leaving a trail of digital crumbs. People who have access to this information — companies powering your emails and Web searches, advertisers who are strategically directing ads at you — can build a picture of who you are, what you like, and what you will probably do next. Revelations about government counter-terrorism programs such as PRISM indicate that federal agents and other operatives may use this data, too.

"Google knows what kinds of porn everyone in the world likes," Bruce Schneier, a security and cryptography expert told NBC News. Not only are companies tracking what you are doing, they are correlating it, he said.

Since news of PRISM broke, the leaders of the tech companies have denied knowledge of government access to their information. At Facebook, one of the world's biggest data collectors, Mark Zuckerberg posted a message that read: "When governments ask Facebook for data, we review each request carefully to make sure they always follow the correct processes and all applicable laws, and then only provide the information if is required by law.
But the law already permits quite a bit of digital sniffing — much of it without a warrant."...
Painting a picture of you
Gather all of these shreds of metadata, apply some algorithms that spot clues in patterns, and you can put together a pretty good idea of who a person is, and what they're up to.

For example, when a group from MIT analyzed location data from cellphones of 1.5 million people in a single country over 15 months, the team could identify individuals simply by knowing where they were on four separate occasions...
Back to health care, and Big Data analytics

I was driving back from the music store today, listening to NPR. They had a piece on the "Health Datapalooza" conference going on while I was at the LEI Lean Conference (mp3 audio embedded below). It featured the ever-so-interesting and garrulous AthenaHealth CEO Jonathan Bush (cousin of GWB).

Speaking of Big Healthcare Data and "trust"


We now have the next Bradley Manning

A British newspaper Sunday revealed the source of the leak revealing the NSA’s extensive surveillance of US communications.

Edward Snowden, a former CIA technical assistant who now works for a defense contractor with ties to the National Security Agency, asked the Guardian newspaper to reveal his identity.

“I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he told the newspaper in a remarkable, rambling interview that touched on his reasons for the leak, how he took precautions in not revealing documents that could harm particular people, how he became disillusioned, and how he expects his life as he knows it to end. “I don’t want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing.”

“I’m willing to sacrifice all of that because I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”...
There will be total bipartisan cohesion around making the story all about you, son.

USDOJ hasn't done squat about the trillions of dollars of Wall Street crimes in more than 4 years, but has gone after after this young man in less than 12 hours.


Below: just got this link from Jon Taplin:
On Monday, Barack Obama’s administration begins its court martial of Bradley Manning, the former US army private who uploaded hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. Reasonable people disagree on whether Mr Manning “aided the enemy” (as President Obama’s prosecutors allege) or is a hero for helping to educate us about Washington’s shadowy drone programme. Most are surprised the White House is demanding a life sentence four years after putting Mr Manning behind bars. In their view, Mr Obama is a self-confessed geek with Silicon Valley’s transparent “Do no evil” values. Yet he regularly betrays these with his “Nixonian” mania for secrecy...
...[W]hile big data brings innovation, it also has dangerous side effects. Culture is already pushing Americans towards “data nudism”. Such currents will only get more acute. Before long, it will be possible to map an individual’s genetic sequencing at an affordable price. No one will be forced to attach their genetic record to online dating profiles. But potential mates may assume that anyone who chooses not to is concealing a genetic disorder.

America’s middle classes are already in thrall to their often capricious credit scores – a determination that is notoriously hard to correct. In a world where the average home will have hundreds of sensors, and where ubiquitous tracking systems can intimately map an individual’s habits, the right to privacy could become an economic tool of survival. Already, US employers often demand a credit score, a drugs test and fingerprinting from many kinds of applicant. In the new digital world, the right to expunge past blemishes may turn into a rumbling civil struggle.
Should such futurology bother Mr Obama? Yes. A century ago, Theodore Roosevelt pushed back against the power of the rail barons and oil titans – the great technological disrupters of his day. Mr Obama should pay closer heed to history. And he should become wary of geeks bearing gifts.

May we live in interesting times, indeed. It will certainly be an interesting Beltway week.
Can't wait to hear what Michele Bachmann has to say about all of this.

More to come...

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