Data loss prevention software

Data loss prevention software – theory. Symantec DLP – implementation.

Data loss/leak prevention solution is a system that is designed to detect potential data breach / data ex-filtration transmissions and prevent them by monitoring, detecting and blocking sensitive data while in-use (endpoint actions), in-motion (network traffic), and at-rest (data storage). In data leakage incidents, sensitive data is disclosed to unauthorized personnel either by malicious intent or inadvertent mistake. Such sensitive data can come in the form of private or company information, intellectual property (IP), financial or patient information, credit-card data, and other information depending on the business and the industry.

Safe display of external images in Gmail

Official Gmail Blog lets us know that the latest update to Gmail now safely shows external images.  Most other email programs and services disable image show by default, because these can either contain all kinds of malware, or they can be used for tracking.  Gmail solves it now by downloading those images and serving them to users from its own servers.

But thanks to new improvements in how Gmail handles images, you’ll soon see all images displayed in your messages automatically across desktop, iOS and Android. Instead of serving images directly from their original external host servers, Gmail will now serve all images through Google’s own secure proxy servers.

So what does this mean for you? Simple: your messages are more safe and secure, your images are checked for known viruses or malware, and you’ll never have to press that pesky “display images below” link again. With this new change, your email will now be safer, faster and more beautiful than ever.

I’m not the biggest fan of HTML emails, but since I have not much choice in this area, I’d rather receive emails with images – at least I won’t be trying to make sense of empty layouts with no text anymore.

Facebook Android app update is insane …

… even for me.  I’ve been saying for a while that the privacy is pretty much dead, but this new update of Facebook Android app is asking for way too may permissions even for my taste.  Some of the things that it “needs” now are: access to make phone calls without user intervention, accessing information about other running applications, and drawing over other applications’ screens, so you won’t even know anymore who is responsible for what you are seeing.

When I got an update notification, I thought, at first, that that was a mistake of some sort or a really late and lame April 1st joke.  Albeit it’s not.  Even Slashdot runs the story.

For now, I’ll hold the old version.  Maybe Facebook will rectify this new change.  If not, then I’ll get rid of it and go back to Twitter and, possibly, Google+.

Police can film people without consent under certain circumstances

POLICE may film or take photographs or people without consent under conditions to be specified by the attorney-general, justice minister Loucas Louca said yesterday.

“Following a meeting with the commissioner for the protection of personal data, the attorney-general, the police chief and I, it was decided that the police may video-record people under certain circumstances,” Louca said.

Debunking “If you have nothing to hide …” argument

I am quite a publicly open person.  There are very few things about me, which are not published online or which I am not open to discuss with strangers.  So one could say that I am not much concerned about my privacy.  Given that, and the recent advance in technology – photo and video cameras, storage space, centralized database, and search – I do often say that the privacy is dead.  Some people hate it, some people like it, yet others are neutral.  But I see it more as a fact, rather than a distant future possibility.  And that often gets me into discussions about privacy with people who fill different.

Since I don’t really care much about it, I might have used the “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear” argument.  Not because I strongly believe it, but because I think this is the case most of the time.  Today I came across an article that provides a few reasons for why that is a dangerous argument to use.  And I have to say that it made me think and agree with a few points that it raises.

It’s not you who determine if you have something to fear: You may consider yourself law-abidingly white as snow, and it won’t matter a bit. What does matter is whether you set off the red flags in the mostly-automated surveillance, where bureaucrats look at your life in microscopic detail through a long paper tube to search for patterns. When you stop your car at the main prostitution street for two hours every Friday night, the Social Services Authority will draw certain conclusions from that data point, and won’t care about the fact that you help your elderly grandmother – who lives there – with her weekly groceries. When you frequently stop at a certain bar on your way driving home from work, the Department of Driving Licenses will draw certain conclusions as to your eligibility for future driving licenses – regardless of the fact that you think they serve the world’s best reindeer meatballs in that bar, and never had had a single beer there. People will stop thinking in terms of what is legal, and start acting in self-censorship to avoid being red-flagged, out of pure self-preservation.

I still think that the privacy is dead.  And it’s still not a big issue for me.  But I do understand people who worry about it a bit better now.

When Art, Apple and the Secret Service Collide: ‘People Staring at Computers’

This is a rather lengthy story, but it touches on many different topics – art, privacy, Apple, law, government, and more.  And even though it is long, it is very well written and is absolutely worth the time.

Later that year I worked with interactive artist Theo Watson on an extension of “Important Things,” called “Happy Things,” which took a screenshot every time you smiled, and uploaded it to the web. We got pictures from all around the world, with people smiling at everything, from cat memes to the Wikipedia article for Nicholas Cage.

Sometimes this kind of work is associated with “human-computer interaction,” but this term makes it sound like we’re interacting with computers, when in fact, most of the time, we’re interacting with each other. I like to think of it as “computer-mediated interaction.”

In mid-May, 2011, I took a timelapse using my laptop’s webcam to get a feeling for how I looked at the computer. After a few days of recording, I watched the video.

I was completely stunned.

There was no expression on my face. Even though I spend most of my day talking to and collaborating with other people online, from my face you can see no trace of this.