A new report on the ‘Database State’ has argued that many of Britain’s public sector databases are inefficient, invasive of privacy and vulnerable to legal challenge. The study was commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust and undertaken by members of the Foundation for Information Policy Research, including IdentiNet member Ross Anderson (Security Engineering, University of Cambridge). The report suggests that 11 of the 46 largest central databases are illegal under human rights or data protection laws (a further 29 are given an ‘amber light’), and makes a range of new recommendations for the collection and management of personal data and the development of government IT systems. Here’s the report and the executive summary, while Ross has also blogged some conclusions at The Guardian‘s Liberty Central. Picture: Chris Campbell/flickr (CC)
Archive for March, 2009
Tags: Britain, Civil Liberties, Legal Frameworks, Policy, Privacy, Registration, Surveillance, technology
The Second Multidisciplinary Workshop on Identity in the Information Society (IDIS 09), to be held at the London School of Economics on 9 June 2009, has just issued its final call for papers on the timely theme of ‘Identity and the Impact of Technology’. The workshop will explore ‘the relationship between the ways in which identity and technology have mutually shaped each other’, and will feature a keynote address from IdentiNet lead investigator Edward Higgs (History, University of Essex). For more information visit the conference website; the deadline for the submission of papers is 9 April 2009.
Tags: Crime, Identity Theft, Imposture
The ‘1st International Conference on Villains and Villainy’ will be held at Mansfield College, Oxford on 19-21 September 2009. Papers are requested on ‘all aspects of villains and villainy’, and the proposed theme on ‘incarnations of the villainous’ would surely be incomplete without a liberal sprinkling of tricksters, impostors and identity thieves, in particular new readings of cause célébres such as the affair of the Tichborne Claimant (pictured). The deadline for 300-word abstracts is 17 April 2009; for full details and submission instructions see H-Net or the conference website. Picture: Public Domain
Tags: Biometrics, Fingerprinting, Security, technology
The ’3rd International Conference on Bio-inspired Systems and Signal Processing (BIOSIGNALS)’ will take place in Valencia on 20-23 January 2010. The event will bring together researchers from biology, medicine, engineering and other physical sciences, and papers are requested on a range of applications used fpr identification including biometrics, pattern recognition and speech recognition. The deadline for the submission of full papers is 21 July 2009; for further details and submission instructions, see H-Net or the conference website.
Tags: Civil Liberties, France, Policing, Registration
IdentiNet member Pierre Piazza has contributed to an article entitled ‘Le Stic, un fichier mal fichu’, recently published in the French daily newspaper Libération. It assesses the reliability and privacy implications of the Système de Traitement des Infractions Constatées (STIC), a police database containing the details of 8.7% of the French population (or 5.5 million people). Picture: stock.xchng
Tags: Civil Liberties, Identity Theft, Security, technology
A new collection of essays on ‘Ethical Issues in E-Business: Models and Frameworks’ is seeking contributions. The book will be edited by Daniel E. Palmer (Kent State University) and published by IGI Global in 2010 as part of their Advances in E-Business Research series, and aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the ethical issues associated with the expanding world of online transactions. Proposals are invited on a range of themes relevant to the network, including consumer identification, tracking techniques, data mining, privacy, and online security. The deadline for 2-3 page chapter proposals is 20 March 2009; for full details and submission instructions, see H-Net.
Tags: Forensics, Registration
As we flagged last month, IdentiNet member Pierre Piazza has recently published an article on ‘Le mythe de l’infaillibilité’ in the online French journal Médiapart, in which he explores the worrying prevalence of human and technical errors in the history of identification, registration and scientific policing. The earlier link required subscription, but they have kindly allowed him to reproduce a full-text version here (pdf). Picture: stock.xchng