September 12th, 2017

Equifax Dumpster Fire

Brian Krebs called it a dumpster fire, and I agree. I can’t add any facts to Krebs’ report on the Equifax breach. It happened, and it is bad. The current number of people said to be affected is 176 million and I doubt that number is final. Equifax’s response has not been good.

Self-dealing response […]

April 22nd, 2017

Network Service Providers and Privacy

Advertising runs on data. It always has. Long before programmatic ads and algorithms, we saw Mercedes-Benz ads in Fortune and Chevy ads in Mechanix Illustrated. Some clever guy had figured out that Fortune readers and Mechanix Illustrated readers bought different cars. The success of an advertising outlet has always depended on the outlet’s generation of […]

April 3rd, 2017

Checklist to Avoid the Next Cayla Doll

The Cayla doll story is frightening. The unintended consequences of a clever child’s toy amount to an invasion of child privacy. I expect more such stories. Devices now in homes don’t just offer entertainment and convenience. They can also open doors to corporate and criminal intrusion. TV’s, refrigerators, along with our phones and laptops can […]

February 22nd, 2017

Cayla, A Living Doll from the Twilight Zone

Cayla, a computer driven talking doll, uses technology similar to that behind Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, Apple’s Siri, and Google Home to construct a toy that simulates a living friend for a child. Unfortunately, some believe that Cayla may be the embodiment of the murderous Talky Tina of the fifty-year-old episode of The Twilight Zone, […]