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December 7, 2009

Inside Security News
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» Your data selling for $30 to $40 USD by US companies

What do you mean you don't live in the US. Do you not use any of these companies services over the Internet?

Want an insight to what US companies do with their customer data? Check the documents data retention policies, surveillance capabilities and lawful data-interception guides posted at cryptome.org [1]. In the UK we hope that the Data Protection Act protects us to a point, but we still have to pay to see what is held about us. An expensive exercise.

Any sight of Google's policies?

[1] Cryptome.org [2] http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/12/yahoo-spy-prices

June 9, 2009

Inside Security News
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is about »
» Handling Personal Data then Do You follow a Code?

If you are handling personal data then the BCS has put together the Personal Data Guardianship Code[1]. It lays out the responsibilities of organizations and people have when handling personal data. It is also a handbook for people who provide their information to services (e.g., online and forms etc).
At first glance it provides a better understanding of how to go through the processes associated with the data life span, as it is called. Its simple and clean layout and formatting shows that the target group is quite large and everyone should read it.
The Code also provides example where appropriate and help the reader understand a section slightly better.
As mentioned quite often by the BCS, on the site and in the document, the Code is not a legal document but a guideline and the users should refer to the relative legislation, e.g. Data Protection Act etc.

Links used:
[1] BCS, Personal Data Guardianship Code - http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=nav.10666

March 11, 2009
» Blog: Of statistics and a goat

First things first – the title of this blog posting is not meant to imply that a goat ate our homework. In fact, our homework is all present and correct and right here:

Glamlife web stats

(OK, so maybe not all present: The computer ate some of our data. Hopefully this should not happen again, and stats will be posted here regularly from now on.)

The title of this blog posting is, in fact, partially a reference to a strange and mysterious creature that has been seen on campus. Every week, we get an email in the Glamlife office, telling us how many students have filled in the National Student Survey so far. And every week, there are a few enigmatic words in there: “The goat will continue to visit lectures and foyers in a building near you.”

Some in depth research reveals that the Students’ Union has a new mascot. Gandolf the Goat (yes, with an ‘o’) has been selected as replacement for Gary the Glamorgan Badger. We’re not quite sure what to make of this goat – there have been rumours that he has already got into a scuffle with another mascot at a sports match (and won, of course). Meanwhile, the Students’ Union have sent us a few photos of a goat who looks very pleased with himself, and has a knack for posing…

Unfortunately, the Glamlife team have not yet had a chance to meet the goat in person. That honour is reserved mostly for final year students who have not yet filled in the National Student Survey. Gandolf is the last line of defence: When promos on Glamlife don’t do the trick, when news items are not read, emails and phone calls ignored, then Gandolf swoops in, like a furry superhero, and tries to get the message across. So, if you have not yet done so, please take ten minutes to fill in the National Student Survey. Or the goat will get you…