Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Informed Implied Consent

There are cameras everywhere.  There are the red light cameras that have become a point of contention and lawsuits.  Cameras in school zones to ensure speed is followed. Cameras on corners that are considered high risk areas, on police cars, soon on everyone as Google hope with Google glass.

If anyone thinks that there is any opportunity to retain a sense of "privacy" when in public think again. Well anyone think there is any opportunity to retain a sense of privacy in your own home think again.  From the NSA to Google  to your Internet provider, your phone provider to yourself, there is no sense of privacy in any one's lives.

You are monitored by every ad you click, every swipe of your card, every purchase you make - be it online or in real life.  Your credit report records and retains your entire life history, to every address you have lived at, every individual you have any relationship to is actually available on Internet searches.  That cousin you haven't seen in ages, they are on your credit history.

Your medical records are "destroyed" in 10 years but every visit, every diagnosis, drug or visit is still recorded and kept in insurance providers as they have no obligation to destroy said information. They are exempt from HIPAA and can do with what they want to sell your information or determine your insurance rates.

Cars now record all the data and they too are experimenting with internal cameras to record data.  So every nose pick and every song you sing along to will be recorded and shared when any one in law enforcement or your insurance desires so, no warrant necessary.

Implied consent. How many of you realize that law exists in your State?  And what does that mean to your rights and your right to privacy.  Many people think that is a good thing.  Think again. Your blood, your DNA can be taken without consent as it is implied by you simply having a driver license.

And while many think that it is a good thing and applies to those dangerous felons drunk drivers as of course anyone driving with any level of alcohol is a danger to society, yet gun owners not so much.  But I wonder how extensive that law applies to issues outside the realm of just driving.   As we are not known for keeping good boundaries here when it comes to law and disorder.

The definition of implied consent is of course full of legal bullshit that lawyers enjoy to include to somehow validate their "expertise"  and the fees that accompany said expertise.  And many people confuse it with informed consent of course another completely different legal term which applies to Hospitals and care and relates to the first article I have enclosed.

You can see a comprehensive definition here of implied consent and it is much broader than applying to driving.   As I believe,  many confuse the two and in turn think that they have somehow 'agreed' to standard operating procedures as it comes to utilizing public spaces, they don't realize there are inherent legal differences as they apply to different situations and circumstances.

**Note: Yes I am not a lawyer I get it I really do but in reality most laws are written by not Lawyers either and the ones that are explain the gibberish in which to further obfuscate and confuse. 


I suspect that implied will be the predominant justification along with the Patriot Act that have permitted the Government to spy and and keep personal data on its citizens; it is what Google et al, I assume,  uses to somehow retain our personal data as we sign these "agreements" to use the service for which we do or do not pay.   And you know you get what you pay for and you signed it you bought it.  Right?   Did you even read it?  Don't worry our Legislators rarely read the bills that the Lobbyists write for them either.

In reality when you read a contract you can have the option to opt out or rewrite that clause or have it entirely omitted if both parties agree.  I am not sure Apple, Verizon or Comcast are willing to negotiate with me on that part where they sell, give or trade my data.  Then in more legalese we wave our right to collective sue aka class action as we agree to mediate with of course mediators/arbitrators paid for and often are former employees of the industry.  Mediation anyone? 

And today I include not one but two more articles with regards to cameras, observing you, your family and those around you.  Ostensibly of course it is to protect you.  I doubt it.  Remember they can edit, revise and remove any portion the "owner" "provider" deems appropriate.  National security, trade secrets or just cause they can.  Right now Police Officers can turn on or off those microphones they wear and the dash cams are utterly useless when cars are parked sufficient distance away, how convenient.   Just ask Richard Nixon about those 18 minutes.

I have found not one but two articles with regards to how extensive the violation of privacy is now endemic.

I look of course first to the hospital and think this would be fantastic it might actually force the medical "professionals" to do their job.  Undoubtedly with the  Nurses station being under the lens I can only imagine what those bitches would be caught not doing.  I would actually pay for a live feed for the hideous women and men at Harborview Hospital to see the level of incompetence that I have only read in the records.    I have no doubt those horrible people would learn film editing at the same level they have cut and paste.

The other is the LED bulbs they are installing in Airports. Again I see the need for the security purposes and given that TSA has had no problems violating rights and privacy and mocking you while doing so,  this should add a new level to stop and frisk while waiting for your double latte at Starbucks.    I am sure they will need no knock, no warning, no boarding pass, no nothing to remove you and question you for "looking" suspicious. 

The crazy right wing set frequently use the analogy of Nazi Germany when anytime they hear about income inequity or Obama.  Well they have it half right, it has become a nation of spy vs spy.  But it has become more akin to East Germany post war and Stasi and of course also Russia. And to think we are all upset over Putin and "his" Olympics.  What.Ever.

A Watchful Eye in Hospitals      

FEB. 16, 2014

HANOVER, N.H. — DESPITE the intensely personal moments that happen in hospitals, patient privacy can be elusive. Hospitals are multimillion-dollar corporations that look like shopping malls and function like factories. Doctors knock on exam room doors to signal they are about to enter — not to ask permission. The curtain that encircles the hospital bed always lets in a crack of light.

Yet we do expect some degree of privacy in hospitals. We trust doctors with our secrets in part because they take a 2,000-year-old Hippocratic oath to respect our privacy, an oath enforced by laws like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. (HIPA)   But sometimes, doctors have to weigh patients’ privacy against their health and safety, and that’s when things get complicated.

The use of video monitoring — covert or disclosed, of patients or providers — has proliferated as high-quality, inexpensive technology has become increasingly accessible. The possibilities range from watching elderly patients at risk of falling in their rooms to recording doctors and nurses at sinks to make sure they’re washing their hands.

My hospital, where I am chairman of the bioethics committee, recently wrestled with the question of where patient and family privacy ends. Nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit (N.I.C.U.) worried that a premature infant, whom I’ll call Rickie to protect his identity, was being harmed by his parents.

Rickie had been released a week earlier from our hospital to a penniless couple in their early 20s whom Child Protection Services was already investigating on charges of neglecting their other children. Days later, Rickie’s mother brought him to the emergency room, telling the nurse that the baby couldn’t breathe

In the N.I.C.U., Rickie improved quickly, and a medical evaluation found no cause for his difficulty in breathing. But the next day, alerted by the squawking of an oxygen monitor, nurses and doctors ran in to find Rickie spluttering and blue. His mother was leaning over him. “See, it happened again,” she said.

A pattern emerged. Each time arrangements were made for his discharge, the alarms would ring in Rickie’s room and he would be found gasping for air. Nurses noticed Rickie’s breathing problems occurred only when Rickie was alone with his mother, and never in the presence of a nurse.

Concerned about child abuse, the N.I.C.U. doctor proposed mounting a small digital camera in an unobtrusive corner of Rickie’s room. “I don’t like snooping,” she said, “but we have a duty to protect that little boy.” Not everybody agreed. A senior nurse worried, “How can patients trust us if they realize we are spying on them?”

Patients admitted to our hospital, like other hospitals, receive a written privacy policy stating that personal health information may be shared for medical reasons and “to report abuse or neglect to the appropriate state agencies.” Our privacy policy does not, however, warn patients about the use of video or any other specific monitoring technology.

Some uses of surveillance in hospitals are clearly controversial. Nurses in a Los Angeles hospital protested in 2004 that their privacy was violated when hospital officials installed hidden security cameras, including in nursing locker rooms, after a spate of burglaries. In this case, covert videotaping did not seem justified, especially if other means of ensuring security were available.

After doctors in a Veterans Affairs hospital in Tampa, Fla., secretly monitored the family of a brain-damaged patient, the decision was condemned by the chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, Representative Jeff Miller, Republican of Florida. . He subsequently proposed legislation that would “protect the sacred trust” between providers, patients and families from covert video.

Other uses of monitoring are less contentious. Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut conducts video monitoring for patients deemed at risk of falling. Nebraska Medical Center developed an unrecorded video-monitoring system for high-risk patients, such as those on suicide watch. Rhode Island Hospital was required to install recording equipment in operating rooms after multiple mistakes in surgery. And one company, Arrowsight, has developed video-auditing technology to monitor clinician hand-hygiene practices at sinks and safety and cleanliness in operating rooms. These all seem like thoughtful uses.

Protecting children is a well-established justification for video surveillance. In a 2000 study, Georgia physicians reported that covert video monitoring diagnosed far more cases of Munchausen syndrome by proxy — in which parents fake illness in their children — than usual diagnostic testing.

At my hospital, the ethics team decided it would be acceptable to secretly monitor Rickie’s room if other methods, like confronting the parents, failed to ensure Rickie’s safety. A few days later, Rickie’s mother confessed to neglect, and to holding a pillow over his face to keep him from returning home. We never had to videotape Rickie’s room, and he now awaits placement in a safer home.

Hidden cameras should be a last resort. Hospitals should notify patients that covert video monitoring may be used in unusual circumstances, and only with the oversight of a hospital ethics committee. Institutions should then track the use of covert video monitoring to ensure that it remains rare and appropriate, while letting hospitals marshal technology to protect our most vulnerable patients.

At Newark Airport, the Lights Are On, and They’re Watching You

FEB. 17, 2014

Visitors to Terminal B at Newark Liberty International Airport may notice the bright, clean lighting that now blankets the cavernous interior, courtesy of 171 recently installed LED fixtures. But they probably will not realize that the light fixtures are the backbone of a system that is watching them.

Using an array of sensors and eight video cameras around the terminal, the light fixtures are part of a new wireless network that collects and feeds data into software that can spot long lines, recognize license plates and even identify suspicious activity, sending alerts to the appropriate staff.

The project is still in its early stages, but executives with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, are already talking about expanding it to other terminals and buildings.

To customers like the Port Authority, the systems hold the promise of better management of security as well as energy, traffic and people. But they also raise the specter of technology racing ahead of the ability to harness it, running risks of invading privacy and mismanaging information, privacy advocates say.

Hugh Martin, chief executive of Sensity Systems, says “there is a lot of value, I think, if we do it right, to this information.” Peter DaSilva for The New York Times

Fred H. Cate, director of the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research at Indiana University, described the potential for misuse as “terrifying.”

His concern derived not from the technology itself but from the process of adopting it, driven by, he said, “that combination of a gee-whiz technology and an event or an opportunity that makes it affordable.” As a result, he said, there was often not enough thought given to what data would actually be useful and how to properly manage it.

At Newark Airport, the Port Authority will own and maintain the data it collects. For now, it says, no other agencies have access to it, and a law enforcement agency can obtain it only through a subpoena or written request.

What began as a way to help governments and businesses save energy by automatically turning lights on and off has become an expanding market for lights, sensors and software capable of capturing and analyzing vast amounts of data about the habits of ordinary citizens.

The light fixtures are outfitted with special chips and connect to sensors, cameras and one another over a wireless network. Data that is collected — say, a particular car pulling up to the terminal — can then be mined and analyzed for a broad range of applications. Systems like the Port Authority’s, developed by a company called Sensity Systems, could soon be more widely available. Under a recent agreement, Amerlux, a leading lighting manufacturer, will start using the technology in its LED fixtures.

“We are opening up an entirely new area in lighting applications and services,” said Chuck Campagna, Amerlux’s chief executive, “including video-based security and public safety, parking management, predictive maintenance and more.”

Other companies, including giants like Cisco Systems and Philips, are racing to grab a share of that market.

Las Vegas is testing a street lighting system that can broadcast sound, and plans to use it mainly to control lighting and play music or to issue security alerts at a pedestrian mall.

Copenhagen is installing 20,000 streetlamps as part of a system that could eventually control traffic, monitor carbon dioxide levels and detect when garbage cans are full. Other government agencies and businesses have begun replacing thousands of lighting fixtures with LEDs, mainly to cut costs.

The trend is expected to accelerate as the fixtures become cheaper and more sophisticated. Navigant Consulting, a firm based in Chicago, has estimated that cities’ interest will prompt more than $100 billion in spending on the technology over the next 10 years.

“More and more what we’re seeing is decision-makers choosing networked lighting controls not just for the energy benefits but for a whole host of nonenergy benefits,” said Jesse Foote, a lighting industry analyst at Navigant.

Sensity’s technology, for example, would allow light fixtures and sensors to pinpoint a gunshot, sense an earthquake or dangerous gas, or spot a person stopping at various cars in a parking lot.

Some cities already have more targeted sensors, like the ShotSpotter gunshot location system in use by more than 70 American cities, including Boston, Milwaukee and San Francisco. But the Sensity network can bring them together through existing light fixtures.

The system could, once software is developed, also make shopping more convenient — a potential boon for malls losing business to the Internet. Sensing a shopper pulling into a parking lot, the system could send an alert to a smartphone, showing empty spaces, or a coupon.

“We see outdoor lighting as the perfect infrastructure to build a brand new network,” said Hugh Martin, Sensity’s chief executive. “We felt what you’d want to use this network for is to gather information about people and the planet.”
added that the Sensity network is encrypted and “supersecure.”' -- I can't wait to get my hands on this. I'm sure...

“There are some people in the commercial space who say, ‘Oh, big data — well, let’s collect everything, keep it around forever, we’ll pay for somebody to think about security later,’ ” said Justin Brookman, who studies consumer privacy at the Center for Democracy and Technology. “The question is whether we want to have some sort of policy framework in place to limit that.”

Even those developing the technology acknowledge the concerns.

“I’m not saying that I know the exact balance point, but there is a lot of value, I think, if we do it right, to this information,” Mr. Martin said, whether that value is heightening security or helping stores compete with Amazon.

His company has a board that includes Heather Zichal, President Obama’s former energy and climate change adviser, and former Representative Richard A. Gephardt to help figure out the implications of the technology.

“I just think we need to be very thoughtful about the positives and the negatives,” Mr. Martin said. He added that the Sensity network is encrypted and “supersecure.”

In Las Vegas, officials say they are not interested in using the video and audio surveillance capabilities of the system they are testing, called Intellistreets, and are instead looking at the use of audio broadcasting to enhance ambience and safety in public areas.

In Copenhagen, the emphasis is on efficiency, said Eric Dresselhuys, an executive vice president of Silver Spring Networks, which designed the network to connect that system.

Executives say the potential for the advanced lighting is nearly boundless.

“No one really wanted the smartphone 20 years ago because they didn’t know they could have it,” said Fred Maxik, founder and chief technology officer of Lighting Science Group, which manufactures LEDs. “And I think the same is true of lighting today: No one knows what lighting is going to be capable of.”

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