Whenever I am notified of yet another data breach, I typically receive a complimentary one-year enrollment in a credit monitoring service. Great, I think. Free is always best! However, the monitoring is truly of little consequence given that my personally identifiable information (PII) has slipped into cyber darkness once again. I feel a sense of disappointment as I think about how much the cyberspace landscape has changed over the last 40-plus years and how little our nation’s privacy laws have done to keep up with this digital transformation.
The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded nearly $3.7 million for three pilot projects that seek to fortify online financial transactions and enhance privacy protections for health care, government services, transportation and the Internet of Things.
The studies, awarded by the agency's National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) office, address specific cyber-based missions such as reducing tax refund theft, ensuring better protections of medical information, devising mobile ticketing solutions for use on mass transit and providing secure online data storage, according the agency.
In the days before digital, paper was the medium. To apply for a job, see a doctor, buy a refrigerator or get a loan, we filled out forms. These forms were then filed in a cabinet and, for the most part, forgotten. Privacy matters were a matter of how tenacious someone was about digging through piles of paper.
But the dawn of the digital age required a willingness to give up a bit of that privacy. We signed up for a few conveniences, like providing an email address, so we could send flowers or make a plane reservation via the Internet faster.
Encrypt tweets and send them to select groups or individuals with the scrambls app for the iPhone or iPad. The app gives you total control over your online privacy on Twitter. Simply tap tweets to instantly encrypt the text before it is sent to the cloud. Only select individuals defined at scrambls.com can read the posts. Your selected contacts need the app or the browser plug-in, and they will see the scrambled posts as clear text. Just change the group or individuals permitted to read a post based on the level of privacy you want to achieve.