Foley’s group lists more than 79 million records reported compromised in the United States through Dec. 18. That’s a nearly fourfold increase from the nearly 20 million records reported in all of 2006.
Another group, Attrition.org, estimates more than 162 million records compromised through Dec. 21 – both in the U.S. and overseas, unlike the other group’s U.S.-only list. Attrition reported 49 million last year.
“It’s just the nature of business, that moving forward, more companies are going to have more records, so there will be more records compromised each year,” said Attrition’s Brian Martin. “I imagine the total records compromised will steadily climb.”
This was on Slashdot today and in the NYTimes.
In the absence of strong protections for employees, poorly chosen words or even a single photograph posted online in one’s off-hours can have career-altering consequences. Stacy Snyder, 25, who was a senior at Millersville University in Millersville, Pa., offers an instructive example. Last year, she was dismissed from the student teaching program at a nearby high school and denied her teaching credential after the school staff came across her photograph on her MySpace profile. She filed a lawsuit in April this year in federal court in Philadelphia contending that her rights to free expression under the First Amendment had been violated. No trial date has been set.
Sometimes what they find is unsettling. But in the emerging communities of the genetically rare, more often it is sustaining.
For three families, the impulse to find others in the same situation was immediate.
A few months before the Lanes crossed the state to meet Taygen’s chromosomal cousin, Jennie Dopp, a mother in Utah, was scouring the Internet for families with “7q11.23,” the diagnosis that explained her son’s odd behavior and halting speech.
“I want someone to say ‘I know what you mean,’” Ms. Dopp told her husband, “and really mean it.”
Noa Ospenson’s parents flew from Boston to South Carolina for a meeting of 100 families with children who, like Noa, are also “22q13.” Hoping for more information about their daughter’s diagnosis, they emerged as lifetime members of what they call “Noa’s tribe.”
For each of them, a genetic mutation became the foundation for a new form of kinship.
“The proposed Australian ‘Access Card’, a universal ID that would be required for any Australian wishing to use Medicare, Centrelink, the Child Support Agency, or Veterans’ Affairs, has been scrapped by the incoming Rudd Labor Government. The card would have contained an RFID tag with the person’s name, date of birth, gender, address, signature, card number, card expiration date, and Medicare number, but there were also provisions to add more personal data later on. It seems that Rudd Labor is not eager to copy the American REAL ID Act.“
From the Ars Technica article:
Encrypted information contained within the card’s RFID chip would have included a person’s legal name, date of birth, gender, address, signature, card number, card expiration date, and Medicare number. Provisions were also included that would allow additional information deemed to be necessary for either “the administration or purposes of the Act.”
The Australian Privacy Foundation was one of the main groups behind the opposition to the plan.
A friend of mine sent me this article. Granted it is from a website with a left leaning perspective – it draws on information from UN, US and other government agencies from around the globe. I am posting it because sometimes I think we forget we live on a planet, with weather, that grows food.
Severe Food Shortages, Price Spikes Threaten World Population
Worldwide food prices have risen sharply and supplies have dropped this year, according to the latest food outlook of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. The agency warned December 17 that the changes represent an ³unforeseen and unprecedented² shift in the global food system, threatening billions with hunger and decreased access to food.
The FAO¹s food price index rose by 40 percent this year, on top of the already high 9 percent increase the year before, and the poorest countries spent 25 percent more this year on imported food. The prices for staple crops, including wheat, rice, corn and soybeans, all rose drastically in 2007, pushing up prices for grain-fed meat, eggs and dairy products and spurring inflation throughout the consumer food market.
Driving these increases are a complex range of developments, including rapid urbanization of populations and growing demand for food stuffs in key developing countries such as China and India, speculation in the commodities markets, increased diversion of feedstock crops into the production of biofuels, and extreme weather conditions and other natural disasters associated with climate change.
Because of the long-term and compounding nature of all of these factors, the problems of rising prices and decreasing supplies in the food system are not temporary or one-time occurrences, and cannot be understood as cyclical fluctuations in supply and demand.
The world reserves of cereals are dwindling. In the past year, wheat stores declined 11 percent. The FAO notes that this is the lowest level since the UN began keeping records in 1980, while the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reported that world wheat stocks may have fallen to 47-year lows. By FAO figures, the falloff in wheat stores equals about 12 weeks worth of global consumption.