Macy’s brings iBeacon technology to stores nationwide

macys_shopBeaconMacy’s, Inc. has announced it will implement iBeacon technology in 4,000 of their department stores nationwide. With this technology Macy’s will soon be able to personalize the shopping experience for its customers in real time. The company will place mobile-location based devices in its department stores to deliver personalized discounts, product recommendations, and rewards to shoppers via their smartphones.

The technology will be implemented in early Fall 2014, but by Spring of 2015, the department store says it will be able to offer more tailored discounts.

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Abine believes companies should compete on privacy: now Apple does too

abine_apple_privacyAbine, the online privacy company, started with the belief that people want, deserve, and will pay for the ability to control their data and digital identity online. Apple is starting to catch on (but not Google – and not yet Microsoft or Amazon). At Abine we believe both startups and large incumbent technology powerhouses will be competing on privacy: which companies can we the people trust with the increasing amount of data we all generate? The market for data is huge – $100bn or more – and the market to protect data will be similarly large. Apple will continue to profit and take market share from competitors if they further embrace privacy as a differentiator and follow in Abine’s footsteps. Read More

Home Depot investigating massive data breach

home_depot_breachUPDATE: Home Depot confirms 56 million credit cards compromised in hack from April to September of this year.

Home Depot may be the source of a massive new batch of stolen credit and debit cards. Brian Krebs, the security reporter who uncovered the Target data breach, broke the story Tuesday afternoon, reporting all 2,200 Home Depot stores may have been affected.

The number of cards obtained have yet to be confirmed, but reports say it’s likely the breach affected more than the 40 million cards affected in Target’s breach late last year. Home Depot has more retail stores nationwide than Target, and the breach may have gone on for much longer than the three weeks that Target stores were under attack.

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Does Google have the right to scan user emails?

GoogleScansEmailsJohn Henry Skillern, 41, has been charged with possessing child pornography, after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip from Google. While it’s clear that the end result of this is positive – he’s being prosecuted for the heinous crime he’s committed – we have to ask, do email platforms have the right to scan user emails if it helps to combat crime? 

Technically, whether or not they have the “right” depends on the terms of service between the user and that service as well as the laws governing that country. In the US, this is a complicated issue due to other US Federal laws that compel ISPs to help combat child pornography.

But that’s the technical legal point of view. The bigger picture is around society’s expectations around the privacy of their use of the Internet. Despite the horrific nature of these specific crimes, I don’t think Google has the “right” to scan user’s information. Read More

Over One Billion Passwords Served

stolen_loginsIt was recently reported in the New York Times that a criminal gang in Russia has a massive collection of usernames, passwords, and email addresses.  It’s truly a massive collection of user information, over one billion usernames and passwords and over 500 million email addresses.

Let’s dig into the details… Read More