Thursday, February 7, 2013

DHS Unable To Define 'Homeland Security'

Department of Homeland Security Unable To Define 'Homeland Security' | Techdirt: "The problem with large government agencies is "feature creep." If given a broad enough area to cover, years of territorial expansion and absorption of "related" entities will render the agency nearly unrecognizable from its original form. Not only that, but any stated directive or focus will have been lost, abandoned or hopelessly mutated as well. If the government agency was crafted in "response" to a tragic event, the problem is both magnified and accelerated. As Wired reports, slightly more than a decade on from its formation, the Department of Homeland Security is having trouble defining the very thing it's in charge of. What is “homeland security?” The federal bureaucracy doesn’t know, and that’s problematic for a government that has been fighting the ill-defined “war on terror” following 9/11, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service. "

California AG has privacy recommendations for mobile industry - " . . . California's top law enforcement officer on Thursday issued a list of recommended "best practices" for app developers, advertising networks and others in the mobile Internet industry. The recommendations from Attorney General Kamala Harris are believed to be the first to come from a state-level official in this country, at a time when the industry and federal authorities are wrestling with growing concerns about the amount of personal data that is transmitted and shared when people play online games or use other services. "Obviously there are a lot of incentives for people to collect more data," said Lee Tien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, citing online businesses that gather consumers' personal data and then use it to deliver highly personalized services and advertising messages. "It's hard to say exactly what impact these recommendations will have, but I think they're pretty useful." In a 22-page report titled "Privacy on the Go," Harris urges app developers to consider measures that go beyond the state's legal requirement for online services to display a basic privacy policy to users. As an example, the report suggests creating brief notices that appear when consumers take certain actions, just before data is collected, so they can opt not to proceed. . . . "

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