Wednesday, September 05, 2007

ISO panel reject proposed Microsoft standard

Here's the NYT report on the ISO panel rejecting Microsoft's efforts to have its open document format adopted as an international standard.

BMA call to halt e-record roll out

From William Heath: BMA call to halt e-record roll out

"An open letter to government from the doctor's association wants a stop to the roll out of summary care records until a review has taken place

The British Medical Association's (BMA) chair, Dr Hamish Meldrum, has called for a halt to further implementation of the NHS summary care record, beyond six early adopter sites, until an independent review has been completed.

In a letter to Ben Bradshaw, the minister responsible for the National Programme for IT (NPfIT), Dr Meldrum says that at a recent BMA meeting, doctors from primary and secondary care expressed their frustration with the programme and want a public enquiry to address problems."

Good for them.

Law Lord wants everyone on the DNA database

One of the Law Lords, Lord Justice Sedley, has called for everyone's DNA to be put on the national DNA database because the current collection of data is discriminatory.

"The present database in England and Wales holds details of 4m people who are guilty or cleared of a crime.

Lord Justice Sedley said this was indefensible and biased against ethnic minorities, and it would be fairer to include everyone, guilty or innocent."

This is the standard 'treat everyone the equally by treating them all badly' argument and it is disappointing to hear it from someone who should know better. The usual Schneier needles in data haystacks warnings naturally apply.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Biometric Dilemma

From Kim Cameron:

"Vision researcher Terrence E. Boult has identified what he calls the “Biometric dilemma” - the more we use biometrics the more likely they will be compromised and hence become useless for security.

This is a hugely important observation - the necessary starting point for all thinking about biometrics. I’d even call it a law.

Terrence was responding to a piece by Sean Convery that picked up on my post about reversing biometric templates. Terrence went on to call our attention to more recent work, including some that details the reversibility of fingerprint templates."