UC Berkeley


Report warns of ‘web bugs’ and privacy violations

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Information has released a report showing that the most popular Web sites in the United States all share data with their corporate affiliates and allow third parties to collect information directly by using tracking beacons known as “Web bugs” – despite the sites’ claims that they don’t share user data with third parties.  Read the announcement [berkeley.edu].  Download the full report [knowprivacy.org].

The Berkeley breach: Is SaaS the answer?

By Don Leatham

One recent Friday afternoon I took time off to visit two new health providers:  a new dentist (nearer my home) and an orthopedic (to look at my lateral epicondylitis).  In both cases, as a new patient, I filled in page after page of medical history and personal information, including my Social Security Number.   I did pause, but I have to admit I wrote it down both times (I’ve grown weary of the discussions/arguments that ensue if I don’t – I’ve even been denied service from a healthcare provider who felt my SSN was their only tool, should I decide not to pay).


The massive UC Berkeley data breach reported last week exposed the sensitive health information of more than 160,000 Berkeley students, alumni and others who used the school’s health system. Berkeley officials said that the breach did not expose the victims’ treatment information, an assertion that is leaving some security experts wondering exactly what constitutes sensitive data.

Hackers had access to a database for about six months at the University of California at Berkeley and stole health-related data on more than 160,000 students and other people who used the school’s health services center. College officials said that the attack on the health center’s database was discovered last month and that they are just now beginning to notify the affected people.

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