Wednesday, 23 February 2011


Renewal Applications Lost By UK Passport Office

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) breached the Data Protection Act by losing the passport renewal applications of 21 individuals, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said.

The loss occurred in May 2010 at the passport office that was responsible for processing the applications and the ICO was subsequently informed of the mishap. The missing details included the personal data of both the applicants and their counter signatories. All of the individuals affected were informed and offered new passports and no complaints have been received. IPS is unaware of any damage having been caused as a result of the loss.

According to Mick Gorrill, Head of Enforcement at the ICO, there is no evidence of applications falling into the wrong hands. The Identity and Passport Service is also taking steps to stop such happenings in the future.

A full copy of the undertaking can be viewed here: http://www.ico.gov.uk



UK Chip Maker Buys Zoran for $679 Million

UK microchip maker CSR has bought Silicon Valley chip-maker Zoran for $679 million. The merger will enable CSR to better compete in the consumer electronics market, says the company.

Dr. Levy Gerzberg, co-founder, president, CEO and director of Zoran, said: "With this transaction, we can leverage the world class technology, talent and resources of two great companies and create compelling opportunities for our customers, employees and consumers".



FPC and SMIC Collaborate to Bring the World's Smallest and Most Power-Efficient Fingerprint Sensor to China

Fingerprint Cards FPC), a leading provider of fingerprint sensors, and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), the largest and most advanced foundry in China, have jointly announced that the companies will work in collaboration to bring FPC1080A, the world's smallest and most power-efficient fingerprint swipe sensor optimized for mobile phones and tablets, to the China market.

FPC1080A, is extremely small, has uniquely low power consumption and offers world-leading image quality with a resolution of 508 dpi. The chip combines FPC's well-known quality with ease of integration, making it the ideal sensor for high-volume devices such as mobile phones, laptops, smart cards and USB keys. The FPC1080A has integrated hardware support for finger navigation, which enables the sensor to be used as navigation device to replace joysticks or other similar navigation systems.

Fingerprint Cards and SMIC have agreed to work together in China to promote the swipe sensor and FPC's existing area sensor products, as well as to further penetrate the fingerprint-sensor market. The two companies and HST, FPC's distributor in China, will work closely together to bring the next-generation swipe sensor products to the China market.



Deloitte Report Examines Potential Risks of Privacy and Security Breaches of Personal Healthcare Data

A new report, "Privacy and Security in Health Care: A Fresh Look," released by the Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions, identifies the risks associated with privacy and security breaches in health care. The report offers guidance about preparedness for health plans, life science organisations and health information technology solutions providers, as well as federal and state health agencies, to help minimise potential privacy and security threats as health reform drives increased exchange of online health information.

According to Paul Keckley, executive director of the Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions, "as the health care industry transitions to wide-spread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), clinical data warehousing, home monitoring and remote medicine, there may be greater probability of data breaches, potentially resulting in data fraud and medical identity theft". Medical fraud has become a serious worldwide issue, and 67% of consumers interviewed believe fraud has a major influence on driving up the overall cost of healthcare.

The Deloitte report identifies some of the reasons why preparedness for privacy and security risk is inadequate at some health care organisations, including lack of internal resources (human resources and capital), lack of internal control over patient information, lack of upper management support, outdated policies and procedures or non-adherence to existing ones and inadequate personnel training.

"The cost of a security breach can be damaging not only to a company's bottom line, but also to the reputation of its brand", added Russ Rudish, vice chairman and U.S. health care provider industry leader, Deloitte LLP.

Reflecting the importance of safeguarding consumers' personal health information, the Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions 2010 Consumer Survey found that while more than half (57 percent) of consumers want access to an online PHR connected to their doctor's office, one-third (33 percent) are concerned about privacy and security of an online PHR.



Google Delivers Gingerbread Update

Google has released an update of its latest Android operating system - Gingerbread. The system now offers added NFC functionality, enabling users to write as well as read NFC tags.

The new feature means people can create their own tags, encoding them with information they write on their phones. For instance, they could put contact information, URLs that link to mobile websites or other small amounts of other text on the tags.

The update is available for download to owners of Google's first Android NFC phone, the Nexus S.

Gingerbread, however, still does not support NFC's card-emulation mode, which would enable users to tap their phones just like contactless cards. This would allow for payment, ticketing, access control and other secure applications, which could be stored on embedded chips or SIMs in the phones.



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