Walmart might watch your face while you shop to address problems fast

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Wal­mart filed a patent for video tech­nol­o­gy to track cus­tomers’ facial expres­sions as they shop, poten­tial­ly allow­ing employ­ees to address cus­tomer needs before they have to ask. The sys­tem would use video to scan for cus­tomers who are frus­trat­ed or unhap­py if they can’t find a prod­uct or fig­ure out pric­ing. The sys­tem also could see when a dis­play or prod­uct pleas­es shop­pers. Accord­ing to the patent fil­ing, Wal­mart says it’s eas­i­er to retain exist­ing cus­tomers than acquire new ones. Wal­mart also will use the tech­nol­o­gy to ana­lyze trends in shop­pers’ pur­chase behav­ior over time, accord­ing to the patent fil­ing. The sys­tem links cus­tomers’ facial expres­sions to their trans­ac­tion data—meaning how much they’re spend­ing and what they’re buy­ing. Using bio­met­ric data col­lect­ed from cus­tomers’ facial expres­sions, the retail­er would link changes in mood to changes in spend­ing. Wal­mart says this will help stores detect changes in a customer’s pur­chase habits due to dis­sat­is­fac­tion. If a sharp drop in spend­ing is record­ed after a cus­tomer is seen with a neg­a­tive facial expres­sion, the com­pa­ny would be able to bet­ter deal with the pain points that are dri­ving away shop­pers. Sources: TheStreet.com; USA Today; Busi­ness Insid­er; PSFK.com

Teachers get a hard lesson in data protection

Hun­dreds of cur­rent and for­mer teach­ers in the St. Louis area, mem­bers of the Pub­lic School and Edu­ca­tion Employ­ee Retire­ment Sys­tems of Mis­souri, were vic­tims of an iden­ti­ty theft. Hack­ers obtained access to names, dates of birth, Social Secu­ri­ty num­bers and address­es, and attempt­ed to use the infor­ma­tion to access retire­ment funds and have them trans­ferred. Some vic­tims’ mail­ing address­es were changed. Source: Fox2Now, St. Louis

More Asian residents, companies might buy cyber insurance

Demand for cyber insur­ance from firms in Chi­na and else­where in Asia could soar, based on inquiries received after the Wan­naCry ran­somware attack ear­li­er this year, exec­u­tives at Amer­i­can Inter­na­tion­al Group said. The insur­er saw an 87 per­cent jump in inquiries for cyber insur­ance poli­cies in May com­pared with April for Chi­na and Hong Kong as a direct result of the Wan­naCry attack. The glob­al increase was 38 per­cent. Source: Insur­ance Journal

Ships look to old-fashioned navigation methods in case GPS hacked

The risk of cyber attacks tar­get­ing ships’ satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion is push­ing nations such as South Korea to devel­op back-up sys­tems with roots in World War II radio tech­nol­o­gy. Ships use GPS, which relies on satel­lite sig­nals, to nav­i­gate. Some experts say such sys­tems are vul­ner­a­ble to jam­ming by hack­ers. Many ships lack a back-up nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem, and if their GPS ceas­es to func­tion, they risk run­ning aground or col­lid­ing with oth­er ves­sels. Source: Reuters

WannaCry ‘hero’ arrested in separate hacking investigation

A com­put­er expert who helped shut down the Wan­naCry cyber attack that crip­pled Britain’s Nation­al Health Ser­vice and oth­er sys­tems in a num­ber of nations has been arrest­ed in the Unit­ed States for his alleged role in an unre­lat­ed mal­ware attack. Mar­cus Hutchins found a hid­den “kill switch” in the Wan­naCry ran­somware virus that hit more than 300,000 com­put­ers in 150 coun­tries. The U.S. arrest­ed him for his alleged role in cre­at­ing and dis­trib­ut­ing the Kro­nos bank­ing Tro­jan, the Depart­ment of Jus­tice said. Source: The Inde­pen­dent

Information exposure could damage Swedish government

A data breach scan­dal involv­ing the Swedish government’s fail­ure to safe­guard infor­ma­tion from access by pri­vate con­trac­tors has end­ed the tenure of top min­is­ters and threat­ens to bring down the rul­ing coali­tion. Jonas Hin­n­fors, pro­fes­sor of polit­i­cal sci­ence at Sweden’s Uni­ver­si­ty of Gothen­burg, says the issue has to do with appar­ent fail­ures by the Swedish Trans­port Agency to install safe­guards pre­vent­ing poten­tial­ly sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion from being han­dled by pri­vate con­trac­tors that don’t have clear­ances. Source: World Pol­i­tics Review

More HBO data revealed, ransom note demands millions

The hack­ers who alleged­ly seized 1.5 ter­abytes of data from HBO released more infor­ma­tion, includ­ing script sum­maries for the next five episodes of “Game of Thrones, as well as scripts and entire sea­sons of oth­er HBO shows. The leak also includ­ed emails from an HBO exec­u­tive, as well as the con­tact list of HBO chief Richard Pleper, which con­tained the per­son­al phone num­bers of “Thrones” actors. Hack­ers also shared a ran­som note, in the form of a video, demand­ing HBO pay mil­lions or more sen­si­tive com­pa­ny data will be post­ed. Source: Slate

Center’s lawsuit says virtual private network is not secure

The Cen­ter for Democ­ra­cy and Tech­nol­o­gy filed a com­plaint with the Fed­er­al Trade Com­mis­sion, alleg­ing that the Hotspot Shield VPN is vio­lat­ing con­sumer pri­va­cy. The CDT, work­ing with the devel­op­ers of Carnegie Mel­lon University’s Mobile App Com­pli­ance Sys­tem, claim that they found mul­ti­ple instances where Hotspot Shield shared sen­si­tive data with third-par­ty adver­tis­ing net­works. Hotspot Shield ven­dor Anchor­Free denies the alle­ga­tions. Source: eWeek

Nationwide to pay $5.5 million to settle 2012 data breach

Nation­wide Mutu­al Insur­ance will pay a $5.5 mil­lion set­tle­ment and update its secu­ri­ty prac­tices as a result of an agree­ment with 33 states due to a 2012 data breach affect­ing more than 1.2 mil­lion indi­vid­u­als. The states allege that the breach was caused by the insurer’s fail­ure to apply a crit­i­cal secu­ri­ty patch. The breach exposed the Social Secu­ri­ty Num­bers, driver’s license num­bers, cred­it scor­ing infor­ma­tion and oth­er per­son­al data col­lect­ed to pro­vide insur­ance quotes to con­sumers apply­ing for cov­er­age. Source: Bank Info Security

Ruling means class-action case against CareFirst can proceed 

An appel­late court deci­sion to allow a class-action law­suit over a 2014 data breach at Care­First to move for­ward could pave the way for future law­suits, say sev­er­al pri­va­cy attor­neys. A Wash­ing­ton, D.C., appeals court over­turned a cir­cuit court’s dis­missal of a law­suit brought by mem­bers of Care­First claim­ing a breach that com­pro­mised more than 1 mil­lion records put them at risk for iden­ti­ty theft. The judges ruled that a “sub­stan­tial risk of harm” exists. Courts have strug­gled to iden­ti­fy con­crete harm when it comes to data breach­es, but med­ical data may be held to a high­er stan­dard. Source: Fierce Health Care