Intro: 18 companies are charged in a class action suit with surreptitiously taking data from smartphone users
The lawsuit was filed by a group of 13 individuals in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas earlier this week. The suit charges 18 companies with surreptitiously gathering data from the address books of tens of millions of smartphone users.
The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction against such data collection and the destruction of all personal data collected by mobile application vendors so far.
The lawsuit comes at a time when privacy concerns over mobile applications appears to be steadily rising.
Intro: Governmental role and necessity in computer network security.
A bipartisan commission of computer security experts are recommending today that President-elect Barack Obama set up a high-level post to tackle cyber security, consider new regulations to combat cyber crime and shore up the security of the nation's most sensitive computer networks.
President-elect Obama has promised to make cyber security a top priority, and there are signs that the Obama team is already moving to implement some of the recommendations. On its change.gov Web site, the incoming administration said it plans to "declare the cyber infrastructure a strategic asset and establish the position of national cyber advisor who will report directly to the president and will be responsible for coordinating federal agency efforts and development of national cyber policy."
James Lewis, director of technology and public policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Washington think tank that organized the commission, said some of the panel's recommendations are likely to be controversial. For example, the commission recommends revisiting the nation's wiretap laws to make it easier for authorities to obtain so-called data warrants rather than traditional search warrants, which it called "increasingly impractical in the online environment."