Stories by Simson L. Garfinkel

The Social Impact of Technology

A biomedical startup working on an improved fertility test orders a hundred vials of human female blood from a fertility lab. Each vial comes labeled with the fertility analysis--and, unexpectedly, with the name of the woman who gave the blood. Essentially, it's a list of women who are trying to become pregnant, and the list includes two very high-profile names. It's a huge violation of medical privacy, one that's the result of a simple oversight at the testing lab.

U.S. Shouldn't Wait to Enact Privacy Legislation

There's a growing disconnect between American consumers and business on privacy and data protection. Consumers want Congress to step in and pass strong laws to protect information privacy, both online and off-line. A recent BusinessWeek/Harris poll found that 57 percent of Americans believe that "the government should pass laws now for how personal information can be collected and used on the Internet," while only 15 percent believe that voluntary privacy standards are the way to go.

Three Unixlike Systems May Be Better Than Linux

Before you deploy Linux within your organization, you should look beyond the hype and consider other Unixlike operating systems. Like Linux, these systems can be deployed without paying licensing fees. And like Linux, they are open source. But in many cases, these other Unixlike systems deliver better performance, more security and other features that today's Linux offerings still can't touch.