Stories by M. E. Kabay

The privacy policy problem, Part 1: A model policy

Many organizations strive to protect the confidentiality of prospects and clients. In this column and the next three, I want to explore issues relating to privacy policies and the sometimes problematic relations between legitimate, well-meaning institutions and the commercial organizations with which they do business - and the criminal organizations which abuse their good names and reputations.

Your printer: An open door for hackers?

In 2003, a staff member at the Public Health Laboratory of the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care of the Province of Ontario in Canada tried to send a fax to a doctor's office. (By the way, for U.S. readers, Canada is the large blank pink region north of the border on your maps and which, contrary to popular belief, actually includes people as well as moose and beavers.) Alas, the clerk mistyped a 5 as an 8 in the fax number and inadvertently sent medical records to a local gasoline station. The owner very kindly gave the fax to a doctor who was a regular customer and the doctor reported the breach of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act .

Best practices for online shopping

My former graduate student Steven Zeligman has just submitted another article for the column. Here are his practical suggestions (with the usual editing from me) on improving the security of shopping online.