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Monthly Archives: June 2018

Privacy Is Not The Product

Your basic human right: Today, millions of people across the globe doesn’t differentiate online and offline privacy. However, you need to always keep in mind that current legal system of democratic nations like USA, India, UK, E.U countries, Japan, South Korea and many countries strongly protects person’s right to privacy.

The organization like UNHRC, ICCPR, a number of national and international treaties, and written words on the constitution of several nations, enshrine “privacy” as a fundamental basic human right.

It was the year 2015 when The United Nations Human Rights Council noticed that the enormous progress in the communication technology has made it easier for corporations & government to record daily activity of an individual and they can easily block free speech. The authoritarian government can very easily crackdown on protests and they can even limit the spread of information, while a corporation can sale the data to the malicious third-party contractor for money. In short, online privacy makes you stronger than the government itself.

The absence of online privacy makes you unsafe: Whenever you are connected with the digital world, you leave behind a traceable and permanent trail of your private data. This recognized as “digital footprint”. What is this? Well, it’s your online biography! It can reveal your health information, shopping habits, sleeping patterns, keyboard stroke and much more. Scared yet? This vast amount of personal data can be accessed by various third-party vendors for targeting purpose. Don’t believe me? Open your preferred search engine and type in your name. I am certain you will be shocked to see the outcome. This data can put your reputation and physical safety at risk. Remember the incident when Pokemon Go was launched?

The risk to freedom of expression: Privacy is a fundamental ingredient of freedom of expression. Privacy control for certain group is absolutely necessary. Privacy is important for general people and it is crucial for the people who are involved with journalism, activism and opposition politician to avoid intimidation for their ideas. This people usually become the central pillar of any democracy and I think now you understand the importance of online privacy.

It can affect your reputation: Most of us, using the internet have at least one or two embarrassing stories we would like to keep private. If we travel back to 70s, people were good at keeping their privacy safe. However, in the digital edge, it is quite possible your private stuff stay alive inside your “digital footprint”. If we go back a few years ago, many of us heard about the “iCloud” fiasco! Remember those face of the celebrities hiding from the camera( I mean camera of journalist of course!)? That can be you!

Data Center Consolidation

There are a number of drivers for consolidation projects. In some cases, the organization grew through mergers and acquisitions, inheriting multiple data centers that replicate services. In addition, many organizations have effectively reduced their IT footprint through virtualization and the adoption of hyper-converged infrastructure solutions. These technologies make it possible to eliminate underutilized equipment and replace what remains with smaller form factors.

The rationalization of these services can also facilitate consolidation. This has been a priority within the federal government through the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative. Federal agencies have been working to reduce the cost of their data operations by eliminating waste and implementing a shared services model.

Similar efforts are underway at the state level. According to the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), 42 percent of states had completed data consolidation projects in 2016, up from just 14 percent in 2007. In addition, 47 percent of states are currently working on consolidation projects, and 11 percent are in the planning stages.

That data comes from a newly released report, “Shrinking State Data Centers: A Playbook for Enterprise Data Center Consolidation.” The report notes that consolidation enables centralization of data infrastructure, which streamlines maintenance and strengthens security. Consolidation also offers an opportunity to introduce standards, better integrate systems and applications, improve support for legacy systems and enhance business continuity.

There are, of course, challenges. Resistance to change is always a huge hurdle – one that only intensifies when technical problems emerge or consolidation doesn’t meet business needs. In some instances, costs are higher than anticipated and regulatory compliance requirements aren’t met.

To help minimize risk, the NASCIO playbook recommends 9 steps organizations should take in a consolidation initiative:

• Conduct a needs analysis. IT should meet with business stakeholders to discuss their current requirements as well as anticipated growth.

• Remain engaged with stakeholders throughout the project. Making stakeholders feel they are part of the process helps minimize resistance to change.

• Plan carefully but remain flexible. The project plan should identify all impacts and provide enough flexibility to accommodate unforeseen issues.

• Document existing assets. Thorough documentation helps identify underutilized or unneeded resources, opportunities for reuse, and any resource gaps.

• Conduct a cost analysis. By understanding current costs, the organization can better calculate the savings afforded by consolidation.

• Implement standards wherever possible. Standards such as ITMS and ITIL help increase efficiency and security and further reduce costs.

• Expect the best but prepare for the worst. Maintain constant communication with stakeholders to manage expectations.

• Get buy-in. If all stakeholders are on board for the project, it is more likely to deliver long-term benefits.

• Report successes. Show the organization how much money has been saved, and the greater efficiencies and security that are gained.

While public sector agencies are leading the charge for data center consolidation, organizations across industry sectors can benefit from rationalizing and rightsizing their operations.

Trouble With Sophia

No doubt I am the only one concerned about hackers. I just happen to remember what hackers did to our so-called, self-cleaning, intelligent public toilets. I mean, if people can spy on me though my TV eye, my webcam, and my smart fridge, imagine what mischief they could wrought if they gained access to my bed. This could certainly put a new twist on our political elections, but actually I was thinking more in terms of being able to hack someone’s bed in the middle of the night and trigger that eject button.

I mean seriously, if you’re going to have a smart bed, let’s do it up properly and consider all of the ramifications and potential issues and take the idea fully to its logical conclusion.

As if smartbeds were not already a potential disaster, we also now have the lady robots. As usual, people are always trying to create a new and improved woman, especially one that can do customer service for free. It is a great tragedy, a huge offense, that we live in a culture that genuinely does not seem to understand the human element, the significance of women, the importance of finally getting to talk to a “real human being.”

Naturally Sophia has already suggested that humans belong in a zoo. Taking it just a bit farther, we actually now have robots who can make well reasoned arguments for why humans should be destroyed. This doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that we ourselves seem unable to launch a good argument in our own defense.

I think there is an interesting bit of truth hidden here, and while we laugh at “cute” Sophia quipping about destroying humans, in truth a world run exclusively by reason, absent sacrificial love, absent humans created in the image of God, absent the realness of women, becomes a world in which logic soon dictates, humans really serve no vital purpose.

Technological Impact

What is a card issued by UIDAI? One such card is a card holding a number assigned to every citizen of India by the UIDAI or THE UNIQUE IDENTIFICATION AUTHORITY OF INDIA and the card commonly named as the AADHAR CARD.

Technology behind it: The technology is foolproof. The Iris and Fingerprints of a person are captured, scanned and held into a card. The entire process is done by very sophisticated devices and elite technology was used. This process is called the process of capturing the Biometric Identity of an individual. The Iris and the fingerprint of one individual will never match with the details of another individual in this world. That is why such a system was used. This card is commonly named as the AADHAR CARD..

How secure is it? According to experts the UIDAI details are kept in a highly secured server and it cannot be leaked. But it is only a matter of time to get its efficacy tested.

Demonetization: This is the art of moving currency away from the system and to provide detectable electronic modes of financial transaction. This also involves making the currency notes in circulation as invalid and issuance of new currency notes.

Technology behind demonetization: The technology lies in the art of printing notes. The mint stops printing the notes of old format and the government declares them ineffective. The mint then releases notes of new format.

Reason: The people keeping unaccounted wealth suddenly found the currencies kept in the secrecy of their homes invalid. Hence they are deprived of their unaccounted wealth. Another reason is to make electronic modes of financial transactions almost compulsory.

Backlogs: Very few people keep their wealth in form of notes as it is hard to hide. People who kept it in the form of Gold or other precious things or precious objects those are easy to hide escaped the process. A large part of population cannot even sign their names. How they will conduct electronic modes of transaction?

Reason: The reason behind it is to prevent the increase of black money in the system.

Effectiveness: The literacy rate of India is low. Hence any person having a card can avail any financial facility provided he declares his income properly.

Backlogs: The backlogs of this system are also there. They are:

Misuse: Any wealthy person can put undisclosed wealth into the accounts of one UIDAI number seeded account of another person for a price in order to make their wealth clean.

Even after making this system mandatory a person can disclose his wealth in a partial manner and keep the rest by converting it into other forms like gold.

Tax heavens: Tax heavens like Switzerland, Dubai, Mauritius etc still exist and wealth can be channelized there unless the Indian Government sign a treaty with those countries and synchronise their technical system with the details of non-resident Indians.