Gone Missing CDs: Personal & Financial Data Solutions

December 19, 2007 by Mary Anne Simpson, Phys.org weblog
Samsung Digital Disc
Samsung Digital Disc. Credit: Samsung

The collaborative efforts of Hitachi, NTT and Tokyo University have come up with means to protect secure data stored on CDs. The problem is illustrated by recent gone missing CDs, holding citizens private information collected by governmental agencies.

Hitachi in collaboration with NTT Communications and Tokyo University of Science have come up security solutions that will protect citizens from unwarranted intrusion of their personal and financial data, according to Digital World Tokyo.

The fact that world-wide governments collect gargantuan amounts of data on citizens is not a surprise to anyone. Whether it is birth certificates, drivers licenses, unemployment insurance, social security and a host of other events, there is a record. Governments have done several things to both create and solve the problem with mixed results. Primarily the two solution/problems are; "contracting out" and attempts to digitize the gargantuan amount of data.

The BBC reports that a series of "gone missing" CDs developed and promulgated by UK governmental agencies. Specifically, a contractor of the Drivers Standards Agency was given personal data on a CD listing the names of individuals who took their driving theory test from 2004-2007. The CD was sent to another private contractor in the United States for analysis and somewhere in the process, the CD with millions of UK citizens data went missing. In the recent past, the United States had similar incidences of compromised personal data by the Veterans Administration.

According to Digital World Tokyo, NTT Communications has developed a technique for distributing data to three different locations for safe storage with more efficiency. The NTT improvement allows the data to be sent in a compressed mode that reduces the size by one-third. Thus, allowing the data to be sent simultaneously to the three locations.

Hitachi's contribution to the project involves applying different levels of encryption to the various levels of secure data. Data concerning financial and sensitive personal data is hidden by layers of encryption.

The University of Tokyo in collaboration with Hitachi has developed another means to bring security to every day life. This technology would enable cell phones to apply advanced encryption techniques that heretofore were reserved for high-end mega computer systems. The technology can be applied to any form of communication. Whether it is financial data, video or compilations of data.

It appears the East anticipated the common sense need for secured data collection and spent the last three years developing a solution. As of this writing, the Japanese have not solved the problem of errant contractors or cavalier governmental agencies.

Copyright 2007 Mary Anne Simpson & Physorg.com

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Argiod
1 / 5 (1) Dec 20, 2007
Is it any wonder the public doesn't trust government? With 'them' taking care of our private data, we may as well advertise it on prime time TV...

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