privacy

User: West Midlands Police / Wikimedia Commons

In the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown in Missouri and the death of Eric Garner in New York, there's been a national and local conversation about body-worn cameras for cops. Here in Michigan, Ann Arbor is one of the more recent communities to bring up this discussion.

The positives of these cameras are obvious: They help the public hold police officers accountable for their actions, supply evidence for potential cases of misconduct, and hopefully help to restore some of the trust in law enforcement. 

User: Abd allah Foteih / Flickr

By now, we've all pretty much heard about the hacking that left naked photos of dozens of celebrities spilling out over the Internet. Among them were Michigan-born supermodel Kate Upton and her Tiger pitcher boyfriend, Justin Verlander.

Not caring one whit about who's taking what kinds of pictures in the privacy of their homes, we wondered, how safe is the cloud when it comes to storing our files?

Kevin Fu is an associate professor in engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan and a nationally recognized computer security expert.

Fu says what most of us don't realize when we take photos on smartphones is that, there's really no delete button on the Internet.

"Although you might delete something on your phone, well, there are copies all over the place ... those boundaries don't really exist," Fu explained.

I had lunch yesterday in a fairly ordinary restaurant in midtown Detroit. Whenever there is a big news event, I’m curious as to what normal people are saying about it.

Yesterday, for example, I thought people might be talking about Detroit’s bankruptcy trial. After all, a couple of miles from where I was eating, one of the city’s creditors was telling the judge he wanted the Detroit Institute of Arts’ collections sold so he could get his money.

But nobody was talking about that. Instead, the few snatches of conversation I heard were all about the hacking – stealing, really – of pictures of naked celebrities, which were then uploaded where we could all see them, if we cared to. One of them was Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Justin Verlander, who may be the best-paid worker in the city.

gophouse.org

Later this morning a legislative oversight committee will discuss a new secretive cell phone tracking device the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department is using.

Not much is known about the device.

It can reportedly trick nearby cell phones into providing data to the police. It can be helpful in tracking people, like missing children and fugitives, but it’s not clear how much more information is collected and what the sheriff’s department does with it.

The Michigan Union on the University of Michigan's main campus in Ann Arbor.
Andrew Horne / Wikimedia Commons

When University boards meet to vote on certain issues, the vote almost always goes through smoothly with little discussion and even littler debate.

GOP / gophouse.org

A state lawmaker wants to ban school exams that require students’ personal information other than their name and student identification number.

Republican state Representative Tim Kelly’s bill would also ban collecting biometric data — like students’ heart rates and eye movements.

“There’s kind of some creepy aspects to some of the technology that’s being introduced today,” Kelly said. “And this is kind of an effort to ward against some of the things that may or may not be the best thing for students.”

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan lawmakers take up drone legislation this week.

The unmanned aircraft have proven effective in war, but some are concerned they may violate the rights of Michiganders.

Unmanned drones offer a new way to see the world. The drones can help police departments keep an eye on criminals, give state agencies a different way to survey state land and even help local school administrators watch students on the playground.

But there is concern that drones could be abused.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation into law aimed at prohibiting employers from asking job applicants and employees for online passwords and other account information.

The Republican governor signed the bill Friday sponsored by state Rep. Aric Nesbitt of Lawton and passed this month by lawmakers.

The measure also would prohibit educational institutions from asking for private account information and would penalize them for dismissing or failing to accept students who don't provide such details.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Multistate lottery winners in Michigan could remain anonymous under a measure being considered by the Michigan Senate.

The bill would prohibit the disclosure unless the winner agrees to it in writing. Lottery officials are authorized to disclose a multistate game winner's identity.

Sterling Heights Republican and bill sponsor Tory Rocca says winners should be allowed keep their privacy, particularly for their own safety.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Grand Rapids Public Schools is revising how it lets people comment at school board meetings. The district has a unique policy (see page 51-54). A Grand Rapids school board member says he couldn’t find any other district in Michigan with a similar provision.