Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Graph your own Gmail metadata; TX updates data breach law

Since the NSA domestic spying scandal broke there has been much talk about "metadata," mostly surrounding phone calls. Few people outside the tech community, though, have a clear sense of what metadata is or what it might tell others about us. Not just phone calls but other electronic communications like email and texting also generate metadata. Brian Fung at National Journal brings word of a new tool that lets you see what the metadata from your Gmail account tells about your connections and relationships:
When Google hands over e-mail records to the government, it includes basic envelope information, or metadata, that reveals the names and e-mail addresses of senders and recipients in your account. The feds can then mine that information for patterns that might be useful in a law-enforcement investigation.
What kind of relationships do they see in an average account? Thanks to the researchers at theMassachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, now you can find out. They’ve developed a tool called Immersion that taps into your Gmail and displays the results as an interactive graphic.
To analyze your own data you must give MIT access to your Gmail info, though you're given the option to delete it once the analysis is done. Or check out an example using anonymized data.

Also on the electronic privacy front, though it wasn't a piece of legislation Grits was tracking, this item from Lexology brings word of SB 1610 updating Texas' data privacy breach statute to require notification of consumers when their data is compromised even if they live out of state. Glad to see it.

Via Pogo Was Right.


Anonymous said...

Scott, seen the latest?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I did see that, 10:30, and in fact back in February published this post that went through some of those same price lists.

During the legislative session, the telcos' main concern with the warrants for location data bill was that they didn't want to provide data on how much they charged for processing law enforcement requests. Once that was out of the bill they agreed to support it.