Protecting Privacy in Healthcare, Taliban Attacks in Afghanistan, Digital Fingerprints, and More

Protecting Privacy in Healthcare, Taliban Attacks in Afghanistan, Digital Fingerprints, and More
  • ​​​​The United Kingdom's Academy of Medical Sciences published a report calling for a "radical c​ulture change" in the country's National Health Service (NHS) and across the health data and medical technology community. The change is needed to make sure that the NHS can deliver the benefits of new health technologies that use patient data for care while retaining public trust. The report outlines principles that must be adopted so that patients can benefit from digital information while their privacy, rights, and choices are protected. The principles will help provide safeguards to support fair use of patient data. Health technologies that are becoming increasingly important include wearable devices, mobile phone apps, and intelligent monitoring devices. Smart insulin pumps for diabetes, artificial intelligence assisted pregnancy ultrasound scans, and houses designed with smart technology to monitor and support dementia patients and their caregivers are examples in the report where patient data are already being used to develop health technologies.
     
  • Taliban gunmen stormed a compound belonging to British security firm G4S in the Afghan capital Kabul, killing at least 10 individuals and wounding 19 others, reports The Express. The attack began when a car bomb exploded outside a facility, and gunmen entered the site. Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack. G4S provides guards for the area around the British embassy. The bombing in Kabul came hours after officials said at least 30 civilians were killed along with 16 Taliban fighters during a battle between government forces and insurgents in southern Helmand province. Three U.S. service members were killed close to the central city of Ghazni on Tuesday and at least 30 Afghan civilians were killed in a U.S. air strike overnight, officials and local residents said.

  • Digital fingerprints created by artificial intelligence can fool fingerprint scanners on smartphones, according to new research, making it possible to use them to gain access to online bank accounts and other assets, according to Fortune. A paper by New York University and Michigan State University researchers detailed how deep learning technologies could be used to weaken biometric security systems. The software that runs these systems can be fooled. Smartphone makers typically use biometric technology in their phones so that people can use fingerprints to unlock their devices. Some banks let customers access their checking accounts using their fingerprints.

  • In other news, a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office finds that the Transportation Security Administration is using various methods to secure air cargo headed to the United States, but the agency could do more to assess the effectiveness of the measures. U.S. Border Patrol agents stopped a smuggling attempt after finding 38 undocumented immigrants in a trailer at a checkpoint near Laredo, Texas. The green padlock in a website's url has been considered a sign that the site was secure, but new research finds that about half of all phishing scams are now hosted on sites with the padlock icon and "https" in the address. Popular Science picked the top security innovations of​ 2018, and they include items from physical padlocks and automatic lassos to lifesaving drones and laser weapons. Its Grand Award Winner is an "exosuit" from Lockheed Martin that enables military personnel to carry heavier loads longer.​