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data security

Google ordered to give emails to FBI as data access debate continues

For more than a year, the intense debate surrounding data access and control has raged on. After the San Bernardino massacre in December 2015, Apple and the FBI feuded about access to data on the iPhone 5C used by one of the attackers. Several other court cases touched on the subject of digital privacy throughout last year, including one we covered in our blog in December 2016 in which the Florida Court of Appeals bucked the trend of siding on behalf of protecting users by ruling that the government can force an iPhone user to release the passcode to unlock his/her phone. This week, privacy proponents have been dealt another blow.

On Friday, Feb. 4, a U.S. magistrate ruled against Google, ordering the tech giant to cooperate with FBI search warrants demanding access to user emails stored on servers outside of the United States. Given a recent ruling in favor of Microsoft in a similar case, the battle is likely far from over.

Reuters writes:

U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Rueter in Philadelphia ruled on Friday that transferring emails from a foreign server so FBI agents could review them locally as part of a domestic fraud probe did not qualify as a seizure.

The judge said this was because there was “no meaningful interference” with the account holder’s “possessory interest” in the data sought.

“Though the retrieval of the electronic data by Google from its multiple data centers abroad has the potential for an invasion of privacy, the actual infringement of privacy occurs at the time of disclosure in the United States,” Rueter wrote.

Google and others had been hoping that the Microsoft ruling would create some legal guidance for similar cases, as the laws on the books pertaining to such issues, including the Stored Communications Act of 1986, are outdated and insufficient. As abstract property in the form of data continues to be a bone of contention, intervention by Congress or the Supreme Court may be necessary to help put an end to the data access debate. In fact, Judge Susan L. Carney who presided over the Microsoft case highlighted this in her ruling:

“We recognize at the same time that in many ways the [Stored Communications Act] has been left behind by technology. It is overdue for a congressional revision that would continue to protect privacy but would more effectively balance concerns of international comity with law enforcement needs and service provider obligations in the global context in which this case arose.”

In the meantime, companies are encouraged to take steps to protect the data on company-owned and BYOD devices through enterprise mobility management to help avoid unnecessary conflict that continues to surround this critical issue. Contact our team for help determining the right solution for your organization.

Dropbox Business looks to increase enterprise security

As part of a comprehensive mobile strategy, many companies today choose to use one of a number of popular cloud-based file storage solutions, like Box, Dropbox or Google Drive. These tools provide users anytime access to the data they need from any device with an internet connection. Recently, Dropbox announced that its Dropbox Business product would be entering into a partnership with security vendor Symantec as part of a broader update to enhance its enterprise security credibility. Read More

How digital capabilities are shaping the future of banking

Financial services, and banking in particular, is an industry that has been and continues to be impacted dramatically by the evolution of technology. From mobile deposits and money transfers through apps to smart ATMs, a number of conveniences have been created that continue to shape customer expectations and loyalty. In fact, Business Insider recently posted an interesting summary of how device preferences for performing banking activities is changing.

bankingactivities_preferreddevices Read More

An inside look at the insecurity of the IoT

From data mining and machine learning to VR (virtual reality) and AI (artificial intelligence), the tech industry is no stranger to its fair share of buzzwords. One that has dominated headlines throughout 2016 is IoT, or the Internet of Things. To put it simply, the IoT refers to the flourishing ecosystem of devices connected to the Internet that can generate, consume and exchange data via embedded sensors. Mobile devices, our focus here at Tech Orchard, are a critical part of this ecosystem. Read More

Policies and governance of mobile devices

In this environment of expanding digital workspaces, mobile devices are connected to more data than at any other time in history. Study after study shows that mobile access is increasing at an exponential rate. This comes as no surprise given that each of us are finding ways to use our mobile devices for an incredible number of functions, from sending email to conducting research, from shopping to looking up driving directions, from accessing company resources to creating on-the-job efficiencies. Read More

The pros and cons of messaging apps in the enterprise

Messaging Apps in the Enterprise
Clear, consistent communication is vital for the productivity and growth of any organization. For years the primary method of communicating was via phone. Now, as technology allows us to collaborate and connect from virtually anywhere at any time, companies are forced to evaluate a number of communication tools, including many popular messaging apps available on mobile devices. From WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to iMessage and Google Hangouts, these apps bring IT teams to a crossroads between the pros of a more open approach and the potential perils of careless worker app use. Read More

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