A cat and mouse game: The future security of mobile money

August 8th 2011

There has been a lot of discussion recently about the human face of mobile banking and its security problems. Erin Taylor recently wrote about Bill Maurer's USAID webinar discussing how anthropological insight is changing the way we see common social engineering based security risks, so Erin asked me for my input from a technical security standpoint.

The social nature of security and Haiti’s mobile money

July 29th 2011

In a recent webinar hosted by USAIDProfessor Bill Maurer from the IMTFI argued that phone sharing practices call into question how we judge mobile banking security. Mobile banking is ostensibly secure because each account is linked to the user’s SIM card, which has an internationally unique number.  

Since one mobile money account equals one SIM card and one user, then it should be fairly straightforward to keep track of who is sending money, how much, and to whom.

Book review: Haiti After the Earthquake

July 20th 2011

Farmer, Paul . 2011. Haiti After the Earthquake. New York: Public Affairs. 456 pages. Second section edited by Abbey gardner and Cassia Van Der Hoof Holstein.

Harvard Professor Paul Farmer has been one of the best-known and most influential people writing on Haiti for a number of years. In his roles as physician, anthropologist, and Special Envoy for the United Nations, for decades he has engaged with Haitian people and world leaders to find solutions to Haiti’s multitude of problems.

This new book seeks to explain why the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti on the 12th January, 2010, was so catastrophic, and to bear witness to the efforts of Haitians and the international community to ‘build back better’.