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Daily Archives: August 24, 2023

Social media giants urged to tackle data-scraping privacy risks

Tech Crunch: “A joint statement signed by regulators at a dozen international privacy watchdogs, including the U.K.’s ICO, Canada’s OPC and Hong Kong’s OPCPD, has urged mainstream social media platforms to protect users’ public posts from scraping — warning they face a legal responsibility to do so in most markets. “In most jurisdictions, personal information that is ‘publicly available’, ‘publicly accessible’ or ‘of a public nature’ on the internet, is subject to data protection and privacy laws,” they write. “Individuals and companies that scrape such personal information are therefore responsible for ensuring that they comply with these and other applicable laws. However, social media companies and the operators of other websites that host publicly accessible personal information (SMCs and other websites) also have data protection obligations with respect to third-party scraping from their sites. These obligations will generally apply to personal information whether that information is publicly accessible or not. Mass data scraping of personal information can constitute a reportable data breach in many jurisdictions.” The timing of the statement, which was also signed by privacy regulators in Australia, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand, Colombia, Jersey, Morocco, Argentina and Mexico — who are all members of the Global Privacy Assembly’s international enforcement cooperation working group — coincides with the ongoing hype around generative AI models which typically require large amounts of data for training and could encourage more entities to scrape the Internet in a bid to acquire data-sets jump on the generative AI bandwagon…”

The New Gatekeepers: How Disney, Amazon, and Netflix Will Take Over Media

Wrtiers Guild of America West: The New Gatekeepers: How Disney, Amazon, and Netflix Will Take Over Media. “Over the past decade, deregulation and the growing dominance of streaming video have laid the groundwork for a media landscape where just three companies—Disney, Amazon, and Netflix—are poised to be the new gatekeepers. This report from the WGAW… Continue Reading

The 7 Best Online Password Generators for Strong Random Passwords

MakeUseOf: “These days, a strong password is essential on the web. Whether it’s your email accounts, social media accounts, Amazon accounts, or otherwise, using your birthday or cat’s name as a password is a bad idea. However, creating the perfect password is tricky. Thankfully, you can use online password generators to help create strong and… Continue Reading

The A.I. Surveillance Tool DHS Uses to Detect ‘Sentiment and Emotion’

404 Media: “Internal DHS and corporate documents detail the agency’s relationship with Fivecast, a company that promises to scan for “risk terms and phrases” online. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), part of the Department of Homeland Security, has bought millions of dollars worth of software from a company that uses artificial intelligence to detect “sentiment… Continue Reading

Speed test

“ is a tool that allows you to measure the speed and consistency of your connection to the Internet. You can use it to verify that the speed your ISP promised you is the speed you are getting, compare different ISPs or test network connectivity in different parts of your house. The measurements run on… Continue Reading

Teacher shortages in the United States

A systematic examination of reports of teacher vacancy and shortages: Teachers are critical for student learning. Recent news and policy reports suggest there are shortages of teachers in many parts of the country, and these shortages are detrimental for students and public education since these positions are either left unfilled or are filled with less… Continue Reading

Anatomy of an AI-powered malicious social botnet

ArXiv – Anatomy of an AI-powered malicious social botnet. Kai-Cheng Yang, Filippo Menczer. [Submitted on 30 Jul 2023] “Large language models (LLMs) exhibit impressive capabilities in generating realistic text across diverse subjects. Concerns have been raised that they could be utilized to produce fake content with a deceptive intention, although evidence thus far remains anecdotal.… Continue Reading


Photogrammar – Random selection of photographs. “The 170,000 photographs taken between 1935 and 1944 under the direction of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and the Office of War Information (OWI) constitutes one of the richest photographic archives in the United States, arguably the world. One of the most famous documentary photography collections of the twentieth… Continue Reading