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Category Archives: Privacy

Under digital surveillance: how American schools spy on millions of kids

UK Guardian: “Bark and similar tech companies are now monitoring the emails and documents of millions of American students, across thousands of school districts, looking for signs of suicidal thoughts, bullying or plans for a school shooting. The new school surveillance technology doesn’t turn off when the school day is over: anything students type in official school email accounts, chats or documents is monitored 24 hours a day, whether students are in their classrooms or their bedrooms. Tech companies are also working with schools to monitor students’ web searches and internet usage, and, in some cases, to track what they are writing on public social media accounts. Parents and students are still largely unaware of the scope and intensity of school surveillance, privacy experts say, even as the market for these technologies has grown rapidly, fueled by fears of school shootings, particularly in the wake of the Parkland shooting in February 2018, which left 17 people dead. Digital surveillance is just one part of a booming, nearly $3bn-a-year school security industry in the United States, where Republican lawmakers have blocked any substantial gun control legislation for a quarter century…”

Alexa and Google Home abused to eavesdrop and phish passwords

ars technica – Amazon- and Google-approved apps turned both voice-controlled devices into “smart spies”. – “By now, the privacy threats posed by Amazon Alexa and Google Home are common knowledge. Workers for both companies routinely listen to audio of users—recordings of which can be kept forever—and the sounds the devices capture can be used in criminal… Continue Reading

Equifax used ‘admin’ as username and password for sensitive data: lawsuit

Yahoo Finance: “Equifax used the word “admin” as both password and username for a portal that contained sensitive information, according to a class action lawsuit filed in federal court in the Northern District of Georgia. The ongoing lawsuit, filed after the breach, went viral on Twitter Friday after Buzzfeed reporter Jane Lytvynenko came across the detail. “Equifax… Continue Reading

NYT Opinion – The Chinese Threat to American Speech

American companies have an obligation to defend the freedom of expression, even at the risk of angering China. “China’s assertive campaign to police discourse about its policies, even outside of its borders, and the acquiescence of American companies eager to make money in China, pose a dangerous and growing threat to one of this nation’s… Continue Reading

Copyright Law Should Not Restrict AI Systems From Using Public Data

Commentary – Center for Data Innovation: “In March 2019, IBM created the “Diversity in Faces” dataset to provide a set of photos of peoples’ faces of various ages and ethnicities to help reduce bias in facial recognition systems. Even though IBM compiled the dataset from photos people shared online with a license which allows others… Continue Reading

Census Bureau asks states for driver’s license records to produce citizenship data

WHYY – “The Census Bureau is asking states to voluntarily share driver’s license records as part of the Trump administration’s efforts to produce detailed data about the U.S. citizenship status of every person living in the country. According to a statement the bureau released Tuesday, the requests are in response to an executive order President… Continue Reading

What Your Personal Information is Worth to Cybercriminals

Bleeping Computer -“Cybercriminals have multiple markets to get illicit goods and prices on these underground forums are likely driven by supply and demand, just like in the legal economy. Offerings found on deep and dark web (DDW) markets include anything that can be monetized in one way or another. Common goods cover any financial information that… Continue Reading

Google new delete history feature is almost useless for privacy, experts warn

Follow up to October 15, 2019 posting – Google introducing auto-delete controls for your Location History and activity data – please note: Reclaim the Net: “It’s no secret for anyone that Google benefits from collecting and selling user data – this is a major part of their business whether we like it or not.  Whenever… Continue Reading

Your smartphone takes amazing selfies. Those selfies could tell stalkers where you live.

Washingtonpost.com: “When it comes to sensitive information, the eyes have it. That became apparent last week, when a man allegedly stalked a Japanese pop star after determining her location based on reflections seen in her eyes in social media posts, according to the Associated Press. Those images helped the suspect find her train station. He… Continue Reading

Edward Snowden – Without encryption, we will lose all privacy. This is our new battleground.

UK Guardian – Opinion – Edward Snowden – “In every country of the world, the security of computers keeps the lights on, the shelves stocked, the dams closed, and transportation running. For more than half a decade, the vulnerability of our computers and computer networks has been ranked the number one risk in the US… Continue Reading

Google introducing auto-delete controls for your Location History and activity data

Google Blog – “Whether you’re looking for the latest news or the quickest driving route, we aim to make our products helpful for everyone. And when you turn on settings like Location History or Web & App Activity, the data can make Google products more useful for you—like recommending a restaurant that you might enjoy,… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, October 12, 2019

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, October 12, 2019 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly… Continue Reading