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Category Archives: Privacy

Records Show DHS Ignored Privacy, First Amendment Threats of Media Monitoring Program

“EPIC has obtained records concerning “Media Monitoring Services,” a controversial DHS project to track journalists, news outlets, and social media accounts. The records, released in EPIC’s FOIA lawsuit against the federal agency, reveal that the DHS bypassed the agency’s own privacy officials and ignored the privacy and First Amendment implications of monitoring the coverage by particular journalists of a federal agency. As a result of EPIC’s lawsuit, the agency previously admitted that it did not conduct a Privacy Impact Assessment for the program, as required by law. EPIC has successfully obtained several Privacy Impact Assessments, including for a related media tracking system (EPIC v. DHS) and for facial recognition technology (EPIC v. FBI). In EPIC v. Presidential Election Commission, EPIC challenged the Commission’s failure to publish a Privacy Impact Assessment prior to the collection of state voter data.” [h/t Pete Weiss]

Apple Launches Portal for U.S. Users to Download Their Data

The Verge: “Starting on Wednesday [October 17, 2018], Apple will allow US users to download all of their data from the company, following a GDPR-mandated feature for EU citizens that launched in May. The download tool is accessible from the company’s Data and Privacy page, and it encompasses device-syncing data like iCloud bookmarks as well… Continue Reading

Twitter releases large data archive of potentially state-backed information operations

Twitter news release on Election Integrity: “Data archive In line with our principles of transparency and to improve public understanding of alleged foreign influence campaigns, Twitter is making publicly available archives of Tweets and media that we believe resulted from potentially state-backed information operations on our service…While this dataset is of a size that a… Continue Reading

Are you using DuckDuckGo?

Via their Twitter feed: “DuckDuckGo fun fact: it took us seven years to reach 10 million private searches in one day, then another two years to hit 20 million, and now less than a year later we’re at 30 million! Thank you all.” [We are the Internet privacy company that lets you take control of… Continue Reading

‘Do Not Track,’ the Privacy Tool Used by Millions of People, Doesn’t Do Anything

Gizmodo: “When you go into the privacy settings on your browser, there’s a little option there to turn on the “Do Not Track” function, which will send an invisible request on your behalf to all the websites you visit telling them not to track you. A reasonable person might think that enabling it will stop… Continue Reading

Slack Doesn’t Have End-to-End Encryption Because Your Boss Doesn’t Want It

Motherboard: A former Slack employee and the company’s current chief information security officer say that Slack’s paying customers aren’t that interested in end-to-end encryption. “End-to-end encryption—where keys are stored on individual devices by users, meaning only the intended recipients can read message content—is continuing to spread across messaging platforms. But work communication service Slack has… Continue Reading

The Employer Surveillance State

The Atlantic – The more bosses try to keep track of their workers, the more precious time employees waste trying to evade them. “…In fact, electronic surveillance of employees, through technologies including not just video cameras but also monitoring software, has grown rapidly across all industries. Randolph Lewis, a professor of American Studies at the… Continue Reading

Social Media Bots Draw Public’s Attention and Concern

While most Americans know about social media bots, many think they have a negative impact on how people stay informed – “Since the 2016 U.S. presidential election, many Americans have expressed concern about the presence of misinformation online, particularly on social media. Recent Congressional hearings and investigations by social media sites and academic researchers have… Continue Reading

List of Every Animal Humans Currently Monitor Using Facial Recognition Technology

New York Magazine: “Facial recognition technology has some serious, persistent issues. These were clearly shown earlier this year when Amazon’s “Rekognition” mistakenly identified 28 members of Congress as criminals. The technology as a whole largely suffers both from inaccuracy and systemic bias. Regardless of who wields the technology or for what purpose, the algorithms use… Continue Reading

Genome Hackers Show No One’s DNA Is Anonymous Anymore

Wired: “In 2013, a young computational biologist named Yaniv Erlich shocked the research world by showing it was possible to unmask the identities of people listed in anonymous genetic databases using only an Internet connection. Policymakers responded by restricting access to pools of anonymized biomedical genetic data. An NIH official said at the time, “The… Continue Reading

New on LLRX for September and part of October

If you are not checking in on Pete’s weekly column on cyber security issues and privacy on LLRX – please take some time to read about what you are missing! Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, healthcare and medical issues, to name but a few. On… Continue Reading

A Future Where Everything Becomes a Computer Is as Creepy as You Feared

The New York Times: “…The [tech] industry’s new goal? Not a computer on every desk nor a connection between every person, but something grander: a computer inside everything, connecting everyone. Cars, door locks, contact lenses, clothes, toasters, refrigerators, industrial robots, fish tanks, sex toys, light bulbs, toothbrushes, motorcycle helmets — these and other everyday objects… Continue Reading