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Category Archives: Privacy

Your smartphone’s AI algorithms could tell if you are depressed

MIT Technology Review: “Your smartphone’s AI algorithms could tell if you are depressed. Smartphones that are used to track our faces and voices could also help lower the barrier to mental-health diagnosis and treatment. Depression is a huge problem for millions of people, and it is often compounded by poor mental-health support and stigma. Early diagnosis can help, but many mental disorders are difficult to detect. The machine-learning algorithms that let smartphones identify faces or respond to our voices could help provide a universal and low-cost way of spotting the early signs and getting treatment where it’s needed. In a study carried out by a team at Stanford University, scientists found that face and speech software can identify signals of depression with reasonable accuracy. The researchers fed video footage of depressed and non-depressed people into a machine-learning model that was trained to learn from a combination of signals: facial expressions, voice tone, and spoken words. The data was collected from interviews in which a patient spoke to an avatar controlled by a physician. In testing, it was able to detect whether someone was depressed more than 80% of the time. The research was led by Fei-Fei Li, a prominent AI expert who recently returned to Stanford from Google. While the new work is at an early stage, the researchers suggest that it could someday provide an easier way for people to get diagnosed and helped…”

UK Investigation – Facebook allegedly offered advertisers special access to users’ data and activities

Washington Post: [see also Motherboard for coverage w/out payall]”A key British lawmaker alleged Wednesday that Facebook maintained “whitelisting agreements” that gave select companies preferential access to valuable user data several years ago, offering insight into how the company balanced concerns about user privacy with the business imperative of growing revenue. Damian Collins, chairman of a… Continue Reading

Secret Service tests facial recognition system at the White House

FCW.com: “The Secret Service started testing a facial recognition system in and around the White House last week, according to a privacy assessment released by the Department of Homeland Security on Nov. 28. The pilot uses a facial recognition system, unnamed in the privacy document, to pore over faces collected by the Crown closed circuit… Continue Reading

Tech giants offer empty apologies because users can’t quit

TechCrunch – ‘Sorry’ means nothing since so does ‘We’re deleting’ A true apology consists of a sincere acknowledgement of wrongdoing, a show of empathic remorse for why you wronged and the harm it caused and a promise of restitution by improving ones actions to make things right. Without the follow-through, saying sorry isn’t an apology,… Continue Reading

Half of all Phishing Sites Now Have the Padlock

Krebs on Security – “Maybe you were once advised to “look for the padlock” as a means of telling legitimate e-commerce sites from phishing or malware traps. Unfortunately, this has never been more useless advice. New research indicates that half of all phishing scams are now hosted on Web sites whose Internet address includes the… Continue Reading

UK Parliament seizes cache of Facebook internal papers

The Guardian – Documents alleged to contain revelations on data and privacy controls that led to Cambridge Analytica scandal – “Parliament has used its legal powers to seize internal Facebook documents in an extraordinary attempt to hold the US social media giant to account after chief executive Mark Zuckerberg repeatedly refused to answer MPs’ questions.… Continue Reading

More companies are chipping their workers like pets

Engadget – “The trend of blundering into the void of adopting new tech, damn the consequences, full speed ahead, continues this week. The Telegraph tells us about “a number of UK legal and financial firms” are in talks with a chip company to implant their employees with RFID microchips for security purposes. Ah, security purposes,… Continue Reading

New on LLRX – Technology giants didn’t deserve public trust in the first place

Via LLRX – Technology giants didn’t deserve public trust in the first place – This commentary by Zachary Loeb synthesizes the increasingly frequent calls for oversight, regulation and even breaking up giant tech companies who have strayed way beyond their initial mission statements of “don’t be evil” and “helping you connect and share with the people… Continue Reading

As Federal Courts Urge Caution On Docket Services, Vendors Respond

LawSites – Bob Ambrogi – “Companies that provide services for accessing federal court dockets were caught off guard last week when a number of federal courts began sending notices to attorneys urging them to exercise caution when using such services. Some vendors said that the caution did not apply to them, while others said they were… Continue Reading

Amazon Announces a Security Change That May Help Companies Using AWS to Avoid Data Breaches

Fortune: “Amazon is finally offering a simple way for its cloud services customers to lock down data stored at its Simple Storage Service (S3) with one fell swoop. This change should help companies in the Fortune 500 and mom-and-pops down the street avoid embarrassing breaches of data. Customers of Amazon Web Services (AWS) routinely leave… Continue Reading

Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis

The New York Times: “…When Facebook users learned last spring that the company had compromised their privacy in its rush to expand, allowing access to the personal information of tens of millions of people to a political data firm linked to President Trump, Facebook sought to deflect blame and mask the extent of the problem.And… Continue Reading

Shop Safe This Holiday Season

Mozila: “Teddy bears that connect to the internet. Smart speakers that listen to commands. Great gifts—unless they spy on you. We created this guide to help you buy safe, secure products this holiday season.” Continue Reading