How WhatsApp is being abused in Brazil’s elections

Posted by & filed under Big Data, Civil Liberties, data analytics, data mining.

Political campaigners in Brazil have used software that scrapes Facebook for citizens’ phone numbers, and then automatically sends them WhatsApp messages and adds them to WhatsApp groups. Almost three weeks ago, 147 million voters in the country went to the polls for legislative elections and the first round of the presidential elections. This Sunday, they… Read more »

University of Toronto researchers developing tool to jam facial recognition software

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence, Biometrics, Civil Liberties, Consumer Technology, Ethical Issues, FaceBook, Instagram.

While your selfie might get lots of “likes” on social media, companies and perhaps even fraudsters may like your face even more — because they can profit from it. But a University of Toronto researcher has found a way for internet users to opt out by very slightly distorting images, and he’s working on an app that will help them do just… Read more »

Civil Rights Group Criticizes Amazon Over Facial Recognition

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Civil Liberties.

Amazon.com Inc. drew the ire of the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday over a facial-recognition system offered to law-enforcement agencies that the advocacy group says can be used to violate civil rights. In marketing materials obtained by the group, Amazon Web Services said its Rekognition system uses artificial intelligence to quickly identify people in photos and videos,… Read more »

Microsoft launches $25M program to use AI for disabilities

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence, Civil Liberties, Emerging Technologies, Ethical Issues, microsoft.

Microsoft is launching a $25 million initiative to use artificial intelligence to build better technology for people with disabilities. CEO Satya Nadella announced the new “AI for Accessibility” effort as he kicked off Microsoft’s annual conference for software developers. The Build conference in Seattle is meant to foster enthusiasm for the company’s latest ventures in… Read more »

Facebook, AggregateIQ now being jointly probed by Canada, B.C. data watchdogs

Posted by & filed under Civil Liberties, data mining, Ethical Issues, ethics, FaceBook.

Privacy  watchdogs in Canada and British Columbia are combining existing investigations into Facebook  and AggregateIQ. The latter being a Victoria-based ad targeting tech company that has been linked to Cambridge Analytica,  the political consultancy at the center of the Facebook data misuse storm. Source: Tech Crunch Date: April 6th, 2018 Link: https://techcrunch.com/2018/04/06/facebook-aggregateiq-now-being-jointly-probed-by-canada-b-c-data-watchdogs/ Discussion 1) Much of the media attention in this issue is… Read more »

Canada’s privacy commissioner proposes right to change inaccurate search engine results

Posted by & filed under Civil Liberties, Ethical Issues, Google, IT and the law, IT Trends.

Canada’s privacy commissioner thinks you should have the right to ask that inaccurate, incomplete or outdated information appearing in search engines be either amended or removed — and that under Canadian law, internet companies should have to comply. Source: CBC News Date: January 26th, 2018 Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/privacy-commissioner-de-indexing-forgotten-search-results-1.4505425 Discussion 1) Search engines are searching information from websites that they have no control over… Read more »

Welcome to the neighbourhood. Have you read the terms of service?

Posted by & filed under Civil Liberties, Ethical Issues, Smart Home, social impacts.

It’s already hard enough to get people to read the terms of service for the apps they use, and experts are skeptical we could expect any better of someone crossing into the boundary of a smart city neighbourhood, where sensors and data collection abound. Source: CBC News Date: January 18th, 2018 Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/smart-cities-privacy-data-personal-information-sidewalk-1.4488145 Discussion 1) “Sidewalk Labs is… Read more »

A Three-Digit Score Could Dictate Your Place in Society

Posted by & filed under China, Civil Liberties, data analytics, Electronic Surveillance, Emerging Technologies, Ethical Issues.

In 2015 Ant Financial was one of eight tech companies granted approval from the People’s Bank of China to develop their own private credit scoring platforms. Zhima Credit appeared in the Alipay app shortly after that. The service tracks your behavior on the app to arrive at a score between 350 and 950, and offers… Read more »

Will tech firms challenge China’s ‘open’ internet?

Posted by & filed under Censorship, China, Civil Liberties, FaceBook.

China has been smart and ruthless in its control of the internet within its borders. It blocks some foreign sites altogether and it censors – heavily – what Chinese are allowed to see.  Nonetheless the big idea at this gathering is openness.  There wasn’t much openness about the “great firewall” that keeps out Twitter, Facebook, Google and… Read more »