Posts Tagged ‘privacy’

web browsing history

https://www.facebook.com/aboutness/posts/10218894782575532

Senate Votes to Allow FBI to Look at Your Web Browsing History Without a Warrant

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/jgxxvk/senate-votes-to-allow-fbi-to-look-at-your-web-browsing-history-without-a-warrant

The US Senate has voted to give law enforcement agencies access to web browsing data without a warrant, dramatically expanding the government’s surveillance powers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The power grab was led by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell as part of a reauthorization of the Patriot Act, which gives federal agencies broad domestic surveillance powers.

“Today the Senate made clear that the purpose of the PATRIOT Act is to spy on Americans, no warrants or due process necessary,” Dayton Young, director of product at Fight for the Future, told Motherboard.

https://twitter.com/search?q=fbi%20browsing%20history&src=typed_query

https://www.reddit.com/search/?q=fbi%20browsing%20history

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=fbi%20browsing%20history&epa=SEARCH_BOX

 

Facial recognition technology breaches GDPR says Vestager

Margrethe Vestager, EU’s tech chief Margrethe Vestager said on Thursday that facial recognition technologies breach the need to give consent, which is stipulated in Europe’s data protection rules (GDPR).

“China might have data and the US might have money, but Europe has purpose,” the Commission’s VP for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age said.

The use of facial recognition technology remains highly controversial due to fears of China-type surveillance regimes and human rights violations, with Ursula von der Leyen, EC President pledging to distance Europe from these practices and to announcing new AI ethical and human-centred rules in the first 100 days of her mandate.

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more on facial recognition in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=facial+recognition

AI and privacy

The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It: It’s taken 3 billion images from the internet to build a an AI driven database that allows US law enforcement agencies identify any stranger. from r/Futurology

Until now, technology that readily identifies everyone based on his or her face has been taboo because of its radical erosion of privacy. Tech companies capable of releasing such a tool have refrained from doing so; in 2011, Google’s chairman at the time said it was the one technology the company had held back because it could be used “in a very bad way.” Some large cities, including San Francisco, have barred police from using facial

But without public scrutiny, more than 600 law enforcement agencies have started using Clearview in the past year, according to the company, which declined to provide a list. recognition technology.

Facial recognition technology has always been controversial. It makes people nervous about Big Brother. It has a tendency to deliver false matches for certain groups, like people of color. And some facial recognition products used by the police — including Clearview’s — haven’t been vetted by independent experts.

Clearview deployed current and former Republican officials to approach police forces, offering free trials and annual licenses for as little as $2,000. Mr. Schwartz tapped his political connections to help make government officials aware of the tool, according to Mr. Ton-That.

“We have no data to suggest this tool is accurate,” said Clare Garvie, a researcher at Georgetown University’s Center on Privacy and Technology, who has studied the government’s use of facial recognition. “The larger the database, the larger the risk of misidentification because of the doppelgänger effect. They’re talking about a massive database of random people they’ve found on the internet.”

Law enforcement is using a facial recognition app with huge privacy issues Clearview AI’s software can find matches in billions of internet images. from r/technology

Part of the problem stems from a lack of oversight. There has been no real public input into adoption of Clearview’s software, and the company’s ability to safeguard data hasn’t been tested in practice. Clearview itself remained highly secretive until late 2019.

The software also appears to explicitly violate policies at Facebook and elsewhere against collecting users’ images en masse.

while there’s underlying code that could theoretically be used for augmented reality glasses that could identify people on the street, Ton-That said there were no plans for such a design.

Banning Facial Recognition Isn’t Enough from r/technology

In May of last year, San Francisco banned facial recognition; the neighboring city of Oakland soon followed, as did Somerville and Brookline in Massachusetts (a statewide ban may follow). In December, San Diego suspended a facial recognition program in advance of a new statewide law, which declared it illegal, coming into effect. Forty major music festivals pledged not to use the technology, and activists are calling for a nationwide ban. Many Democratic presidential candidates support at least a partial ban on the technology.

facial recognition bans are the wrong way to fight against modern surveillance. Focusing on one particular identification method misconstrues the nature of the surveillance society we’re in the process of building. Ubiquitous mass surveillance is increasingly the norm. In countries like China, a surveillance infrastructure is being built by the government for social control. In countries like the United States, it’s being built by corporations in order to influence our buying behavior, and is incidentally used by the government.

People can be identified at a distance by their heart beat or by their gait, using a laser-based system. Cameras are so good that they can read fingerprints and iris patterns from meters away. And even without any of these technologies, we can always be identified because our smartphones broadcast unique numbers called MAC addresses.

China, for example, uses multiple identification technologies to support its surveillance state.

There is a huge — and almost entirely unregulated — data broker industry in the United States that trades on our information.

This is why many companies buy license plate data from states. It’s also why companies like Google are buying health records, and part of the reason Google bought the company Fitbit, along with all of its data.

The data broker industry is almost entirely unregulated; there’s only one law — passed in Vermont in 2018 — that requires data brokers to register and explain in broad terms what kind of data they collect.

The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It from r/technews

Until now, technology that readily identifies everyone based on his or her face has been taboo because of its radical erosion of privacy. Tech companies capable of releasing such a tool have refrained from doing so; in 2011, Google’s chairman at the time said it was the one technology the company had held back because it could be used “in a very bad way.” Some large cities, including San Francisco, have barred police from using facial recognition technology.

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on social credit system in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=social+credit

corporate surveillance

Behind the One-Way Mirror: A Deep Dive Into the Technology of Corporate Surveillance
BY BENNETT CYPHERS DECEMBER 2, 2019

https://www.eff.org/wp/behind-the-one-way-mirror

Corporations have built a hall of one-way mirrors: from the inside, you can see only apps, web pages, ads, and yourself reflected by social media. But in the shadows behind the glass, trackers quietly take notes on nearly everything you do. These trackers are not omniscient, but they are widespread and indiscriminate. The data they collect and derive is not perfect, but it is nevertheless extremely sensitive.

A data-snorting company can just make low bids to ensure it never wins while pocketing your data for nothing. This is a flaw in the implied deal where you trade data for benefits.

You can limit what you give away by blocking tracking cookies. Unfortunately, you can still be tracked by other techniques. These include web beaconsbrowser fingerprinting and behavioural data such as mouse movements, pauses and clicks, or sweeps and taps.

The EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was a baby step in the right direction. BOWM also mentions Vermont’s data privacy law, the Illinois Biometric Information Protection Act (BIPA) and next year’s California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Tor, the original anti-surveillance browser, is based on an old, heavily modified version of Firefox.

Most other browsers are now, like Chrome, based on Google’s open source Chromium. Once enough web developers started coding for Chrome instead of for open standards, it became arduous and expensive to sustain alternative browser engines. Chromium-based browsers now include Opera, Vivaldi, Brave, the Epic Privacy Browser and next year’s new Microsoft Edge.

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more on surveillance in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=surveillance

WeChat surveillance

https://www.npr.org/2019/08/29/751116338/china-intercepts-wechat-texts-from-u-s-and-abroad-researcher-says

Chinese cyberspace is one of the most surveilled and censored in the world. That includes WeChat. Owned by Tencent, one of China’s biggest companies, the chat-meets-payment app has more than 1 billion monthly users in China and now serves users outside the country, too, although it does not divulge how many. Researchers say its use abroad has extended the global reach of China’s surveillance and censorship methods.

“The intention of keeping people safe by building these systems goes out the window the moment you don’t secure them at all,” says Victor Gevers, co-founder of the nonprofit GDI Foundation, an open-source data security collective.

Every day, Gevers scans the Internet for vulnerabilities to find unsecured databases, and he has exposed a large number of them, particularly linked to China.

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more on WeChat and surveillance in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=wechat

Linda.com LinkedIn Microsoft Privacy

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2019-07-23-as-linkedin-learning-subsumes-lynda-com-library-groups-raise-privacy-concerns

The American Library Association said in a statement Monday that the planned changes to Lynda.com, which are slated to happen by the end of September 2019, “would significantly impair library users’ privacy rights.” That same day, the California State Library recommended that its users discontinue Lynda.com when it fully merges with LinkedIn Learning if it institutes the changes.

The library groups argue that by requiring users to create LinkedIn accounts to watch Lynda videos, the company is going from following best practices about privacy and identity protection to potentially asking libraries to violate a range of ethics codes they have pledged to uphold. The ALA’s Library Bill of Rights, for instance, states that: “All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.”

The change will not impact most colleges and university libraries or corporate users of Lynda.com services, who will not be required to force users to set up a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn officials say that’s because colleges and corporations have more robust ways to identify users than public libraries do.

LinkedIn acquired Lynda.com in 2015 for $1.5 billion. The following June, Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, the company’s largest-ever acquisition.

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more on privacy in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=privacy

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