Posts Tagged ‘privacy’

police surveillance social media

Leaked documents show how police used social media and private Slack channels to track George Floyd protesters from r/technology

https://www.businessinsider.com/blueleaks-how-cops-tracked-george-floyd-protesters-on-social-media-2020-6

Police monitored RSVP lists on Facebook events, shared information about Slack channels protesters were using, and cited protesters’ posts in encrypted messaging apps like Telegram.

How police used social media to track protesters

warning sent to police departments on June 6, the FBI says it’s been tracking “individuals using Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram” who post about organizing protests.

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

Zoom succumbs to Chinese authorities

After March 2020 reports about Zoom privacy issues, now Zoom acknowledges working with the Chinese government:

Zoom acknowledged it shut down the accounts of several activists and online commemorations of the Tiananmen Square…

Posted by NPR on Friday, June 12, 2020

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Is Zoom Safe for Chinese Students?

Elizabeth Redden June 12, 2020

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/06/12/scholars-raise-concerns-about-using-zoom-teach-about-china

Unlike many other major tech platforms based in the U.S., Zoom, which is headquartered in California, has not been blocked by the Chinese government. Zoom said in a blog post that it is “developing technology over the next several days that will enable us to remove or block at the participant level based on geography” which will allow the company to “to comply with requests from local authorities when they determine activity on our platform is illegal within their borders; however, we will also be able to protect these conversations for participants outside of those borders where the activity is allowed.”

Zoom’s interference with the Tiananmen gatherings and its suspension of user accounts raised alarm among many in higher education, which increasingly depends on Zoom to operate courses remotely — including for students located within China’s borders.

Multiple scholars took to Twitter to express their worries

PEN America, a group that advocates for free expression, condemned Zoom for shuttering the activist’s account.

This is not the first time Zoom’s links to China have come under scrutiny. In April, the company admitted that some of its user data were “mistakenly” routed through China; in response, the company announced that users of paid Zoom accounts could opt out of having their data routed through data centers in China.

An April 3 report by scholars at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy said Zoom’s research and development operations in China could make the company susceptible “to pressure from Chinese authorities.”

Zoom, whose Chinese-born CEO is a U.S. citizen, said in its latest annual report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it had more than 700 employees at its research and development centers in China as of Jan. 31. The SEC filing notes that Zoom has a “high concentration of research and development personnel in China, which could expose us to market scrutiny regarding the integrity of our solution or data security features.”

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Zoom Just Totally Caved In to China on Censorship from r/technology


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more about Zoom in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=zoom

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
https://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
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=social+credit

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