Posts Tagged ‘surveillance’

tik tok censorship

Posted by Muhammed Anas M on Wednesday, November 27, 2019

 

TikTok says it doesn’t censor content, but a user was just locked out after a viral post criticizing China

TikTok says it doesn’t censor content, but a user was just locked out after a viral post criticizing China from technology

Families of missing Uighurs use Tiktok video app to publicise China detentions

/https://uighurtimes.com/index.php/families-of-missing-uighurs-use-tiktok-video-app-to-publicise-china-detentions/


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Nov. 28, 2019

TikTok sorry for blocking teenager who disguised Xinjiang video as make-up tutorial

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/nov/28/tiktok-says-sorry-to-us-teenager-blocked-after-sharing-xinjiang-videos

A spokesman for the platform on Thursday blamed a “human moderation error” for the removal of a video by 17-year-old Feroza Aziz disguised as a makeup tutorial to avoid being censored.

Owned by the Beijing-based technology company ByteDance, TikTok is one of few Chinese apps that have gained popularity outside of China. TikTok has said that it does not apply Chinese censorship rules on the international version of its app.

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more on tik tok in this iMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=tik+tokhttps://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=tik+tok

AI laptops

https://www.cnet.com/news/intel-will-build-ai-brains-into-your-laptop-for-tomorrows-speed-boost/

AI computing involves two phases: training and inference. Training requires computers that can process enormous amounts of data. For example, getting an AI system to recognize what’s in photographs requires a computer to sort through billions of labeled photos to create a model. That model is used in the second step to infer, or identify, what’s in a specific photo.

Intel already sells its Nervana chips for training and inference to data centers packed with servers, computing infrastructure that often powers services at AI-heavy companies such as Google and Facebook. Intel is now shipping its larger, more expensive and power-hungry Nervana NNP-T chips for training and its smaller NNP-I chips for inference, the chipmaker announced.

Hong Kong and technology

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

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

surveillance technology and education

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2019-06-10-is-school-surveillance-going-too-far-privacy-leaders-urge-a-slow-down

New York’s Lockport City School District, which is using public funds from a Smart Schools bond to help pay for a reported $3.8 million security system that uses facial recognition technology to identify individuals who don’t belong on campus

The Lockport case has drawn the attention of national media, ire of many parents and criticism from the New York Civil Liberties Union, among other privacy groups.

the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF), a nonprofit think tank based in Washington, D.C., published an animated video that illustrates the possible harm that surveillance technology can cause to children and the steps schools should take before making any decisions, such as identifying specific goals for the technology and establishing who will have access to the data and for how long.

A few days later, the nonprofit Center for Democracy and Technology, in partnership with New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, released a brief examining the same topic.

My note: same considerations were relayed to the SCSU SOE dean in regard of the purchase of Premethean and its installation in SOE building without discussion with faculty, who work with technology. This information was also shared with the dean: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2018/10/31/students-data-privacy/

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

break up Facebook

https://nyti.ms/2LzRzwq

Facebook’s board works more like an advisory committee than an overseer, because Mark controls around 60 percent of voting shares. Mark alone can decide how to configure Facebook’s algorithms to determine what people see in their News Feeds, what privacy settings they can use and even which messages get delivered. He sets the rules for how to distinguish violent and incendiary speech from the merely offensive, and he can choose to shut down a competitor by acquiring, blocking or copying it.

We are a nation with a tradition of reining in monopolies, no matter how well intentioned the leaders of these companies may be. Mark’s power is unprecedented and un-American.

It is time to break up Facebook.

America was built on the idea that power should not be concentrated in any one person, because we are all fallible. That’s why the founders created a system of checks and balances.

More legislation followed in the 20th century, creating legal and regulatory structures to promote competition and hold the biggest companies accountable.

Starting in the 1970s, a small but dedicated group of economists, lawyers and policymakers sowed the seeds of our cynicism. Over the next 40 years, they financed a network of think tanks, journals, social clubs, academic centers and media outlets to teach an emerging generation that private interests should take precedence over public ones. Their gospel was simple: “Free” markets are dynamic and productive, while government is bureaucratic and ineffective.

American industries, from airlines to pharmaceuticals, have experienced increased concentration, and the average size of public companies has tripled. The results are a decline in entrepreneurshipstalled productivity growth, and higher prices and fewer choices for consumers.

From our earliest days, Mark used the word “domination” to describe our ambitions, with no hint of irony or humility.

Facebook’s monopoly is also visible in its usage statistics. About 70 percent of American adults use social media, and a vast majority are on Facebook products. Over two-thirds use the core site, a third use Instagram, and a fifth use WhatsApp. By contrast, fewer than a third report using Pinterest, LinkedIn or Snapchat. What started out as lighthearted entertainment has become the primary way that people of all ages communicate online.

The F.T.C.’s biggest mistake was to allow Facebook to acquire Instagram and WhatsApp. In 2012, the newer platforms were nipping at Facebook’s heels because they had been built for the smartphone, where Facebook was still struggling to gain traction. Mark responded by buying them, and the F.T.C. approved.

The News Feed algorithm reportedly prioritized videos created through Facebook over videos from competitors, like YouTube and Vimeo. In 2012, Twitter introduced a video network called Vine that featured six-second videos. That same day, Facebook blocked Vine from hosting a tool that let its users search for their Facebook friends while on the new network. The decision hobbled Vine, which shut down four years later.

unlike Vine, Snapchat wasn’t interfacing with the Facebook ecosystem; there was no obvious way to handicap the company or shut it out. So Facebook simply copied it. (opyright law does not extend to the abstract concept itself.)

As markets become more concentrated, the number of new start-up businesses declines. This holds true in other high-tech areas dominated by single companies, like search (controlled by Google) and e-commerce (taken over by Amazon). Meanwhile, there has been plenty of innovation in areas where there is no monopolistic domination, such as in workplace productivity (Slack, Trello, Asana), urban transportation (Lyft, Uber, Lime, Bird) and cryptocurrency exchanges (Ripple, Coinbase, Circle).

The choice is mine, but it doesn’t feel like a choice. Facebook seeps into every corner of our lives to capture as much of our attention and data as possible and, without any alternative, we make the trade.

Just last month, Facebook seemingly tried to bury news that it had stored tens of millions of user passwords in plain text format, which thousands of Facebook employees could see. Competition alone wouldn’t necessarily spur privacy protection — regulation is required to ensure accountability — but Facebook’s lock on the market guarantees that users can’t protest by moving to alternative platforms.

Mark used to insist that Facebook was just a “social utility,” a neutral platform for people to communicate what they wished. Now he recognizes that Facebook is both a platform and a publisher and that it is inevitably making decisions about values. The company’s own lawyers have argued in court that Facebook is a publisher and thus entitled to First Amendment protection.

As if Facebook’s opaque algorithms weren’t enough, last year we learned that Facebook executives had permanently deleted their own messages from the platform, erasing them from the inboxes of recipients; the justification was corporate security concerns.

Mark may never have a boss, but he needs to have some check on his power. The American government needs to do two things: break up Facebook’s monopoly and regulate the company to make it more accountable to the American people.

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We Don’t Need Social Media

The push to regulate or break up Facebook ignores the fact that its services do more harm than good

Colin Horgan, May 13, 2019

https://onezero.medium.com/we-dont-need-social-media-53d5455f4f6b

Hughes joins a growing chorus of former Silicon Valley unicorn riders who’ve recently had second thoughts about the utility or benefit of the surveillance-attention economy their products and platforms have helped create. He is also not the first to suggest that government might need to step in to clean up the mess they made

Nick Srnicek, author of the book Platform Capitalism and a lecturer in digital economy at King’s College London, wrotelast month, “[I]t’s competition — not size — that demands more data, more attention, more engagement and more profits at all costs

 

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

data interference

APRIL 21, 2019 Zeynep Tufekci

Think You’re Discreet Online? Think Again

Because of technological advances and the sheer amount of data now available about billions of other people, discretion no longer suffices to protect your privacy. Computer algorithms and network analyses can now infer, with a sufficiently high degree of accuracy, a wide range of things about you that you may have never disclosed, including your moods, your political beliefs, your sexual orientation and your health.

There is no longer such a thing as individually “opting out” of our privacy-compromised world.

In 2017, the newspaper The Australian published an article, based on a leaked document from Facebook, revealing that the company had told advertisers that it could predict when younger users, including teenagers, were feeling “insecure,” “worthless” or otherwise in need of a “confidence boost.” Facebook was apparently able to draw these inferences by monitoring photos, posts and other social media data.

In 2017, academic researchers, armed with data from more than 40,000 Instagram photos, used machine-learning tools to accurately identify signs of depression in a group of 166 Instagram users. Their computer models turned out to be better predictors of depression than humans who were asked to rate whether photos were happy or sad and so forth.

Computational inference can also be a tool of social control. The Chinese government, having gathered biometric data on its citizens, is trying to use big data and artificial intelligence to single out “threats” to Communist rule, including the country’s Uighurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic group.

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Zeynep Tufekci and Seth Stephens-Davidowitz: Privacy is over

https://www.centreforideas.com/article/zeynep-tufekci-and-seth-stephens-davidowitz-privacy-over

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Zeynep Tufekci writes about security and data privacy for NY Times, disinformation’s threat to democracy for WIRED

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

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