Posts Tagged ‘privacy’

Feds Fine Fraudsters for Making a Billion Robocalls

June 10, 2020

“The U.S. communications regulator on Tuesday proposed a $225 million fine, its largest ever, against two health insurance telemarketers for spamming people with 1 billion robocalls using fake phone numbers.

The Federal Communications Commission said John Spiller and Jakob Mears made the calls through two businesses. State attorneys general of Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas also sued the two men and their companies, Rising Eagle and JSquared Telecom, in federal court in Texas, where both men live, for violating the federal law governing telemarketing, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.”

— “Feds seek $225M fine for pair who made a billion robocalls,” By Tali Arbel, Associated Press

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Facial Recognition

January 14, 2020

Joss Fong explains the real costs of facial recognition. a Vox video.

Related:

“Meet the scholar who diagnosed ‘surveillance capitalism,'” Frank Bajak, Associated Press

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Congress Passes Another Anti-Robocall Bill.

December 20, 2019

Congress Passes Another Anti-Robocall Bill.

“The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act, or the TRACED Act, empowers the federal government with new abilities to go after illegal robocallers. Once TRACED is enacted, the Federal Communications Commission could fine robocallers up to $10,000 per call. It also would require major carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile to deploy a new technology called STIR/SHAKEN into their networks, which will make it easier for consumers to know if they’re receiving a call from a spoofed number.”

— “Robocall fines rise to $10,000 per call under newly passed law,” Makena Kelly, The Verge

More:

“Senate passes anti-robocalls bill; Trump expected to sign,” Tali Arbel, Associated Press

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

Cambridge Analytica Got Data on 87 Million Facebook Users

April 5, 2018

Cambridge Analytica Got Data on 87 Million Facebook Users

Remember learning that Trump campaign data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica grabbed personal information from 50 million Facebook users? Fake News! it was 87 million.

But that’s nothing. Facebook now admits it let all kinds of skeevy cyber customers (it calls them “malicious actors”) scrape personal data from 2 billion people. Yes, that’s most Facebook users. Oops.

Looks like Mark Zuckerberg will have some ‘splainin’ to do when he testifies before Congress next Tuesday. Fun Fact: Three of his congressional questioners own FB stock.

Shut-the-Barn-Door-After Department: There are Plans to Restrict Data Access on Facebook.

More:

“Mark Zuckerberg knows he screwed up,” Kurt Wagner, ReCode

“Facebook says it should have audited Cambridge Analytica,” Associated Press

“Facebook’s dizzying spin on ‘the Cambridge Analytica thing,’” Callum Borchers, Washington Post

“Facebook suspends Canadian firm linked to Cambridge Analytica,” Kia Kokalitcheva, David McCabe, Axios

“As Facebook confronts data misuse, foreign governments might force real change,” Nick Noack, Washington Post

Related:

“This is how Zuckerberg’s Facebook will likely get regulated,” Chase Purdy, Quartz

“It’s about to get harder to trick people with political ads on Facebook,” Hanna Kozlowska, Quartz

“Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg Says Data-Sharing Tool Complied With FTC,” Sarah Frier, Bloomberg

“AP sources: EPA chief spent millions on security and travel,” Michael Biesecker, Associated Press

“Private Messages Aren’t Exactly Private at Facebook,” Shira Ovide, Bloomberg Gadfly

“Facebook retracted Zuckerberg’s messages from recipients’ inboxes,” Josh Constine, Techcrunch

“Facebook may need group therapy to fix its engineering culture,” Janet Guyon, Quartz

“Can We Be Saved From Facebook?” Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

“Don’t Fix Facebook. Replace It.” Tim Wu, New York Times

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Why GOP Congressman Killed Web Privacy: ‘Nobody’s got to use the Internet’

April 28, 2017

Why GOP Congressman Killed Web Privacy: 'Nobody's got to use the Internet'

At at recent Town Hall, 73-year-old Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI, 5) explained why he and his fellow Republicans voted to allow your Internet Service Provider to sell your browsing history:

“Nobody’s got to use the Internet. … And the thing is that if you start regulating the Internet like a utility, if we did that right at the beginning, we would have no Internet. … Internet companies have invested an awful lot of money in having almost universal service now. The fact is is that, you know, I don’t think it’s my job to tell you that you cannot get advertising for your information being sold. My job, I think, is to tell you that you have the opportunity to do it, and then you take it upon yourself to make that choice. … That’s what the law has been, and I think we ought to have more choices rather than fewer choices with the government controlling our everyday lives.”

You may recall that the Internet (and the Web as we know it) was developed by government, with your federal tax dollars.

More:

“‘Nobody’s got to use the Internet’: A GOP lawmaker’s response to concerns about Web privacy,” Kristine Phillips, Washington Post

“Why one Republican voted to kill privacy rules: ‘Nobody has to use the Internet,’” Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

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Mass Surveillance

April 27, 2016

Anti-terrorism mass surveillance practices examined by Kurzgesagt (German for “in short; in a nutshell”).

More:

“What’s the Evidence Mass Surveillance Works? Not Much,” Lauren Kirchner, Pro Publica

“Peekaboo, I See You: Government Authority Intended for Terrorism is Used for Other Purposes,” Mark Jaycox, Electronic Frontier Foundation

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Can Hackers Hijack Wi-Fi Barbie Doll to Spy On Your Kids?

December 4, 2015

Can Hackers Hijack Wi-Fi Barbie Doll to Spy On Your Kids?

The Mattel corporation has introduced the Hello Barbie ™ interactive doll that not only talks, it listens. And records your kid’s conversation with her. And connects to Wi-Fi so her recordings can be analyzed by the ToyTalk ™ voice-recognition software, and the information shared with parents or … who knows.  What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty, say Matt Jakubowski of LookingGlass Cyber Solutions and Andrew Browne of Lavasoft’s malware lab. Like Wi-Fi baby monitors, the dolls can be hacked by 3rd parties, and we’re not talking about Barbie’s Princess Tea Parties here, but persons of bad intent. ToyTalk says that’s not so, that Barbie’s software cannot be hacked. Frankly, we will reserve judgement until we can ask Hello Barbie ™ about this in person.

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The Surveillance Society

May 4, 2015

The Surveillance Society

We live in “the surveillance society,” observes Megan Garber:

 “… surveillance is distributed and small-sized and iterative. It is a logical extension of the hot-mic moment, of the caught-on-tape trope, of the blooper reel—and also, in its way, of the role cameras have recently played in exposing crime and police brutality.”

“… technology is making it harder to differentiate between the people we perform and the people we are.”

— “Britt McHenry and the Upsides of a Surveillance Society,” Megan Garber, The Atlantic

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Creepy Barbie Doll Will Spy on Your Kids

March 16, 2015

Creepy Barbie Doll Will Spy on Your Kids
The Mattel corporation has introduced the Hello Barbie ™ interactive doll that not only talks, it listens. And records your kid’s conversation with her. And connects to WiFi so her recordings can be analyzed by the ToyTalk ™ voice-recognition software and the information shared with parents or … who knows.  What could possibly go wrong?

So now girls will have a role model of anatomically impossible proportions who will teach them fashion consumerism and will eavesdrop on them, too. Talk about your multi-tasking. Welcome to the 21st Century, female offspring!

More:

“Privacy advocates try to keep ‘creepy,’ ‘eavesdropping’ Hello Barbie from hitting shelves,” Sarah Halzack, Washington Post

“Big Brother Has Enormous Plastic Boobs: ‘Hello Barbie’ Can Spy on Kids,” Ellie Shechet, Jezebel

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Drone Defense

December 9, 2014

Drone Defense

On September 26th, a man in Lower Township, NJ shot down a neighbor’s drone quadcopter that was hovering over his yard and taking photos. Police decided that the small aircraft posed no immediate threat, and arrested the gunman on weapons and criminal mischief charges. Laws about personal drone incursions aren’t clear, so this case may establish precedent.

More:

— “Man Shoots Down Drone, Lawyers Scratch Their Heads,” Kelsey D. Atherton, Popular Science

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Image (“Drone Shooting, after Henry Thomas Alken”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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