Tag Archives for " IoT "

Alexa and other smart speakers may endanger privacy rights

Legal experts say internet-connected smart speakers are the latest example of how technology and devices endear themselves to consumers before they realize the downsides.

The devices are supposed to begin recording the conversation only in response to “wake words” — like “Alexa” (for the Echo), “OK Google” (for the Google Home) and “Hey Siri” (for Apple’s HomePod). But they may be able to hear background conversations while activated.

Source: Alexa and other smart speakers may endanger privacy rights – SFChronicle.com

Sidewalk Toronto commits to Privacy by Design principles amid citizen concerns

Members of the Sidewalk Toronto team echoed the principles of Privacy by Design, the framework of Ryerson University’s expert in residence Ann Cavoukian.

The former Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario is an adviser to the project’s privacy policy development as it works through a lengthy public consultation phase for a project that is in many ways the first smart city development of its kind.

Source: Sidewalk Toronto commits to Privacy by Design principles amid citizen concerns | IT World Canada News

EU: data-harvesting tech firms are ‘sweatshops of connected world’

The European data protection supervisor has hit out at social media and tech firms over the recent constant stream of privacy policy emails in the run up to GDPR, calling them them the “sweatshops of the connected world”.

“The most recent [Facebook] scandal has served to expose a broken and unbalanced ecosystem reliant on unscrupulous personal data collection and micro-targeting for whatever purposes promise to generate clicks and revenues.”

Source: EU: data-harvesting tech firms are ‘sweatshops of connected world’ | Technology | The Guardian

Advisory group releases IoT safety and design risk toolkit

Hundreds of initiatives have been launched over the past several years to tackle the issue of internet-of-things security in the design phase for devices. AgeLight Advisory Group Managing Director Craig Spiezle spent the time to review more than 1,500 documents to see what those initiatives hoped to achieve.

AgeLight has released the fruits of Spiezle’s work in the form of the IoT Safety and Trust Design Architecture and Risk Toolkit. The toolkit seeks to achieve three primary goals: to guide and drive industry into self-regulation, to promote high-value privacy and security practices, and to deliver trustworthy devices to the marketplace.

Source: Advisory group releases IoT safety and design risk toolkit

Amazon Partnership with British Police Alarms Privacy Advocates

Police in Lancashire, a county in northwest England, have rolled out a program to broadcast crime updates, photos of wanted and missing people, and safety notifications to Amazon Echo owners.

Since February, the free app has been available to those using Alexa, a cloud-based voice assistant hooked up to the Echo smart speaker. The first of its kind in the U.K., the program was developed by the police force’s innovations manager in a partnership with Amazon developers.

Source: Amazon Partnership with British Police Alarms Privacy Advocates

EU e-privacy proposal risks breaking ‘Internet of Things’

The ‘Internet of Things’ – smart devices that transmit data over a network – offer myriad benefits to European society, from helping people keep track of their fitness and providing drivers with live traffic information, to monitoring air quality and automating homes and factories.

But the forthcoming ePrivacy Regulation could throw sand in the gears of such progress by unnecessarily regulating Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Source: EU e-privacy proposal risks breaking ‘Internet of Things’

Security by design backed to combat cyber risk in smart devices

Cybersecurity should be embedded into the way ‘smart’ consumer devices are made, the UK government has said.

The government has, in collaboration with industry and the National Cyber Security Centre, developed a draft code of practice designed to improve security in consumer ‘internet of things’ (IoT) products and associated services.

Source: Security by design backed to combat cyber risk in smart devices

Toronto smart city plan faces privacy concerns

Sidewalk Labs, the unit of Google parent Alphabet Inc. selected to help transform a parcel of land known as Quayside, at the foot of Parliament Street, listed off a dizzying array of technologies it could develop in Canada’s largest city, then sell elsewhere: cameras and sensors that detect pedestrians at traffic lights or alert cleanup crews when garbage bins overflow; robotic vehicles that whisk away garbage in underground tunnels; heated bike lanes to melt snow; even a new street layout to accommodate a fleet of self-driving cars.

Many are concerned about the data Sidewalk could collect. Some say the deal has been shrouded in secrecy. Others fear the company’s vague but sweeping plans could threaten the city’s authority over a massive swath of waterfront or even its public transit system and other key services.

Source: Cracks appear in Sidewalk Labs’ Toronto waterfront plan after fanfare – The Globe and Mail

Is Artificial Intelligence the Ultimate Test for Privacy?

Nothing challenges the effectiveness of data protection law like technological innovation. You think you have cracked a technology neutral framework and then along comes the next evolutionary step in the chain to rock the boat.

It happened with the cloud. It happened with social media, with mobile, with online behavioural targeting and with the Internet of Things. And from the combination of all of that, artificial intelligence is emerging as the new testing ground. 21st century artificial intelligence relies on machine learning, and machine learning relies on…? You guessed it: Data.

Source: Is Artificial Intelligence the Ultimate Test for Privacy?

Snips brings its privacy-focused voice assistant to cars

French startup Snips is announcing two things for its voice assistant SDK. First, the company is showing off an interesting use case in Nuremberg with a Snips-powered voice assistant in a car. Second, you can now build voice assistants in German.

Snips isn’t technically competing with Alexa Voice Service or Google Assistant SDK as they’re not designed the same way. Snips lets you build a voice assistant that runs locally. While many hackers have been playing around with the SDK, Snips eventually wants to convince manufacturers that they should embed a Snips-powered assistant instead of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

Source: Snips brings its privacy-focused voice assistant to cars | TechCrunch

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