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Tag Archives for " US "

The Senate’s secret algorithms bill doesn’t actually fight secret algorithms

In the case of the Filter Bubble Transparency Act, it’s not just spin; it’s an example of how badly defined buzzwords can make it impossible to address the internet’s problems. The bill is named after Eli Pariser’s 2011 book The Filter Bubble, which argues that companies like Facebook create digital echo chambers by optimizing content for what each person already engages with.

The FBTA aims to let people opt out of those echo chambers. Large companies would have to notify users if they’re delivering content — like search results or a news feed — based on personal information that the user didn’t explicitly provide.

However, the FBTA doesn’t make platforms explain exactly how their algorithms work. It doesn’t prevent them from using arcane and manipulative rules, as long as those rules aren’t built around certain kinds of personal data. And removing or disclosing a few factors in an algorithm doesn’t make the overall algorithm transparent.

Full article: The Senate’s secret algorithms bill doesn’t actually fight secret algorithms – The Verge

The DNA database used to find the Golden State Killer is a national security leak waiting to happen

A private DNA ancestry database that’s been used by police to catch criminals is a security risk from which a nation-state could steal DNA data on a million Americans, according to security researchers.

Security flaws in the service, called GEDmatch, not only risk exposing people’s genetic health information but could let an adversary such as China or Russia create a powerful biometric database useful for identifying nearly any American from a DNA sample.

Source: The DNA database used to find the Golden State Killer is a national security leak waiting to happen – MIT Technology Review

Legislation Would Force Google and Rivals to Disclose Search Algorithms

Senate lawmakers are teeing up a bill that would require search engines to disclose the algorithms they apply in ranking internet searches amid growing concern over their use of personal data and give consumers an option for unfiltered searches.

Search engines such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google unit use a variety of measures to filter results for individual searches, such as the user’s browsing activity, search history and geographical location.

Source: Legislation Would Force Google and Rivals to Disclose Search Algorithms – WSJ

Regulating Facial Recognition Tech – Where Are We Now?

While there are clearly now multiple efforts to curtail the use of facial recognition technology (FRT) in the public realm, the reality is that the genie is already out of the bottle and there is no way to put it back.

The efforts above range from limited bans within the public sector, to reviews of new implementations of the tech, to specific court cases against police use of FRT. In short, it’s a patchwork of efforts, and there are huge gaps between them. Many examples also tend to focus on State-backed projects, rather than in the private sector – which is also experimenting with the tech, often in the public domain.

Meanwhile, the technology and its use is still rapidly spreading around the world, and there remains as yet no fully tested national position on its use in countries such as the US and UK.

Full article: Regulating Facial Recognition Tech – Where Are We Now? – Artificial Lawyer

Senators introduce bill to let users take their data between social networks

Three prominent tech critics in the Senate will introduce new legislation Tuesday requiring social media giants to give consumers ways to move their personal data to another platform at any time.

The bill’s goal is to loosen the grip social media platforms have on consumers through the long-term collection and storage of their data.

Source: Senators introduce bill to let users take their data between social networks – Axios

EU-US Privacy Shield passes third Commission ‘health check’

The European Commission published its report on the third annual review of the EU-US Privacy Shield. This despite the EU parliament calling last year for the mechanism to be suspended.

Report outlines that the US continues to ensure an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred from the EU to the 5,000 participating US companies under the Privacy Shield, the improvements made since the second annual review, and the appointments of key oversight and redress bodies, such as the Privacy Shield Ombudsperson.

Moreover, the Report highlights that an increasing number of EU individuals are making use of their rights under the Privacy Shield and that the relevant redress mechanisms are functioning well.

Source: EU-US Privacy Shield passes third Commission ‘health check’ — but litigation looms | TechCrunch

U.S. Using Trade Deals to Shield Tech Giants From Foreign Regulators

The Trump administration has begun inserting legal protections into recent trade agreements that shield online platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube from lawsuits, a move that could help lock in America’s tech-friendly regulations around the world even as they are being newly questioned at home.

The administration’s push is the latest salvo in a global fight over who sets the rules for the internet. While the rules for trading goods have largely been written — often by the United States — the world has far fewer standards for digital products. Countries are rushing into this vacuum, and in most cases writing regulations that are far more restrictive than the tech industry would prefer.

Source: U.S. Using Trade Deals to Shield Tech Giants From Foreign Regulators – The New York Times

Centrist Democratic Lawmakers Back Pro-Business Privacy Law

A group of more than 100 centrist Democratic House lawmakers is throwing its weight behind a privacy bill that has been praised by alliances of software and internet giants.

The bill would allow consumers to opt out of the collection, storage and sharing of their data. It would require companies to get consumers to approve any use of sensitive data such as financial or health information and oblige companies to furnish “plain language” privacy policies.

Source: Centrist Democratic Lawmakers Back Pro-Business Privacy Law – Bloomberg

One in three councils using algorithms to make welfare decisions

One in three councils are using computer algorithms to help make decisions about benefit claims and other welfare issues, despite evidence emerging that some of the systems are unreliable.

Companies including the US credit-rating businesses Experian and TransUnion, as well as the outsourcing specialist Capita and Palantir, a data-mining firm co-founded by the Trump-supporting billionaire Peter Thiel, are selling machine-learning packages to local authorities that are under pressure to save money.

Source: One in three councils using algorithms to make welfare decisions | Society | The Guardian

Amazon Calls for Government Regulation of Facial Recognition Tech

Amazon said it believes that governments should act to regulate the use of facial recognition technology to ensure it is used appropriately.

The company said it will back US federal privacy legislation “that requires transparency, access to personal information, ability to delete personal information, and that prohibits the sale of personal data without consent.”

Source: Amazon Calls for Government Regulation of Facial Recognition Tech | SecurityWeek.Com

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