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Category Archives for "Surveillance"

Mass surveillance fears as India readies facial recognition system

As India prepares to install a nationwide facial recognition system in an effort to catch criminals and find missing children, human rights and technology experts on Thursday warned of the risks to privacy from increased surveillance.

There is little information on where it will be deployed, what the data will be used for and how data storage will be regulated.

Worldwide, the rise of cloud computing and artificial intelligence technologies have popularised the use of facial recognition for a range of applications from tracking criminals to catching truant students.

Source: Mass surveillance fears as India readies facial recognition system – Reuters

China Sharpens Hacking to Hound Its Minorities, Far and Wide

New, more sophisticated attacks are targeting Uighurs’ phones — even iPhones and even abroad, security researchers say. They warn that foreigners could be next.

“The Chinese use their best tools against their own people first because that is who they’re most afraid of,” said James A. Lewis, a former United States government official who writes on cybersecurity and espionage for the Center for Strategic Studies in Washington. “Then they turn those tools on foreign targets.”

Source: China Sharpens Hacking to Hound Its Minorities, Far and Wide – The New York Times

Spanish DPA fines company for the cookie policy with 30,000 euros

The Spanish Data Protection Authority fined the company Vueling for the cookie policy used on its website with 30,000 euros because users who access the company’s website do not have the ability to configure the cookies that are installed on their computers.

When accessing online the cookie policy of the website, users are informed about what cookies are and what cookies they use (first and third-party). What the company does not provide is a management system or cookie configuration panel that allows the user to delete them in a granular way.

Source: The Spanish Data Protection Authority fined the company Vueling for the cookie policy used on its website with 30,000 euros | European Data Protection Board

Smart TVs are data-collecting machines, new study shows

new study from Princeton University shows internet-connected TVs, which allow people to stream Netflix and Hulu, are loaded with data-hungry trackers.

In total, the study found trackers on 69 percent of Roku channels and 89 percent of Amazon Fire channels. Both Roku and Amazon Fire allow users to turn off targeted advertising. But doing so only stops a user’s advertising ID from being tracked — not the other uniquely identifiable information.

Source: Smart TVs are data-collecting machines, new study shows – The Verge

How Photos of Your Kids Are Powering Surveillance Technology

One day in 2005, a mother in Evanston, Ill., joined Flickr. She uploaded some pictures of her children. Years later, their faces are in a database that’s used to test and train some of the most sophisticated artificial intelligence systems in the world called MegaFace.

By law, most Americans in the database don’t need to be asked for their permission. However, residents of Illinois are protected by one of the strictest state privacy laws on the books: the Biometric Information Privacy Act, a 2008 measure that imposes financial penalties for using an Illinoisan’s fingerprints or face scans without consent.

Full article: How Photos of Your Kids Are Powering Surveillance Technology – The New York Times

China to Require Facial Recognition for Internet, Cell Phones

Starting December 1, Chinese citizens will have to allow telecommunications carriers to scan their faces when signing up for internet access or to get a new phone number.

Registering your face in exchange for internet access just makes it easier to track what you post on social media, and what websites you might frequent. The Chinese government already has a vise-grip on the internet, in which sites like Facebook and Twitter are blocked.

Source: China to Require Facial Recognition for Internet, Cell Phones

Irish Department of Social Protection accused of ‘mass surveillance’

A complaint has been made to the Data Protection Commissioner accusing the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection of engaging in “mass surveillance” with regard to the collation of data from the free travel pass variant of the Public Services Card.

The complainant, Martin McMahon, from Dublin, noted when travelling with his own travel pass that his rights were being breached under the General Data Protection Regulation as his movements were being ‘recorded’.

Source: PSC fall-out: Department of Social Protection accused of ‘mass surveillance’

FBI Practices for Intercepted Emails Violated 4th Amendment, Judge Ruled

A federal judge secretly ruled last year that the F.B.I.’s procedures for searching for Americans’ emails within a repository of intercepted messages that were gathered without a warrant violated Fourth Amendment privacy rights, newly declassified files showed.

The F.B.I. improperly searched the repository for information involving large numbers of Americans who fit within general categories but against whom there was no individualized basis for suspicion. In a twist, one March 2017 search used more than 70,000 identifiers, like email addresses, linked to the F.B.I.’s own work force.

Source: F.B.I. Practices for Intercepted Emails Violated 4th Amendment, Judge Ruled – The New York Times

Tech firms know more about us than any spy agency says ex-GCHQ chief

Big internet firms know more about the lives of private individuals than any intelligence agency ever has and that is a dangerous threat to democracy, the former head of the spy agency GCHQ has said.

“The big revelation over the last couple of years has been not about government intelligence agencies, it’s been about the private sector. It is about the internet companies knowing more about me, you, everyone in the hall than any intelligence agency ever could or should know about us.”

Source: Tech firms know more about us than any spy agency – ex-GCHQ chief | UK news | The Guardian

German publishers wrestle with Firefox’s latest anti-tracking changes

German publishers have been hit hard by Mozilla Firefox’s latest anti-tracking update, which blocks third-party cookies by default.

Publishers have experienced a detrimental drop in programmatic ad revenues since the changes three weeks ago.

In a way, the fact Germany has been hit harder by the Firefox changes is unsurprising. That’s because, in Germany, where privacy is far more deep-rooted culturally than it is in the U.S. and U.K., the non-profit Firefox browser has always been especially popular.

Source: German publishers wrestle with Firefox’s latest anti-tracking changes – Digiday

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