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Category Archives for "Technology"

Students Are Rebelling Against Eye-Tracking Exam Surveillance Tools

Invasive test-taking software has become mandatory in many places, and some companies are retaliating against those who speak out.

he software turns students’ computers into powerful invigilators—webcams monitor eye and head movements, microphones record noise in the room, and algorithms log how often a test taker moves their mouse, scrolls up and down on a page, and pushes keys. The software flags any behavior its algorithm deems suspicious for later viewing by the class instructor.

Students’ and educators’ objections to exam proctoring software go beyond the privacy concerns around being watched and listened to in their bedrooms while they take a test. As more evidence emerges about how the programs work, and fail to work, critics say the tools are bound to hurt low-income students, students with disabilities, students with children or other dependents, and other groups who already face barriers in higher education.

Source: Students Are Rebelling Against Eye-Tracking Exam Surveillance Tools

MEPs raise concerns on EU plans for police facial recognition database

MEPs on the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee have questioned EU plans to establish a bloc-wide facial recognition database for use by police authorities, citing the potential abuse of data as well as the likelihood of false positives.

As part of a planned extension of the EU’s 2008 Prum Decision, which allows for the exchange of DNA, fingerprint and vehicle registration data, member states have proposed that police authorities be given powers that permit them to share facial images.

Source: MEPs raise concerns on EU plans for police facial recognition database – EURACTIV.com

Facebook Testing Implications of Privacy-Invading Tech By Invading People’s Privacy

Project Aria will send scores of Facebook workers into the world to record everything around them.

On Wednesday, Facebook announced a new project: the company would send out a hundred employees and contractors equipped with glasses that would record every piece of audio, visual, and spatial information possible in public and private spaces.

During its Facebook Connect livestream, the company dubbed this effort part of “Project Aria,” a new attempt to research augmented reality and help Facebook understand potential ethical or privacy-related problems with AR and AR glasses. It will also have the incidental benefit of freely extracting and analyzing staggering amounts of data to ostensibly train algorithms powering this future project.

Source: Facebook Testing Implications of Privacy-Invading Tech By Invading People’s Privacy

Homeland Security warns of a ‘critical’ security flaw in Windows servers

US Homeland Security has issued an emergency alert for a Windows security flaw, Zerologon, that allows attackers to compromise entire networks.

The flaw in the Netlogon Remote Protocol lets attackers with network access “completely compromise” Active Directory services on a network without using a sign-in —a hacker could run amok if they get through.

Source: Homeland Security warns of a ‘critical’ security flaw in Windows servers | Engadget

Google will start removing stalkerware and ‘misleading’ apps from its Play Store from October 21

The tech giant will give app developers until October 1 to remove stalkerware code from their official online store.

Google has announced that it is clamping down on apps containing stalkerware capabilities, defined by the company as “code that transmits personal information off the device without adequate notice or consent and doesn’t display a persistent notification that this is happening.”

On September 16, the company updated its Developer Program Policy to state that any apps distributed on its store that monitors a user’s behaviour must include, “adequate notice or consent”; a “persistent notification” of background tracking; must not present their app as a “spying or secret surveillance solution”; or attempt to “hide” or “mislead” users of their surveillance purposes.

Source: Google will start removing stalkerware and ‘misleading’ apps from its Play Store from October 21

Privacy, effectiveness among concerns of robocall-blocking apps

If you’re one of many Canadians who’ve considered alternative measures to block robocalls to your smartphone, a consumer agency says you should be aware of the dangers.

Whether or not the apps are effective is another matter, as most services won’t be able to completely block out the calls. Other features that some apps offer, such as answering calls with nonsensical messages, may actually result in a number getting more scam calls than before.

There is also the concern that a blocking app may expose your personal information, especially when it comes to those that require access to your voicemail.

Source: Better Business Bureau says there are better ways to block auto-dialers than using an app | CTV News

Japan’s police introduce facial recognition system in criminal probes

About 10 million facial images are currently stored in the agency’s database, including those of suspects referred to prosecutors who have not been arrested.

Japanese police have been using a system that can match photos of people who have been previously arrested with images gathered by surveillance cameras and social media, police officials said Saturday, a move that could raise concerns about privacy violations.

The facial analysis system has been operated by police across the nation since March to identify criminal suspects more quickly and accurately, the officials said. But critics warn that the system could turn the country into a surveillance society unless it is operated under strict rules.

Source: Japan’s police introduce facial recognition system in criminal probes | The Japan Times

European Police Malware Could Harvest GPS, Messages, Passwords, More

The malware that French law enforcement deployed en masse onto Encrochat devices, a large encrypted phone network using Android phones, had the capability to harvest “all data stored within the device,” and was expected to include chat messages, geolocation data, usernames, passwords, and more.

As well as the geolocation, chat messages, and passwords, the law enforcement malware also told infected Encrochat devices to provide a list of WiFi access points near the device.

Organized crime groups across Europe and the rest of the world heavily used the network before its seizure, in many cases to facilitate large scale drug trafficking.

Source: European Police Malware Could Harvest GPS, Messages, Passwords, More

IRS offers grants for software to trace privacy-focused cryptocurrency trades

Grants of up to $625,000 will be issued in exchange for cryptocurrency tracking technologies.

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is soliciting proposals from contractors that believe they can develop technologies able to shatter the privacy surrounding cryptocurrency transactions.

Prototypes and suggested methods to trace cryptocurrency transactions should including tracking capabilities for law enforcement, predictive analytics, and should have as little reliance on vendor-specific technologies as possible.

Source: IRS offers grants for software to trace privacy-focused cryptocurrency trades | ZDNet

IBM pushes for US to limit facial recognition system exports

IBM has called for the US Department of Commerce to limit the export of facial recognition systems, particularly to countries that could potentially use it for mass surveillance, racial profiling, or other human rights violations.

In a letter [PDF] to the Commerce Department, IBM highlighted the need for tighter export controls for facial recognition technologies that employ for what it referred to as “1-to-many” matching.

Source: IBM pushes for US to limit facial recognition system exports | ZDNet

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