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Category Archives for "Technology"

Even Privacy-Focused Cryptocurrency Can Spill Your Secrets

From a Harry Potter-themed protocol to high-profile coins, cryptocurrency is often not quite as private as it seems.

Privacy coins are a reaction to the realization that bitcoin isn’t private at all. All bitcoin transaction data is public and open to all for analysis; combine that with some strategic subpoenas to get the personal data cryptocurrency exchanges are required to collect on their customers, and it’s pretty trivial to untangle who’s who. But also privacy focused couns like Grin and Beam have their flaws, as research shows.

Source: Even Privacy-Focused Cryptocurrency Can Spill Your Secrets | WIRED

DNA test kits threaten kids’ privacy in ways we can’t understand yet

You don’t have to be Orwell to understand that allowing a profit-driven company to analyze your genetic data comes with some scary privacy risks.

The only legislation directly concerning this data is called the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (also known as GINA), and it has been criticized by privacy experts for its narrow scope.

Privacy policy design can be an ambiguous business even with the best intentions, and I think it would be naive of a consumer to believe that DNA testing companies don’t have an incentive to leverage your data in ways that can’t be foreseen.

Source: How much of your privacy is at stake after using DNA test kits — Quartz

Google to let sites block personalized ads under California privacy law 

Websites and apps using Google’s advertising tools will be able to block personalized ads to internet users in California and elsewhere as part of the Alphabet Inc unit’s effort to help them comply with the state’s new privacy law.

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which goes into effect on Jan. 1, requires large businesses to let consumers opt out of the sale of their personal data. Lobbying by internet companies earlier this year failed to have the law exclude personalized ads, leaving the most popular and lucrative online ads in jeopardy.

Source: Google to let sites block personalized ads under California privacy law – Reuters

UK’s data regulator again warns ad tech over GDPR compliance

U.K. data protection authority, The Information Commissioner’s Office, has stepped up its warning for the ad tech industry to get its house in order quickly if it is to comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and avoid heavy fines.

The ICO held an “ad tech fact-finding forum” in London on Tuesday. It discussed the data protection watchdog’s latest findings since it released a report in June taking the ad tech and real-time bidding marketplace to task on GDPR compliance and giving the industry six months to clean up its act. This summer the ICO said the industry’s current real-time bidding protocols violate GDPR. At the time, the ICO outlined “key areas of concern” including issues such as companies’ treatment of sensitive, “special category” data and the often substandard contractual agreements to protect how bid-request data is shared between vendors.

Source: UK’s data regulator again warns ad tech over GDPR compliance – Digiday

EU Commissioner Vestager to present new AI law at the start of 2020

Over the next three months, European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager will draft a new European law for AI. As of December, she will be responsible for the digitization of the European market. She plans to present her new AI law in March. After that, the European Parliament and the governments and parliaments of the Member States will have to approve her new AI law.

The new AI law is to lay out the rules regarding the collection and sharing of data by, among others, the large American tech companies such as Facebook, Amazon and Google whose internet platforms are being used on a massive scale by European citizens. At the moment there is only a guideline for e-privacy and one set of regulations for data protection (GDPR). The new law must include rules that make the collectors and distributors of data liable for any abuse use of this data.

Source: EU Commissioner Vestager to present new AI law at the start of 2020 – Innovation Origins

French Supervisory Authority publishes guidance on facial recognition

On November 15, 2019, the French Supervisory Authority (CNIL) published guidance on the use of facial recognition. The guidance is primarily directed at public authorities in France that want to experiment with facial recognition.

The guidance warns that this technology risks leading to biased results and sets out three general requirements for deploying facial recognition on an experimental basis.

First, facial recognition can only be used if there is an established need to implement an authentication mechanism that ensures a high level of reliability, and there are no other less intrusive means that would be appropriate. Second, the experimental use of facial recognition must respect the rights of individuals. Third, the use of facial recognition on an experimental basis must have a precise timeline and be based on a rigorous methodology setting out the objectives pursued and the criteria for success.

Source: French Supervisory Authority publishes guidance on facial recognition

Amid privacy backlash, China’s DJI unveils drone-to-phone tracking

China’s DJI, the world’s largest commercial drone maker, said it is developing technology that would allow the public to track the registrations of drones in flight using just a smartphone, amid a broader industry push to make such data available.

The push for remote identification technology comes amid regulatory calls for greater oversight of drone flight, on fears that untraceable, unmanned aircraft could be used for spying or accidentally disrupt commercial flights.

Source: Amid privacy backlash, China’s DJI unveils drone-to-phone tracking – Reuters

Google restricts contextual ad targeting

Google has taken steps to limit data sharing for targeted adverts as it comes under increasing pressure to do more to protect the privacy of users.

The changes to its advertising technology follow an intervention from the European Union and mean that Google will no longer inform advertisers about the type of content where their ad could appear.

Source: Google restricts contextual ad targeting | The Drum

The Risks Of Law Enforcement Use Of Facial Recognition Software

Facial recognition is truly a one-of-a-kind technology — and we should treat it as such. Our faces are central to our identities, online and off, and they are difficult to hide.

the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement is particularly problematic due to its invasiveness and increasing pervasiveness. Americans are losing due-process protections, and even law-abiding citizens cannot confidently engage in free association, free movement and free speech without fear of being tracked.

Full article: Who Stole My Face? The Risks Of Law Enforcement Use Of Facial Recognition Software | Above the Law

DNS-over-HTTPS will eventually roll out in all major browsers

All six major browser vendors have plans to support DNS-over-HTTPS (or DoH), a protocol that encrypts DNS traffic and helps improve a user’s privacy on the web.

The DoH protocol has been one of the year’s hot topics. It’s a protocol that, when deployed inside a browser, it allows the browser to hide DNS requests and responses inside regular-looking HTTPS traffic.

Source: DNS-over-HTTPS will eventually roll out in all major browsers, despite ISP opposition | ZDNet

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