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Privacy in the digital age
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Privacy in the digital age

  #201 (permalink)
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xplorer View Post

That's not to say the article isn't shocking.

These extensions prey on the fact that almost nobody reads their lengthy and confusing terms, but there's abuse as well as this article explained very well.

I stopped using browsers extensions altogether, with the exception of NoScript.

The tech industry, not surprisingly, discovered that they could put anything in their stated policies and no one would read them. They are not the first -- that's where the term "fine print" came from, probably hundreds of years ago.

The producers of browser extensions know all about this; plus, they (or some of them) apparently just violate their stated terms and expect to get away with it.

If that's all it takes to get their hands on their customers' data, the choice is easy. You can sell that personal data, after all.

Bob.

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  #202 (permalink)
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xplorer View Post
So to read an article about privacy I've had to let washingtonpost.com have access to my cookies. The irony....

You totally beat me to the punch...


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Last edited by Rrrracer; July 20th, 2019 at 11:28 AM.
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  #203 (permalink)
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Missing child found 18 years after being kidnapped


The following seems a good story to balance out the many concerns around digital privacy


Quoting 
The search for Madeleine McCann may have received a boost, after a FaceApp-style AI was used to reunite a Chinese man with his family 18 years after being abducted.

Yu Weifeng, 21, was reunited with his family yesterday after police were able to use the technology to predict what he would look like as a grown man, before searching a huge database.

The AI was able to predict with a high degree of accuracy what the missing boy might look like now – much like the recently trending FaceApp.

Investigators in Shenzhen’s Futian District, which is in South China’s Guangdong Province, reopened the missing boy’s case and were able to couple the Tencent AI Lab predictions.

It took about two months for the software to sort through nearly 100 candidates on a database, before singling out Weifeng, who is a student in the provincial capital Guangzhou.

Investigator Zheng Zhenhai said: ‘When we found him, he refused to believe that he was a kidnapped child, but DNA confirmed that he was a match with his biological parents.’




Full article on Metro

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  #204 (permalink)
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Apple contractors 'regularly hear confidential details' on Siri recordings

Workers hear drug deals, medical details and people having sex, says whistleblower

Apple contractors regularly hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex, as part of their job providing quality control, or “grading”, the company’s Siri voice assistant, the Guardian has learned.

Although Apple does not explicitly disclose it in its consumer-facing privacy documentation, a small proportion of Siri recordings are passed on to contractors working for the company around the world. They are tasked with grading the responses on a variety of factors, including whether the activation of the voice assistant was deliberate or accidental, whether the query was something Siri could be expected to help with and whether Siri’s response was appropriate.

Apple says the data “is used to help Siri and dictation … understand you better and recognise what you say”.

But the company does not explicitly state that that work is undertaken by humans who listen to the pseudonymised recordings.

Apple told the Guardian: “A small portion of Siri requests are analysed to improve Siri and dictation. User requests are not associated with the user’s Apple ID. Siri responses are analysed in secure facilities and all reviewers are under the obligation to adhere to Apple’s strict confidentiality requirements.” The company added that a very small random subset, less than 1% of daily Siri activations, are used for grading, and those used are typically only a few seconds long.

A whistleblower working for the firm, who asked to remain anonymous due to fears over their job, expressed concerns about this lack of disclosure, particularly given the frequency with which accidental activations pick up extremely sensitive personal information.

Siri can be accidentally activated when it mistakenly hears its “wake word”, the phrase “hey Siri”. Those mistakes can be understandable – a BBC interview about Syria was interrupted by the assistant last year – or less so. “The sound of a zip, Siri often hears as a trigger,” the contractor said. The service can also be activated in other ways. For instance, if an Apple Watch detects it has been raised and then hears speech, Siri is automatically activated.

The whistleblower said: “There have been countless instances of recordings featuring private discussions between doctors and patients, business deals, seemingly criminal dealings, sexual encounters and so on. These recordings are accompanied by user data showing location, contact details, and app data.”



Full article on The Guardian

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  #205 (permalink)
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The Great Hack

Last night I watched The Great Hack, (trailer here)




While for the past 10 years I have had plenty of time to be disgusted about the themes of privacy invasion being talked about in this documentary, I couldn't help but feeling a sense of dread because of the many threats to democracy around the world.

I found online a transcript of the documentary and, to give readers an idea of the impact that this stuff has had, I'm going to quote a passage from it.


This is Cambridge Analytica's staff talking:


Quoting 
We are a behavior change agency. The holy grail of communications is when you can start to change behavior.

Uh, Trinidad. This is a great,interesting case history of how we look at problems.
There are two main political parties, one for the blacks and one for the Indians. And you know, they screw each other. So, we were working for the Indians. We went to the client and we said,
"We want to target the youth." And we try and increase apathy. The campaign had to be non-political, because the kids don't care about politics. It had to be reactive, because they're lazy. So we came up with this campaign, which was all about: Be part of the gang. Do something cool. Be part of a movement. And it was called the "Do So!" campaign.
It means "I'm not going to vote." "Do so! Don't vote." The salute of resistance that is known to all across Trinidad and Tobago. Do So! Do So! Do So! It's a sign of resistance against, not the government, against politics and voting.

We knew that when it came to voting, all the Afro-Caribbean kids wouldn't vote,
because they Do So! But all the Indian kids would do what their parents told them to do, which is go out and vote. They had a lot of fun doing this, but they're not gonna go against their parents' will.

And the difference in 18-to 35-year-old turnout was like 40%.

And that swung the election about 6%, which was all we needed in an election that's very close.

We now undertake ten national campaigns for prime minister or president each year.

Malaysia, we're working in.

We did Lithuania, Romania, Kenya, Ghana.

So quite a few this year.

- Nigeria.

- The Brexit campaign?

- Oh, and the Brexit campaign, yeah.

But we don't talk about that. (Oops, we won!)


The documentary ends with



But the hardest part in all of this...

...is that these wreckage sites...

...and crippling divisions...

begin with the manipulation
of one individual.

Then another.

And another.

So, I can't help but ask myself:

Can I be manipulated?

Can you?


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  #206 (permalink)
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A couple of good news stories

From

CNET - There's a privacy explanation for why Apple doesn't let you delete Siri recordings


Quoting 
Apple's reputation for respecting privacy was called into question last week with news that contractors listen to Siri recordings. That sparked an understandable clamor for better control over voice data collected by the digital assistant. If you own an Apple product, you might want the option to delete your recordings from the company's database.

Here's the rub: Apple can't delete specific recordings. And that's to protect your privacy.

Unlike Google and Amazon, which collect voice data and associate it with an individual account, Apple's Siri recordings are given a random identifier each time the voice assistant is activated. That practice means Apple can't find your specific voice recordings. It also means voice recordings can't be traced back to a specific account or device. It may sound counterintuitive, but that's actually a privacy feature.


and

The Verge - Amazon will let you opt out of human review of Alexa recordings


Quoting 
Amazon does offer a tool to let users delete their voice recordings whenever they wish, but even with these new settings Amazon will still store recordings of your voice by default. If you want to delete them, you will need to periodically go into your Alexa settings and do so yourself.


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  #207 (permalink)
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xplorer View Post
Last night I watched The Great Hack

I watched it recently as well. While the subject matter is obviously terrifying, I thought the film itself was poor. Rather than being an in-depth documentary I think it was something designed to do little more than shock the uniformed. I say the uniformed because anybody who knew much on the subject already, probably learnt little that was new. It was slow, boring and little more than Brittany Kaiser trying to save face, something she failed to do when it came out that she had also met with both Assange and the Russians something she never openly revealed. The Carroll & Cadwalladr elements added little also. If Carroll had actually got his data, and we could see what it was, where it came from and how it was used it would have been interesting, but he didn’t so it wasn’t. Instead a large part of the movie was wasted just to find out he never got his data! Where was the discussion on how they used the data, how does this weapons grade targeting actually work? I would also have like to see more of Julian Wheatland and Alexander Nix. As Wheatland basically said, this is going on, CA were just the ones that got caught!

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  #208 (permalink)
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SMCJB View Post
I watched it recently as well.

Good points - I still think it's worthwhile for the people who might still need to be educated about how social media today invades people's privacy de facto.


As a parallel to what's going on with the environment, where I am starting to see a lot more people talking about it - whether we are doing something useful about it is another matter but we are talking about it and that's progress - I think we are a few years behind the environment with the privacy conversation, but this sort of documentary is useful to get us to talk about it. At least.

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  #209 (permalink)
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So my question is"How to beat the hackers".

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Best thing you can begin with is not use their junk.
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So my question is"How to beat the hackers".

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