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From Alexa to Siri and the GDPR: The Gendering of Virtual Personal Assistants and the Role of EU Data Protection Law

Ni Loideain, Nora and Adams, Rachel, From Alexa to Siri and the GDPR: The Gendering of Virtual Personal Assistants and the Role of EU Data Protection Law (November 9, 2018). King’s College London Dickson Poon School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series. Available at SSRN: or

“With female names, voices and characters, artificially intelligent Virtual Personal Assistants such as Siri, Alexa and Cortana, appear to be decisively gendered female. Through an exploration of the various facets of gendering at play in the design of Siri, Alexa and Cortana, we argue that this can be understood as posing a societal harm, insofar as they reproduce normative assumptions about the role of women as submissive and secondary to men. As a potential solution to this problem, this article then turns to explore the scope and potential of data protection law. In particular, we examine the role of data privacy impact assessments that highlight the need to go beyond the data privacy paradigm.”

When All Hell Breaks Loose: Years After Deepwater Horizon, Offshore Drilling Hazards Persist

POGO: This is part one of a three-part investigation into offshore drilling safety. Read part two here. Read part three here. “They are known as the “last line of defense” against an offshore drilling blowout and uncontrolled spill. They are supposed to save the lives of oil workers and protect the environment. But, as the… Continue Reading

‘123456’ Is 2018’s Worst Password, Study Says. But This Year, ‘donald’ Joined the List

Fortune: “Donald” has joined a new list. Not of world leaders, but of “worst passwords.” The password-management firm SplashData released its annual list of the 100 worst character combinations it found among leaks of about five million passwords. “Donald” entered the list at position 23. You’ll also find “qwerty” (#9), password (#2), and baseball (#32).… Continue Reading

Technology has over-saturated us

Axios: “For millennia, technology, in terms of its big-picture impact, was, well, meh. Look at the straight line in the chart — that includes every major invention since the year 1 AD, including the printing press. Then James Watt triggered the Industrial Revolution by reinventing the steam engine, and before you knew it we all… Continue Reading

Why You Don’t Own Your Tech

Via Adam Ruins Everything on truTV every Tuesday 10/9C! #AdamRuinsWhy You Don’t Own Your Tech [Adam Ruins Everything] – YouTube Video. Continue Reading

Nearly all sexual harassment at work goes unreported and those who do report often see zero benefit

The Conversation: “Our new research, released on Dec. 12, analyzed all sexual harassment complaints filed with the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and state Fair Employment Practices Agencies between 2012 and 2016. We found that nearly all sexual harassment goes unreported, and those that do report tend to face severe retribution and limited redress. Based… Continue Reading

Solon: A Holistic Approach for Modelling, Managing and Mining Legal Sources

Solon: A Holistic Approach for Modelling, Managing and Mining Legal Sources in Algorithms 11(12):196. DOI: 10.3390/a11120196. Marios Koniaris, George Papastefanatos and Ioannis Anagnostopoulos. Department of Computer Science and Biomedical Informatics, School of Sciences, University of Thessaly, 35131 Lamia, Greece. Received: 31 October 2018; Accepted: 30 November 2018; Published: 3 December 2018 . “Recently there has been… Continue Reading

More Americans are making no weekly purchases with cash

“Americans are becoming less reliant on physical currency. Roughly three-in-ten U.S. adults (29%) say they make no purchases using cash during a typical week, up slightly from 24% in 2015. And the share who say that all or almost all of their weekly purchases are made using cash has modestly decreased, from 24% in 2015… Continue Reading

Evelyn Berezin Built the First True Word Processor

The New York Times: “Evelyn Berezin, a computer pioneer who emancipated many a frazzled secretary from the shackles of the typewriter nearly a half-century ago by building and marketing the first computerized word processor, died on Saturday in Manhattan. She was 93…In an age when computers were in their infancy and few women were involved… Continue Reading

Abstract Aerial Photographs Reveal the Beauty of Meandering Waterways

Colassal: “The project Water.Shapes.Earth uses aerial photography and storytelling to bring an understanding to the complex and diverse ways water inhabits our planet, from a radioactive water pond in Huelva, Spain to mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan. The images provide an abstract look at Earth’s surface, presenting purple-hued veins of a divergent river or an icy… Continue Reading

CBO Options for Reducing the Deficit, 2019-2028

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget: “Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its “Options for Reducing the Deficit, 2019-2028” report, featuring 121 policy options and their ten-year budgetary effects. The report updates the last set of budget options that was released in 2016. Each option is covered in detail, with a full description of… Continue Reading

Reports – Law firms are having the best financial-growth year in about a decade

ABA Journal: “Law firms increased revenues this year, posting gains during the first three quarters that are the best in about a decade, according to two new reports. The numbers differed slightly, but the conclusion was the same: 2018 is shaping up to be a good year, thanks to higher billing rates and higher demand… Continue Reading