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Daily Archives: December 5, 2023

Your car is probably harvesting your data. Here’s how you can wipe it

The Record: “It is so easy to vacuum up private data from vehicles that Andrea Amico taught his daughter how to extract text messages from her mom’s car when she was only eight years old. Blue-haired and an engineer by training, Amico has a hacker’s mentality, which has manifested in giving drivers a way to protect their data and beat the system at no cost. Amico is the founder and CEO of Privacy4Cars, the outfit behind a free app that lets individuals erase the astonishing amount of personal data — including text messages, biometrics and geolocation — that many automakers collect, store and often share with law enforcement, insurers and even data brokers. Privacy4Cars also allows consumers to pull a full report on exactly what data their own car is scooping up, using nothing but a vehicle identification number. Amico worked on car data privacy for years on what he called a “passion project” basis. After running a large car inspection business, he came to understand the scale of the problem — and the stakes — and founded Privacy4Cars in 2019. Consumers can use the app to delete data retroactively, but there is no way to block its collection moving forward so those especially concerned about privacy have to regularly wipe the car’s data, which usually primarily resides in the infotainment system, Amico said. The process for deletion is unique for most car models and types. Amico says the company has amassed step-by-step delete instructions for tens of thousands of vehicles, whose settings often differ by model, make, year manufactured and even how many extras customers pay for to enhance a given model. The app typically works for four out of five cars. Wiping data can take as few as three commands, or as many as 50, Amico said. If a car owner has not downloaded a given car’s software updates, that can complicate matters. Data linked to more than a million cars has been deleted using the app to date, Amico said.”

Harvard Gutted Initial Team Examining Facebook Files Following $500M Donation

Whistleblower Aid: “Harvard Gutted Initial Team Examining Facebook Files Following $500 Million Donation from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Whistleblower Aid Client Reveals. University’s Former Disinformation – Expert Joan Donovan Calls for Investigation. Harvard University dismantled its prestigious team of online disinformation experts after a foundation run by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan donated… Continue Reading

News literacy in the age of AI

News Literary Project: “Chatbots like ChatGPT that are built on generative artificial intelligence technologies — a set of algorithms that can “generate” content based on a large dataset — have captured the world’s imagination. Reactions to this great leap forward have ranged from enthusiastic to alarmed. This technology is evolving rapidly and to keep up… Continue Reading

Digitized records from wildlife centers show the most common ways that humans harm wild animals

The Conversation: “At hundreds of wildlife rehabilitation centers across the U.S., people can learn about wild animals and birds at close range. These sites, which may be run by nonprofits or universities, often feature engaging exhibits, including “ambassador” animals that can’t be released – an owl with a damaged wing, for example, or a fox… Continue Reading

Gmail’s AI-powered spam detection is its biggest security upgrade in years

Ars Technica: “The latest post on the Google Security blog details a new upgrade to Gmail’s spam filters that Google is calling “one of the largest defense upgrades in recent years.” The upgrade comes in the form of a new text classification system called RETVec (Resilient & Efficient Text Vectorizer). Google says this can help… Continue Reading

Generating Change: A global survey of what news organisations are doing with artificial intelligence

“Our media landscape is undergoing a significant transformation due to technological advancements, particularly since the proliferation of generative AI (genAI). This transformation has sparked discussions, and various media coverage- topics swing between positive breakthroughs in fields like medicine, to concerns about genAI’s potential to generate undetectable disinformation, exacerbating discrimination and societal inequalities. Our research delves… Continue Reading