Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Author Archives: Sabrina I. Pacifici

Why Amazon knows so much about you

BBC News article includes extensive history, narrative, graphics, photos and insight into how and why Amazon collects massive amounts of data Amazon on users through multiple channels of e-commerce and devices – by Leo Kelion – “You might call me an Amazon super-user. I’ve been a customer since 1999, and rely on it for everything from grass seed to birthday gifts. There are Echo speakers dotted throughout my home, Ring cameras inside and out, a Fire TV set-top box in the living room and an ageing Kindle e-reader by my bedside. I submitted a data subject access request, asking Amazon to disclose everything it knows about me Scanning through the hundreds of files I received in response, the level of detail is, in some cases, mind-bending. One database contains transcriptions of all 31,082 interactions my family has had with the virtual assistant Alexa. Audio clips of the recordings are also provided. The 48 requests to play Let It Go, flag my daughter’s infatuation with Disney’s Frozen. Other late-night music requests to the bedroom Echo, might provide a clue to a more adult activity…”

Classaction.gov

Rose, Amanda M., Classaction.gov (February 10, 2020). Vanderbilt Law Research Paper No. 20-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3534317 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3534317 “This Essay proposes the creation of a federally-run class action website and supporting administration (collectively, Classaction.gov) that would both operate a comprehensive research database on class actions and assume many of the notice and claims processing… Continue Reading

Charting a Way Forward – Online Content Regulation

Monika Bickert, VP Content Policy, Facebook: “…This paper explores possible regulatory structures for content governance outside the United States and identifies questions that require further discussion. It builds off recent developments on this topic, including legislation proposed or passed into law by governments, as well as scholarship that explains the various content governance approaches that… Continue Reading

Leaked Document Shows How Big Companies Buy Credit Card Data on Millions of Americans

Motherboard – Yodlee, America’s largest financial data broker, says the data it sells it is anonymous. A confidential document obtained by Motherboard shows people could be unmasked in the data. “Yodlee, the largest financial data broker in the U.S., sells data pulled from the bank and credit card transactions of tens of millions of Americans… Continue Reading

Google AI no longer uses gender binary tags on images of people

INPUT Magazine: “Google’s image-labeling AI tool will no longer label pictures with gender tags like “man” and “woman,” according to an email seen by Business Insider. In the email, Google cites its ethical rules on AI as the basis for the change. This is a progressive move by Google — and one that will hopefully… Continue Reading

As Compassion Fatigue Takes its Toll, Schools and Public Libraries Take Steps to Support Librarians

School Library Journal: “…Caring for others is often part of the job of being a school and youth librarian. In librarianship, as in some other professions such as nursing, there’s growing awareness that this caregiving is a form of work layered on top of other job responsibilities. It’s emotional labor, and when librarians are overworked… Continue Reading

Life Sentenced Population Exceeds Entire Prison Population in 1970

The Sentencing Project: “Nationwide there are more people serving life sentences today (206,000) than the entire prison population in 1970 (196,000), according to a new fact sheet released by The Sentencing Project’s Campaign to End Life Imprisonment. Starting in the 1970s, the United States’s prison population began its steady upward climb to the vastly overcrowded… Continue Reading

You want to reduce the carbon footprint of your food?

Focus on what you eat, not whether your food is local – “Our World in Data presents the empirical evidence on global development in entries dedicated to specific topics. This blog post draws on data and research discussed in our entry on the Environmental impacts of food and CO2 and Greenhouse Gas Emissions.”People across the… Continue Reading

Global Tailings Dam Portal Project

Press release, 24 January 2020: World’s first public database of mine tailings dams aims to prevent deadly disasters – “The team at GRID-Arendal has built the Global Tailings Portal, a public, searchable database with detailed information on more than 1,700 mine tailings dams around the world. The data is based on disclosures provided by mining… Continue Reading

Fighting Disinformation Online

RAND Corporation – Kavanagh, Jennifer, Samantha Cherney, Hilary Reininger, and Norah Griffin, Fighting Disinformation Online: Building the Database of Web Tools. Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 International License, 2020. “Today’s information ecosystem brings access to seemingly infinite amounts of information instantaneously. It also contributes to the rapid spread of misinformation and disinformation to millions of… Continue Reading