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Author Archives: Sabrina I. Pacifici

Amazon blocks 10 billion—yes, billion—listings in massive counterfeit crackdown

AP via Fortune“Amazon, which has been under pressure from shoppers, brands and lawmakers to crack down on counterfeits on its site, said [in its 2020 Brand Protection Report] Monday that it blocked more than 10 billion suspected phony listings last year before any of their offerings could be sold. The numbers were released in Amazon’s first report on its anti-counterfeiting efforts since it announced new tools and technologies in 2019. The number of blocked phony listings last year was up about 67% from the year before. The Seattle-based e-commerce behemoth said the number of counterfeiters attempting to sell on the site rose as scammers tried to take advantage of shoppers who were buying more online during the pandemic. Amazon has been wrestling with counterfeits for years. But since 2019, it has warned investors in government filings that the sale of phony goods poses a risk to the company and its image. Brands may not want to sell their items on the site if they know there are fake versions being offered. And knock-offs could cause shoppers to lose their trust in Amazon. Counterfeiters try to get their products on Amazon through its third-party marketplace, where sellers can list their items directly on the site. The company destroyed 2 million counterfeit products sent to its warehouses last year before they could be sold. And it said fewer than 0.01% of all items bought on the site received counterfeit complaints from shoppers…”

Fake Comments: How U.S. Companies & Partisans Hack Democracy to Undermine Your Voice

New York State Office of the Attorney General Latitia James released the report on May 10, 2021.  “On June 19, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received a comment from Kenneth Langsam of Nassau, New York. Mr. Langsam had written to express support for the proposed repeal of regulations that require internet service providers to… Continue Reading

Deep Fakes and National Security

CRS In Focus – Updated May 7, 2021 Deep Fakesand National Security – “Deep fakes”—a term that first emerged in 2017 to describe realistic photo, audio, video, and other forgeries generated with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies—could present a variety of national security challenges in the years to come. As these technologies continue to mature, they… Continue Reading

New People Can Spark Creativity by Shaking Things Up

Academy of Management Insights: “Nurturing employees’ creativity can be vital to organizations’ success. Yet structures built to keep ideas flowing can actually constrict innovation over time, reducing creative juices to a trickle, according to an Academy of Management Journal article. Shaking things up—bringing in new people with fresh ideas on a continual basis—can change team dynamics,… Continue Reading

Online Cheating Charges Upend Dartmouth Medical School

The New York times – The university accused 17 students of cheating on remote exams, raising questions about data mining and sowing mistrust on campus “…At the heart of the accusations is Dartmouth’s use of the Canvas system to retroactively track student activity during remote exams without their knowledge. In the process, the medical school… Continue Reading

We spent six years scouring billions of links, and found the web is both expanding and shrinking

Via LLRX – We spent six years scouring billions of links, and found the web is both expanding and shrinking – More than a quarter of a century since its first commercial use, the growth of the online world is now slowing down in some key categories. A multi-year research project analyzing global trends in… Continue Reading

The Lex-Atlas: Covid-19 (LAC19) project

Via Lyonette Louis-Jacques – “The Lex-Atlas: Covid-19 (LAC19) project provides a scholarly report and analysis of national legal responses to Covid-19 around the world.   There are nearly 200 jurists participating in the LAC19 network and who have contributed to writing national country reports.  The Oxford Compendium of National Legal Responses to Covid-19 launched on… Continue Reading

There’s a better way to protect yourself from hackers and identity thieves

recode – “If you’re using texts for two-factor authentication, it’s time to change to an app. Here’s what you need to know. When people ask me for security tips, I give them the basics. One is a strong and long password with upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. (No, “Passw0rd!” is not… Continue Reading

Anyone can use this powerful facial-recognition tool and that’s a problem

CNN Business: “You probably haven’t seen PimEyes, a mysterious facial-recognition search engine, but it may have spotted you. If you upload a picture of your face to PimEyes’ website, it will immediately show you any pictures of yourself that the company has found around the internet. You might recognize all of them, or be surprised… Continue Reading

Nearly 9 out of 10 employers in the US & UK will require or encourage vaccination for employees

The Rockefeller Foundation: Arizona State University Survey of Employers Shows Companies Doubling Down on Covid-19 Testing and Support Vaccinations to Achieve a Post-Pandemic Workplace – “A comprehensive business survey, conducted by Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, finds that nearly 9 out of 10 employers in the United… Continue Reading