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Author Archives: Sabrina I. Pacifici

How tech companies use dark patterns to discourage us from exercising our rights to privacy

Dark Patterns – How tech companies use dark patterns to discourage us from exercising our rights to privacy. The Norwegian Consumer Council (the Forbrukerrådet or NCC) report criticizes “features of interface design crafted to trick users into doing things that they might not want to do, but which benefit the business in question.” “In this… Continue Reading

Whistleblowers Raise Grave Concerns with Trump Administration’s Efforts to Transfer Sensitive Nuclear Technology to Saudi Arabia

Whistleblowers Raise Grave Concerns with Trump Administration’s Efforts to Transfer Sensitive Nuclear Technology to Saudi Arabia. Prepared for Chairman Elijah E. Cummings Interim Staff Report Committee on Oversight and Reform U.S. House of Representatives. February 2019. “This interim staff report was prepared for Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and… Continue Reading

Sustainability Scorecard Flunks Charmin and Other Toilet Paper Brands

NRDC: “A new report takes the largest tissue companies to task for destroying North American forests and exacerbating the world’s climate crisis. “The Issue with Tissue” reveals Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark, and Georgia-Pacific use zero recycled content in their at-home toilet paper, instead relying on ancient trees clear-cut from the Canadian boreal forest (the “Amazon of the… Continue Reading

Your phone and TV are tracking you and political campaigns are listening in

La Times: “…Welcome to the new frontier of campaign tech — a loosely regulated world in which simply downloading a weather app or game, connecting to Wi-Fi at a coffee shop or powering up a home router can allow a data broker to monitor your movements with ease, then compile the location information and sell… Continue Reading

Immigration Court Workload in the Aftermath of the Shutdown

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse – “The latest available data from the Immigrant Court indicates that as of February 1, 2019 the court is still playing catch up in the aftermath of the five-week partial government shutdown. It is therefore still too early to get an accurate reading of just how much larger the backlog has… Continue Reading

UK Cairncross Review: a sustainable future for journalism

“The Cairncross Review into the future of the UK news industry has delivered its final report, with recommendations on how to safeguard the future sustainability of the UK press. 12 February 2019. Online platforms should have a ‘news quality obligation’ to improve trust in news they host, overseen by a regulator Government should explore direct… Continue Reading

Zittrain and Zuckerberg discuss encryption ‘information fiduciaries’ and targeted advertisements

Harvard Law Today: “Should Facebook be considered an “information fiduciary” when it comes to the privacy of its clients? How should we weigh the pros and cons of encryption schemes which might bolster privacy and data security at the risk of shutting out law enforcement? And why shouldn’t Facebook tell users how much advertising revenue… Continue Reading

Emoji are showing up in court cases exponentially

and courts aren’t prepared – The Verge: “Bay Area prosecutors were trying to prove that a man arrested during a prostitution sting was guilty of pimping charges, and among the evidence was a series of Instagram DMs he’d allegedly sent to a woman. One read: “Teamwork make the dream work” with high heels and money… Continue Reading

Can PowerPoint speak aloud & read the text in my slideshows?

PCWorld: “Can PowerPoint speak aloud and read the text in my slideshows? Yes, it can. Using the Speak command, also known as the Text to Speech (TTS) feature, PowerPoint can read the text in your slideshows and in your notes out loud. Be advised, however, that there is not a pause and continue feature with… Continue Reading

Internet Privacy – Additional Federal Authority Could Enhance Consumer Protection and Provide Flexibility

Internet Privacy: Additional Federal Authority Could Enhance Consumer Protection and Provide Flexibility GAO-19-52: Published: Jan 15, 2019. Publicly Released: Feb 13, 2019. “In April 2018, Facebook said that up to 87 million users’ personal data may have been improperly disclosed. This was one of many recent Internet privacy incidents. We found that there is no… Continue Reading

Whale falls – studying how decaying carcasses may become deep sea biodiversity generators

The New Yorker – “…Whale falls, as marine biologists call such events, create pop-up habitats that may serve as stepping stones for organisms migrating from methane seeps or hydrothermal vents to other parts of the ocean. Precisely how this works, and which species colonize the carcass as it degrades, were open questions…In the late two-thousands,… Continue Reading