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Category Archives: Privacy

Apple’s Reach Reshapes Medical Research

The New York Times – “The company’s tools enable researchers to track huge numbers of people. But doctors do not yet know if it will significantly improve health outcomes. “In 1976, the Harvard School of Public Health and two other major medical institutions started a study on nurses that has become one of the largest and longest research efforts ever conducted on women’s health. They have so far enrolled more than 275,000 participants. On Thursday, the Harvard school announced an even more ambitious women’s health study, one that aims to enroll a million women over a decade. The new ingredients allowing the huge scale: Apple’s iPhones, apps and money. Harvard’s new study is just one of three new large research efforts that Apple is working on with leading academic research centers and health organizations. Together, the studies, which Apple is paying for, show how the Silicon Valley giant and its popular products are reshaping medical research…Apple tools are enabling large-scale virtual studies that can follow people as they go about their daily lives. The company has developed a research app for iPhones — which participants can download from its app store — that is helping researchers quickly and easily recruit hundreds of thousands of study volunteers.

Researchers at Stanford Medicine, who studied whether an app on the Apple Watch could detect an irregular heartbeat condition, were able to enroll more than 400,000 participants in just eight months. Apple helped recruit volunteers by promoting the study, which was published on Wednesday, in its app store and emailing customers who had bought Apple Watches…”

How to Protect Yourself From Unethical or Illegal Spying

MakeUseOf: “A quick Google search for “spy software” yields over 150 million results. There is a massive interest in spying software and gadgets. Irrespective of the motivation or justification, spying is illegal. It is a gross invasion of privacy in most countries around the world. You don’t have to suffer if someone is spying on… Continue Reading

Over half of Fortune 500 exposed to remote access hacking

Axios – “Over a two-week period, the computer networks at more than half of the Fortune 500 left a remote access protocol dangerously exposed to the internet, something many experts warn should never happen, according to new research by the security firm Expanse and 451 research…According to Coveware, more than 60% of ransomware is installed… Continue Reading

The Internet Dream Became a Nightmare. What Will Become of It Now?

The New York Times Magazine: “In this special Tech & Design Issue of The New York Times Magazine, we ponder the internet’s future at a time when that future has never felt more unsettled. It isn’t just about Facebook and the other American tech giants, which no longer enjoy the rapid growth that characterized their… Continue Reading

Next in Google’s quest for consumer dominance – banking

WSJ via FoxNews: “Google will soon offer checking accounts to consumers, becoming the latest Silicon Valley heavyweight to push into finance. The project, code-named Cache, is expected to launch next year with accounts run by Citigroup Inc. and a credit union at Stanford University, a tiny lender in Google’s backyard. Big tech companies see financial services as a… Continue Reading

Federal Court Rules Suspicionless Searches of Travelers’ Phones and Laptops Unconstitutional

EFF – Government Must Have Reasonable Suspicion of Digital Contraband Before Searching People’s Electronic Devices at the U.S. Border – “In a major victory for privacy rights at the border, a federal court in Boston ruled today that suspicionless searches of travelers’ electronic devices by federal agents at airports and other U.S. ports of entry… Continue Reading

E.P.A. to Limit Science Used to Write Public Health Rules

The New York Times: “The Trump administration is preparing to significantly limit the scientific and medical research that the government can use to determine public health regulations, overriding protests from scientists and physicians who say the new rule would undermine the scientific underpinnings of government policymaking. A new draft of the Environmental Protection Agency proposal,… Continue Reading

Google’s ‘Project Nightingale’ Gathers Personal Health Data on Millions of Americans

WSJ.com [paywall]: “Google is engaged with one of the country’s largest health-care systems to collect and crunch the detailed personal health information of millions of Americans across 21 states. The initiative, code-named “Project Nightingale,” appears to be the biggest in a series of efforts by Silicon Valley giants to gain access to personal health data… Continue Reading

DHS will have comprehensive biometric data on more than 250 million people

“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) expects to have face, fingerprint, and iris scans of at least 259 million people [Quartz – paywall] in its biometrics database by 2022, according to a recent presentation from the agency’s Office of Procurement Operations reviewed by Quartz. From the report: That’s about 40 million more than the… Continue Reading

Leaked documents show Facebook leveraged user data to fight rivals and help friends

NBCNews: “A cache of leaked Facebook documents shows how the company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, oversaw plans to consolidate the social network’s power and control competitors by treating its users’ data as a bargaining chip. The documents were obtained and are being published by NBC News. This trove comprises approximately 7,000 pages in total, of which… Continue Reading

This Is How the U.S. Military’s Massive Facial Recognition System Works

Medium OneZero: Documents obtained by OneZero show how the military captures biometric data around the world. “Over the last 15 years, the United States military has developed a new addition to its arsenal. The weapon is deployed around the world, largely invisible, and grows more powerful by the day. That weapon is a vast database,… Continue Reading

Freedom on the Net 2019 The Crisis of Social Media

Freedom House – “Governments around the world are increasingly using social media to manipulate elections and monitor their citizens, tilting the technology toward digital authoritarianism. As a result of these trends, global internet freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year, according to Freedom on the Net 2019, the latest edition of the annual country-by-country assessment… Continue Reading