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

Category Archives: Privacy

Online identification is getting more and more intrusive

The Economist [paywall] – Phones can now tell who is carrying them from their users’ gaits

“…LexisNexis Risk Solutions, an American analytics firm, has catalogued more than 4 billion phones, tablets and other computers in this way for banks and other clients. Roughly 7% of them have been used for shenanigans of some sort. But device fingerprinting is becoming less useful. Apple, Google and other makers of equipment and operating systems have been steadily restricting the range of attributes that can be observed remotely. That is why a new approach, behavioral biometrics, is gaining ground. It relies on the wealth of measurements made by today’s devices. These include data from accelerometers and gyroscopic sensors, that reveal how people hold their phones when using them, how they carry them and even the way they walk. Touchscreens, keyboards and mice can be monitored to show the distinctive ways in which someone’s fingers and hands move. Sensors can detect whether a phone has been set down on a hard surface such as a table or dropped lightly on a soft one such as a bed. If the hour is appropriate, this action could be used to assume when a user has retired for the night. These traits can then be used to determine whether someone attempting to make a transaction is likely to be the device’s habitual user…”

Samsung deepfake AI could fabricate a video clip of you from a single photo

c/net: “Imagine someone creating a deepfake video of you simply by stealing your Facebook profile pic. Luckily, the bad guys don’t have their hands on that tech yet.  But Samsung has figured out how to make it happen.  Software for creating deepfakes — fabricated clips that make people appear to do or say things they never… Continue Reading

Your Car Knows When You Gain Weight

The New York Times – Vehicles collect a lot of unusual data. But who owns it?: “Cars produced today are essentially smartphones with wheels. For drivers, this has meant many new features: automatic braking, turn-by-turn directions, infotainment. But for all the things we’re getting out of our connected vehicles, carmakers are getting much, much more:… Continue Reading

Civil Liability for Cyberbullying

Perry, Ronen, Civil Liability for Cyberbullying (April 12, 2019). UC Irvine Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3371020 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3371020 “Cyberbullying has become a notorious epidemic, culminating in widely publicized suicides. Whether a new and distinct problem or an old one in a new guise, the technological setting has undoubtedly generated new challenges and, at… Continue Reading

Face It, You’re Being Watched

“San Francisco is the first American city to ban facial recognition software used by police and other agencies. Bloomberg QuickTake  [YouTube] explains why the technology’s advance is so alarming to regulators, the public, and even the people developing it.” See also: Government Is Using Most Vulnerable People to Test Facial Recognition Software; GAO Report –… Continue Reading

Google uses Gmail to track a history of things you buy and it’s hard to delete

CNBC – “Google tracks a lot of what you buy, even if you purchased it elsewhere, like in a store or from Amazon. Last week, CEO Sundar Pichai wrote a New York Times op-ed that said “privacy cannot be a luxury good.” But behind the scenes, Google is still collecting a lot of personal information… Continue Reading

The 2019 Ranking Digital Rights Corporate Accountability Index is now online

“Microsoft has unseated Google at the top of the 2019 RDR Corporate Accountability Index. Telefónica outpaced Vodafone among telecommunications companies. Yet despite progress, most companies still leave users in the dark about key policies and practices affecting privacy and freedom of expression, according to the 2019 Ranking Digital Rights Corporate Accountability Index, released today. The… Continue Reading

Reclaim Your Privacy with These Privacy-Focused Alternatives to Google’s Services

make tech easier – “We put up with Google because the apps are awesome. But there are downsides to living in the panopticon. If you’d prefer not to have a corporation and all its buddies breathing down your neck, consider these privacy-focused alternatives to Google’s services [the include: Gmail, Google Maps, Google Docs, Google Calendar,… Continue Reading