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Daily Archives: December 17, 2018

Essay – It’s Time for a Bill of Data Rights

This essay argues that “data ownership” is a flawed, counterproductive way of thinking about data. It not only does not fix existing problems; it creates new ones. Instead, we need a framework that gives people rights to stipulate how their data is used without requiring them to take ownership of it themselves. The Data Care Act, a bill introduced on December 12 by US senator Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii, is a good initial step in this direction (depending on how the fine print evolves). As Doug Jones, a Democratic senator from Alabama who is one of the bills cosponsors, said, “The right to online privacy and security should be a fundamental one.” The notion of “ownership” is appealing because it suggests giving you power and control over your data. But owning and “renting” out data is a bad analogy. Control over how particular bits of data are used is only one problem among many. The real questions are questions about how data shapes society and individuals. Rachel’s story will show us why data rights are important and how they might work to protect not just Rachel as an individual, but society as a whole…” [h/t Alan Rothman]

US nuclear tests killed far more civilians than we knew

Quartz: “When the US entered the nuclear age, it did so recklessly. New research suggests that the hidden cost of developing nuclear weapons were far larger than previous estimates, with radioactive fallout responsible for 340,000 to 690,000 American deaths from 1951 to 1973. The study, performed by University of Arizona economist Keith Meyers, uses a novel method (pdf)… Continue Reading

Why the US Needs a National AI Strategy and What It Should Look Like

Joshua New, senior policy analyst at the Center for Data Innovation – “The United States is the global leader in developing and using artificial intelligence (AI), but it may not be for long. Succeeding in AI requires more than just having leading companies make investments. It requires a healthy ecosystem of AI companies, robust AI… Continue Reading

Computational Propaganda Project Report on Russia’s Internet Research Agency

The Computational Propaganda Project – Algorithms, Automation and Digital Politics. Philip N. Howard, Bharath Ganesh, Dimitra Liotsiou, John Kelly & Camille François, “The IRA, Social Media and Political Polarization in the United States, 2012-2018.” Working Paper 2018.2. Oxford, UK: Project on Computational Propaganda. 46 pp. “Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA) launched an extended attack… Continue Reading

The Disinformation Report – Russia’s social media propaganda war

New Knowledge: “For years, Russia has leveraged social media to wage a propaganda war with operations that initially targeted their own citizens and sphere of influence. In 2014, they broadened those operations to include the United States and ran a multi-year campaign to manipulate and influence Americans, exploiting social and political divisions. The scale was… Continue Reading

A Complete Guide to All 17 (Known) Trump and Russia Investigations

Wired: “…After three weeks of back-to-back-to-back-to-back bombshells by federal prosecutors and special counsel Robert Mueller, it’s increasingly clear that as 2018 winds down, Donald Trump faces a legal assault unlike anything previously seen by any president—a total of at least 17 distinct court cases stemming from at least seven different sets of prosecutors and investigators.… Continue Reading