You saw this one coming right?
The Amazon Echo is a perfect way for the government to spy on citizens. Sure, Amazon rejects requests for the data but that doesn’t obviate the two big issues here.
The first is that the audio and data are recorded and kept. If it’s stored, even briefly, then hackers can get it. Especially state actors. The courts may yet force companies to give it up.
The second and larger issue is that we don’t have laws protecting the privacy of our data. We need regulations that keep up with changing technology. We need rules that favor citizens, not companies, and certainly not governements.
Bid for Access to Amazon Echo Audio in Murder Case Raises Privacy Concerns http://nyti.ms/2huPxwl
Asking politicians to stop lying is like asking magicians to reveal their tricks.
It’ll take all the fun out of an election, and ultimately we’ll wish we didn’t know.
NobodyisFlyingthePlane on either side. Running private email servers and deleting emails is unacceptable, but we have got to stop kidding ourselves about who we ask to run our country. They’re all devious by nature and we keep asking them back.
It’s sad to say but there are some bigger fish to fry right now than battling over private servers and missing messages.
Bush started a war over a lie for fuck’s sake. A lot of people died and nobody is holding him accountable.
Make a great no mistake we don’t need in vase privacy busting tools to keep the world a safe place. It already is safer than it ever has been and this trend predates even the Internet.
What we do need is a world in which private activities and communications are secure. We need people to feel comfortable saying and doing what they need to on their phones and the Web without fear that it will be used against them. This will have far greater benefit to mankind and the free world than spy tech that invades your phone ever could.
NSO can say they’re trying to make the world a safer place, but they are also making the world a more surveilled place.”
The cyberarms industry typified by the NSO Group operates in a legal gray area, and it is often left to the companies to decide how far they are willing to dig into a target’s personal life and what governments they will do business with.
The only solution against this onslaught of freedom killing software and the surveillance state is actually the government. People have to write laws that forbid this type of software and associated technologies. That won’t completely prevent this type of invasive snooping but it will limit it and give people recourse to fight companies that profit from stealing our personal and private info.
How Spy Tech Firms Let Governments See Everything on a Smartphone http://nyti.ms/2cfXAZy
Another example of why health insurance and employment shouldn’t be tied together.
Employee wellness programs are mostly great, but ‘required’ participation is problematic. Requiring employees to provide private data and health info or fining them if they dont is not voluntary participant as required by the law.
Effectively employees required to give biometric info to participate removes consumer choice from the market place. Employees can’t move to other health plans which dont misuse their data without leaving their jobs.
This is good for corporations but not for people.
The Sticks and Carrots of Employee Wellness Programs http://nyti.ms/1KL0ttz
The use of predictive data for criminal sentencing is bad news for everyone. Philip K. Dick wrote an instructive story about this bad idea.
Just imagine where this will head when the States get their hands on even more personal data. It could even be used as an excuse for States together more personal data than they do now.
This is one of those places we need to draw the line.
NYTimes: Sentencing, by the Numbers
Gathering and using your personal data against you isn’t just for the government and corporations. Researchers have always wanted to get their hands on your personal info.
The problem is when you don’t know that you or your data are the subject of a study.
We need some strong protection for our personal data and we need it now.
The staff here is a big fan of research studies and large datasets, but there needs to be some standards for how this info is gathered and used. We are not, however, at all in favor of manipulating people’s online experience without their knowledge.
Tweaking the user interface (or UX) is one thing. Feeding certain users bad news and then seeing if they get depressed is just wrong.
NYTimes: As Data Overflows Online, Researchers Grapple With Ethics
The staff here is not usually a fan of legal action as means to problem solving, but this fella seems to be on to something.
The abysmal state of consumer rights and especially the right to privacy when it comes to personal data screams for a solution. Government is too interested in pleasing corporations before the electorate to solve this one.
Enter the dreaded class action lawsuit. A Chicago firm has specialized for years in bringing class action suits to force companies to change their data gathering practices and respect personal data. Its obviously financially motivated and for the most part the tactics it uses are not admirable methods of change, but they seem to be effective. This firm is following the Silicon Valley M.O. of the moment: disruption. They’re disrupting the Silicon Valley practice trading personal data for piles of cash. Silicon Valley should laud them for their creativity.
Everyone loves Uber and the taxi industry needed reform and disruption, but they’re a negative disruption which will ultimately be seen as a vehicle for indentured servitude and low quality service. They may ultimately be lauded for bringing about positive change, but their methods will be looked down upon. Ditto for these lawyers. We need disruption in the data gathering biz, especially disruption favoring consumers and privacy. We may not like the method, but we will be appreciative of the results.