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
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
Kudos to Bobby Jindal for getting it right on privacy. License plate readers pose far greater harm to society than any law enforcement benefit they could possibly provide.
Of course private companies will get their hands on this data. In no world should it be ok for private companies to know where we are.
I can’t agree with the author’s conclusion that Cop Cams are necessary. I do agree with the concerns he has about the negative impact of using them.
One figure is telling. Less than 1% of police citizen interactions involve force. So we want to record all police citizen interactions to deal with the perceived problem of less than less than 1% of interaction in which for is used inappropriately.
Just because the technology to record these interactions exist doesn’t mean we should use it. There are other better ways to improve interactions between police and citizens.
The Lost Language of Privacy http://nyti.ms/1NBoaMD
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.
Finally a taste of their own medicine. A new company is gathering data about corporations and putting it all in one place.
Expect to see some reports about the nefarious deeds of certain companies as a result of this data aggregation.
Shortly after a new corporate scandal erupts exect to see corporate lobbying for rules about data aggregation, privacy, etc.
I wonder if this data could show just how much corporate welfare companies rely on.
NYTimes: A Harvest of Company Details, All in One Basket