• Jun 19, 2020
  • Caleb Chen
  • News, Privacy, Privacy News Online,

Privacy News Online | Weekly Review: June 19th, 2020

Featured: Privacy News Online – Week of JUNE 19th, 2020 35 Members of Congress sign letter asking federal agencies to stop surveillance on Black Lives Matter protests A group of 35 Congress members has sent a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), the Drug Enforcement Agency … Continue reading “Privacy News Online | Weekly Review: June 19th, 2020”

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  • Jun 3, 2020
  • Caleb Chen
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

DOJ grants DEA permission to conduct “covert surveillance” on protesters

The DEA is now surveilling protesters in the United States. BuzzFeedNews has uncovered a memorandum that shows that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has been granted powers by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to conduct covert surveillance on the ongoing protests sparked by the death of George Floyd. This past Sunday, the interim head of … Continue reading “DOJ grants DEA permission to conduct “covert surveillance” on protesters”

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  • May 13, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Here’s how China has made mass surveillance a “killer application” for AI: will the US do the same?

It’s increasingly evident that the coronavirus pandemic will cause a radical re-shaping of many aspects of society, not least in the world of privacy. Many people are trying to discern the shape of that new world in the current evolving situation. An interesting analysis from Naomi Klein picks up on many themes that have appeared … Continue reading “Here’s how China has made mass surveillance a “killer application” for AI: will the US do the same?”

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  • Apr 1, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Open Source, Privacy,

How can we protect privacy during a crisis like Covid-19, when “health surveillance” is on the rise around the world?

A couple of weeks ago, this blog looked at the use of smartphones to track people so that contact tracing can be carried out to slow the spread of Covid-19. Two weeks is a long time in a pandemic. Soon after, it emerged that many countries were going further, and using smartphone location to check … Continue reading “How can we protect privacy during a crisis like Covid-19, when “health surveillance” is on the rise around the world?”

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  • Mar 26, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Coronavirus delays the passage of the world’s most important new privacy law

For obvious and justified reasons, the coronavirus pandemic dominates the news currently. One of the latest developments is that India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has put his entire country on lockdown. Ordering 1.35 billion people to stay indoors is a pretty dramatic move. A side-effect of that lockdown is that one of the most important … Continue reading “Coronavirus delays the passage of the world’s most important new privacy law”

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  • Feb 26, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Privacy, Programming, Security,

The enemy within: welcome to the Internet of gaslighting

Two and a half years ago, this blog warned about the Internet of “listening, eavesdropping, spying things” that were starting to become more popular. Today, smart speakers are found in many homes, and people seem largely oblivious of the privacy issues. Beyond these obvious spies that many invite into their homes, there are the more … Continue reading “The enemy within: welcome to the Internet of gaslighting”

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  • Jan 26, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Top EU court’s advisor: bulk surveillance is “disproportionate”, and national security exemptions do not always apply

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the EU’s top court, has played a key role in protecting privacy in the digital age, in Europe and beyond. In 2014, it ruled that a major piece of EU legislation, the Data Retention Directive, was “invalid” – that is, illegal – and should be taken … Continue reading “Top EU court’s advisor: bulk surveillance is “disproportionate”, and national security exemptions do not always apply”

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  • Jan 22, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • News, Privacy, Programming, Security,

Can hardware ever be trusted? The Betrusted project aims to find out by going back to basics

As previous posts have noted, the Internet of Things is being widely embraced in the form of so-called “smart speakers” and other devices. That’s despite the fact that few of these hardware systems can be regarded as secure: leaks of personal data can and do occur in multiple ways. Mostly, that is because the software … Continue reading “Can hardware ever be trusted? The Betrusted project aims to find out by going back to basics”

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  • Dec 31, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

As public fears mount over online surveillance and lack of control, advertising industry gets privacy religion – sort of…

A new Pew Research Center survey confirms what readers of this blog already know: many people are deeply worried about the routine tracking of their activities online: A majority of Americans believe their online and offline activities are being tracked and monitored by companies and the government with some regularity. It is such a common … Continue reading “As public fears mount over online surveillance and lack of control, advertising industry gets privacy religion – sort of…”

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  • Dec 27, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

What do you get if you put DNA and facial recognition together? Today, it’s China; tomorrow, maybe everywhere else

Two themes crop up again and again on this blog: facial recognition and DNA sequencing. Both technologies on their own are powerful, and steadily becoming greater threats to privacy. So what happens when they are put together? A story in the New York Times means we don’t have to guess, because China is already doing … Continue reading “What do you get if you put DNA and facial recognition together? Today, it’s China; tomorrow, maybe everywhere else”

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  • Nov 30, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Google’s “smart city” in Toronto: what it wanted, what it will now get – and why it’s still problematic for privacy

Earlier this year, Privacy News Online wrote about the latest news concerning plans to create a model “smart city” on Toronto’s waterfront. The company involved, Sidewalk Labs, is part of the Alphabet stable, along with Google. In an attempt to quell fears about privacy and other aspects of the plan, Sidewalk Labs released 1500 pages … Continue reading “Google’s “smart city” in Toronto: what it wanted, what it will now get – and why it’s still problematic for privacy”

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  • Nov 1, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Programming,

Beyond Aadhaar: India wants to create a giant centralized facial recognition database

Two years ago, Privacy News Online wrote about Aadhaar, India’s billion-person biometric database, used to check identity, and its potential to become the world’s biggest privacy disaster. Barely six months after that post, it emerged that access to the Aadhaar database could be bought very cheaply, as reported here by the Indian newspaper The Tribune: … Continue reading “Beyond Aadhaar: India wants to create a giant centralized facial recognition database”

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  • Aug 20, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

The future of privacy is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed

William Gibson is best known for his book “Neuromancer“, which popularized the word and concept of cyberspace. He also came up with the phrase “the future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed“. That was a general statement about technology, but it also applies to the technology that threatens our privacy. Around … Continue reading “The future of privacy is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed”

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  • Jul 31, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Eyes in the sky will soon see everything – even what happened in the past; is it too late to worry about privacy?

Earlier this year, Privacy News Online wrote about a new generation of nanosatellites that are starting to fill the sky. The same continuing advances in technology that have made these small but powerful systems possible are also operating at the other of the satellite spectrum. It means that traditional satellites now pack even more power … Continue reading “Eyes in the sky will soon see everything – even what happened in the past; is it too late to worry about privacy?”

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  • Jul 29, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

What can we learn from Palantir’s secret user manual for police users of its big data software?

Two years ago, Privacy News Online wrote about the mysterious Palantir Technologies. It describes itself as a company that makes “products for human-driven analysis of real-world data“. It is a data analytics supplier at heart, but one that is working on some of society’s most sensitive data, notably the kind used by law enforcement to … Continue reading “What can we learn from Palantir’s secret user manual for police users of its big data software?”

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