A million tiny eyes in the sky: how a new generation of nanosatellites pose a threat to privacy

Everyone knows that surveillance is ubiquitous – on the Internet, in the street, at work, at school, in our homes. What made that constant spying possible was the amazing advance of digital technology. Thanks to powerful computers and massive storage facilities, it is now possible to “collect it all“, as the NSA wanted, and to … Continue reading “A million tiny eyes in the sky: how a new generation of nanosatellites pose a threat to privacy”

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  • Nov 10, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

AI-based lie detection system will screen travellers to EU for ‘biomarkers of deceit’

As the borders between nations have become increasingly sensitive from a political point of view, so the threats to privacy there have grown. Privacy News Online has already reported on the use of AI-based facial recognition systems as a way of tightening border controls. As software improves, and hardware becomes faster and cheaper, it’s likely … Continue reading “AI-based lie detection system will screen travellers to EU for ‘biomarkers of deceit’”

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We Need Decoy Operating Systems on Smartphones

Whether it violates the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution or not, it’s an unfortunate fact that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents routinely force travelers entering the country to unlock their phone for inspection under the threat of confiscation or prolonged detainment. Thousands of travelers per year are forced to hand over their cell … Continue reading “We Need Decoy Operating Systems on Smartphones”

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  • Oct 27, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

As many feared, Google’s ambitious Sidewalk Toronto “smart city” project turns out to be a “surveillance city”

The idea of “smart cities” – the application of digital technologies to the urban environment – is much in vogue. But as this blog has noted, although potentially powerful, the approach does raise serious issues for privacy. Perhaps the most ambitious “smart city” project so far is one involving a sister company of Google, Sidewalk … Continue reading “As many feared, Google’s ambitious Sidewalk Toronto “smart city” project turns out to be a “surveillance city””

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Coming soon: everyone’s genetic anonymity undermined by distant relatives – and there’s nothing you can do about it

Earlier this year, Privacy News Online wrote about how long-standing linked but unsolved murder cases were resolved by checking genetic material found at some of the crime scenes against online DNA-based genealogy sites. The partial matches with others on the database indicated that they were relatives of the murderer. By drawing up a family tree … Continue reading “Coming soon: everyone’s genetic anonymity undermined by distant relatives – and there’s nothing you can do about it”

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Privacy risks for customers and workers in the gig economy

In the modern “gig economy”, workers and customers frequently rely on websites and phone apps to schedule, track and evaluate services.  The data gathered and shared through these platforms can contribute to convenience, trust, and the overall customer experience. However, whether you access these platforms as a worker or a customer, it’s important to understand … Continue reading “Privacy risks for customers and workers in the gig economy”

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  • Sep 1, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • Privacy, Programming, Security,

How putting artificial intelligence in Google Glass-like systems could both help and harm our privacy

Remember Google Glass? Five years ago, it was the hot new accessory for those who wanted to live at the bleeding edge of technology. But once Google Glasses started being used in public, people realized that they represented a massive intrusion into the private lives of everyone nearby. As Wikipedia puts it: “The headset received … Continue reading “How putting artificial intelligence in Google Glass-like systems could both help and harm our privacy”

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  • Aug 25, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Beyond the GDPR: here comes the EU’s ePrivacy regulation – but not yet

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the most important – and controversial – privacy law passed in recent years. Despite its origin in the EU, its reach is truly global, since it affects anyone storing the personal data of EU citizens, no matter where the organization is located. In part because of a flurry … Continue reading “Beyond the GDPR: here comes the EU’s ePrivacy regulation – but not yet”

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Behavioral biometrics: Websites and apps are learning from how you type, hold your phone, and use your mouse

How often do you hold your phone in your left hand?  How big are your hands?  Do your hands shake when you type or move a mouse?  If your pointer disappears from your screen, what do you do?  You might not know the answers to these questions – but chances are, your bank does.  These details … Continue reading “Behavioral biometrics: Websites and apps are learning from how you type, hold your phone, and use your mouse”

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Smart cities raise important questions about our privacy rights at home and on the streets where we live

In the era of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, our municipalities have an increasing array of tools available to make the places where we live smarter and safer.  By collecting and analyzing live data, AI can help cities and towns more efficiently manage things including utility load and distribution, street traffic, deployment of … Continue reading “Smart cities raise important questions about our privacy rights at home and on the streets where we live”

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