Smart home gadgets, fitness trackers, toys and more, rated for their privacy & security
Be smart and secure when choosing tech gifts for children and young people this year.
The philosopher Timothy Morton calls global warming a ‘hyperobject’: a thing that surrounds us, envelops and entangles us, but that is literally too big to see in its entirety.Page 77
The argument in the end is that with the rise of surveillance capitalism, we have moved over time from ‘we might use’ your data to ‘we will’ use your data, therefore making privacy policies seemingly null and void.
For more on privacy policies, Bill Fitzgerald argues that we need to move beyond compliance to focus on privacy:
The more we can ground these conversations [around privacy] in personal elements the better: what do you want to show? Why? How? Do you ever want to retract it?
Alternatively, Amy Collier provides the follow list to consider:
- Audit student data repositories and policies associated with third-party providers
- Have a standard and well-known policy about how to handle external inquiries for student data and information.
- Provide an audit of data to students who want to know what data is kept on them, how the data is kept, where it is kept, and who else has access.
- Have clear guidelines and regulations for how data is communicated and transmitted between offices.
- Take seriously the data policies of third-party vendors.
- Closely examine and rethink student-tracking protocols.
- Give students technological agency in interacting with the institution.
In regards to privacy policies associated with third-party vendors, Fitzgerald suggests looking for the following search words associated with consent: third party, affiliatuons, change, update and modify.
For a different approach, Amy Wang reports on the terms of services associated with Instagram. She also includes extracts from a lawyer, Jenny Afia, who rewrote the document in plain English. This is similar to Terms of Service, Didn’t Read, a site designed to not only summarise Terms of Services, but also highlight aspects to consider.
To badly paraphrase Tolstoy: Secure products are all alike; every not-secure product is not secure in its own way.
I remember at a team dinner once Mitchell Baker, Mozilla’s Chairwoman and “Chief Lizard Wrangler”, talked about the importance of…
The problem with competing on price is that you soon get into a race to the bottom and whoever has the biggest economy of scale ends up winning.
The web isn’t a world of monolithic apps with clear boundaries between them, it is an experience of surfing from one web page to another, flowing through content.
With no real constraints put on the ideation process and an insufficient process for evaluating them, people were coming up with all sorts of suggestions from smart watches to reinventing the concept of currency!
The premise of Ari’s talk was that Firefox OS had set out to compete with Android and iOS and it had failed. Firefox OS was too late to market, the app store hadn’t taken off and the smartphone war had been won. It was time to move onto the next big thing — the Internet of Things.
The flagship Firefox team and supporting platform team had been complaining about a lack of resources for a while, and with Firefox market share slipping the finger of blame was pointed at Firefox OS.
There was a general feeling that Mozilla had “bet the farm” on Firefox OS and it hadn’t paid off.
It’s possible that rather than being five years too late, Firefox OS was actually five years too early!
On this week’s episode of IRL, we sit down with Luke Dormehl, author of Thinking Machines and The Formula, to explore the impact of algorithms, on and offline. Staci Burns and James Bridle , author of “Something is wrong on the internet,” investigate the human cost of gaming YouTube recommendations. Anthropologist Nick Seaver talks about the danger of automating the status quo. And researcher Safiya Noble looks at how to prevent racial bias from seeping into code
From Snapchat filters to Apple’s Face ID, biometric technology plays a growing role in our everyday lives. What do we actually give up when we upload our face to these apps? Steven Talley shares his experience as a victim of mistaken identity. Joseph Atick, a forefather of facial recognition technology, reckons with its future. We head to to China, where biometric data is part of buying toilet paper. And artist Adam Harvey investigates how racial bias seeps into big data sets.
Glynnis MacNicol questions what we are giving up in using our face to log-in to our phone or sharing online. He suggests that we should become face-less:
Everyone get your faces offline. Yes, I can’t … What evidence is there that this is a good idea? I mean, really? Is there literally any evidence that this is going to benefit us? Let me ask you, why would you post a selfie?
That has me again thinking about the use of such platforms as Facebook and Instagram to share school-based images.
For Adam Harvey, it comes back to race:
I tell people that facial recognition is really racial recognition, plus some additional metadata.
In an article in the New Yorker, Joy Buolamwini suggests that this is a coded gaze:
Just as the male gaze sees the world on its own terms, as a place made for men’s pleasure, the coded gaze sees everything according to the data sets on which its creators trained it.
This is very much a part of the discussion of ethics in the new machine age.
Recent reports estimate that over 50% of teens are addicted to their smartphones. Veronica Belmont investigates the impact of growing up online.What does it mean to grow up online? We investigate how the www is changing our bodies and our brains. A college student shares his experience at rehab for Internet addiction. Bestselling author Nir Eyal breaks down what apps borrow from gambling technology. Writer Heather Schwedel talks about taking a cue from Kanye and breaking up with Twitter. And blogger Joshua Cousins talks about the Internet as a lifeline, in the wake of recent natural disasters.
Veronica Belmont investigates the rise of social media bots with Lauren Kunze and Jenn Schiffer. Butter.ai’s Jack Hirsch talks about what happens when your profile is stolen by a political bot. Lisa-Maria Neudert measures how bots influence politics. Ben Nimmo teaches us how to spot and take down bot armies. And Tim Hwang explores how bots can connect us in surprising, and meaningful, new ways.