Corporations vs Individuals
13th March, 2015 —
This week we’ve got a particularly strong round-up of the most interesting articles and sites from the last seven days.
Aral on Civic Radio
Civic Radio - Episode 05 - Aral Balkan
“Has the world of commerce encroached irrevocably on our civic spaces, and how much do we care? How much is civic exclusion growing because of what participation demands or expects of us? Civic Radio is on the road, seeking out the people and organisations that are exploring these topics in different ways.” Aral on the Civic Radio podcast.
Where security meets privacy
Schneier on Security: Everyone Wants You To Have Security, But Not from Them
“Google collects all of your information to show you more targeted advertising. Surveillance is the business model of the Internet, and Google is one of the most successful companies at that. To claim that Google protects your privacy better than anyone else is to profoundly misunderstand why Google stores your data for free in the first place.” By Bruce Schneier.
Technology and equality
Technology should be used to create social mobility – not to spy on citizens
“Why spy? Because it’s cheaper than playing fair. Our networks have given the edge to the elites, and unless we seize the means of information, we are headed for a long age of IT-powered feudalism, where property is the exclusive domain of the super-rich, where your surveillance-supercharged Internet of Things treats you as a tenant-farmer of your life, subject to a licence agreement instead of a constitution.” By Cory Doctorow on The Guardian.
Publicly Funded Inequality
“One of the factors driving the massive rise in global inequality and the concentration of wealth at the very top of the income distribution is the interplay between innovation and global markets. In the hands of a capable entrepreneur, a technological breakthrough can be worth billions of dollars, owing to regulatory protections and the winner-take-all nature of global markets. What is often overlooked, however, is the role that public money plays in creating this modern concentration of private wealth.” By Kemal Derviş on Project Syndicate.
International Women's Day: How surveillance is used to assert control
“Surveillance technologies are impersonal in the way they operate but surveillance can be conducted against women to specifically target them as such, whether by an angry lover or an angrier state. Physical and digital surveillance and harassment of women thrives because monitoring others' daily lives is widely accepted as as a legitimate practice or at least 'not that bad' – we do voluntarily forklift loads of our data into social media sites – and because of the overt or implied desire to control women or at least view them as auxiliary to men (see: all of human history).” By Claire Lauterbach on Privacy International.
How big data is unfair
“I don’t mean to suggest that machine learning is inevitably unfair, but rather that there are powerful forces that can render decision making that depends on learning algorithms unfair.” By Moritz Hardt on Medium.
Is Differential Privacy practical?
“Energy data might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of privacy concerns. Yet, it is well understood that smart meter data can be highly revealing. There is a large body of research devoted to drawing inferences from smart meter readings.” By Moritz Hardt on Moody Rd.
Government and corporate surveillance
The Cost of Surveillance – Ashkan Soltani
“If the cost of the surveillance using the new technique is an order of magnitude (ten times) less than the cost of the surveillance without using the new technique, then the new technique violates a reasonable expectation of privacy.” By Ashkan Solkani.
Apple’s Siri And Microsoft’s Cortana Record Your Voice, And Someone Is Listening - Forbes
“A Reddit user called FallenMyst has just started a new job at a company called Walk N’ Talk Technologies. His position requires that he listen - according to his post – to commands given to Cortana and Siri. The purpose is to check for incorrect interpretations by the voice to text translators.” By Ian Morris on Forbes.
Legislation and regulation
Rules governing Internet of Things sparse
“The breakneck pace of this technology has far outpaced the legal system's ability to keep up with it, many experts contend. Because of legal loopholes, consumers often lack any right to control how long their data is kept, who it is shared with and what is collected about them, including such personal information as their finances, mental health, political leanings and sexual orientation.” By San Jose Mercury News on TribLIVE.
Germany double-dealing over data legislation, say negotiators
“Germany is double-dealing on European data regulations, according to negotiators on a new EU regulation, by demanding high privacy standards in public while promising lobbyists to lower proposed standards in closed-door Brussels talks.” By Derek Scally on The Irish Times.
Julia Reda – Net neutrality is a “Taliban-like issue”, says Europe’s top digital policymaker
“Net neutrality refers to a principle by which internet service providers must not discriminiate internet traffic through prioritisation, degradation or blocking. The Taliban ( طالبان) are a fundamentalist militant group responsible for the death of thousands of civilians. In a debate on March 5, 2015, Commissioner Günther Oettinger referred to the demand for net neutrality as ‘Taliban-like’.” By Julia Reda.
UK Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (ISC) report
WordPress in court victory over blogger censored by 'Straight Pride UK'
“After a two-year legal battle, journalist Oliver Hotham and Automattic, owners of blogging service Wordpress.com, have emerged victorious against an attempt to use an American copyright law to shut down criticism of a short-lived pressure group call ‘Straight Pride UK’.” By Alex Hern on The Guardian.