Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 13, 2013 03:02 PM
With 200 million active users, Twitter, a self-described "digital town square" is taking its views to Washington with its first political action committee, appropriately dubbed Twitter#PAC.
Joining Google, Facebook and Microsoft, the microblogger will lobby on privacy, internet freedom, net neutrality, and copyright and patent reform, according to a Lobbying Registration form filed by William Carty, who will be Twitter’s first lobbyist, based in the company's D.C. office.
Carty was most recently a policy director in the Senate's commerce committee and will be joined by Nu Wexler as the company's policy spokesperson, most recently a staffer with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 22, 2013 03:33 PM
Had the Rodeo Drive store made famous for its ill treatment of Julia Robert’s character in Pretty Woman been using VIP-identification technology, prostitute Vivian Ward might have been treated quite differently.
“It is the moment every sales assistant dreads,” writes London's Sunday Times. “A customer is demanding attention; they seem vaguely familiar but you do not have time to deal with them. Only when you get the call from head office does the penny drop: you have just snubbed one of the richest people in the world and turned away a month’s sales in a day.”
Designed by NEC IT Solutions, facial recognition software similar to that used to help identify criminals and terrorists is now available in retail settings. The ID technology analyzes footage of people's faces as they enter a store, taking measurements that generate a numerical code or "face template" which can be checked against a database.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 4, 2013 12:13 PM
Reddit, Mozilla, Wordpress and 4chan are among dozens of websites planning major July 4th protests against the National Security Agency after its widespread, secret surveillance of telephone records and Internet traffic was revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden in June.
Restore the Fourth, a grassroots, non-partisan, non-violent movement is coordinating demonstrations in more than 100 cities across the country demanding the government adhere to its constitutionally dictated limits and respect the Fourth Amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
Mozilla, which was not included among the internet giants named in the PRISM program, started the movement.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 25, 2013 05:07 PM
While Facebook has recently been in the limelight for introducing Instagram Video as well a rumors swirling around its possible Reader app, not all is good on the social front.
The platform has continued to suffer from its fallout with women's groups after it was exposed that ads were appearing next to harmful and damaging content. About a dozen advertisers have pulled their ads from the site until Facebook can find a way to guarantee ad placement or clear the site of the alarming content, which greatly promoted violence against women.
The latest brand to back away from Facebook is BSkyB, the UK's largest broadcaster. "Such content is clearly unacceptable to Sky and our customers,” BSkyB wrote in an e-mail to Bloomberg. “We have asked Facebook to devise safeguards to ensure our content does not appear alongside inappropriate material in the future.”Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 20, 2013 01:42 PM
Google has three months to make changes or risk a fine of up to 150,000 euros ($201,100) and a second of 300,000 euros if it still fails to comply with the French Data Protection Act.
Last year, Google consolidated 60 privacy policies into one covering YouTube, Gmail and Google+ with no opt-out choice for users. Already wary, National European data protection regulators gave Google until February to propose changes—which it did not—resulting in the latest edict.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 18, 2013 04:52 PM
In the wake of the PRISM scandal, brands are continuing to jockey for their place among the most transparent as the government slowly concedes to releasing more surveillance data collected through the top-secret NSA program, which was made public by whistle blower Edward Snowden.
Requests by Facebook, Microsoft, Google and the like to release data requested by the government have been answered this week. While the initial accusations that the internet companies allowed the NSA to troll data through a wide-open back door was ruled false, the companies still wished to clear their names in conjunction with the thousands of written data requests with which they are charged to comply with per federal laws.
To date, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, and Microsoft have disclosed the number of requests received over certain blocks of time. Facebook published its first transparency report, where it said it received up to 10,000 requests between July and December 2012. Meanwhile, Apple said it faced up to 5,000 federal, state and local requests between December 2012 and May 2013, Microsoft reported 7,000 requests from July through December 2012, and Yahoo reported the most, with 13,000 requests for data in the past 18 months, the BBC reports.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Ben Berkon on June 12, 2013 11:58 AM
The government’s infringement on communicative freedom and privacy is hardly a new topic in America.
Starting in the late-1940s, the US underwent a period called the "Second Red Scare," which gave birth to the era of "McCarthyism," a time in America where many citizens feared their phone lines were being tapped. Today, heightened security over terrorist activity has caused the nation's security divisions to implement such tactics yet again, though the digital age poses a much greater challenge to operations as the public shares more, but also knows more.
Privacy concerns have peaked as The Guardian recently published a series of reports documenting questionable actions by the US National Security Agency. Late last week, The Guardian revealed its source— Edward Snowden, a former US intelligence operative who consciously leaked the NSA program called "PRISM.” According to CNN, PRISM is a top secret, on-going program that entitles the NSA "to extract the details of people's online activities—including audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents and other materials."
Yet, unlike past federal privacy infringements, the PRISM scandal has implicated major brands including Verizon, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, AOL, Apple and Skype. While Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a public note on Facebook claiming, "We hadn't even heard of PRISM before yesterday," and Google CEO Larry Page wrote an open letter sharing similar sentiments, other brands haven't been nearly as forthright, although all have denied knowledge of the program.Continue reading...
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 1, 2013 02:53 PM
As with any device that ups the ante on usage and reach, added security risks and vulnerability come hand-in-hand—and in this case, fashion issues as well.
Google has been busy hyping Google Glass, as it unleashes the futuristic specs on developers and journalists to test drive. It released a tutorial video this week, demonstrating how the glasses work.
But as developers pour over the specs of the device, several security loopholes have been discovered, causing already existing security concerns to rise. Jay Freeman, iOS and Android developer discovered that an Android hacking technique could compromise the Glass headset, gaining complete control of its operating system and potentially allowing the installation of surveillance malware.
This “Explorer” version of Glass that developers received doesn’t have a PIN code or authentication protection, so when left on and unattended, the device is vulnerable to hacking. A USB cable could be attached to the headset and used to gain full "root" access to the device, which could allow surveillance programs to be installed. Such programs could upload a user's photos, video and audio to a remote server.Continue reading...