Raffi's new songs about kids, climate emergency, and Greta Thunberg

Raffi Cavoukian (AKA "Raffi") is best known as a beloved children's singer — I vividly remember attending one of his concerts as a child — and possibly secondarily as the brother of former Ontario Privacy Commissioner and excellent privacy advocate Ann Cavoukian, but in recent years, he's emerged as a smart, acerbic political activist whose anti-Trump and climate-oriented tweets are as much as source of uplift as his Baby Beluga was when I was a kid.

Critical essays (including mine) discuss Toronto's plan to let Google build a surveillance-based "smart city" along its waterfront

Sidewalk Labs is Google's sister company that sells "smart city" technology; its showcase partner is Toronto, my hometown, where it has made a creepy shitshow out of its freshman outing, from the mass resignations of its privacy advisors to the underhanded way it snuck in the right to take over most of the lakeshore without further consultations (something the company straight up lied about after they were outed). — Read the rest

Excellent podcast on privacy risks of RFIDs

This week on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's excellent Search Engine podcast, host Jesse Brown has posted part one of a fantastic interview with Ann Cavoukian about the risks associated with RFID-enabled identity cards and other personal objects and devices.

Jesse frames the issue as well as I've heard it ever framed: "They freak me out.Read the rest

Ontario's privacy commissioner to geeks: design for privacy!

Here's a one-hour video of a magnificent lecture from Canada's Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner, Dr Ann Cavoukian, to the University of Waterloo's Computer Science Club. The talk is called "Privacy by Design," and it charges technologists to build tools that minimize the collection and retention of personally identifying information, and to consider a complete, end-to-end, comprehensive framework for protecting user privacy. — Read the rest