"Edge AI": encapsulating machine learning classifiers in lightweight, energy-efficient, airgapped chips

Writing in Wired, Boing Boing contributor Clive Thompson discusses the rise and rise of "Edge AI" startups that sell lightweight machine-learning classifiers that run on low-powered chips and don't talk to the cloud, meaning that they are privacy respecting and energy efficient. Read the rest

Facial recognition isn't just bad because it invades privacy: it's because privacy invasions fuel discrimination

Bruce Schneier writes in the New York Times that banning facial recognition (as cities like San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, Brookline and Somerville have done) is not enough: there are plenty of other ways to automatically recognize people (gait detection, high-resolution photos of hands that reveal fingerprints, voiceprints, etc), and these will all be used for the same purpose that makes facial recognition bad for our world: to sort us into different categories and treat us different based on those categories. Read the rest

Why AG Barr's use of Pensacola shooter case to rebuke Apple is so suspicious

FBI needs to be able to hack into your iphone, Trump's sham AG William Barr says

Google re-integrates Xiaomi, China firm says Google Nest Hubs connected to its security cameras can no longer access feeds from random homes

China technologi firm Xiaomi says it has fully resolved the security issue that led to Google 'disabling' integration across its platforms.

Xiaomi cameras connected to its security cameras were showing feeds from random homes . Now that the Chinese firm says it's all sorted out, Google integrations are now re-enabled.

I'm sure everything is totally fine. Read the rest

U-Haul decides to stop hiring nicotine users

I live in the rural Southwest, and the recent news that trucking company U-Haul has decided to stop hiring people who smoke cigarettes is a big deal around here. People with few financial options tend to be the ones who take jobs as truckers and the like; those tend to be the same populations who smoke. Read the rest

Google 'disabling Xiaomi integrations on our devices' after Nest Hub user picked up random pics from strangers' feeds

“Among the eight or so examples initially provided to Reddit are a handful of disturbingly clear images showing a sleeping baby, a security camera's view of an enclosed porch, and a man seemingly asleep in a chair.” Read the rest

ToTok is a UAE spying tool, say US officials. Delete it now.

Google and Apple remove app

New York Times analyzes a leaked set of location data from a private broker, sounds the alarm

In 2017, a string of reports revealed that data-brokers were acquiring and linking titanic sets of location data from apps and mobile carriers and mining that data (and sometimes selling it outright). The carriers promised they'd end the practice, but they were lying. A year later, fresh reports surfaced of both app- and carrier-derived location data being sold, often by companies whose lack of elementary security meant that the data was effectively available to anyone. Then we learned that carriers were supplying fine-grained, realtime location data that was ending up in the hands of bounty hunters, skip tracers, and crooks and stalkers (naturally Ajit Pai's FCC had helped them get away with it0. Read the rest

Facebook offers funny answer for why it tracks users’ locations even when they turn tracking services off

Facebook offered a revealing explanation to lawmakers for why it continues to track users’ locations even after those users turn Facebook's location tracking services off. Read the rest

Search-warrant demands that Google turn over account info, Android info, all accounts and passwords, calendar, contacts, cloud docs, financial data, photos, location history, search history, call records, etc

Scott Budnick (producer of the "Hangover" movies) is embroiled in a complicated feud with an LA homicide cop named Sgt. Richard Biddle; Biddle has pursued his investigation against Budnick by securing an incredibly broad search-warrant to seize his Google data. Read the rest

Happy 10th birthday, TAILS -- the real Paranoid Linux!

In my 2008 novel Little Brother, the underground resistance uses a secure operating system called "Paranoid Linux" that is designed to prevent surveillance and leave no evidence of its use; that was fiction, but there's a real Paranoid Linux out there: Tails, The Amnesic Incognito Live System, and it turns 10 today. Read the rest

TikTok owner ByteDance launches new deal with Chinese government

The increasingly popular social media application TikTok has a concerning relationship with the Chinese state. That link became ever the more concerning today, when reports began circulating of a brand new partnership between the company that owns TikTok, ByteDance, and the government of China. Read the rest

AI Now's annual report: stop doing "emotion detection"; stop "socially sensitive" facial recognition; make AI research diverse and representative -- and more

Every year, the AI Now Institute (previously) publishes a deep, thoughtful, important overview of where AI research is and the ethical gaps in AI's use, and makes a list of a dozen urgent recommendations for the industry, the research community, and regulators and governments. Read the rest

Genetic genealogy company Gedmatch acquired by company with ties to FBI & law enforcement—why you should be worried

[If you thought your relatives' gift of a "smart speaker" was the worst way that a family member could compromise your privacy, think again: home genetic tests can opt your whole bloodline into mass-scale state genetic surveillance, and while there has been some progress into bringing the rule of law into the stuff of life, it's been halting -- and that's bad news, especially as companies that do genetics for spies and cops merge with consumer genomics companies, something that's just happened, as my EFF colleague Jennifer Lynch discusses below, in this crosspost from EFF's Deeplinks blog -Cory]

This week, GEDmatch, a genetic genealogy company that gained notoriety for giving law enforcement access to its customers’ DNA data, quietly informed its users it is now operated by Verogen, Inc., a company expressly formed two years ago to market “next-generation [DNA] sequencing” technology to crime labs.   Read the rest

Chinese law professor's social media denunciation of facial recognition in the Beijing subway system

Lao Dongyan is a professor specializing in Criminal Law at Tsinghua University; on Oct 31, she posted a long, thoughtful piece to their public Wechat account about the announcement that Beijing's metro system will soon deploy facial recognition to "improve efficiency of passenger traffic." Prof Lao makes a smart, thorough argument against this, drawing on both China's rule of law, international privacy norms, and lack of meaningful consent. Read the rest

Tiktok took less than a day to settle parents' lawsuit over spying on their kids

Yesterday Bytedance, the company that acquired the tween-centric app Musica.ly and relaunched it as Tiktok, was been sued by a parents' group for violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act by gathering, storing, and selling private information about their children. Today, they settled the case on terms that have not been disclosed. Read the rest

A sweeping new tech bill from Silicon Valley Democrats promises privacy, interoperability, and protection from algorithmic discrimination and manipulation

Reps Anna Eshoo [D-CA] and Zoe Lofgren [D-CA] have introduced HR 4978, the "Online Privacy Act," which is a comprehensive set of federal rules for privacy, interoperability, and protection from algorithmic discrimination and manipulation. Read the rest

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