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Archive for the ‘Privacy’ Category

Mattel Scrappes Smart Home Device Designed For Children

Mattel scrapped a “smart home” device designed with kids in mind after awful reviews and privacy concerns.

“Aristotle” was first shown off at CES earlier this year. The red-and-white device is meant to be kept in a child’s room where its WiFi-enabled camera acts primarily as a voice-controlled baby monitor. It can adjust lighting levels, noting when babies wake up and then playing a lullaby or turning on a nightlight.

The device also claimed to be able to extensively interact with a young child. It can recognize and answer questions, play games, do singalongs, and teach the ABCs. Aristotle’s voice-interaction capabilities are intended to be like a kid-centric version of Amazon’s Alexa.

Last week, two members of Congress sent a letter (PDF) to Mattel about the device.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass wrote “Never before has a device had the capability to so intimately look into the life of a child,” consumers should know how this product will work and what measures Mattel will take to protect families’ privacy and secure their data.” Instead of answering those questions, Mattel has withdrawn the product.

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Hackers Stole Sensitive Data From Equifax

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The cyber attack today, which occurred sometime between the middle of May 2017 and July 29. What makes the Equifax attack particularly troublesome is the company’s status as a central clearinghouse for sensitive credit-related information including social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and other data that can be used in a variety of ways to harm those affected.

While the Equifax breach isn’t the largest in terms of the number of victims — however,because of the kind of personal information that was stolen is troubling. Examples of sensitive information include 209,000 credit card numbers, personal information relating to credit disputes for 182,000 victims, and data that could be further used to access medical histories, bank accounts, and more.

Equifax has established a web site that individuals can visit to learn more about the attack, find out if they’re affected, and enroll in free identity theft protection and file monitoring services. If you’ve ever applied for credit — and that’s most people — it’s a good idea to head over to the site sooner rather than later.

Instagram Gets Hacked

 

 

 On Wednesday, the Facebook-owned photo sharing app revealed that “at least one hacker” managed to steal personal information from a number of high-profile user accounts. Apparently, the breach was caused by a bug in the system, which Instagram says has now been addressed. They discovered that one or more individuals obtained unlawful access to a number of high-profile Instagram users’ contact information — specifically email address and phone number.  

If Your Face Is Scanned the Next Time You Fly……………………HUH?

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Scanned Face

There’s unsurety as to what the Government is doing with the images. They say, Facial-recognition systems may indeed speed up the boarding process, however, the real reason they are cropping up in U.S. airports is that the government wants to keep better track of who is leaving the country, by scanning travelers’ faces and verifying those scans against photos it already has on file. The idea is that this will catch fake passports and make sure people aren’t overstaying their visas. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has partnered with airlines including JetBlue and Delta to introduce such recognition systems at New York’s JFK International Airport, Washington’s Dulles International, and airports in Atlanta, Boston, and Houston, among others. It plans to add more this summer.

“As It Searches for Suspects, the FBI May Be Looking at You”). Privacy advocates also point out that research has shown the technology to be less accurate with older photos and with images of women, African-Americans, and children (see “Is Facial Recognition Accurate? Depends on Your Race”).

 

 

House GOP Takes Power From First African American Librarian Of Congress

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

A bill that would empower Donald Trump to appoint the next Register of Copyrights was easily passed this year by the House of Representatives on , and is headed to the Senate. The final vote was 378-48.

The vote came just a month after the bill, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act, (H.R. 1695) was first introduced on March 23. The bill would block Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden from appointing the next Register of Copyrights and instead transfer the authority to appoint the Register to the President, with Senate confirmation.

The bill happened after Hayden ousted Maria Pallante from her post as Register of Copyrights last October, a move that outraged many in the entertainment industry, and in Congress, who had counted Pallante as a close ally.

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In January, Pallante was named President and CEO of the Association of American Publishers. Currently, Karyn Temple Claggett is leading the Copyright Office on an interim basis.

Hayden, has over 40 years of experience in library science and administration, was appointed by President Obama as the 14th librarian of Congress, and is both the first woman and the first Black American to serve in this role.

Hayden has also been an open advocate of balancing the rights of content creators and corporate copyright owners to adequately and fairly reap the benefits of their creative labors with the general public’s interest in broadening public access to this content in a fair and equitable manner.

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Elimination Of Internet Privacy Rules

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The United States Senate is planning to start the process Today to eliminate rules that would prevent broadband internet providers from collecting sensitive data from subscribers. A vote is expected to take place on Thursday.

The expected vote was confirmed to International Business Times by a spokesperson for Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, who will speak in opposition of the measure on Wednesday, and open internet advocacy group Public Knowledge.

FCC’s Privacy Rules

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