Daily Dish 011519

Daily Dish Tuesday 15th January, MMXIX
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`The Age of Surveillance Capitalism’ Review: The New Big Brother [WSJ] Many people I know keep not one of these devices but three or four, just to make sure Alexa is always around. Questioned about this, or about why they use Gmail or Google Maps knowing that Google mines them for data, they offer one of three defenses: (1) They already know everything about me anyway; (2) I’m not doing anything wrong, so what do I have to hide? Or (3) Nobody cares about me personally, and they couldn’t possibly pay attention to all this data even if they wanted to.

China Netcasting Services Association – Network short video content review standard rules [cnsa.cn] In order to improve the quality of short video content, curb the spread of false and harmful content, create a clear network space, and formulate these rules in accordance with relevant national laws and regulations, “Internet Audiovisual Program Service Management Regulations” and “Network Audiovisual Program Contents Review General Rules”.

Learning China’s Forbidden History, So They Can Censor It [NYT] For Chinese companies, staying on the safe side of government censors is a matter of life and death. Adding to the burden, the authorities demand that companies censor themselves, spurring them to hire thousands of people to police content.

The most powerful person in Silicon Valley  [forbes] I head down one floor to meet Mark Tanner, a WeWork product manager, who shows me a proprietary software system that the company has built to manage the 335 locations it now operates around the world. He starts by pulling up an aerial view of the WeWork floor I had just visited. My movements, from the moment I stepped off the elevator, have been monitored and captured by a sophisticated system of sensors that live under tables, above couches, and so forth. It’s part of a pilot that WeWork is testing to explore how people move through their workday. The machines pick up all kinds of details, which WeWork then uses to adjust everything from design to hiring .  (unclear why they chose not to speak about  SoftBank’s decision to slash its investment in the shared-office provider WeWork from $16bn down to $2bn  when it is the central narrative of this story!!  – ED)

The Association between Adolescent Well-being and Digital Technology Use [Nature] The widespread use of digital technologies by young people has spurred speculation that their regular use negatively impacts psychological well-being. Current empirical evidence supporting this idea is largely based on secondary analyses of large-scale social datasets. Though these datasets provide a valuable resource for highly powered investigations, their many variables and observations are often explored with an analytical flexibility that marks small effects as statistically significant, thereby leading to potential false positives and conflicting results.

Alias is a teachable “parasite” that is designed to give users more control over their smart assistants, [bjoernkarmann.dk] both when it comes to customisation and privacy. Through a simple app the user can train Alias to react on a custom wake-word/sound, and once trained, Alias can take control over your home assistant by activating it for you.  When you don’t use it, Alias will make sure the assistant is paralysed and unable to listen by interrupting its microphones.  Follow the build guide on Instructables or get the source code on GitHub

Feds Can’t Force You To Unlock Your iPhone With Finger Or Face, Judge Rules [Forbes] A California judge has ruled that American cops can’t force people to unlock a mobile phone with their face or finger. The ruling goes further to protect people’s private lives from government searches than any before and is being hailed as a potentially landmark decision.The order came from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The Super-Secure Quantum Cable Hiding in the Holland Tunnel [Bloomberg] Running through the tunnel is a fiber-optic cable that harnesses the power of quantum mechanics to protect critical banking data from potential spies. The cable’s trick is a technology called quantum key distribution, or QKD.

US clash over EU privacy rules stymies European funds [FT] SEC is not registering continental asset managers over concerns about GDPR. The stand-off is a sign of the growing divergence between US authorities’ requirements for information and the EU’s own tough rules on data protection.

Did the Police Spy on Black Lives Matter Protesters? The Answer May Soon Come Out[NYT] Justice Arlene Bluth of State Supreme Court said that if the police are using the cell-site simulator technology on protesters then it is violating the law and “cannot hide exposure of that fact through a Glomar response.”


PRIVACY IS POWER