Uber concealed breach of 57M users for more than a year

(Nov 22, 2017) Bloomberg reports hackers stole the personal information of 57 million Uber customers and drivers, an incident the company concealed from the public for more than a year. Uber, which was negotiating with the Federal Trade Commission for other privacy violations at the time of the breach, also paid the hackers $100,000 to keep the breach quiet. Compromised information includes names, email addresses and phone numbers of 50 million users; the personal information of 7 million Uber drivers; and the... Read More

Lack of transparency in AI decision-making a growing concern

(Nov 21, 2017) In an in-depth article for The New York Times Magazine, Cliff Kuang explores the limited transparency offered on decisions made through artificial intelligence systems and how this lack of accountability is a growing concern in AI research. “It’s a more profound version of what’s often called the 'black box' problem — the inability to discern exactly what machines are doing when they’re teaching themselves novel skills,” Kuang writes. With the EU General Data Protection Regulation set to take fo... Read More

German regulator bans children's smartwatches over privacy concerns

(Nov 20, 2017) Privacy concerns surrounding the audio recording capabilities of children’s smartwatches has motivated the German telecommunications regulator, the Federal Network Agency, to ban the sale of the devices in the country, the Guardian reports, and to recommend parents destroy existing devices. FNA President Jochen Homann said parents have been using children's smartwatches, often marketed as toys, to not only listen in on their children’s actions, but also to secretly record conversations taking pl... Read More

Forrester predicts a rise in IoT impact for 2018

(Nov 17, 2017) In an article for ZDNet, Chris Voce, vice president and research director at Forrester, writes that the market research company's 2018 report predicts businesses will see an increase in how internet-of-things devices impact their organizations. Voce says IoT platform offerings will begin to specialize in "design" and "operate" scenarios, creating specialized products to fit the needs of their clients. He also believes that new EU guidelines will enable the commercialization of IoT data, specific... Read More

Ontario's drone highway-monitoring program raises privacy concerns

(Nov 17, 2017) The Ontario government has reached an agreement with The Sky Guys drone technology company to have drones monitor sections of highway, The Globe and Mail Reports. The Ontario government sought to find a technology to help enforce the rules of high-occupancy toll lanes. The Sky Guys said its software will obscure identifying details about drivers, while the office of Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development and Growth released a statement saying "all solutions developed will need to adhere to t... Read More

European Commission launches 4M euro prize for usable authentication tech

(Nov 17, 2017) With a proliferation of internet-of-things devices entering the marketplace, the European Commission has launched the Horizon Prize to help jumpstart development of a "simple, secure and privacy-friendly way" to authenticate people when connecting to their devices. The prize totals 4 million euros, with 2.8 million for the winner, 700,000 for second place, and 500,000 for third. "The winning solutions will be innovative methods that will enable everyone and their smart objects to seamlessly auth... Read More

Survey: Consumers hesitant to embrace smart home devices

(Nov 16, 2017) A survey conducted by Deloitte found privacy concerns have made consumers more hesitant to embrace smart home devices compared to other internet-of-things gadgets, Business Insider reports. The survey found nearly 40 percent of consumers are concerned about smart home devices tracking their use, with more than 40 percent expressing fears of the devices exposing too much regarding their daily lives. The majority of respondents believe device manufacturers are failing to alert consumers about secu... Read More

Researchers discover 'sloppy security' on IoT devices

(Nov 16, 2017) Researchers at ReFirm, a cybersecurity startup, recently demonstrated how consumer privacy concerns associated with internet-of-things devices remain valid after successfully compromising products manufactured by TRENDnet, Belkin and Dahua, The Washington Post reports. The discovery comes four years after the Federal Trade Commission filed charges to remove vulnerabilities found in wireless routers and cameras to protect consumer privacy. Terry Dunlap, ReFirm founder, said of the manufacturers, ... Read More

ACLU publishes guide for smart city tech

(Nov 16, 2017) ACLU of Northern California has released a guide aimed at providing a step-by-step approach to making informed decisions about developing smart city technology. The guide, Making Smart Decisions about Smart Cities, features case studies to inform stakeholders on the risks and benefits associated with smart city technology. Covering what the ACLU touts as key components behind smart city development, the guide examines “evaluating data-driven urban technologies and the risks and costs they may en... Read More

FDA approves 'digital pill' to track patient behavior

(Nov 14, 2017) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first “digital pill,” designed to allow doctors to monitor whether patients with mental illnesses are taking it, Bloomberg reports. The sensor, created by Proteus Digital Health, is activated by stomach fluids. When used as part of the Abilify drug, designed to treat depression and schizophrenia, the sensor will transmit information to a smartphone app. Patients using the product must agree to allow physicians to see the data and choose whet... Read More