Energy company seeks customer info from Nova Scotia Power

(Jun 23, 2017) EfficiencyOne has sent an application to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board asking it to order Nova Scotia Power to turn over customer information, CBC News reports. EfficiencyOne lawyers said they asked Nova Scotia Power for the information last year, but the power corporation would only deliver the data if it received an order from the board. EfficiencyOne wants to use the information to conduct targeted marketing campaigns as energy-efficient programs become more common. The application... Read More

LA fire department seeks permission to use drones

(Jun 22, 2017) A Los Angeles City Council committee voted to permit the Los Angeles Fire Department to seek Federal Aviation Administration authorization to use drones, the Los Angeles Times reports. The department wants to use drones to help track down missing hikers, search confined spaces and assess the risks in burning buildings. While the fire department said the drones will not be used for surveillance purposes, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California is still concerned, stating the dra... Read More

FTC updates guidance on COPPA compliance for businesses

(Jun 21, 2017) The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has updated its Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule compliance plan for businesses. The update, according to Kristin Cohen and Peder Magee, is designed "to reflect developments in the marketplace — for example, the introduction of internet-connected toys and other devices for kids." The revised Six-Step Compliance Plan for Your Business keeps up with the latest tech developments "while still breaking the process down into six manageable steps." The updated... Read More

FTC releases final agenda for connected cars workshop

(Jun 20, 2017) The Federal Trade Commission has released the final agenda for its workshop on the privacy and security issues raised by automated and connected cars. The workshop, slated for June 28, will include insight from industry representatives, consumer advocates, academics and government officials. The workshop panels will look into the types of data connected cars produce, collect and share; cybersecurity challenges; the privacy implications of connected cars; and the roles government agencies will pl... Read More

Human Project seeks to collect data from participants for 20 years

(Jun 20, 2017) Researchers are looking for 10,000 New Yorkers to share personal information about themselves for a project spanning 20 years, CBS News reports. The Human Project will ask all participants to hand over information about themselves, ranging from medical, financial and educational records to cell phone data. Participants will be given wearable activity trackers and special scales and will be asked to give blood, urine and fecal samples every three years. Researchers hope the results will give them... Read More

Dennedy, Bray talk privacy engineering, AI

(Jun 19, 2017) A column for ZDNet recounts a conversation between Cisco Chief Privacy Officer Michelle Dennedy, CIPP/US, CIPM, and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Chief Ventures Officer David Bray on the complexities of protecting privacy when deploying artificial intelligence systems. Dennedy said, "Getting down to business on my side of the world, privacy engineering is using the techniques of the technical, the social, the procedural, the training tools that we have available, and in the most basic ... Read More

Startup aims to turn smartphones into mental health tools

(Jun 19, 2017) BuzzFeed News reports on Mindstrong Health, a startup aimed at using smartphones to help diagnose, track and treat mental health disorders. The startup was created by Thomas Insel, who left Alphabet’s life sciences division, Verily, which was working on similar projects. Mindstrong tracks a smartphone user’s response time when performing tasks, such as scrolling through contact lists. The app identifies the direction individuals scroll on their devices when they found and clicked on what they we... Read More

GOP proposal would prohibit states from creating self-driving car rules

(Jun 19, 2017) A proposal crafted by U.S. House Republicans would prohibit states from creating their own rules governing the design and testing of self-driving cars, Reuters reports. The rules would also stop federal regulators from demanding pre-market approval for autonomous technology while giving the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration power as the lead agency to regulate self-driving cars. One of the 14 bills in the proposal would label crash data and other testing and validation reports ... Read More

Moscow planning to update 146,000 cameras within city

(Jun 19, 2017) The Moscow government plans to update the 146,000 cameras within the city to better monitor streets and to keep tabs on illegal activity, but some question how much surveillance people will put up with, CNN Tech reports. While the cameras currently spot 75,000 infractions a day, the city’s government wants to make them more efficient with the ability to analyze video footage more deeply and programs to hand out tickets automatically. "The technology is relatively neutral. The real question is wh... Read More

Rape victim sues Uber for viewing medical records without consent

(Jun 16, 2017) After discovering Uber executives viewed her medical records without her consent, a woman who was raped by an Uber driver in India is suing the ride-hailing company, USA Today reports. The suit accuses Uber of intrusion into private affairs, public disclosure of private facts and defamation of character. The suit also alleges Uber believed the victim was working with rival ride-hailing company Ola to orchestrate the attack to tarnish Uber's reputation in India. "It is shocking that [Uber CEO] Tr... Read More