How AI is impacting the babysitter business

(Dec 4, 2018) An article for The Washington Post looks at how parents are turning to artificial intelligence in order to find the perfect babysitter. Predictim, an online service that uses “advanced artificial intelligence” to screen babysitter candidates, provides a “risk rating” for how likely the candidate is to abuse drugs, bully or have a “bad attitude.” Center for Digital Democracy Executive Director Jeff Chester noted a “mad rush to seize the power of AI to make all kinds of decisions without ensuring ... Read More

NHS could benefit from IoT, but concerns remain

(Nov 29, 2018) ZDNet reports on the benefit the National Health Service could gain from the adoption of internet-of-things devices and the issues it will need to consider before it uses the technology on a wide scale. The report states the NHS could use IoT devices to track patients throughout their stay in the hospital and help share information easier. The NHS will likely look at some of the security issues that have been attached to IoT devices. The report cites insulin pumps and pacemakers that have been r... Read More

Singapore pushes to embrace drone technology

(Nov 29, 2018) Fueled by a drive to embrace innovation, Singapore announced plans to roll out drones for a range of tasks, including deliveries, security and inspections, the South China Morning Post reports. Given the city's population of just 5.6 million, the report states drone technology is seen as a potential solution to Singapore's workforce shortage. Supported by Singapore’s civil aviation authority, the rollout will take place after testing and will require regulations be in place before ideas can take... Read More

Germany provides draft guidance on router-specific requirements

(Nov 29, 2018) In an effort to regulate Small Office and Home Office routers, the German Federal Office for Information Security offered an initial draft of rules for securing SOHO routers, ZDNet reports. Drafted with input from vendors, telecoms and the hardware community across the country, the 22-page report provides recommendations and rules. While the recommendations will not become law, Germany will become the first country to provide router-specific guidelines. Although manufacturers will not be require... Read More

Wildlife cameras spark privacy concerns

(Nov 28, 2018) The Conversation reports that the sensitive motion detector cameras used to capture animals in the wild have become entangled in a privacy and human rights concern that has become a point of focus for researchers. A survey of 235 researchers who engage camera traps in ecological or conservation projects found that more than 90 percent responded that their cameras had captured both animals and people. While this can help identify poaching activity, the article states it works to reduce trust in t... Read More

Report examines privacy perceptions among smart speaker users

(Nov 27, 2018) Researchers from the University of Michigan recently found that people who own smart speakers with voice assistants are more likely to be resigned to a loss of privacy, Motherboard reports. The report also found that users rarely implement the devices’ privacy controls, which, the authors note, are “not well-aligned with users' needs.” The report states, “Many users justify their lack of privacy concern based on an incomplete understanding of the privacy risks. However, both users and non-users ... Read More

Privacy concerns raised over health insurers' use of medical data

(Nov 26, 2018) ProPublica reports on one man’s discovery of how his medical device was tracking his use and sending information to his doctor, the maker of the machine, the medical supply company that had provided it, and his health insurer. Tony Schmidt, who required a CPAP breathing machine to sleep, said he was unaware of the data-sharing arrangement and filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and the federal government without response. Privacy advocates have raised concern that the growing trend... Read More

Concerns continue to surround Waterfront Toronto project

(Nov 21, 2018) Privacy concerns continue to surround the Waterfront Toronto smart city project, Yahoo Finance Canada reports. Metaviews President Jesse Hirsh said one of the more notable problems is that Sidewalk Labs, the group behind the project, has not addressed who will control information collected through the project. However, some question whether the project's privacy issues have been overblown. “If you consider the central importance of ensuring privacy protection in the building of a smart neighbour... Read More

Mozilla ranks privacy features of popular gifts

(Nov 15, 2018) As the holiday season approaches, Mozilla compiled a list of popular gifts in a recent privacy report, hoping to educate consumers on which devices meet basic security standards and which offer a clear privacy policy, The Verge reports. Out of the 70 devices listed, the report found 25 met its minimum security standards. Meanwhile, TechCrunch reports that Mozilla is adding a new security feature to its Firefox Quantum web browser, which will notify users when they visit a website that has recent... Read More

What the rise of the 'internet of bodies' will mean for regulation

(Nov 14, 2018) In a column for The Wall Street Journal, Andrea Matwyshyn discusses the proliferation of the “internet of bodies,” a term used to describe the network of smart devices that are attached to or in the human body, and the questions it raises for regulation. While it has yet to be settled who controls the devices and the data. Matwyshyn writes, “For the first time, our physical safety, autonomy, and well-being can — and inevitably will — be harmed because of flawed software or lapses in security. Ye... Read More