Amazon asks judge to send children's privacy lawsuit to arbitration

(Sep 17, 2019) MediaPost reports Amazon has asked U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones to send a children’s privacy lawsuit to arbitration. A group of parents filed a class-action lawsuit against the tech company for allegedly storing children’s voiceprints through Alexa devices without consent. The plaintiffs claim this practice violates privacy laws in eight states, including Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania. “The plaintiffs’ parents in this suit, who signed up for and then permitted their chi... Read More

Congress to bar Chinese contractor over fears of 'spy trains'

(Sep 16, 2019) The New York Times reports the U.S. Congress is preparing legislation that would ban Chinese subway manufacturer CRRC Corporation from taking contracts in the U.S. following concerns about Chinese spying through technology and artificial intelligence tools. Lawmakers and CRRC critics are speculating that technology within the company's subway cars could be used to track passengers' faces, movement, conversations or phone calls. While Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul said ... Read More

Music service requests data location for premium plan users

(Sep 13, 2019) Spotify's updated terms and conditions for its premium family plan is raising privacy concerns, CNET reports. The updated terms require plan subscribers to "provide location data 'from time to time'" to verify all users on the plan are actually family members. "We do not store their location data or track their location at any time," a Spotify spokesperson said. Privacy advocates say this overlooks families who aren't living together and raises privacy concerns with giving away location data. "A... Read More

CNIL releases guidance on smartwatches for children

(Sep 12, 2019) France’s data protection authority, the CNIL, released guidance for parents on the potential privacy concerns around smartwatches directed toward children. The CNIL advises parents to measure both the benefits and risks of the smartwatches and for parents to talk to their children when their privacy is impacted. Before parents purchase a smartwatch for their kids, the CNIL recommends examining what data the smartwatch will collect, avoiding purchasing cheaper devices, and looking up customer rev... Read More

Chinese app boosts online privacy

(Sep 12, 2019) Reuters reports on LeakZero, the first Chinese app to ensure online privacy to its users. The app allows for anonymous web surfing, protected passwords and encrypted messaging between users. LeakZero Founder Yang Geng added that he and his staff are unable to track users names or the number of users on the app while claiming there is no backdoor access. Geng said that there was a universal need for such privacy-enhancing software, but he added the Chinese audience will be the main focus for now.... Read More

Report: Data and privacy concerns found with Sidewalk Labs project

(Sep 11, 2019) Members of Waterfront Toronto’s Digital Strategy Advisory Panel have raised privacy and data concerns with the Sidewalk Labs development plan for Toronto’s waterfront, the Financial Post reports. Citing concerns the plan lacks specific detail regarding technology and what information has been provided, “ambitions are either misguided, or cause for privacy concerns,” according to the report. The report also raises concerns that the proposed “new regulatory body [that] would oversee all data colle... Read More

Teletext Holidays breach exposes 212K customer call audio files

(Sep 5, 2019) An unsecured Amazon Web Services server contained 212,000 customer call audio files belonging to Teletext Holidays, Verdict reports. The calls took place between April and August 2016 and included customers revealing their names, email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth and some payment card information. Teletext removed the files after it was notified of the unprotected server. “We are in the process of reporting the matter to the ICO, and we will fully comply with our wid... Read More

Survey shows consumers purchasing smart speakers despite privacy concerns

(Sep 5, 2019) A Capgemini Research Institute report finds smart speaker sales are on the rise despite consumers voicing concerns over the technology's privacy, Bloomberg reports. Half of the 12,000 respondents from the U.S., U.K., France and Germany have smart speakers compared to the 25% who reported owning them in 2017. The survey also showed that 52% of smart speaker owners are wary of private conversations being recorded by their devices. Recent privacy backlash over voice recordings has forced big tech c... Read More

Chinese consumers increase use of facial payments

(Sep 5, 2019) Gulf News reports on China's growing use of facial-recognition technology to pay for goods and services rather than using traditional payment methods. The technology allows for broader data collection and falls in line with China's push for smart tech and artificial intelligence. Most consumers acknowledge privacy comes second to the tech's efficiency, while others believe the tech boosts privacy. "The facial recognition technology helps to protect our privacy," IFuree Engineer Li Dongliang said... Read More

Tech for seniors is a booming business

(Sep 4, 2019) About 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, and tech companies are rushing to create new devices geared toward that generation to “mine the golden years,” the Guardian reports. Once a market that was thought to eschew tech, seniors are now embracing a variety of products from touch-screen laptops to robotic seals equipped with sensors and actuators, in addition to popular voice-activated assistants.Full Story... Read More