Perspective: Should robots have rights?

(Oct 19, 2018) California recently passed Senate Bill 1001, which bars companies and people from using bots that intentionally mislead those they are talking to into thinking they are human. Putting aside the social and legal merits of this law, Bill 1001 implicates a hitherto-abstract, philosophical debate about when a simulation of intelligence crosses the line into sentience and becomes a true artificial intelligence. Depending upon where you draw the line, this law is either discrimination against another ... Read More

Sidewalk Labs releases proposal on data concerns for Toronto smart-city project

(Oct 19, 2018) Sidewalk Labs has published a draft proposal on the ways it will handle data and privacy concerns with its Sidewalk Toronto smart-city project, The Canadian Press reports. Sidewalk Labs Head of Data Governance Alyssa Harvey Dawson writes in the proposal the company does not plan to own any data collected through the project. The Civic Data Trust will instead control the information and set the rules around its use. "The Civic Data Trust would be guided by a charter ensuring that urban data is co... Read More

Should robots have rights?

(Oct 18, 2018) California recently passed Senate Bill 1001, which bars companies and people from using bots that intentionally mislead those they are talking to into thinking they are human.  Putting aside the  social and legal merits of this law, Bill 1001 implicates a hitherto-abstract, philosophical debate about when a simulation of intelligence crosses the line into sentience and becomes a true AI. Depending upon where you draw the line, this law is either discrimination against another form of sentient l... Read More

Dating app leaks users' data

(Oct 17, 2018) The entire user database of Donald Daters, a new online dating app for supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump, has leaked online, TechCrunch reports. Touting it wants to help "make America date again," the app's database, which included usernames, profile pictures, device type, and private messages, as well as access tokens, was accessible from a public data repository. After being alerted to the issue, Emily Moreno, founder of the app and former aide to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said, "We ha... Read More

Op-ed: How the 'internet of bodies' could be perilous

(Oct 16, 2018) In a column for The Washington Post, Mary Lee, a mathematician for the RAND Corporation, warns that "the line between human and machine is blurring — and creating new concerns about consumer safety and privacy rights." This wave of new health care technology will essentially connect the human body to the internet. She notes, "If retroactive privacy laws for the internet have taught us anything, we should consider establishing rules to govern the legal, privacy and ethical issues that are already... Read More

Why the tech industry's latest target is not as great as it seems

(Oct 11, 2018) In an article for The New York Times, Farhad Manjoo writes that a future where everything is a connected device is just as terrifying as it sounds. He writes that the tech industry’s latest target — to computerize everything and connect everyone — will carry consequences, adding, “If their novelties take off without any intervention or supervision from the government, we could be inviting a nightmarish set of security and privacy vulnerabilities into the world.” He asks that while connected devi... Read More

Sidewalk Toronto advisory board member resigns over data concerns

(Oct 5, 2018) A member of the advisory board for the Sidewalk Toronto smart city project has resigned over data concerns, The Toronto Star reports. TechGirls Canada Founder Saadia Muzaffar stepped down from the board, citing her issues with Sidewalk Labs gaining financial benefits from the information generated by the project rather than local innovators and the general public. Muzaffar is the second person to resign from the board, which was created to help deal with data privacy issues within the project. “... Read More

White-hat hackers highlight smart-home device issues

(Sep 28, 2018) CBC News conducted an investigation into the privacy and security risks associated with smart-home devices. The CBC News Marketplace team hired a group of white-hat hackers to break into the smart devices belonging to an Ontario family. The team from Scalar Decisions was able to compromise many of the devices within the home by cracking the Wi-Fi password and sending a phishing email. Scalar Ethical Hacker Team Leader Arsenii Pustovit said manufacturers should do more to ensure the devices are s... Read More

New partnership hopes to address smart-city challenges

(Sep 27, 2018) A partnership between smart-city accelerator US Ignite and the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions hopes to forge an initiative between industry and local governments to find solutions to data sharing and other challenges associated with smart-city projects, Government Technology reports. In a statement, ATIS Vice President for Technology and Solutions Mike Nawrocki said, “ATIS and US Ignite are committed not only to enhancing cities’ ability to solve current data challenges, but ... Read More

NIST releases draft IoT-risk internal report for public comment

(Sep 26, 2018) The National Institute of Standards and Technology's Cybersecurity for the Internet of Things and Privacy Engineering Programs has issued a draft internal report on managing cybersecurity and privacy risks in IoT devices. Draft NISTIR 8228: Considerations for Managing IoT Cybersecurity and Privacy Risks is open for public comment until Oct. 24. The draft identifies three considerations that may affect IoT privacy and security and includes recommendations for organizations on their approach to Io... Read More