Court upholds teen's privacy

(Mar 16, 2018) A recent ruling by U.S. Circuit Judge Barbara Milano Keenan sided with a Virginia teen, finding that the police had violated his right to privacy when gathering evidence in the case, Courthouse News Service reports. In her 29-page opinion, Judge Keenan wrote, “A reasonable police officer would have known that attempting to obtain a [sensitive] photograph of a minor ... in the presence of others, would unlawfully invade the child’s right of privacy.” Keenan added that the detective in charge “aff... Read More

Age verification plan for adult websites delayed

(Mar 15, 2018) The U.K. government's plan to have adult websites implement age-verification barriers has been delayed, V3 reports. The Digital Economy Act would require adult websites to have stricter age verification processes in an effort to keep children away from the content. Privacy and security concerns have arisen since the plan was introduced, with opponents saying the barriers could result in adults handing information over to third parties and sensitive personal data potentially at risk of exposure. ... Read More

Arguments heard at 'right-to-be-forgotten' trial

(Mar 15, 2018) A trial in London’s High Court heard arguments in a case involving a man’s right to have his criminal past de-indexed by Google Search, The Register reports. The individual, referred to as NT2, is claiming that by listing his past criminal mentions, Google is infringing on his data protection and privacy rights. While NT2 argues he is not a public figure, what constitutes a “public person” is up for clarification. This court has linked his case to that of NT1, who is also engaged in a lawsuit ag... Read More

Chinese police test AI-powered glasses

(Mar 15, 2018) Police outside of Beijing are testing LLVision’s artificial intelligence–powered glasses, designed to detect and cross-reference facial features and car registration plates to a database of suspects, Reuters reports. Wu Fei, chief executive of LLVision, said that people should not be concerned about the privacy implications, adding that the government was using the device for “noble causes.” The glasses are said to capture, analyze and compare faces to that of a national database of blacklisted ... Read More

Melania Trump to discuss cyberbullying with tech executives

(Mar 15, 2018) According to those familiar with efforts by First Lady Melania Trump, a meeting is scheduled with tech executives to discuss online harassment prevention and promote internet safety, The Washington Post reports. While all declined to comment, representatives from Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter and Snap are reportedly slated to meet next week with Trump and aides from Microsoft, the Internet Association, and other consumer groups. While Trump publicly pledged to address cyberbullying before he... Read More

ACLU files lawsuit with TSA over warrantless searches

(Mar 14, 2018) In a move to urge the U.S. Transportation Security Administration to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California filed a lawsuit, ArsTechnica reports. In the suit, the ACLU alleges that the TSA improperly withheld documents and other material related to its FOIA request pertaining to its involvement in warrantless searches of digital devices on domestic flights. In a statement, Vasudha Talla, staff attorney for the ACLU Foundation of... Read More

Facial recognition at Madison Square Garden sparks privacy concerns

(Mar 14, 2018) A new facial recognition technology used at Madison Square Garden to increase security has raised privacy and data protection concerns, The New York Times reports. While it is unclear when the system was implemented, the visitors’ faces are scanned, and an algorithm is used to identify whether the person is considered a security problem. “MSG continues to test and explore the use of new technologies to ensure we’re employing the most effective security procedures to provide a safe and wonderful ... Read More

Strava updates heat map operations for greater privacy

(Mar 14, 2018) In response to pressure from U.S. lawmakers who demanded to know how Strava will protect users’ privacy, the company announced it is updating the process behind the app’s fitness-tracking heat map, Reuters reports. Strava CEO James Quarles said the updated heat map will only allow registered users to access street-level details, show areas that are used by several users, refresh maps monthly to account for updated personal preferences, and remove data marked private. Quarles stressed that since ... Read More

Researchers discover vulnerabilities in three VPNs

(Mar 14, 2018) A report that revealed vulnerabilities in three virtual private networks — Hotspot Shield, PureVPN and Zenmate — could be used to undermine privacy and identify users, ZDNet reports. While intended to safeguard user data and make it difficult to track internet habits, the researchers discovered a bug that could leak IP addresses and, in some instances, also determine location. The researchers wrote, “We believe that most other VPNs suffer from similar issues, so the fast response of Hotspot Shie... Read More

Retailer service uses algorithms to track customers' shopping behaviors

(Mar 14, 2018) The Wall Street Journal reports on a service used by retailers to track customers’ shopping behavior to stop them from making fraudulent returns. Retailers, such as Best Buy, Home Depot and Victoria’s Secret, have hired Retail Equation in order to stop return fraud and abuse. Retail Equation uses its own algorithm to assign a score to each customer based on what they have purchased. If the algorithm detects a certain individual has returned too many items, it can ban the customer from returning ... Read More