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Tag: privacy

Are VPNs Safe? It’s Complicated

Like clockwork, it seems as though every time you check the news you see a story about a major hack of an organization’s VPN. Colonial Pipeline, a major supplier of oil, is a perfect example, demonstrating just how fragile a VPN can be when the company was hacked via its…… Read more...

How Companies Can Adapt to Global Data Privacy Regulations

Click to learn more about author Joe Gaska.

On August 20, 2021, the People’s Republic of China passed its first comprehensive data privacy law, the Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL). The law, set to take effect on November 1, 2021, includes several new obligations for companies handling personal information collected from the country’s citizens. It stipulates that the collection and processing of personal information be limited to the minimum level necessary for an…… Read more...

Sunglasses and Face Mask Won’t Fool Facial Recognition Systems Any More

Not sure about this one… Tips to fool facial recognition systems are fast becoming obsolete. New research using partial features is showing a high success rate. The future looks bleak for privacy advocates. Facial recognition systems have exploded in popularity in the last couple of years. From filing for unemployment benefits to Uber identity checks, the technology is seeping into every aspect of our daily lives.  But alongside increased security comes a dark side: invasion of privacy, unsanctioned government…… Read more...

Why Trust Matters in AI

We can all agree that AI has the potential to help businesses, organizations, and society solve real problems. But there are still many concerns about the consequences of using AI improperly. Things like ethics, privacy, bias, and security are top of mind. In order for AI projects to be fully embraced, companies must address these concerns, because people need to trust their AI in order for projects to be successful. In this installment of our blog post series, we will explore the question of why trust is an essential component to any conversation around AI.

Performance, Operations, and Ethics

Trust in AI is multidimensional.…

New Study uses Federated Learning to Predict Covid-19 Outcomes

  • New study used Federated Learning to predict severity of Covid-19 for E.R. patients.
  • Significant improvements seen in central vs. local models.
  • Model slated for use in production in the near future.

Many ethical and legal challenges surround COVID-19 data analysis, including data ownership, data security, and privacy issues. As a result, healthcare providers have typically preferred models validated on their own data. However, this limits the scope of analysis that can be performed, often resulting in AI models that lack diversity, suffer from overfitting, and demonstrate poor generalization. One recent study titled Federated learning for predicting clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19, published in September 15 issue of Nature Medicine [1], offered a solution to these problems: Federated Learning (FL).


Hacking a Robot Vacuum to Write a Replacement App

While internet-connected devices can be very useful around the house, and it is pretty cool to be able to monitor your dishwasher from half a world away, it’s important to be mindful of privacy and security issues. For instance, the Cecotec Conga 1490 robot vacuum [Rastersoft] bought came with an Android app, which upon installation asked for near-total access to the user’s phone. Not content with such an invasion of privacy, let alone the potential security implications, [Rastersoft] set to work trying to reverse engineer the robot’s communications (translated) to find out what exactly it was doing when online.


Our evolved intuitions about privacy aren’t made for this era | Psyche Ideas

Google Glass was once billed as the next breakthrough in wearable tech: camera-equipped smart glasses that allowed the wearer to effortlessly take photos and videos or browse the internet via a display projected onto the lens. So what’s not to…

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Psyche | on the human condition

GLaDOS Voice Assistant Passive-Aggressively Automates Home

With modern voice assistants we can tell a computer to play our favorite music, check the weather, or turn on a light. Like many of us, [nerdaxic] gave in to the convenience and perceived simplicity of various home automation products made by Google and Amazon. Also like many of us, he found it a bit difficult to accept the privacy implications that surround such cloud connected devices. But after selling his Home and Echo, [nerdaxic] missed the ability to control his smart home by voice command. Instead of giving in and buying back into the closed ecosystems he’d left behind, [nerdaxic] decided to open his home to a murderous, passive aggressive, sarcastic, slightly insane AI: GLaDOS, which you can see in action after the break.


How WhatsApp is enabling end-to-end encrypted backups

For years, in order to safeguard the privacy of people’s messages, WhatsApp has provided end-to-end encryption by default ​​so messages can be seen only by the sender and recipient, and no one in between. Now, we’re planning to give people the option to protect their WhatsApp backups using end-to-end encryption as well.

People can already back up their WhatsApp message history via cloud-based services like Google Drive and iCloud. WhatsApp does not have access to these backups, and they are secured by the individual cloud-based storage services.

But now, if people choose to enable end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) backups once available, neither WhatsApp nor the backup service provider will be able to access their backup or their backup encryption key. … Read more...

Announcing the winners of the 2021 RFP on agent-based user interaction simulation to find and fix integrity and privacy issues

In May 2021, Facebook launched a request for proposals (RFP) on agent-based user interaction simulation to find and fix integrity and privacy issues. Today, we’re announcing the winners of this award.

View RFP

In this call, we were particularly interested in research work that tackles the scientific and technical challenges we face in developing and deploying Web-Enabled Simulation, and that could also lead to longer and deeper collaboration between partners from the academic research community and our Westworld project team.

This RFP is a continuation of the 2020 RFP on agent-based user interaction simulation. Through these RFPs, Facebook aims to foster further innovation and deepen their collaboration with academia in the area of web-enabled simulation.… Read more...

Build a synthetic data pipeline using Gretel and Apache Airflow

By Drew Newberry, Software Engineer at Gretel.ai

Hey folks, my name is Drew, and I’m a software engineer here at Gretel. I’ve recently been thinking about patterns for integrating Gretel APIs into existing tools so that it’s easy to build data pipelines where security and customer privacy are first-class features, not just an afterthought or box to check.

One data engineering tool that is popular amongst Gretel engineers and customers is Apache Airflow. It also happens to work great with Gretel. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to build a synthetic data pipeline using Airflow, Gretel and PostgreSQL.


Pining for a De-Googled Smartphone

Last summer in the first swings of the global pandemic, sitting at home finally able to tackle some of my electronics projects now that I wasn’t wasting three hours a day commuting to a cubicle farm, I found myself ordering a new smartphone. Not the latest Samsung or Apple offering with their boring, predictable UIs, though. This was the Linux-only PinePhone, which lacks the standard Android interface plastered over an otherwise deeply hidden Linux kernel.

As a bit of a digital privacy nut, the lack of Google software on this phone seemed intriguing as well, and although there were plenty of warnings that this was a phone still in its development stages it seemed like I might be able to overcome any obstacles and actually use the device for daily use.


What is Feature Engineering — Importance, Tools and Techniques for Machine Learning


Facebook Head of Privacy Research Liz Keneski discusses new research award opportunity

Last year, we offered a first-ever research award opportunity for academics centered around experiences and expectations with digital privacy. We received great responses from the global community, and we’re pleased to continue this initiative again with the launch of a new request for proposals in the same space.

View RFP

To learn more about this new RFP, we reached out to Liz Keneski, Head of Privacy Research at Facebook. In this Q&A, Keneski discusses her team, the impact of collaborating with academia, and what this year’s RFP is about.

Q: What is your role at Facebook, and what does your team do?Read more...

The Growing Importance of Data and AI Literacy – Part 2

This is the second part of a 2-part series on the growing importance of teaching Data and AI literacy to our students.  This will be included in a module I am teaching at Menlo College but wanted to share the blog to help validate the content before presenting to my students.

In part 1 of this 2-part series “The Growing Importance of Data and AI Literacy”, I talked about data literacy, third-party data aggregators, data privacy, and how organizations monetize your personal data.  I started the blog with a discussion of Apple’s plans to introduce new iPhone software that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and report child sexual abuse.


Growing Role Of AI Chatbots In Healthcare Sector

Since technology has started disrupting the healthcare sector, innovations are included to follow a patient-driven approach. Recently, AI chatbots have been the new hue in the market and have caught the attention of health experts. As a vital part of healthcare IT solutions, AI chatbots work faster and more effectively to resolve patients’ queries than traditional calling systems. In this article, we have presented all the benefits of including AI chatbots in the healthcare system. So, without further ado, let’s begin!

Challenges in Healthcare

The Healthcare industry needs official reports of patients, and thus, user privacy is always at stake. Moreover, since they know they are talking to an intelligent and smart chatbot, patients find it challenging to build their trust and share their personal information with an online chatbot.


Privacy Preserving Deep Learning with AWS Nitro Enclaves

Generate confidential inferences without compromising user data

Photo by Jason Dent on Unsplash

The ever-expanding field of confidential computing essentially boils down to two main properties:

  1. Confidentiality: How do we perform computational operations on sensitive user data (such as health records and credit histories) without ever “seeing” the data in its unencrypted form?
  2. Integrity: If we are able to pull off (1), how do we prove to the user that their privacy was preserved?

AWS thinks they have the answer in their Nitro Enclave offering, which leverages the Trusted Execution Environments (TEE’s) on modern processors to create attestable applications that are isolated from tampering by external networks or even the host OS.


Blockchain IoT Market: The Next Big Thing to Excel in Advanced Technology

According to a study, Global Blockchain IoT Market by Research Dive, the global Blockchain IoT market size is expected to account for $ 5.80 Billion by the end of 2026, registering 91.5% CAGR over the forecast period.

Blockchain and IoT together are improving the efficiency of supply chain majorly by eliminating the middle man functioning, due to which transactions are getting completed in a much faster way with a lower price. However, this combination of IoT and blockchain will enhance the secure communication between the devices along with strengthening the privacy agreements these are the key blockchain IoT market drivers.

However, the lack of awareness among the developing nations and uncertainty of regulations will impede the blockchain in IoT market growth.


The Evolving Role of a CDO in a Data-Driven Market

As a result of the recent pandemic, there has been a surge in demand for data to help safeguard businesses from future uncertainties. With an increasing number of organizations fuelling solutions and driving innovation with data, there is a growing concern with the way that data is accessed, used, and protected. In fact, there was a 126% increase in total fines from 2019 to 2020 issued as a result of the GDPR. These fines will only continue to increase as privacy regulations evolve and expand. 

However, data governance isn’t just about avoiding fines. It also enables organizations to achieve better data analytics, more informed decisions, and improved operational efficiency.


Blockchain emerging as Next-Generation Data and Model Governance Framework

Introduction and Motivation

The blockchain technology has led to a strong foundation for different applications related to asset management, medical/health, finance, and insurance. Data analytics provided by the blockchain network helps efficient data management, analysis, privacy, quality assurance, access, and integration in heterogeneous environments.

The role of blockchain in data privacy is evidently becoming more strong when the current breakthroughs in quantum computing render present encryption technologies ineffective and make them susceptible to brute-force attacks. As the volume of data that blockchain networks store is also rapidly increasing over time, let’s explore how blockchain technology can play a dominant role in Data Governance.


Ending Anonymity: Why The WEF’s Partnership Against Cybercrime Threatens The Future Of Privacy

Amid a series of warnings and simulations in the past year regarding a massive cyber attack that could soon bring down the global financial system, the “information sharing group” of the largest banks and private financial organizations in the United States warned earlier this year that banks “will encounter growing danger” from “converging” nation-state and criminal hackers over the course of 2021 and in the years that follow.

The organization, called the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), made the claim in its 2021 “Navigating Cyber” report, which assesses the events of 2020 and provides a forecast for the current year.