Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The biggest story on the planet? Only in my classroom.
Justice Department Seeks to Force Apple to Extract Data From About 12 Other iPhones
The Justice Department is pursuing court orders to force Apple Inc. to help investigators extract data from iPhones in about a dozen undisclosed cases around the country, in disputes similar to the current battle over a terrorist’s locked phone, according to people familiar with the matter.
The other phones are at issue in cases where prosecutors have sought, as in the San Bernardino, Calif., terror case, to use an 18th-century law called the All Writs Act to compel the company to help them bypass the passcode security feature of phones that may hold evidence, these people said.
The specifics of the roughly dozen cases haven’t been disclosed publicly, but they don’t involve terrorism charges, these people said.

(Related) I hadn't realized Bill was so far out of touch.
Bill Gates sides with FBI in iPhone hack request
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has said tech companies should be forced to cooperate with law enforcement authorities, entering a fractious debate between Apple and the U.S. government.

(Related) A Pew survey.
More Support for Justice Department Than for Apple in Dispute Over Unlocking iPhone

I haven’t been blogging about the Apple vs. FBI controversy, which may seem odd given that this is a privacy site. But the issues are so complex, and the available facts have been dribbling out in such a way that it’s hard to get a clear sense of what happened, what might happen, and the risks it poses.
So I’ve been following a number of people on Twitter who presumably know more about the law and/or data security than I do. And I find myself increasingly aligning with Apple because: (1) the government filed ex-parte and Apple was not given a chance to argue the motion before the magistrate issued the order, (2) the government is asking a court to compel private industry to create something solely for law enforcement’s purpose, (3) the government omitted crucial details about how it contributed to its own problems in the days following the attack, and (4) Apple stands to lose consumer trust and goodwill even if it is only cooperating under direct court order.
And is this an issue that should be decided by the courts or by Congress?
Ironically, I’d note that all the so-called Conservatives (or as my husband calls them, the “faux-Conservatives”) who should be arguing for small government, have once again jumped on the “privacy vs. security” excuse to rationalize big government.
Apple creating code that weakens its own security is not just a slippery slope. It’s an attack/destruction of its own carefully developed product and approach to data security. Our government shouldn’t make Apple attack its own baby. Whether you call it a “backdoor,” or something else, the bottom line is that if our government gets away with this, other governments will undoubtedly similarly order Apple and other companies to assist them for their own purposes. We will all be unsafer.

Is this where Apple v FBI will drive us?
In response to VTech’s controversial new EULA in the wake of their massive data breach, Cooley LLP has a commentary. Here are some excerpts:
Apart from being a bit mean, it goes against the basic principles of data protection and consumer law in the UK. The Data Protection Directive 95/46 EC places obligations on the data controllers and processors to take appropriate steps to protect the information from unauthorised disclosure or access, the burden is not on the data subject. Further, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (“the Act”) was drafted with the aim of increasing fairness and transparency for consumers, which includes in respect of digital content. The Act “greylists” certain limitations of liability and considers “transferring inappropriate risks to consumers” unfair and potentially unenforceable. Were this clause to be analysed in conjunction with the Act, it is unlikely the Competition and Markets Authority and/or Trading Standards would let this slip thought the net.
What now?
In response, the ICO stated that when handling people’s personal data, organisations are responsible for keeping that data secure. It is unclear whether there will be formal consequences for VTech, but if they do not change the wording, they could come under further scrutiny.
Read more on Cooley LLP.
[The EULA that no one reads:
You acknowledge and agree that any information you send or receive during your use of the site may not be secure and may be intercepted or later acquired by unauthorized parties.”

Perspective. Security is changing!
MWC 2016: Mastercard rolls out selfie ID checks
Credit card firm Mastercard has confirmed it will accept selfie photos and fingerprints as an alternative to passwords when verifying IDs for online payments.
It follows a trial of the software carried out in the US and Netherlands last year.
The company told the BBC that 92% of its test subjects preferred the new system to passwords.
One expert said that such biometric checks had the potential to cut fraud.
However, some security researchers have questioned how easy it might be to spoof the system

Behavioral Targeting shows that identifying you is inevitable. (They use the same techniques military intelligence developed decades ago. Targeting has different consequences when the military does it.)
Zuiderveen Borgesius, Frederik J., Singling Out People Without Knowing Their Names – Behavioural Targeting, Pseudonymous Data, and the New Data Protection Regulation (February 16, 2016). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2733115
Information about millions of people is collected for behavioural targeting, a type of marketing that involves tracking people’s online behaviour for targeted advertising. It is hotly debated whether data protection law applies to behavioural targeting. Many behavioural targeting companies say that, as long as they do not tie names to data they hold about individuals, they do not process any personal data, and that, therefore, data protection law does not apply to them. European Data Protection Authorities, however, take the view that a company processes personal data if it uses data to single out a person, even if it cannot tie a name to these data. This paper argues that data protection law should indeed apply to behavioural targeting. Companies can often tie a name to nameless data about individuals. Furthermore, behavioural targeting relies on collecting information about individuals, singling out individuals, and targeting ads to individuals. Many privacy risks remain, regardless of whether companies tie a name to the information they hold about a person. A name is merely one of the identifiers that can be tied to data about a person, and it is not even the most practical identifier for behavioural targeting. Seeing data used to single out a person as personal data fits the rationale for data protection law: protecting fairness and privacy.

(Related) Simple, isn't it?
Foursquare Will Tell Businesses When Their Ads Bring You Into An Actual Store
… Now, with Attribution Powered by Foursquare, the company is making its data available to advertisers even if they don’t run campaigns in the Foursquare or Swarm apps.
… President Steven Rosenblatt said the company has created a representative sample of about 1.3 million people (out of its total of 50 million active users) who have opted in to constantly share their location data with Foursquare. So his team can find users in the panel who have seen an ad, examine their behavior, then compare it to a similar group of users who didn’t see the ad. That, in turn, allows Foursquare to extrapolate how much the ad resulted in a “lift” in store visits.

Perspective. Towards replacing all lawyers with software? (Would cities be interested in my “Ticket Writing Bot?” No errors, no appeals!)
A 19-year-old made a free robot lawyer that has appealed $3 million in parking tickets
Hiring a lawyer for a parking-ticket appeal is not only a headache, but it can also cost more than the ticket itself. Depending on the case and the lawyer, an appeal — a legal process where you argue out of paying the fine — can cost between $400 to $900.
But with the help of a robot made by British programmer Joshua Browder, 19, it costs nothing. Browder's bot handles questions about parking-ticket appeals in the UK. Since launching in late 2015, it has successfully appealed $3 million worth of tickets.
… Since laws are publicly available, bots can automate some of the simple tasks that human lawyers have had to do for centuries. Browder's isn't even the first lawyer bot. The startup Acadmx's bot creates perfectly formatted legal briefs. The company Lex Machina does data mining on judges' records and makes predictions on what they will do in the future.

Perspective. An Infographic.
There’s an Absurd Amount of Domain Endings Now

Perspective. No surprise.
Pew – Smartphone Ownership and Internet Usage Continues to Climb in Emerging Economies
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Feb 22, 2016
“As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, both economically and socially, technology adoption remains one of the defining factors in human progress. To that end, there has been a noticeable rise over the past two years in the percentage of people in the emerging and developing nations surveyed by Pew Research Center who say that they use the internet and own a smartphone. And while people in advanced economies still use the internet more and own more high-tech gadgets, the rest of the emerging world is catching up.”

(Related) Consider the source considering potential markets.
State of Connectivity 2015: A Report on Global Internet Access
State of Connectivity 2015: A Report on Global Internet Access, the second annual study by Facebook, takes a close look at the current state of global internet connectivity, how it has changed since 2014 and how we can use the data identified to generate new insights.
At the end of 2015, estimates showed that 3.2 billion people were online. This increase (up from 3 billion in 2014) is partly attributed to more affordable data and rising global incomes in 2014. Over the past 10 years, connectivity increased by approximately 200 to 300 million people per year.
While this is positive news in terms of growth, it also means that globally, 4.1 billion people were still not internet users in 2015.
The four key barriers to internet access include:
  • Availability: Proximity of the necessary infrastructure required for access.
  • Affordability: The cost of access relative to income.
  • Relevance: A reason for access, such as primary language content.
  • Readiness: The capacity to access, including skills, awareness and cultural acceptance.

Just because Free is Good!
Download 448 Free Art Books from The Metropolitan Museum of Art
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Feb 22, 2016
Via OpenCulture: “You could pay $118 on Amazon for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s catalog The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry. Or you could pay $0 to download it at MetPublications, the site offering “five decades of Met Museum publications on art history available to read, download, and/or search for free.” If that strikes you as an obvious choice, prepare to spend some serious time browsing MetPublications’ collection of free art books and catalogs…”

For the gaming club.
The 5 Best Sites to Play Free Board Games Online

Tools for student job hunters.
11 Must-Have Chrome Extensions For Job Search
… Let the following list of Chrome extensions help you to create an insanely effective job search workflow. You might also want to check out some great tools for finding jobs without your boss finding out.

Take a look!
We Are Open For Business
On February 23 and 24, MIT Sloan Management Review is conducting an experiment. We are completely dropping the site's paygates, allowing visitors to freely explore all of our articles, reports, posts, videos, webinars, tools, and case studies.
Why? We want to encourage the world to get to know all the remarkable things that MIT SMR has to offer.
Some suggestions, as you browse:
Make sure to visit our new case study on GE, “GE's Big Bet on Data and Analtyics.” The case looks at how GE is remaking itself from a traditional manufacturer into a leader of the Industrial Internet. If you have an interest in analytics-driven innovation, you might also want to read When Health Care Gets a Healthy Dose of Data.”

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