Further Reading

  • How to report on a data breach” – Columbia Journalism Review. A veteran tech journalist who has written about a number of the recent, major data breaches (Target, MySpace, Equifax, LinkedIn, eBay, JP Morgan Chase, Yahoo, and Sony) offers tips to other journalists that can serve those interested in the policy side of these issues, including how to best confirm that a hack has occurred and its extent and how to ethically confirm an email address or log-in information is part of a breach.
  • How to Stop the Abuse of Location Data” ­– The New York Times. Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck lays out the principles Congress should enshrine in legislation regulating how the location data on smart phones and other devices is used, including a fiduciary duty that would bar the use of some location data (e.g. visits to Planned Parenthood):
    • First, apps on mobile devices should not be allowed to ask for location data unless they offer the user a clear service that depends on that data.
    • Second, a new privacy law must require greater transparency around what consumers are signing up for and how their data will be used.
    • Third, a privacy law must establish the obligation and duty on those collecting location data (even with consent) to “do no harm.”
    • Moreover, all location companies should be required to protect consumer data with appropriate security steps, and blur or minimize data sharing in ways to enhance privacy.
  • My Family Story of Love, the Mob, and Government Surveillance” – The Atlantic. Former Assistant Attorney General and Harvard Law School Professor Jack Goldsmith makes amends with his stepfather, Chuckie O’Brien, an intimate of Teamsters head Jimmy Hoffa, by tracing the history of the U.S. government disregarding constitutional and statutory constraints on surveillance in the name of fighting national security and criminal threats. Once surveillance abuses come to light, Congress institutes new limits while legalizing some of the previously illegal practices. In the name of national security, a future administration violates these limits, and the cycle begins anew. Goldsmith’s reluctant conclusion is “The executive branch does what it thinks it must, including conduct robust surveillance, to meet our demands for safety. The technology of surveillance races ahead of the law of surveillance, which tries to catch up in spurts, and often does an admirable job of curtailing old abuses. But the law cannot eliminate ever-growing threats, and security is elemental.”
  • California blocks police from using facial recognition in body cameras” – San Francisco Chronicle. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed A.B. 1215 which will bar police departments from using body cameras that utilize facial recognition or biometric information for three years. The bill’s primary sponsor was motivated to act once Amazon’s facial recognition technology, Rekognition, incorrectly identified 26 members of the California legislature as criminal suspects. California is the third state after Oregon and New Hampshire to ban this technology for police departments, and Oakland and San Francisco already bar this practice.
  • Is Amazon Unstoppable?” – The New Yorker. The magazine takes a very long, very deep look at the online retailer, its culture, its impact, its labor practices, and its CEO. The upshot is that Amazon is poised to fight tooth and nail against tighter regulation at the federal and state level despite historic tides that may be running against them if previous patterns of American capitalism repeat.
  • Jeff Bezos’s Master Plan” – The Atlantic. A deeper look at Jeff Bezos and Amazon.
  • Exclusive: U.S. carried out secret cyber strike on Iran in wake of Saudi oil attack: officials” – Reuters. U.S. officials leaked word of at least the third cyber attack on Iran in response to provocation. In this case the September attack on a Saudi oil facility prompted an attack on Iran’s propaganda apparatus.
  • Accused Capital One hacker had as much as 30 terabytes of stolen data, feds say” – cyberscoop. The hacker who stole the identity information of millions may have also penetrated other entities, often by probing firewalls for weaknesses that would give her access to the cloud.

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