Curious about Everything

Category: Tech (Page 1 of 6)

ISPs collect and sell a horrifying amount of sensitive consumers data

A new US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report states Internet Service Providers promise not to sell personal user data, but they allow it to be used, transferred, and monetized by others.

Karl Bode, Vice »

The new FTC report studied the privacy practices of six unnamed broadband ISPs and their advertising arms, and found that the companies routinely collect an ocean of consumer location, browsing, and behavioral data. They then share this data with dodgy middlemen via elaborate business arrangements that often aren’t adequately disclosed to broadband consumers.

“Even though several of the ISPs promise not to sell consumers personal data, they allow it to be used, transferred, and monetized by others and hide disclosures about such practices in fine print of their privacy policies,” the FTC report said.

The FTC also found that while many ISPs provide consumers tools allowing them to opt out of granular data collection, those tools are cumbersome to use—when they work at all.

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Twitter admits its algorithms amplifies conservative content more than left-leaning content

Twitter claims not to know what causes the amplification.

Anna Kramer, Protocol »

Twitter is publicly sharing research findings today that show that the platform’s algorithms amplify tweets from right-wing politicians and content from right-leaning news outlets more than people and content from the political left.

The research did not identify whether or not the algorithms that run Twitter’s Home feed are actually biased toward conservative political content, because the conclusions only show bias in amplification, not what caused it. Rumman Chowdhury, the head of Twitter’s machine learning, ethics, transparency and accountability team, called it “the what, not the why” in an interview with Protocol.

“We can see that it is happening. We are not entirely sure why it is happening. To be clear, some of it could be user-driven, people’s actions on the platform, we are not sure what it is. It’s just important that we share this information,” Chowdhury said. The META team plans to conduct what she called a “root-cause analysis” to try to discover the “why,” and that analysis will likely include creating testable hypotheses about how people use the platform that could help show whether it’s the way users interact with Twitter or the algorithm itself that is causing this uneven amplification.

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It’s great to see Twitter releasing research that is potentially damaging, and not try to bury it. Speaks to credibility. Shows they are working on important issues, learning, and trying to be better.

Twitter »

Today, we’re publishing learnings from another study: an in-depth analysis of whether our recommendation algorithms amplify political content. The first part of the study examines Tweets from elected officials* in seven countries (Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States). Since Tweets from elected officials cover just a small portion of political content on the platform, we also studied whether our recommendation algorithms amplify political content from news outlets.

What did we find?

  • Tweets about political content from elected officials, regardless of party or whether the party is in power, do see algorithmic amplification when compared to political content on the reverse chronological timeline.
  • Group effects did not translate to individual effects. In other words, since party affiliation or ideology is not a factor our systems consider when recommending content, two individuals in the same political party would not necessarily see the same amplification.
  • In six out of seven countries — all but Germany — Tweets posted by accounts from the political right receive more algorithmic amplification than the political left when studied as a group.
  • Right-leaning news outlets, as defined by the independent organizations listed above, see greater algorithmic amplification on Twitter compared to left-leaning news outlets. However, as highlighted in the paper, these third-party ratings make their own, independent classifications and as such the results of analysis may vary depending on which source is used.

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A hacker is reported to have stolen the Government of Argentina’s ID database of the entire population. The IDs of 45 million Argentinians is now available for sale on the open market

The government of Argentina has denied that the National Registry of Persons was hacked.

Catalin Cimpanu, The Record »

The hack, which took place last month, targeted RENAPER, which stands for Registro Nacional de las Personas, translated as National Registry of Persons.

The agency is a crucial cog inside the Argentinian Interior Ministry, where it is tasked with issuing national ID cards to all citizens, data that it also stores in digital format as a database accessible to other government agencies, acting as a backbone for most government queries for citizen’s personal information.

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ZDNet » Twitter suspends hacker who allegedly stole data of 45 million Argentinians

Facebook is planning to change it’s name, but it’s still aiming to be the same rancid “dystopian corporate dictatorship”

Alex Heath, The Verge »

The coming name change, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to talk about at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28th, but could unveil sooner, is meant to signal the tech giant’s ambition to be known for more than social media and all the ills that entail. The rebrand would likely position the blue Facebook app as one of many products under a parent company overseeing groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and more. A spokesperson for Facebook declined to comment for this story.

Meanwhile »

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responds »

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Isobel Asher Hamilton, Business Insider » Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey mocks Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse plan, saying it’s dystopian

Alphabet / Google CEO Sundar Pichai calls for international government regulations on cybersecurity, AI, innovation

Tripp Mickle, Wall Street Journal »

Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google and parent company Alphabet Inc., said the U.S. government should take a more active role in policing cyberattacks and encouraging innovation with policies and investments.

In the wake of recent cybersecurity breaches attributed to Chinese and Russian hackers, Mr. Pichai said the time had come to draft the equivalent of a Geneva Convention for technology to outline international legal standards for an increasingly connected world.

“Governments on a multilateral basis…need to put it up higher on the agenda,” Mr. Pichai said in a recorded interview for The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference on Monday. “If not, you’re going to see more of it because countries would resort to those things.”

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Also » CNET / TechCrunch

Apple increases transition from Intel with new MacBooks

Nikkei 🔒 »

The new processors, the M1 Pro and M1 Max, are 70% faster than the M1, its original self-designed silicon for Macs, and are the “most powerful chips Apple has ever built,” the company said.

At its third launch event of 2021 on Monday, the company unveiled a new MacBook Pro. The 14-inch model will be powered by M1 Pro, which has a graphic processing unit that is two times faster than the original M1 and bigger memory bandwidth. Meanwhile, the new 16-inch MacBook Pro will be equipped with the M1 Max chip that features an even faster GPU and larger memory bandwidth.

From Apple to Google to Tesla, tech companies are increasingly choosing to develop semiconductors in-house, giving them greater control over their supply chain and the ability to tailor chips for their specific products.

Intel processors had been the “brain” of Mac for years, but it started replacing them with its own chips last November, beginning with the launch of the M1-powered MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac Mini. The company continued the transition by introducing a new iMac desktop with an M1 chip in April and said it would take two years to fully move from Intel chipsets to its own.

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