It Zoomed Right Into Our Lives – UPDATE #52

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Deepnews Digest #52

It Zoomed Right Into Our Lives – UPDATE

Editor: Christopher Brennan

One of the interesting things about Deepnews is that by focusing on quality articles, we are often able to see stories when they are getting a smaller amount of attention from specialty outlets before they hit widespread, mainstream coverage. Zoom has continued to zip into the headlines in a major way this week, raising the idea that questions of data privacy it has brought along with it might last beyond this current moment. Here is the batch gathered by the Deepnews Scoring Model to provide you even more coverage.


Editor’s Note: As I mentioned last week, this Digest was inspired by the Regulating Big Tech newsletter we publish. The fun thing about the Digest though is that it pulls in articles from all sorts of topics, including a couple this week that touch on the Gig Economy. While many of our Distills focus on tech, I think that Gig Economy, like this Digest, does a good job of taking a topic thats “trendy” and showing how it does really apply to many of our lives.
Story Source
TechCrunch
A group of European privacy experts has proposed a decentralized system for Bluetooth-based COVID-19 contacts tracing which they argue offers greater protection against abuse and misuse of people’s data than apps which pull data into centralized pots.

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The Hindu
Teachers and students enter a new world of virtual lectures and worksheets as the lockdown brought about by the coronavirus shuts down schools and colleges

Editor’s Note: As a father to two high school students I’ve witnessed first hand the struggle to adapt overnight to an online-only schooling in a first-world economy. But how do educators adapt in a country where many pupils do not have home internet access or their own computer? Here The Hindu highlights how schools across India have met the challenge.

CNN
The Trump administration wants to use Americans’ smartphone location data to help track and combat the spread of coronavirus. Now, a pair of US data companies are making a public pitch to show just how that kind of technology might work.

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Express Computer
To ensure the safety of citizens by tracking movements in an effort to contain the virus and flatten the curve, the definition of privacy seems to have changed at a time like this.

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Stuff NZ
A long pregnancy struggle and the gut-wrenching loss of two babies had left Cecilia and James Robinson devastated.

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Bloomberg
The fast-growing video-conferencing company was slow to address security and privacy issues, but the worst fears about it may be overblown.

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Washington Post
Thousands of personal Zoom videos have been left viewable on the open Web, highlighting the privacy risks to millions of Americans as they shift many of their personal interactions to video calls in an age of social distancing.

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Quartz
Early video services, like the world wide web itself, were built by researchers in laboratories and basement server farms pushing new technology to the limit. CERN started Indico, its first software to manage scientific conferences, in 2002, and it quickly evolved to support events of all sorts and daily collaboration across research institutes. In 2009, Indico supported 23,000 virtual events.

Editor’s Note: Currently Zoom is in vogue, but before that, there was Vidyo and even Indico. Here Michael J. Coren of Quartz gives a fascinating look at the video conferencing programs used by physicists like those at CERN or the California Institute of Technology. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

Gulf News
Our intimate details are out there but the world faces an unprecedented situation

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IOL (South Africa)
In his latest nationwide update on the coronavirus lockdown, President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “Using mobile technology, an extensive tracing system will be rapidly deployed to trace those who have been in contact with confirmed coronavirus cases and to monitor the geographical location of new cases in real time.” Should South Africans be worried about their rights?

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CircleID
Since the world went virtual, often by using Zoom, several people have asked me if I use it, and if so, do I use their app or their web interface. If I do use it, isn’t this odd, given that I’ve been doing security and privacy work for more than 30 years, and “everyone” knows that Zoom is a security disaster?

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AFP
But amid its newfound fame, the Silicon Valley-based company has come under stepped-up scrutiny over how it handles privacy and security — including allowing uninvited guests to barge in on sessions. Created by engineer Eric Yuan in 2011 and listed on the Nasdaq a year ago, Zoom has seen its market value skyrocket to some $35 billion.

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VentureBeat
Parents are in desperate need of help when it comes to taking care of kids or homeschooling them in our new work-from-home world. Kumbaya, a gig marketplace that connects teens with parents who need childcare services, wants to lend a hand.

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MIT Technology Review
The coronavirus pandemic has turned back the clock to a kinder time on the web, before the novelty of virtual connection wore off. Will it last?

Editor’s Note: While I’m not convinced that the pandemic has really wound back our relationship to the internet by 20 years, it’s certainly an attractive theory advanced in this entertaining article by Karen Hao and Tanya Bas. – David Finch, co-founder

Bleeping Computer
The Zoom Windows client is vulnerable to UNC path injection in the client’s chat feature that could allow attackers to steal the Windows credentials of users who click on the link.

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Reuters
BRUSSELS – The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) called on Monday for a pan-European mobile app to track the spread of the new coronavirus instead of the current hodge-podge of apps used in various EU countries which could breach people’s privacy rights.

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EdSource
With California schools remaining closed longer than initially anticipated in response to the coronavirus pandemic, most districts are planning to start more formal distance learning programs in April, after their spring break.

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Bloomberg Law
Zoom’s boss embarked on an apology tour to reassure users that he’s working to improve security and privacy on the videoconferencing app that has emerged as the virtual town square of the coronavirus epidemic.

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Federal Computer Week
On the heels of a recent FBI alert on Zoom bombing, federal agencies are warning staff to be on the lookout for signs that their remote collaboration tools are being attacked or compromised by hackers.

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Reuters
Shares of Zoom fell 8% on Monday, adding to their sharp declines in the past few days, as the video conferencing app battles privacy concerns and increased competition from deep-pocketed rivals.

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NBC News
After social distancing, I stopped behaving like a grouchy old man about video calling and conferencing because I do need to see my loved ones’ faces.

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Computer World
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to disrupt business, employees are turning to mobile business apps to ensure productivity remains high.

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Engadget
With people forced out of their offices and schools to avoid spreading coronavirus, there are more video calls going on than ever. However, a significant chunk of the action has gone to Zoom, and not Skype, Microsoft’s product that has been at the center of online voice and video chats since well before smartphones were commonplace. That’s mostly because Zoom has made sharing meetings and the necessary software so easy — perhaps too easy, with some security and privacy compromises — but Skype is finally ready to fight back with “Meet Now.”

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Eastern Daily Press
The Government passed emergency legislation on Saturday which enables councils to hold meetings remotely via video calls while social distancing measures are in place.

Editor’s Note: Businesses all need to figure out the way that they can use teleconference programs to make things work, though there are stricter rules for government bodies. Deepnews found this article from the local Eastern Daily Press in Norfolk, England, which addresses the particularities and changes that were necessary to make sure officials can still do their jobs. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

Balkan Insight
Despite a population of just 640,000, Montenegro’s government took the drastic step of publishing a list of citizens authorities said should self-isolate, arguing some were not respecting their obligations. The government said it received approval from the country’s Agency for Personal Data Protection.

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