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  • Facebook’s oversight board
  • Backtracking on 5G? (#12)
  • Dirty Cookie Practices (#4)
  • An AI that simulates the economy (#23)


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The Guardian

Coronavirus is the latest justification for extremism on the internet. Can two UK startups help solve the problem?


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Forbes

Craig S. Smith is a former correspondent and executive at The New York Times. He is host of the podcast Eye on A.I.


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One place where the government is particularly keen on having tech work in its interest is national security. Here former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and former Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work sit down with Craig Smith and discuss their role on a commission looking at competition with China.

The Hill

As we huddle in our homes for remote work, schooling, and family life, our nation has been dramatically transformed within weeks to one that operates largely online, as millions are tethered to their screens on various digital devices for most waking hours.


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Gizmodo

When GDPR rolled out across the European Union back in 2018, the sweeping legal framework pledged to bring consumer privacy and protection to the forefront. In the years since then, we’ve seen the adtech industry at large do its collective darnedest to undermine these laws at every turn, and largely get away with it, thanks in part to the squishy phrasing of some of the legislation’s most critical clauses.


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Globe and Mail ($)

Michael Geist holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law.


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SC Magazine

Considering a company’s cybersecurity posture should be part


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Euractiv

History tells us that great pandemics, which start continental go worldwide quickly, upset entire civilisations. For us Europeans, the COVID-19 outbreak and its consequences have resulted in unprecedented changes to our everyday lives that we have not experienced since 1945.


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MIT Sloan Management Review

The threat of voice-based cybercrime is growing along with the explosion of voice-directed digital assistants, billions of which are already embedded in our mobile phones, computers, cars, and homes. Digital assistants are always listening, creating a significant security risk, especially as millions of people work from home during the pandemic. It’s estimated that in the next two years, there will be more virtual digital assistants than people in the world. Nearly two-thirds of businesses plan to use voice assistants for their customer interactions, according to a 2018 survey conducted by Pindrop Security.


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Engineering & Technology

Facebook announced the creation of the board in November 2018 in response to criticism from various groups, particularly with regards to its handling of the Moscow-backed disinformation campaign in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election.


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Computer Weekly

If there existed one thing right now that you’d think the whole world could unite on, it would surely be the need to throw all available scientific resources at trying to combat the spread of the coronavirus. And an essential part of combatting the spread of Covid-19 will be telecommunications, in particular contact-tracing apps that can monitor and mitigate the spread of the virus.


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First Post

As countries around the world are fighting COVID-19, old systems are being repurposed using new technology with one such system being that of contact tracing. It entails identifying those who are infected with disease, advising them to be under self-quarantine and tracking down all those whom they have been in contact with to prevent the disease from further spreading.


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Euractiv

The European Commission’s Vice-President for Digital, Margrethe Vestager, has urged EU telecoms ministers to “limit as much as possible” any delays to their 5G spectrum assignments, amid the current challenges to the industry brought on by the coronavirus crisis.


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Daily Nation (Kenya)

There are ways to stay safe even as we enjoy the convenience of such services.


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Americas Quarterly

Currently, Brazil and Peru are leaders in allowing non-banking institutions to issue e-money.1 In late 2014, Peru introduced Modelo Perú, an initiative that creates a level playing field for banks, telecoms and third-party providers by establishing a mobile payment ecosystem based on a shared e-money platform.2 To meet this opportunity, Peruvian banks have banded together to provide a unified offering through the Asociación de Bancos del Perú (Peruvian Bank Association—ASBANC) headed by Peru’s former minister of development and social inclusion, Carolina Trivelli.


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Different parts of the world face different needs when looking at how to set up regulation on things like digital payments. Here Americas Quarterly looks at Latin America and issues such as remittances.

Irish Times

Companies are adapting to sudden changes brought on by teh coronavirus crisis


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The Verge

In the latest instance of unrest at the company, several thousand Amazon workers walked off the job Friday. The occasion was International Workers’ Day, also known as May Day, and the Amazonians joined workers at Instacart, FedEx, Target, and Walmart demanding better conditions for work that the government has deemed essential, and their own employers have frequently called heroic.


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Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Over the past two weeks, EPFL computer scientists have been testing and refining the smartphone-based system developed by the international Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing project (DP3T), with the help of the Swiss Army. Their goal: to optimize the app’s ability to alert users after they’ve been in contact with someone contagious with COVID-19, while building trust around the open system.


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New York Times

In July 2016, Raymond Thomas, a four-star general and head of the U.S. Special Operations Command, hosted a guest: Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google. General Thomas, who served in the 1991 gulf war and deployed many times to Afghanistan, spent the better part of a day showing Mr. Schmidt around Special Operations Command’s headquarters in Tampa, Fla. They scrutinized prototypes for a robotic exoskeleton suit and joined operational briefings, which Mr. Schmidt wanted to learn more about because he had recently begun advising the military on technology


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Economic Times (Times of India)

The board, which will have its own website, is housed under a trust, which the social media giant says is independent of Facebook and is endowed with $130 million.Facebook’s appointment of the first 20 members to the Oversight Board, which includes one Indian, comes almost 15 months after social media giant’s founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg first mooted the idea of a kind of ‘Supreme Court’ to decide on the most contentious issues on the platform. The board will address issues that its global content moderation team of more than 30,000 can’t decide on.


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The Economist

Governments fret that the app’s popularity plays into the hands of the Chinese surveillance state


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BBC

Major credit card companies should block payments to pornographic sites, according to a group of international campaigners and campaign groups who say they work to tackle sexual exploitation.


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This story mixes together issues of crime, tech and money. Megha Mohan of the BBC explores all the issues after anti-sexual exploitation campaigners targeted Pornhub with a letter asking credit card companies to stop working with them.

Hindu Business Line

While the on-boarding of kirana stores onto a digital platform like JioMart will give a fillip to these stores, the government will have to address issues of data privacy and Net neutrality


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MIT Technology Review

Scientists at the US business technology company Salesforce think AI can help. Led by Richard Socher, the team has developed a system called the AI Economist that uses reinforcement learning — the same sort of technique behind DeepMind’s AlphaGo and AlpahZero — to identify optimal tax policies for a simulated economy. The tool is still relatively simple (there’s no way it could include all the complexities of the real world or human behavior), but it is a promising first step toward evaluating policies in an entirely new way. “It would be amazing to make tax policy less political and more data driven,” says team member Alex Trott.


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CircleID

In the previous article of the series, we looked at the Rights and Obligations of digital citizenship. As promised in Part 4, we will now further explore empowered digital citizenship and Internet Governance.


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EuroNews

These are difficult times and COVID-19 is challenging us all. However, it is deeply encouraging to see that companies, communities and individual citizens are largely taking this seriously and acting responsibly. As an association of internet companies, we take our responsibility in these challenging times very seriously. And there is a lot that we can all learn when looking at how to best foster a safer internet, in particular as the European Commission considers its new Digital Services Act.


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