privacy

Florida public universities and colleges may be able to hold secret searches for new leaders.

A bill making it easier for certain people to get their mugshots removed and records sealed has already passed the Florida Senate. And, after recently passing its last committee in the House, it’s now headed to the floor.

These days the Web can seem like a dark place, filled with internet trolls and divisive discourse. But the man who invented the World Wide Web 28 years ago is still optimistic (sort of).

That man is Tim Berners-Lee, and on Tuesday he was awarded the prestigious Turing Award for his invention. It's an honor thought of as a Nobel Prize for computer science that comes with a $1 million award from Google.

The House of Representatives has gone along with the Senate and voted 215-205 to overturn a yet-to-take-effect regulation that would have required Internet service providers — like Comcast, Verizon and Charter — to get consumers' permission before selling their data.

President Trump is expected to sign the rollback, according to a White House statement.

The makers of the We-Vibe, a line of vibrators that can be paired with an app for remote-controlled use, have reached a $3.75 million class action settlement with users following allegations that the company was collecting data on when and how the sex toy was used.

Standard Innovations, the Canadian manufacturer of the We-Vibe, does not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement finalized Monday.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN


  Hasan Elahi is an interdisciplinary media artist. Sometimes he’s called a photographer and sometimes a privacy artist. Privacy is the subject of a lot of his art — he's best known for his project called Tracking Transience, where he posts images of his locations online. The project started after he began reporting his own whereabouts to the FBI.

 

The hottest gadget this holiday season is getting attention it may not want.

Amazon's Echo is a voice- activated smart speaker that in a soothing – yet somewhat robotic way - plays music, shares the news and weather and answers even the most inane questions when anyone near the device says a key word - usually the name 'Alexa.'

There are a lot of reasons victims of sexual assault choose not to report it. High on that list is fear of retaliation, so many victims won't come forward unless they can stay anonymous.

The criminal justice system cannot guarantee that kind of confidentiality for accusers and the accused. Further, when sexual assault is reported to law enforcement, a majority of cases never make it to trial. In fact, only 3 percent to 18 percent of sexual assaults lead to a conviction, according to research funded by the Justice Department.

Tech toys have become popular holiday gifts. Many are interactive; some even claim educational benefits. But one such toy has privacy advocates very worried this year.

It's called My Friend Cayla. It's a doll and looks pretty much like most dolls do. She is available in various skin tones and hair colors, and according to her website, she is the smartest toy you'll ever have.

But My Friend Cayla also has some issues. She sings, talks and listens — maybe a little too well.

Uber's latest update allows the ride-hailing app to track user location data even when the application is running in the background. The change in location data gathering is quite apparent — after the update is completed, Uber prompts users to accept the new policy by enabling their phones to make the change.

11/24/14 Monday’s  Topical Currents looks at “data digging” and online advertising, including the sophisticated methods employed by Las Vegas casinos.

Tinou Bao / Creative Commons//Flickr

Degrading Facebook comments about Palestinians caused two assistant Broward County public defenders to be fired on Tuesday.

The Facebook comments were published in a story by the Sun Sentinel, which discussed the recent kidnapping and murder of three Israeli boys by Islamic militant group Hamas. The remarks from assistant public defenders Gary Sheres and Bruce Raticoff referred to Palestinians as "filthy swine," "cockroaches," and even suggested they be "burn[ed] to the ground."

DRAGNET NATION
juliaangwin.com

 06/03/14 - Tuesday's Topical Currents is with Pulitzer prize-winning investigative journalist Julia Angwin. With years of surveillance experiences, she found attempts to erase her digital footprint were impossible. She’s written, DRAGNET NATION:  A Quest for Privacy, Security and Freedom in a World of SurveillanceWho’s watching us?  And why do they need to know?

DRAGNET NATION
juliaangwin.com

03/25/14 - Tomorrow’s Topical Currents is with Pulitzer prize-winning investigative journalist Judith Angwin.  With years of surveillance experiences, she found attempts to erase her digital footprint were impossible.  She’s written, DRAGNET NATION:  A Quest for Privacy, Security and Freedom in a World of Surveillance.

Regional disparities over the abortion issue have grown during the past two decades, leading to an ever widening gulf between the nation's most conservative and most liberal regions.