Posts Tagged ‘privacy’

Co-directors of newly launched Harvard Data Science Initiative discuss new era

June 19, 2017

fellowships, grants, space
“DOMINICI: Because of the new advances in technology, almost every field right now has data, and more data than ever. Clearly, there’s the explosion of genetics and genomics data in the life sciences, in molecular data, as well as astronomy and economics. Even in the humanities, you can scan documents and turn it into data that you can analyze.

PARKES: To add some numbers to this, IBM has estimated that we’re generating more than one quintillion bytes of data a day. (A quintillion is a 10 to the 18th.)

DOMINICI: One of the reasons we are so excited that Harvard is launching the Data Science Initiative is because of all the advances our faculty have made in recent years. We can now describe the entire genome, define the exposome (the environmental analogue to the genome), characterize social interactions and mood via cellphone data, and can digitize historical data relevant for the humanities. ….

DOMINICI: We have launched the Harvard Data Science Postdoctoral Fellowship, which is among the largest programs of its kind, and we want to recruit talented individuals in a highly interdisciplinary ways.

We have also launched a competitive research fund that will catalyze small research projects around the University. Through our friends in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Medical School, we’ve identified some spaces in the near term where people can get together. …

PARKES: We are launching the initiative because we want to get to a point where we have a Harvard Data Science Institute. The aspiration is that the Data Science Institute will have some physical space associated with it,

Then the third one I wanted to mention is privacy.

Nest cams back from the dead with new home monitoring device

June 13, 2017

.@Nest cams back from the dead with new…monitoring device Creepy: it can distinguish family members from strangers


“Using some deep-learning tech from Google, the Cam IQ can accurately detect what’s moving within its field of vision — whether it’s just your pet, for instance, or a shadow cast by the changing light. If it’s something more sinister, like a person, the camera can then automatically zoom in and track that person as they move around the room. Should you opt to subscribe to the Nest Aware service ($10 per month or $100 per year), the Cam IQ will also offer a facial recognition facility that will sort between known friends or family members and any strangers, and alert you accordingly. Additionally, making use of those extra mics, Nest Aware can now also pick up audio cues for alarm, whether it be a dog barking, humans talking, or a window being smashed.”
“}} Service Faces Backlash Over a Widespread Practice: Selling User Data

May 1, 2017…Faces Backlash Over a Widespread Practice: Selling User
Data Gmail add-on tabulated usage @Uber v @Lyft

“Slice Intelligence, a data firm that uses an email management program called to scan people’s inboxes for information, faced an outcry that began on Sunday after The New York Times reported that Uber had used Slice’s data to keep tabs on its ride-hailing rival Lyft.”

Here, there and everywhere | The Economist

April 2, 2017

Here, there & everywhere Overview of #quantum computing mentions using it to #encrypt transmission of genomic data

Thanks to the development of ever more secure links, quantum cryptography has recently been deployed more widely. ID Quantique has installed quantum links between data centres of KPN, a Dutch telecoms firm; of Battelle, an American non-profit research firm; and of Hyposwiss and Notenstein, two Swiss private banks. It offers links between financial institutions in Geneva and a disaster-recovery centre 50km away. In 2015 researchers at Toshiba in Japan began sending quantum-encrypted genomic data from a research facility in Sendai to Tohoku University, 7km away.

How the Bitcoin protocol actually works | DDI

April 2, 2017

How…#Bitcoin…works, by @michael_nielsen Overview focusing on why in addition to how; highlights #privacy issues

How anonymous is Bitcoin? Many people claim that Bitcoin can be used anonymously. This claim has led to the formation of marketplaces such as Silk Road (and various successors), which specialize in illegal goods. However, the claim that Bitcoin is anonymous is a myth. The block chain is public, meaning that it’s possible for anyone to see every Bitcoin transaction ever. Although Bitcoin addresses aren’t immediately associated to real-world identities, computer scientists have done a great deal of work figuring out how to de-anonymize “anonymous” social networks. The block chain is a marvellous target for these techniques. I will be extremely surprised if the great majority of Bitcoin users are not identified with relatively high confidence and ease in the near future. The confidence won’t be high enough to achieve convictions, but will be high enough to identify likely targets. Furthermore, identification will be retrospective, meaning that someone who bought drugs on Silk Road in 2011 will still be identifiable on the basis of the block chain in, say, 2020. These de-anonymization techniques are well known to computer scientists, and, one presumes, therefore to the NSA. I would not be at all surprised if the NSA and other agencies have already de-anonymized many users. It is, in fact, ironic that Bitcoin is often touted as anonymous. It’s not. Bitcoin is, instead, perhaps the most open and transparent financial instrument the world has ever seen.

WikiLeaks Shows How the CIA Can Hack a Mac’s Hidden Code

March 25, 2017

WikiLeaks Shows How the CIA Can Hack a Mac Modifying the firmware of Thunderbolt adapters to make spyware implanters

“The CIA’s documents describe a series of tools that agents can use to install “implants” on target machines, capable of silently monitoring everything that occurs within its operating system and transmitting it to a remote operator. One manual explains how to modify the firmware of a standard Apple Thunderbolt-to-ethernet adapter, turniing it into an spyware-planting tool the CIA calls “Sonic Screwdriver.” When plugged in, the altered adapter can trick a Mac into thinking it’s booting its operating from a spoofed network source that the adapter impersonates, allowing tweaks to its firmware even in the rare cases when the user has set a password for any changes to that deep-seated code.”

Yahoo discloses hack of 1 billion accounts

January 10, 2017

Yahoo discloses #hack of 1 billion accounts Seems the scale of this affects a large fraction of all Internet users

The Amazon Echo’s always-listening feature entangles it in a murder case | PCWorld

January 6, 2017

The $AMZN Echo’s always-listening feature entangles it in a murder
case Did the victim say “#Alexa, call the cops”

To bring a divided country together, start with a little spit – The Washington Post

January 5, 2017

To bring a divided country together, start w…spit by
@SusanSvrluga Prominent piece on frosh #personalgenomics

@SusanSvrluga Surprised there’s so little discussion of #privacy, consent & ethics in this prominent piece

Worried About the Privacy of Your Messages? Download Signal –

January 3, 2017

Worried About…#Privacy? Download Signal V. strong endorsement from @NYTimes. Perhaps useful for protecting sources