Category

privacy

Smart home makers hoard your data, but won’t say if the police come for it

By | Amazon, Apple, computer security, Facebook, Gadgets, Google, Government, Hardware, Internet of Things, law enforcement, national security, privacy, Security, smart home devices, television, transparency report

A decade ago, it was almost inconceivable that nearly every household item could be hooked up to the internet. These days, it’s near impossible to avoid a non-smart home gadget, and they’re vacuuming up a ton of new data that we’d never normally think about. Thermostats know the temperature of your house, and smart cameras […]

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Facebook is building a camera TV set-top box

By | Facebook, Facebook Portal, facebook Ripley, Gadgets, Hardware, privacy, set top box, Social, TC

A mysterious product called “Ripley” appeared hidden beside Facebook’s new Portal smart displays in Facebook for Android’s code. Dug up by frequent TechCrunch tipster Jane Manchun Wong a week ago, Ripley’s name squared with Facebook’s VP of Portal Rafa Camargo telling us that “we’re already investing in expanding the product line with more products we want […]

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A fictional Facebook Portal videochat with Mark Zuckerberg

By | Advertising Tech, Amazon, Artificial Intelligence, Facebook, Gadgets, Hardware, machine learning, Mark Zuckerberg, Messenger, portal, privacy, Security, smart home, Social, TC, video calling

TechCrunch: Hey Portal, dial Mark Portal: Do you mean Mark Zuckerberg? TC: Yes Portal: Dialling Mark… TC: Hi Mark! Nice choice of grey t-shirt. MZ: Uh, new phone who dis? — oh, hi, er, TechCrunch… TC: Thanks for agreeing to this entirely fictional interview, Mark! MZ: Sure — anytime. But you don’t mind if I […]

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Despite objection, Congress passes bill that lets U.S. authorities shoot down private drones

By | american civil liberties union, Automotive, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Aviation Administration, Gadgets, Hardware, law enforcement, privacy, Security, senate, Technology, unmanned aerial vehicles

U.S. authorities will soon have the authority to shoot down private drones if they are considered a threat — a move decried by civil liberties and rights groups. The Senate passed the FAA Reauthorization Act on Wednesday, months after an earlier House vote in April. The bill renews funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) […]

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Court rules warrants are needed for cops to access smart electrical meter data

By | Gadgets, Government, Internet of Things, privacy, smart home, smart meters, utilities

You can tell a lot about what’s going on in a home from how much electricity it’s using — especially when that information is collected every few minutes and recorded centrally. It’s revealing enough that a federal judge has ruled that people with smart meters have a reasonable expectation of privacy and as such law enforcement will require a warrant to acquire that data.

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Purdue’s PHADE technology lets cameras ‘talk’ to you

By | Gadgets, MAC Address, privacy, public safety, Purdue University, Security, surveillance, TC

It’s become almost second nature to accept that cameras everywhere — from streets, to museums and shops — are watching you, but now they may be able to communicate with you, as well. New technology from Purdue University computer science researchers has made this dystopian prospect a reality in a new paper published today. But, […]

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Students confront the unethical side of tech in ‘Designing for Evil’ course

By | Education, Ethics, Gadgets, privacy, Social, TC

Whether it’s surveilling or deceiving users, mishandling or selling their data, or engendering unhealthy habits or thoughts, tech these days is not short on unethical behavior. But it isn’t enough to just say “that’s creepy.” Fortunately, a course at the University of Washington is equipping its students with the philosophical insights to better identify — and fix — tech’s pernicious lack of ethics.

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