Amazon’s Face Recognition Tech Once Again Pegs Politicians as Criminals

Facial recognition systems are still far from accurate, and yet government agencies continue to push for their deployment. To illustrate the existing flaws of the tech, the ACLU conducted another test of Amazon’s Rekognition software, which inaccurately identified one in five lawmakers from the US state of California as matches to a mugshot database. Read More >>

Researchers Discover Malware That Records the Screen of French Internet Users Watching Porn

Security researchers discovered a new form of malware that specifically targeted users of a French telecom giant. One of the more disturbing features of this malware is its capability to identify when someone was likely viewing porn and record their screen. Read More >>

Domino’s Could Screw Up the Internet for Everyone With Disabilities Because They Won’t Just Fix Their Website

In 2016, Guillermo Robles sued Domino’s because the pizza chain’s website and app didn’t work with screen-reading software, making their online services inaccessible to him and other users with visual impairment. Robles, who is blind, claimed that on at least two occasions, he was unable to order a custom pizza from the company’s website, so he sued, alleging that Domino’s had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Read More >>

Security Researcher’s ‘NULL’ Personalised Number Plates Cause Glitch That Lands Him Nearly £10,000 in Parking Tickets

You can’t put a price tag on the value of sticking it to the man—specifically, trying to own an official surveillance system. Except maybe when you are owned right back. Read More >>

Police in the Philippines Investigating 8chan and Its Owner Following El Paso Shooting

After a gunman opened fire at a Walmart in the US city of El Paso, Texas on Saturday killing 22, and a manifesto posted online believed to be written by the shooter exalted previous mass shootings and referenced the “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” the link between real-world violence and extremist forums is being further scrutinised. Read More >>

The White House Readies Draft of Executive Order That Could Break the Internet

It appears the Trump administration is drafting an executive order that has the potential to radically change how the content posted on social networks are governed, stripping crucial protections from tech companies and inserting much more government oversight. This is being done under the guise of a popular political talking point claiming that social media networks are censoring conservatives. Read More >>

Teen Students Forced to Work Overtime Building Amazon Echo Devices In China

In July, a 17-year-old high school student in China was sticking protective film over 3,000 Amazon Echo dots a day at the Foxconn factory in Hengyang. She was working ten hours a day and six days a week. And she was among more than 1,000 students employed by the factory to work overtime on Amazon’s devices. Read More >>

Google Fixed Its Algorithm So That Lesbian-Related Searches Are Less Pornographic

Google is one of the most powerful and popular search engines, but that oftentimes doesn’t conflate to being free from flawed results. And when a French news site and Twitter account campaigned against the sexualised search results for the word “lesbienne,” Google claimed that it fixed its algorithm. Read More >>

social media
Social Networks Should Design Their Platforms With More Gratitude In Mind

The role social networks play in affording a space for hateful and violent content has been put on disturbing display in recent times as these diatribes are directly connected to unimaginable acts of inhumanity. It’s hard not to see the throughline from these online forums to real-world atrocities. But researchers are exploring how the design of these platforms can have a meaningful influence on fostering more positive feelings online. Specifically, gratitude. Read More >>

US Senators Urge Google to End Its Poor Treatment of Contract Workers

Google depends deeply on its contractors, but a series of damning reports indicate that while these workers make up around half of the company and are tasked with essential work, they are largely treated as second-class citizens. In response, a group of US senators wrote a letter to the tech giant in late July calling it out for this shitty labour practice. The letter follows hundreds of Google employees demanding fair treatment of contractors at the company. Read More >>

Facial Recognition System for Getting Drunk More Efficiently Is Coming

Facial recognition systems have, to date, proven to be biased, unjust, flawed, and deeply powerful. They’ve been deployed as tools of surveillance, oppression, and authoritarianism. And now one is going to track your drunk face at the bar. Read More >>

US Senator Moves to Make Autoplay Videos and Infinite Scroll Illegal

That technology might be bad for our health, that it’s manipulating us, isn’t a revelatory take, but it’s one that lawmakers are increasingly becoming intimately entwined with. And a new bill wants to prevent social networks from exploiting us. Read More >>

YouTube Says It’s Not for Kids, but New Study Suggests That’s Bullshit

Going down a YouTube rabbit hole is a dangerous game—even if you successfully avoid its cesspool of hateful and illegal content, you’re bound to stumble into another cesspool altogether. And worryingly, according to new Pew Research Center analysis, a large chunk of the most popular content revolves around children. Read More >>

How Hong Kong’s Protestors Are Hindering (and Hijacking) the Tools of Surveillance

Simply moving through the physical world in regions with massive, powerful surveillance systems threatens to strip one of their anonymity, and in places with anti-government demonstrations, that threat is disturbingly amplified. But protestors in Hong Kong are countering these gross invasions of privacy. Read More >>

Thousands of Reasons That We Shouldn’t Trust a Neural Network to Analyse Images

When it comes to image recognition tech, it’s still remarkably easy to fool the machines. And while it’s some good comedy when a neural network mistakes a butterfly for a washing machine, the consequences of this idiocy are pretty nightmarish when you think about rolling these flawed systems out into the real world. Read More >>