Corporate accountability index, China hookup data

Ethics

2019 Ranking Digital Rights – Corporate Accountability Index – The 2019 RDR Index ranked 24 companies on 35 indicators across three categories evaluating their disclosure of commitments, policies, and practices affecting freedom of expression and privacy. 

Where concert tickets and politics meet. – The venue has provided free tickets to the department since the 1970s, something the department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has advised against for almost as long.

Amazon shareholders vote today (pdf) to decide whether the e-commerce giant should halt sales of its controversial facial recognition technology to governments and law enforcement agencies around the world. An Open Letter to Amazon Shareholders

Update: (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc said shareholders rejected proposals to curb and audit its facial recognition service on Wednesday, just as members of Congress indicated there was bipartisan support to one day regulate the technology.

Exclusive: Behind Grindr’s doomed hookup in China, a data misstep and scramble to make up [washington post] Early last year, Grindr LLC’s Chinese owner gave some Beijing-based engineers access to personal information of millions of Americans such as private messages and HIV status, according to eight former employees, prompting U.S. officials to ask it to sell the dating app for the gay community.

Media

Not a lot of love for Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages Report from the AMP Advisory Committee Meeting  

Tech

Few-Shot Adversarial Learning of Realistic Neural Talking Head Models– one-shot learning of neural talking head models of previously unseen people as adversarial training problems with high capacity generators and discriminators (Thanks Samsung! -ed)

A Revolution In Your Pocket [rbs.io] The technical part of this vision focuses on the personal Mobile Computing Device (MCD). Instead of a large and heavy all-in-one device, we may carry smaller devices and use other input methods. A piece of jewelry could contain enough computing power for the job and a few different forms of interaction could make it accessible to us. Voice control through a Bluetooth headset, a UI projected onto a wall or desk, or augmented reality glasses, could all provide different methods of controlling and working with our personal computing dev

Privacy

How China Uses High-Tech Surveillance to Subdue Minorities – To demonstrate, she showed how the system could retrieve the photo, home address and official identification number of a woman who had been stopped at a checkpoint on a major highway. The system sifted through billions of records, then displayed details of her education, family ties, links to an earlier case and recent visits to a hotel and an internet cafe.

Facial Recognition Technology (Part 1): Its Impact on our Civil Rights and Liberties [oversight committee] Video. Oversight Reform page

FT Magazine plays the privacy click bait right down the middle today with – Is your Airbnb host watching you? “I mentioned this story to a younger colleague, who waved away my concerns and said she already assumed she was being recorded in some fashion at all times and did not care.”

Chinese surveillance company Hikvision plunged on Wednesday, following a report that the Trump administration is mulling slapping it with a US export ban. – (MTA’s preferred facial recognition vendor…)

In Health Care, Too Much Privacy Is a Bad Thing Agree with this premise – every part of how it’s articulated here is wrong IMHO -ED

Tools

Accident / Incident (triage graphic)

The Modern Algorithmic Toolbox  [stanford.edu]

SSL Server Test  This free online service performs a deep analysis of the configuration of any SSL web server on the public Internet.

parsed, organized, kept


Google keeps track of your Purchases and Passwords

US to endorse new OECD principles on artificial intelligence Soft ethics, the governance of the digital and the General Data Protection Regulation

The Conversational AI Playbook This playbook represents a first step toward defining the governing principles and best practices which will enable developers to build great conversational applications.

DigitalPsychology.io Digital Psychology – a free library of psychological principles and examples for inspiration to enhance the customer experience and connect with your users.  (it’s like an accelerator for addictive digital behavior how nice -ED)

Tesla is working to integrate more video games inside cars [electrek.co] They want to add more Atari games to the emulator, but Musk has also made clear they plan to add other games from other companies as well. This weekend, the CEO said that they are working on porting the Unity and Unreal video game engines in Tesla vehicles.

Remember the Digital Video Disruptors? Now They’re Mostly Just TV Suppliers [HR] noticeably slimmed-down NewFronts showcase. YouTube was still there, with CEO Susan Wojcicki touting 250 million hours streamed on TV sets each day. But companies like Maker, Fullscreen and Machinima that once commanded prime slots were absent, having been swallowed whole by their big-media counterparts and either disbanded or subsumed.

Smart, Deep Copy-Paste [arXix] we demonstrate the effectiveness of our system on two popular datasets, high-resolution face images and the more complex Cityscapes dataset. Our technique outperforms the current state of the art on face images, and we show promising results on the Cityscapes dataset, demonstrating that our system generalizes to much higher resolution than the training data.


Forget millennials —the art market should be looking at Gen Z [theartnewspaper] Unlike the rest of us, they have not been taken by surprise by the marketing power and potential intrusion of social media. Gen Z knows how to spot branded posts and targeted selling and will actively seek alternatives. Especially alternatives with a socially conscious bent. But not if you tell them so. They’ll find that out for themselves, thank you very much. (its like I have been communicating this authenticity insight over four decades -ED)

Quants Think Like Amateurs in World’s Wildest Stock Market [Bloomberg] China’s censorship of social media — and the constantly evolving online slang that netizens use to evade official monitors — can also present challenges for firms using AI tools like natural language processing to monitor investor sentiment. (slang AI sounds like a market opportunity – ED)

Why TV Executives Should Make Artist Kahlil Joseph’s ‘BLKNWS’ Network, a Star of the Venice Biennale, Into a Reality [artnews] But if Jafa’s video is a diagnosis, another video work at in the Biennale is—in a way rarely encountered in an art show—something like a prescription. Kahlil Joseph’s BLKNWS offers a kind of yin to Jafa’s yang: a moving, funny, and aspirational vision of what media might look like if it were not, as White says, “whitewashed and biased,” and rather more creative and reflective of the world we live in and the history that shaped it.

Public Data Land Grab

San Francisco Banned Facial Recognition. New York Isn’t Even Close . New York City needs to enact The Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology (POST) Act: because a U.S. federal privacy law could be worse than no law at all . This is the result of Googles Sidewalk Labs land-grab for our identity location, e.g. who we are in public – being called “urban data” by Google.

This piece is some of the best writing on whats taking place. Google’s “Urban Data” Plan: Evading Regulation While Promoting The Appearance Of Transparency This sleight of hand is achieved by their self-generated definition of “urban data”.  

“Sidewalk Labs has defined Urban Data is [sic] data collected in a physical space in the city, which includes public spaces such as streets… and parks… [as well as] private spaces accessible to the public such as …retail stores.”  (related blog post Questions around ‘urban data’ every city needs to define right now)

…..Sidewalk continues (capitalizing “urban” and “data” as if to trademark the words), includes not only data collected from sensors in public spaces but also data collected in “private spaces not controlled by those who occupy them (e.g. apartment tenants).” Some think what’s missing is real competition on privacy. I like this call for participation for the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture in Shenzhen. An open call (Very clever – all your thoughts on urban data, theirs – ED)

Privacy Law – Stationary camera surveillance of the common areas of an apartment building — both a hallway and the building exterior entrance — is not a search under Carpenter, district court rules. US v. Kelly, 2019 WL 2137370 (E.D.Wisc. 5/16/2019) (Pepper, J.) (If you like privacy law – I am reading ‘Data Habeas” – it’s excellent – ED)

INTERNET

nothing bad can stay [mikeisaac] thesis: the permanent social internet is dying. the impermanent social internet will need to replace it. and it will be even more difficult to make money on such an internet than it was before.

Can “Indie” Social Media Save Us? [newyorker] When the problem is framed this way, the solution promoted by the IndieWeb movement becomes obvious: own your own servers. On a smaller scale, this is an old idea

Governments are the frenemies of society on hacking As the FT revealed this week, this surveillance technology developed by the Israeli company NSO has been used to scour sensitive data from a target’s smartphone from halfway around the world. – (We need private co’s using zero-day exploits never – ED )

ARTS & SCIENCE

“Alternative Museum Guide” (D)IRT, alternative version of the Whitney Museum Guide in protest of the presence of Warren B. Kanders, CEO of the tear gas manufacturer Safariland, on the museum’s board of trustees. Download the print formatted PDF

Leonardo da Vinci’s 12-volume, 1,119-page Codex Atlanticus Beautifully rendered by The Visual Agency we can now regard this online for the first time.

Tool : arxiv-sanity.com accelerate your research. This is one of my favorite tools on the internet right now and perhaps the most valuable link on this page.

A new ground truth

in production

San Francisco Is Right: Facial Recognition Must Be Put On Hold  NYT – “The technology is unregulated and rife with error. We shouldn’t deploy it without strong privacy rules. “ Writes NYT Farhad Manjoo. Just starts to touch on the issues — The headline is always about the technology being imperfect – perfection is just a matter of time and finely tuning an AI that was not built with diversity in mine or rules of use. – This is about ethics, privacy and how we want to live our lives.

Also of note this Vox piece — San Francisco banned facial recognition tech. Here’s why other cities should too. Uses the line that resonates the most “the plutonium of AI”?

Related reading: Exploring Data Justice: Conceptions, Applications and Directions “data justice” not just an oxymoron – a mechanism for change and awareness.

Why Play a Music CD? ‘No Ads, No Privacy Terrors, No Algorithms’
[nyt] but here’s why Ben Sisario, who covers the music industry, still likes to listen to compact discs. – – I tend to think of this as mostly a matter of corporate warfare. These companies are in a race for market dominance around the world, and the gloves are off. For Spotify, anything that hinders Apple, even a little, can provide an advantage. On the other hand, Apple’s gigantic size means it will always be on the defensive against regulation.

San Francisco Saves Face

San Francisco Bans Facial Recognition Technology [NYT] –  The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday enacted the first ban by a major city on the use of facial recognition technology by police and all other municipal agencies.

Similar bans are under consideration in Oakland and in Somerville, Mass., outside of Boston. In Massachusetts, a bill in the state legislature would put a moratorium on facial recognition and other remote biometric surveillance systems. On Capitol Hill, a bill introduced last month would ban users of commercial face recognition technology from collecting and sharing data for identifying or tracking consumers without their consent, although it does not address the government’s uses of the technology.

“This is really about saying we can have security without being a security state. We can have good policing without being a police state,” Peskin said at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting. “Part of that is building trust with the community.”

SF CRONICLE

This is a partial win as we need to see FRT either scoped user first or banned out right for commercial use nation wide.

Mercenaries Operating Zero-Click Tech [ft] (headline, mine) This “zero-click” technology — as NSO calls it — has proved big business. The company’s revenues have risen from $109m in 2014 to $251m in 2018, while Ebitda has soared from $60m to $128m over the same period. You can see why Novalpina’s Stephen Peel saw a business opportunity — even if it meant he had to step down from the board of international human rights group Global Witness.

Israel’s Eurovision webcast hacked with fake attack warning [FRANCE24] “At a certain point, there was a takeover — apparently by Hamas — of our digital broadcast,” KAN chief Eldad Koblenz said Wednesday.

FB Adds Restrictions to Live [fb]  We will now apply a ‘one strike’ policy to Live in connection with a broader range of offenses. From now on, anyone who violates our most serious policies will be restricted from using Live for set periods of time – for example 30 days – starting on their first offense. For instance, someone who shares a link to a statement from a terrorist group with no context will now be immediately blocked from using Live for a set period of time. (Just adopt broadcast rules – wtf , also we will not be able to see any of these once it goes into the crypto tunnel- ED)

AI at the Barbican: in the realm of mind games [ft] The problem with AI is not in the machinery, but in ourselves, in that we are not entirely sure what we are supposed to do with it. Most of the time, we get it to emulate what we are doing at the current moment. For example, we teach our ever-more-intelligent cars to drive. More ambitiously, we get it to do what we know we ought to do, but don’t want to do: to save money, to invest cleverly, to tidy things up. All very laudable aims — but how dull, how quotidian!

Live Stream Guide Festival de Cannes (Officiel) All Day.

Psychedelic flowers and singsong incantations

Festival de Cannes (Officiel) – Live streams

Google – A global hub for privacy engineering, in the heart of Europe We’re also working to empower more organizations to do this important work with a new Google Impact Challenge on Safety. It’s a 10 million euro grant fund to support nonprofits, universities, academic research institutions, for-profit social enterprises and other organizations that are already working across Europe on a range of safety issues, from keeping young people safe online to addressing hate crimes in their communities.

Psychedelic flowers and singsong incantations — Björk’s lavish Utopia opens at The Shed, New York [FT] But all that, even the music, pales before the amazing videos by the German digital artist Tobias Gremmler. His imagery for the video short for Björk’s song “Tabula Rasa” from Utopia ends the set before the encores. Mostly his huge projections look like psychedelic flowers, but gradually a humanoid figure, like a young Björk avatar, emerges from the vegetation. All of it is unashamedly erotic, like a moving art-rock version of Georgia O’Keefe’s flowers

Has Banksy painted a new mural in Venice? [theartnewspaper] The British street artist Banksy appears to have left his mark on the Venice Biennale with a stencil of a migrant child wearing a lifejacket holding aloft a fizzing neon pink flare.

Skip the Surveillance By Opting Out of Face Recognition At Airports [Eff] To skip the surveillance, CBP says you “should notify a CBP Officer or an airline or airport representative in order to seek an alternative means of verifying [your] identity and documents.” Do the same when you encounter this with an airline. While there should be signage near the face recognition area, it may not be clear. If you’re concerned about creating a slight delay for yourself or other passengers, take note: though CBP has claimed to have a 98% accuracy rating in their pilot programs, the Office of the Inspector General could not verify those numbers, and even a 2% error rate would cause thousands of people to be misidentified every day. Most face recognition technology has significantly lower accuracy ratings than that, so you might actually be speeding things up by skipping the surveillance.

Diversity in Design + AI

Series: Data Ethics and Diversity

Intersecting issues of data ethics (privacy, etc) and diversity.

Trans-inclusive Design [alistapart.com ] issues touching on content, images, forms, databases, IA, privacy, and AI—just enough to get you thinking about the decisions you make every day and some specific ideas to get you started.

Diversity & Inclusion Resources [aiga] There’s a lot of information about Diversity & Inclusion out there. We’ve compiled it in one place, so that whether you’re an AIGA chapter leader or a designer looking to learn more, you can start with a slew of great resources all in one place.

diversity.ai Preventing racial, age, gender, disability and other discrimination by humans and A.I. using the latest advances in Artificial Intelligence

Google’s the People + AI Guidebook This Guidebook will help you build human-centered AI products. It’ll enable you to avoid common mistakes, design excellent experiences, and focus on people as you build AI-driven applications. It was written for user experience (UX) professionals and product managers as a way to help create a human-centered approach to AI on their product teams. However, this Guidebook should be useful to anyone in any role wanting to build AI products in a more human-centered way.

odds and sods

Online advertising exploits humanity’s malleable tastes [FT] Nobel Prize winner Paul Romer has called for a tax on online advertising. He identifies online targeted ads as the source of socially corrosive behaviours and argues that a tax might shift the digital business models to the old-fashioned one of selling people a service they want to buy. The Romer tax would be an excellent start to limiting not only the social or civic costs but also the economic time cost to this massive behaviourist experiment. Competition investigations are another weapon in the policy armoury to limit the harm to economic welfare. Regulation limiting the amount of online advertising — as with TV advertising — may be needed too

A Guide to Thesis Writing That Is a Guide to Life . When everything else you learned in college is marooned in the past—when you happen upon an old notebook and wonder what you spent all your time doing, since you have no recollection whatsoever of a senior-year postmodernism seminar—it is the thesis that remains, providing the once-mastered scholarly foundation that continues to authorize, decades-later, barroom observations about the late-career works of William Faulker or the Hotelling effect. 

Security lapse exposed a Chinese smart city surveillance system [techcrunch] the database also contained a subject’s approximate age as well as an “attractive” score, according to the database fields. But the capabilities of the system have a darker side, particularly given the complicated politics of China. The system also uses its facial recognition systems to detect ethnicities and labels them …related read: How Mass Surveillance Works in Xinjiang, China – ‘Reverse Engineering’ Police App Reveals Profiling and Monitoring Strategies [hrw]