“Jose Martinez has been thwarted when buying concert tickets online. He changed banks after finding his financial institution’s mobile app wouldn’t work for him. Sometimes, when he can’t finalize a purchase on an e-commerce site, he simply takes his business elsewhere.
Martinez, 37, is legally blind. The Chicago resident uses screen-reading software on his computer that converts text into descriptive speech, a technology that has made it possible for him to live independently.
“I live alone … I want to make my life as practical as possible,” Martinez said.
But not every website is compatible with the software Martinez and visually impaired consumers across the country use. There is no federal law requiring businesses to design websites that work with the tools blind and deaf consumers use to navigate the internet. Nor are there any federal guidelines on how to create one. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires companies to make accommodations for individuals with disabilities, but it was signed in 1990 when the internet was nascent, and it does not address websites.”
As the internet has become an increasingly integral part of daily life, with everything from shopping and dating services to job applications moving online, there is a growing push to get companies to make their sites usable by all. But businesses and trade groups say that’s a costly, complex ask, and because of the lack of federal standards, it’s unclear how best to make the technological changes.
As a result, the number of lawsuits filed over companies’ websites is growing.”
“With men making up the majority of those in the tech space, it’s no surprise that there are still major challenges that women face in the industry. The value of having women in the tech space is undeniable – given that women make up more than half of the U.S. workforce. Nonetheless, being a woman never held me back – and it doesn’t have to hamper your career either. In fact, I excelled at my job because of the women who came before me, and my personal determination to succeed.
Throughout my career, I’ve learned a few things that helped me embrace my gender, become a strong leader in tech and also help my fellow female counterparts along the way.
Take Advantage of New Technical Background Opportunities:
‘You should never be afraid and think that just because there are fewer women in tech, that the guys are better than you. You are capable of the same. Don’t overthink it, just go for it.’
There are several factors that prevent women from pursuing a career in tech. With less than half of computer science students being women, many women that might have an interest in tech may think they don’t have the right educational background to pursue a career in the industry. However, just because you didn’t graduate with an education in tech, doesn’t mean it’s too late to jump in the tech space. In fact, there are many postgraduate programs that people interested in tech can pursue to strengthen their skills. Likewise, there are companies in the space that are looking for new diverse talent that offer to teach their employees how to code and learn new skill sets.”
“Biggest IoT study ever finds “smart” devices hoover up a universe of user behavior data and share it with a laundry list of global third parties, frequently with little transparency to the end user.
A new study has once again found that most “internet of things” (IOT) devices routinely deliver an ocean of sensitive data to partners around the world, frequently without making these data transfers secure or transparent to the end user.
The full study, a joint collaboration between Northeastern University and Imperial College London took a closer look at 81 popular smart TVs, streaming dongles, smart speakers, and video doorbells made by vendors including Google, Roku, and Amazon.
The results aren’t comforting: the majority of the devices collected and shared information including your IP address, device specs (like MAC address), usage habits, and location data. That data is then shared with a laundry list of third parties, regardless of whether the user actually has a relationship with those companies.
“Nearly all TV devices in our testbeds contacts Netflix even though we never configured any TV with a Netflix account,” the researchers said. They noted that devices reach out to Netflix to relay information such as the TV set being used and the location it’s being used in.
In a series of 34,586 experiments, the study found that 72 of the devices made contact with someone other than its manufacturer. In many instances, these transfers “expose information to eavesdroppers via at least one plaintext flow, and a passive eavesdropper can reliably infer user and device behavior from the traffic,” the researchers said.”
“A new organization aims to make Alberta a global centre of excellence for the Internet of Things, a phrase that refers to the millions of physical objects — from lightbulbs and home appliances to cars and industrial devices — that are now connected to the internet.
The organization, called Alberta IoT, has 30 member companies, all of which are working on Internet of Things technology.
Mark Scantlebury, the organization’s chair, said Alberta is well-positioned to capitalize on recent growth in this sector.
“Alberta finds itself in a unique position because of the people we have from a once-thriving telecommunications industry, and a strong industrial sector driven by oil and gas,” said Scantlebury… ”
“Can I be sued if my website isn’t accessible? YES. Over 5,000 website accessibility lawsuits were filed in the United States between January and June last year. In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was created. At first, it only dealt with “barriers to entrance” meaning physical barriers, such as installing wheelchair ramps for stairs, doors, etc. In 2010, the Act was updated to included websites. The ADA determined that denying access to information constitutes a barrier to entrance.” Read the full article on Automation Alley.
“The technology industry has long been known, lampooned and lamented as a man’s world. With 0.4% of female pupils choosing to study computer science for A-Level last year, the tech world is at risk of morphing (or should that be crystallising) into a hotbed of white, male computer science graduates with an inexplicable proclivity for hoodies (see: Zuckerberg).
Armed with years of high-intensity coding classes and mechanics modules, these Imperial College graduates are sharp-elbowed, ambitious – and overwhelmingly male. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with the male gender (although there are corners of Twitter that would vehemently disagree), tech’s gender imbalance needs to change.
Praise be, then, to the women challenging the stereotype. CEOs, entrepreneurs, coding extraordinaires – these women are…” Keep Reading
“2018 has been a bad year for most businesses that have chosen to fight website accessibility cases filed under Title III of the ADA. Plaintiffs filing in federal court secured their second judgment on the merits in a website accessibility lawsuit, bringing the federal court judgment score to 2-0 in their favor. Additionally, in twenty-one cases where defendants filed early motions to dismiss, judges have allowed eleven to move forward. While a forty percent dismissal rate doesn’t seem bad, most of the cases that were dismissed had a common set of…”
While the designs of brick-and-mortar stores increasingly accommodate people with mobility concerns, the online world still presents significant challenges for the 15 per cent of the world’s population living with disabilities. For example, hearing-impaired users may have trouble with…” Keep reading ↓
Ann Cavoukian, former 3-Term Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, and currently Distinguished Expert-in-Residence, leading the Privacy by Design Centre of Excellence at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada:
“I call myself an anti-marketer, especially these days. My background has predominantly come from database marketing and the contextualization of data to make more informed decisions to effectively sell people more stuff. The data that I saw, whether it be in banking, loyalty programs, advertising and social platforms – user transactions, digital behavior, interactions, conversations, profiles – were sewn together to create narratives about individuals and groups, their propensities, their intents and their potential risk to the business….”