by Karl Bode
“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.”
Source: The Internet of Things Is Still a Privacy Dumpster Fire, Study Finds | Vice
Photo by Dan LeFebvre
Another article of interest New organization aims to make Alberta centre for ‘Internet of Things’ | Calgary Herald
By David Linabury
“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.
Read a related article on how 2018 was a bad year for most businesses that chosen to fight website accessibility in court.
By Emma Sims @EmmaPSims1
“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
Source: The most influential women in tech | Alphr
Read about another impressive women in tech Ann Cavoukian
by Hessie Jones
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….”
Read the full article in Forbes, COGNITIVE WORLD
Judy Brewer has been named as the recipient of the 2018 SIGACCESS Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computing and Accessibility.
Source: Judy Brewer recognized for her contributions to improving the accessibility of the web – SD Times