Of Interest

  • The evolving laws and rules around privacy, data security, and robots

    Date published: 
    September 6, 2017

    "Every day we use countless digital devices and web services to shop, track our fitness, chat with friends, play games, check-in at stores and restaurants, you name it. While these activities are becoming increasingly essential in our digital society, they also can put our personal information at risk, says professor Woodrow Hartzog, whose research focuses on privacy, data protection, robotics, and automated technologies.

  • House passes self-driving car rules to map out vehicles’ future

    Date published: 
    September 5, 2017

    "The proposed act represents a “surprisingly bipartisan approach” to regulation, said Stanford University researcher Bryant Walker Smith.

    “This is a reasonable and flexible approach that gives NHTSA more authority, gives serious developers more flexibility, makes it a legal priority for NHTSA to more closely regulate these systems and then doesn’t remove other potential regulatory tools,” he said."

  • Privacy and the Dark Side of Control

    Author(s): 
    Woodrow Hartzog
    Publication Date: 
    September 4, 2017
    Publication Type: 
    Other Writing

    To hear some in industry and government tell it, the answer to our modern privacy dilemma is simple: give users more control.  There is seemingly no privacy-relevant arena, from social media to big data to biometrics that cannot be remedied with a heaping dose of personal control. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said “What people want isn’t complete privacy. It isn’t that they want secrecy.

  • "Tool Without a Handle: Metaphors of Gender"

    It’s difficult to recall an internal memo gone viral that has sparked as much commentary as James Damore’s statement on gender and engineering at Google.  This post is not about that memo, although the volume of commentary on it did prompt the thoughts that follow.  Nor is this post about workplace diversity, at least not directly.  Instead, like many other “Tool Without a Handle” posts, it is about metaphor.

    In particular, I wanted to test whether, in preferring the metaphor of “a tool you use” as distinct from “a place you go,” I’d unduly limited my thinking to an “androcentric” view of networked information technologies.  In other words, is “tool” a masculine metaphor, implying a gendered orientation towards my preferred approach to thinking about technology?  

    I conclude the answer is “no,” in part because metaphor differs from gender, and in part because metaphor is a feature of language, while gender is a feature of persons. Moreover, I identify a general objection to dichotomizing and to gender metaphors.

  • Every Cop Involved in the Arrest of This Utah Nurse for Refusing to (Illegally) Draw a Patient’s Blood Needs to Be Fired

    Author(s): 
    Scott Shackelford
    Publication Date: 
    September 1, 2017
    Publication Type: 
    Other Writing

    Shall we ease into our Labor Day weekend with an absolutely repulsive video of a police detective abusing his authority against a completely innocent person for no real justifiable reason? Oh, why not?

    Behold, Salt Lake City Police Det. Jeff Payne arresting Nurse Alex Wubbels in July for refusing to violate an unconscious—comatose, actually—man's rights by drawing his blood for the police without any sort of warrant whatsoever:

  • Reality Winner Was Not Told She Had the Right to Remain Silent

    Date published: 
    September 1, 2017

    "University of California, Davis law professor Elizabeth Joh came to a similar conclusion about Winner’s case. “She certainly could have a valid argument,” Joh told me on Tuesday. “While she wasn’t arrested at the time of her questioning, Miranda requirements kick in any time there is a situation of custodial interrogation. That includes formal arrest, but can also include situations that amount to a coercive atmosphere that looks and feels like the equivalent of an arrest.”"

  • AI’s rapid advance sparks call for a code for robots

    Date published: 
    August 31, 2017

    "Ryan Calo, a law professor at the University of Washington, says that we tend to talk about robots as if they are a future technology, ignoring the fact that we have already been living with them for several decades. “If you want to envisage the future in the 1920s, 1940s, 1980s, or in 2017, then you think of robots. But the reality is that robots have been in our societies since the 1950s,” he says."

  • The Comment Period Is Over, But the Battle for Net Neutrality Ain't Done Yet

    Date published: 
    August 31, 2017

    "Open internet advocates argue that net neutrality is especially important for marginalized populations that feel threatened by the Trump administration. "Communities of color across the United States depend on an open internet to thrive," Malkia Cyril, executive director at the Center for Media Justice, said in an email to Motherboard. "From resisting police violence to demanding fair wages—the political voice and economic opportunity that the internet enables must remain protected by Title II net neutrality."

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