Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: WikiLeaks set 21st century model for cyber-leak journalism; Your car is watching you. Who owns the data?; Facebook, lose my digits: Here’s how to unlist your phone number; and What e-books at the library mean for your privacy.
Jason Voiovich’s article focuses on a subject of recent attention by Congress, privacy groups and journalists, both in the U.S. and abroad. Tech Giants distribute services and applications that are free, but nevertheless track and monitor your mobile activities – collecting, aggregating and monetizing information about many facets of your daily life. In this case, Voiovich discusses Google Maps with the understanding that his evaluation is applicable to many other services and companies – all of whom are providing you with their “services” at no “cost” until such time as you understand the price you are really paying to use them.
Alan Rothman suggests a new phrase for a growing subject matter area which he calls Fact-Check Tech. His article introduces to use a prototype TV news voice scanner and fact-checker called Voyc. The significance of this new technology will quickly become apparent to news consumers here in the U.S., and around the world, as we are increasingly confronted with endless charges of “fake news” and counter assertions of what is “real news.” The Voyc technology currently under development can assess the audio of live news media broadcasts to determine the veracity of statements made within seconds of being spoken.
Librarian John Hubbard’s extensively documented article is timely and prescient, with its first publication on March 9, 2017 prior to: the release of James Comey’s book; a long series of departures from the White House and even more from Congress; with a backdrop of a rising storm of controversy about purported misconduct by the current U.S .President – in the decade prior to his election and during his campaign. Hubbard’s introduction: “We live in uncertain times. With big data and a boom in our ability to transmit ideas comes a seemingly greater amount of erroneous information, and therefore the need for everyone to be able to properly identify, discredit, and prevent the spread of falsehoods. What follows is a tour of how much the misrepresentation of reality pervades our world (from whimsical pranks and well-intentioned hoaxes to full-blown propaganda intended to defraud and manipulate), concluding with a discussion of tactics for taking a rational and scientific view so that we may both decrease our susceptibility and improve our ability to detect misinformation.”
Stacy Nykorchuk, an experienced Program Manager and Ethics/Compliance Manager, discusses efforts to advocate on behalf of and to promote critical thinking when Googling and using Wikipedia are often the go-to sources for college students throughout the country.
Alan Rothman’s article is based on a TechCrunch.com posting, The Next Stop on the Road to Revolution is Ambient Intelligence. Rothman offers an insightful analysis on how the rapidly expanding universe of digital intelligent systems wired into our daily routines is becoming more ubiquitous, unavoidable and ambient each day.
Ashley Ahlbrand is the Educational Technology at Librarian Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law. Her expert teaching and training skills offer readers insights into the role of Google as well as integrative browser add-ons like Lexis Views in preparing students to effectively and comprehensively complete research assignments.
Sabrina I. Pacifici’s comprehensive current awareness guide focuses on leveraging a selected but wide range of reliable, topical, predominantly free websites and resources. The goal is to support an effective research process to search, discover, access, monitor, analyze and review current and historical data, news, reports, statistics and profiles on companies, markets, countries, people and issues, from a national and a global perspective. Sabrina’s guide is a “best of the Web” resource that encompasses search engines, portals, government sponsored open source databases, alerts, data archives, publisher specific services and applications. All of her recommendations are accompanied by links to trusted content targeted sources that are produced by top media and publishing companies, business, government, academe, IGOs and NGOs.
Implementation of new content management systems that govern the web and often render older pages and sites inaccessible create access barriers for researchers seeking to access older content across subject areas. TeleRead Editor Chris Meadows describes the problem, the implications and a possible solution.
Bitcoin is a significant disruptive technology with a growing impact on the financial sector and legal sectors, around the world. Alan Rothman expertly educates us on new legislation from Vermont that is intended to move the state towards using blockchain technology for “records, smart contracts and other applications”. One of the key distinctions Rothman highlights is that Vermont is not in any manner approving or adopting Bitcoin, but rather, the state is diversifying and adapting the underlying blockchain technology that supports it.