US Company Embedded a ‘Social-Psychological’ Experiment in Students’ Educational Software

Education and publishing giant Pearson is drawing criticism after using its software to experiment on over 9,000 mathematics and computer science students across America. In a paper presented Wednesday at the American Association of Educational Research, Pearson researchers revealed that they tested the effects of encouraging messages on students that used the MyLab Programming educational software during 2017's spring semester. Read More >>

Report: Amazon’s British Warehouse Workers ‘Peed in Bottles’ to Avoid Punishment for Lost Time

According to troubling new allegations, workers in Amazon’s UK warehouses pee in bottles to avoid being penalised for taking bathroom breaks. The claims come from author and investigator Jared Bloodworth, who says he worked undercover as a warehouse worker for six months while writing a new book about low-wage work in the UK. Read More >>

Singapore Plans to Test Lampposts Equipped With Face Recognition Surveillance Cameras 

Last year, Singapore announced that it wants to turn every lamppost in the country, around 110,000 in total, into a wireless sensor network. And seeming to confirm the worst fears of privacy advocates, Singapore now says it plans to test cameras capable of facial recognition as part of its pilot program. Read More >>

Durham Police Bought Marketing Data to Help Profile Criminal Suspects

>Police in Durham are partnering with credit reporting agencies to predict whether criminals will reoffend, a report from civil liberties group Big Brother Watch has uncovered. Read More >>

Chinese Police Say Face Recognition Identified Suspect Out of Crowd of 50,000

Chinese police say they used facial recognition to identify, then arrest a man attending a crowded concert in Nanchang, China’s third largest city. South China Morning Post reports that security cameras equipped with the software pinpointed the man out of the estimated 50,000 other people also in attendance at the concert. Read More >>

Instagram Will Soon Let You Download Your Own Data

Instagram will soon introduce a new data portability feature, which will let users download a copy of the photos and messages they’ve shared on the app. A spokesperson confirmed the forthcoming feature to TechCrunch on Wednesday: “We are building a new data portability tool. You’ll soon be able to download a copy of what you’ve shared on Instagram, including your photos, videos and messages.” Read More >>

Dubai Is Testing Digital Number Plates Packed With Futuristic Features, Privacy Risks

Dubai is piloting “smart” digital number plates embedded with collision detecting-sensors and GPS trackers, the BBC reports. Read More >>

Advocacy Groups Say YouTube Is Illegally Collecting Data From Children

23 privacy and children’s advocacy groups filed a Federal Trade Commission complaint against YouTube, alleging the platform illegally collects data from children. The groups, led by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), allege YouTube is violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by collecting data from children under 13 without parents’ permission. Read More >>

China Just Banned Online Sales of the Bible 

The Chinese government has banned all online sales of the Christian Bible, the New York Times reported Thursday. Read More >>

Russian Postal Delivery Drone, Like All of Us, Crumbled to Pieces on First Attempt

Russia’s inaugural parcel delivery drone crashed into a wall on Monday, stunning residents and politicians gathered at the ceremony christening its first flight. According to Reuters, the drone, with estimated cost of over £14,000, hovered for only “several seconds” before crashing into a wall and crumbling into pieces. No one was hurt in the crash. Read More >>

Grindr Shares Users’ HIV Statuses With Third Parties, Researchers Find

Popular gay dating app Grindr has been sharing users’ HIV statuses with third parties without informing users, BuzzFeed reported Monday. Read More >>

AI Imagines Nude Paintings as Terrifying Pools of Melting Flesh

When Robbie Barrat trained an AI to study and reproduce classical nude paintings, he expected something at least recognisable. What the AI produced instead was unfamiliar and unsettling, but still intriguing. The “paintings” look like flesh-like ice cream, spilling into pools that only vaguely recall a woman’s body. Barrat told Gizmodo these meaty blobs, disturbing and unintentional as they are, may impact both art and AI. Read More >>

Airbnb Will Start Automatically Handing Over Guest Info to China’s Authorities

Airbnb China notified users Wednesday that, as required by law, guest information will soon be automatically logged with the government. Read More >>

Great, Now an Airline Is Normalising Casual Fingerprinting

Delta Airlines announced Monday that it’s rolling out biometric entry at its line of airport lounges. With the press of two fingers, Delta members will be able to enter any of Delta’s 50 exclusive lounges for drinks, comfortably unaware of the encroaching dystopian biometric surveillance structure closing around travel. Read More >>

Cops Track Down ‘Mastermind’ Behind Theft of Millions from Malware-Infected Cash Machines

In a series of targeted malware attacks that began in 2013, a “cybercrime gang” of hackers stole over a billion euros (about £880 million) from banks worldwide. The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) announced today that they’d arrested the gang’s apparent leader in Spain. In a statement, Europol officials say they coordinated with law enforcement agencies across the globe, including the FBI, the European Banking Federation, and police in Spain, Romania, Belarus, and Taiwan. Read More >>