privacy
US Federal Agents, Police Are Using Google’s Location History Feature to Track Down Suspects

American law enforcement queries of Google’s massive mobile device location tracking database, which employees call Sensorvault, has “risen sharply in the past six months,” the New York Times reported on Saturday, citing sources at the company. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
‘Automated Racism’: Chinese Police Are Reportedly Using AI to Identify Minority Faces

Facial recognition technology can target entire populations of a specific demographic, and in the wrong hands, can be used as a powerful tool for discrimination. In China, this isn’t a cautionary tale, it’s already happening. Read More >>

china
China’s ‘Little Red Book’-Like App Is Blowing Up the Charts

The most downloaded app in Apple Store’s China region, with over 100 million users, awards points for reading articles, taking quizzes, learning about socialist theory and watching videos about President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party. The app, Study the Great Nation, was developed by the public opinion research division of China’s Central Propaganda Department and tech company Alibaba, and it’s being likened to Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book. Read More >>

cybersecurity
Chinese Dating App for Queer and Lesbian Women Reportedly Left 5.3 Million Profiles Exposed

A Chinese dating app for lesbian and queer women exposed the profiles and private data of over 5.3 million users, TechCrunch reported on Wednesday, possibly since June 2018. Read More >>

surveillance
US Police Officer Used Police Database to Creep on Over 100 Women, Investigation Finds

After a woman in Florida experienced a “chance brief encounter” with a police officer in a parking garage last year, authorities say the officer showed up at her parents house in an effort to see her again. The woman then filed a complaint, and the department says it discovered the officer had been misusing a police database to target women to date and have sex with for years. Read More >>

privacy
Report: The NSA’s Domestic Metadata Collection System Is Not Being Used and May Be Discontinued

The National Security Agency has “quietly shut down” the mass surveillance programme it implemented after the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks to analyse metadata on domestic US calls and text messages, the New York Times reported on Monday, citing an episode of the Lawfare podcast with “senior Republican congressional aide” Luke Murry. The Wall Street Journal separately reported that Murry stated the programme has not been used in at least six months, with both papers writing that it is unclear whether Donald Trump’s administration will ask Congress to renew its legal authority when relevant portions of the Patriot Act expire at the end of 2019. Read More >>

china
Report: China’s Social Credit System Has Blocked Tens of Millions of Rejected Plane and Train Tickets

China’s dystopian “social credit” system—which penalises citizens found to have engaged in some type of misconduct by imposing a number of restrictions on their activities—has already resulted in tens of millions of rejected attempts to purchase plane or train tickets, the Guardian reported on Friday. Read More >>

tv
C.H.E.R.Y./L. the Robot Is Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Unsung Hero

Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has come to an end, and it’s time to celebrate its underappreciated hero. Read More >>

privacy
Leaky Database Reveals Horrifying GPS Surveillance of China’s Uyghur Muslims

A misconfigured online database has exposed new details of China’s tyrannical surveillance apparatus, which the country’s government has used to further suppress one of its most persecuted populations. Read More >>

crime
England and Wales to Require Thousands of Criminals to Wear GPS Tracking Bracelets

Thousands of convicted criminals and others accused of crimes in England and Wales will be required to wear GPS-coordinate-tracking bracelets, replacing an older generation of electronic tags not capable of monitoring someone’s movement in real time, the BBC reported on Saturday. Read More >>

news
Actually, Secretly Filming Students’ Cleavage Is Illegal, Canada’s Supreme Court Rules

In 2015, a high school teacher in Ontario, Canada, Ryan Jarvis, was caught secretly recording the chests of female students with a spy pen. But Jarvis was acquitted after the Ontario Court of Appeal reasoned that the students didn’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy at the public school. Today, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled against this decision, declaring that the students did have a right to not be filmed with a spycam. Read More >>

facebook
Facebook Says It Needs to Collect All Your Data to Protect Against Terrorism and Child Abuse

Facebook was slapped with a ruling in Germany today that limits how the social media giant can collect data across its multiple platforms, like WhatsApp and Instagram. And Facebook is not happy about it, to say the least. The company says it’s collecting all of that data for your own good. They’re simply using their data sharing methods to protect you against terrorism and child abuse, according to Facebook. Seriously. Read More >>

technology
Head of Russian Orthodox Church Warns Big Data Will Usher in the Antichrist and, Well, Hmm

The devil is in the downloads, says Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church. In a recent interview with the state-run Russia-1 TV network, Kirill warned that smart devices like cell phones and social networks could enable the rise of Satan’s chosen and the rule of darkness until the end times. Read More >>

security
Protesters Picket London Police’s Facial Recognition Van

This very out of place, unmarked, bright green, coned-off van bang in the middle of London's tourist and shopping district is rightly arousing suspicions, not because people think it might be packed with terrorists psyching themselves up enough to leap out and make everyone spill their festive lattes in shock, but because we know it's the Met Police testing mass surveillance/facial recognition technology on the ruddy-cheeked festive passers-by. Read More >>

security
UK Intelligence Agencies Are Planning a Major Increase in ‘Large-Scale Data Hacking’

Intelligence agencies are preparing to “significantly increase their use of large-scale data hacking,” the Guardian reported on Saturday, in a move that is already alarming privacy advocates. Read More >>