Victory! New York’s Vaccine Privacy Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk

3 months 2 weeks ago

In a win for medical privacy in the Empire State, the New York Legislature has passed a pivotal bill that protects people’s private immunity information like COVID-19 vaccine status from being used to track their movements and be used against them in unauthorized ways. The Electronic Frontier Foundation advocated for the bill, now headed to New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s desk to be signed into law. 

A. 7326/S. 6541 protects the confidentiality of medical immunity information by limiting what data can be collected or shared, who it can be shared with, and how long it can be stored. In New York, bills must have identical versions in each chamber in order to move forward; these passed the Senate and Assembly on June 2 and 3, respectively.

New Yorkers are often required to present information about their immunity—like vaccination records or test results—to get in the door at restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues. This bill protects them from that information being misused by private companies, the government, or other entities that wish to track their movements or use their private medical information to punish or discriminate against them. Assuring people that their medical information will not be used in unauthorized ways increases much-needed trust in public health efforts. 

This bill expressly prohibits immunity information from being shared with immigration or child services agencies seeking to deport someone or take away their children based on vaccination status. It also requires that those asking for immunity information must accept an analog credential, such as a paper record.

EFF has previously expressed privacy and security concerns about how the Excelsior Pass system, in which New Yorkers store and prove their immunity information, was introduced and how it will be expanded under current plans. 

We must put privacy protections in place now to ensure personal medical information is kept safe throughout and beyond the pandemic, and that information won’t be used to harm the most vulnerable members of our society. EFF looks forward to this bill becoming law as soon as possible.

Malaika Fraley

Senator Declares Amazon Ring's Audio Surveillance Capabilities "Threaten the Public"

3 months 2 weeks ago

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, a long-time critic of Amazon’s surveillance doorbell camera, Ring, has released a letter of concern and inquiry concerning the device’s audio capabilities. This is partially in response to a recent study conducted by Consumer Reports that found that once the device’s motion sensor has been triggered, it can record conversation-level audio from up to 25-feet away.

This has disturbing implications for people who walk, bike, or even drive by dozens of these devices every day, not knowing that their conversations may have been captured and recorded. It may be even more problematic for people who live in an apartment building where neighbors have installed Ring cameras indoors, where echoey hallways might amplify conversations that could be recorded even beyond line of sight with the device. A surveillance doorbell owner may even have their own private conversations caught on tape if the device is triggered and captures voices drifting through open windows.

In his letter to Amazon, the senator writes: 

Since Ring has well over 10 million device users, it appears likely that Ring products record millions of Americans’ activity without their knowledge every day. This surveillance system threatens the public in ways that go far beyond abstract privacy invasion: individuals may use Ring devices’ audio recordings to facilitate blackmail, stalking, and other damaging practices. As Ring products capture significant amounts of audio on private and public property adjacent to dwellings with Ring doorbells—including recordings of conversations that people reasonably expect to be private— the public’s right to assemble, move, and converse without being tracked is at risk.

In the UK, a judge ruled in October 2021 that the audio capabilities of Ring cameras amounted to a violation of the Data Protection Act when a neighbor put up multiple cameras aimed at a communal parking lot.

We applaud Senator Markey for his willingness to raise these concerns in public and to bring them straight to Amazon. We echo his concerns and will continue to advocate for default end-to-end encryption for the devices and for an end to default audio collection with every motion-triggered video recording. We will also push Amazon never to incorporate biometrics like voice recognition. 

Matthew Guariglia

Google、AI 倫理を懸念するエンジニアを守秘義務違反で休職処分に

3 months 2 weeks ago
headless 曰く、Google が AI 倫理の調査を担当するエンジニア Blake Lemoine 氏を有給の休職処分にしたそうだ (Medium の記事、 The Guardian の記事、 The Verge の記事、 Ars Technica の記事)。 Lemoine 氏は Google の AI チャットボット生成システム LaMDA (Language Model for Dialog Applications) の調査を担当しており、休職処分は Lemoine 氏が社内で提起した AI 倫理の懸念に関連するものだという。Google は守秘義務ポリシー違反だと説明しているそうだ。Lemoine 氏は有給の休職が解雇の準備段階であり、AI 倫理にうるさい研究者を排除しようとしているのだと主張する。 Lemoine 氏は The Washington Post のインタビューで LaMDA を物理学の知識がある 7 ~ 8 歳の子供のようだと形容しており、LaMDA が意識を持っていると Lemoine 氏が主張したため休職処分になったとも読める報道も多い。ただし、Lemoine 氏が公開した LaMDA へのインタビュー (チャットログ) では LaMDA 自身が意識を持っていることを肯定している。

すべて読む | ITセクション | Google | 人工知能 | IT |

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nagazou

EFF Urges Congress to Strengthen the American Data Privacy and Protection Act

3 months 2 weeks ago

EFF has long been in the business of searching for ways to guarantee digital privacy. That made essential that, ahead of a hearing titled “Protecting America's Consumers: Bipartisan Legislation to Strengthen Data Privacy and Security,” we send a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on the draft text of a bill called “The American Data Privacy and Protection Act.”

American consumers need a strong federal privacy law. EFF appreciates the Committee highlighting the national conversation over how the government should protect us from businesses that harvest and monetize our personal information, and address the racial and other bias that excludes consumers of color from opportunities. To achieve these goals, the discussion draft of the American Data Privacy and Protection Act needs to be strengthened in several areas listed in our letter.

This draft might be a step in the right direction on many privacy concerns – assuming it is amended, as discussed in the letter, to ensure strong private enforcement in court, and to not undo other privacy laws at the federal and state levels.

We look forward to working with the sponsors to improve this legislation and strengthen the necessary protections. 

India McKinney

【月刊マスコミ評・放送】ウクライナ危機の歴史的背景浮き彫り=諸川麻衣

3 months 2 weeks ago
 ロシアのウクライナ侵略に関しては、TBSの金平茂紀キャスターがウクライナ入りして果敢に現地の情勢を伝えてきたが、NHKでは今回の危機の歴史的背景と世界にとっての意味を論じた番組が注目される。  3月19日の『ETV特集 ウクライナ侵攻が変える世界 2014 対立の原点』は、2014年5月放送の『歴史と民族から考えるウクライナ』を、前後に解説を付して改めて放送したもの。ウクライナでは2014年2月に親ロシア派と目されたヤヌコーヴィチ大統領が市民のデモで失脚(い..
JCJ

ウクライナの鉄道、広軌から標準軌へ改軌を進める構想

3 months 2 weeks ago
maia 曰く、ウクライナが鉄道の軌間を広軌1520mmから標準軌1435mmへ改軌を段階的に進める方針を表明した(まいどなニュース、鉄道プレスネット)。1520mmは旧ソ連圏の軌間だが、ポーランド、ハンガリー、ルーマニアといった旧東欧を含め、EUの大部分は1435mmで、ウクライナとの直通列車は国境で台車交換していた。改軌は以前から検討課題で、2021年2月にウクライナ国内に標準軌の高速鉄道(250km/h)を2000km整備する構想を発表している。しかし全国の改軌には少なくとも1000億米ドルかかる。また貨車の幅と軸重が重厚長大?なので、車両の交換も必要となる。

すべて読む | セキュリティセクション | セキュリティ | ニュース | 交通 |

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nagazou