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Friday Cyber News, November 13 2015

Cyber technology-related news and links from around the web, for the week of 11/7 - 11/13:

1. Is privacy a fundamental right, or a historical aberration? Now as in 14th-century France, your neighbors learn about you through central gossiping stations--but now those gossip-mongers are online. On the other hand, a Pew poll shows that the internet has made users more informed about products, pop culture, and international news, but for subjects closet to home--local news and our neighbors--the effects are much smaller. [Guardian; TheSocietyPages]

2. There are many opinions on the gender parity problem within cybersecurity: it's an image problem with militaristic jargon and dark imagery, it's the way we run hackathons and competitions as though all problems are solved through 48 hours of sleepless over-activity, or it's a problem of role models and the way the work is portrayed in the media. Maybe all three? [CSMonitor; Slate; New America]

3. Federal prosecutors have charged three men in conjunction with the JPMorgan hack, which took advantage of Heartbleed. Interestingly, the accused bought the hacking tools they needed, indicating that cyber crime is less the provenance of talented hackers than of organized crime. [NPR; Economist]

4. Apple is getting into mobile payments, competing with Google and Paypal's platforms, as well as smaller offerings like Venmo. Is the centralization of services around your smartphone unfairly preferential to Google and Apple? Even genetic sequencing analysis is coming to your phone. [Fortune; Quartz]

5. The internet isn't replacing traditional political polling, but traditional polling has its own problems, including statistical significance and its undue influence on political conversations. [New Yorker]

6. From Latanya Sweeney's group at Harvard, comprehensive research on what data your apps are sharing with whom. E.g., 47% of iOS apps share location data with third parties. [TechScience]

7. Insurance claims are testing whether companies like AirBnB and Uber are software companies, as they allege, or something more--those who are injured turn to the company for redress and often find the company disavows liability. [Medium]

8. New York's financial regulators are considering cybersecurity requirements for all financial institutions operating in the state, such as having a written policy, requiring multifactor authentication, and encrypting user data. Basic, but necessary. [LA Times]

9. A hack of Securus, a company that provides phone services to prisoners, indicates that even calls between attorneys and clients were improperly recorded. [The Intercept]

10. Google's Smart Reply is an artificial intelligence-enabled communications consultant for your email, thought it's often a bit too chipper. The expressions of love are attributed to the initial testers, Google employees, who are apparently happier than the rest of us. [New Yorker]





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