Week 15 News Digest

Facebook Launches Simplified Terms and Conditions

December 4th, 2014

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2860689/Now-understand-Facebook-s-privacy-settings-hopefully-Social-network-launches-simplified-terms-conditions.html

There have been a lot of issues with users agreeing to terms and conditions on social media websites without fully understanding, or reading, what they are agreeing to. To try and fix this, and bring down the level of complaints, Facebook has decided to “simplify” it’s terms and conditions for its users. The website now breaks down terms of use for all users and shows them how to change their privacy settings right off the bat. This has been needed for a long time, the long terms of use filled with information that a lot of people just don’t understand has caused a lot of problems on all social media websites, not just Facebook. Facebook taking this step forward will hopefully set an example to other social media websites in transparency, telling its users exactly what they are signing up for. The new agreement has been shortened, informing users of advertisements and what they refer to as “Privacy Basics”.

 

Baltimore Police Use of Invasive Surveillance Technology

November 29th, 2014

http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2014/11/29/aclu-baltimore-police-uses-invasive-surveillance-technology/

In a pending case in Baltimore, police had been found to be obtaining information illegally. ¬†It has been recorded that they had used a “stringray” which is a type of phone tracker, to track down the perp’s phone and later their home without a warrant allowing them to do so. They did have a court order, however the order did not allow them to obtain the information the way they did. The American Civil Liberties Union has called out this police department, saying they are using invasive surveillance technology that violates our forth amendment. Citizens within Baltimore have expressed that they don’t have a problem with what they are using this information to do, but it is how they get this information that is concerning, especially since some went far enough to say that there were bad cops in this department that they wouldn’t feel comfortable with having them use their information.

 

Surveillance Systems Are Getting Smarter 

November 30th, 2014

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/surveillance-systems-smarter/story?id=27242336

A lot of people are not okay with the use of surveillance in today’s society along with the loss of privacy that has come with it, but some would say that we should accept it in stride and use this for the greater good. Jenq-Neng Hwang and his team of electrical engineers have made a new study, making security cameras a lot more effective and useful than they are now. They have created surveillance systems that can pick out individuals and follow them in the public, switching from camera to camera to track that person’s path. This is obviously beneficial to our society. Now, instead of people having to stare at screens, trying to find that certain individual on multiple screens to navigate the path of the criminal, the cameras do it for us. Not only does that save our police department’s time but man power, too.

 

Obama Requests Funding for Body Cameras on Police Officers

December 1st, 2014

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/obama-requests-263-million-police-body-cameras-training-n259161

In light of the events of Ferguson that has been happening within the past months, Obama has taken a step towards solving the “He Said/She Said” ways of cases against officers, asking for $250 million dollars in funding towards body cameras for police officers along with training. This can be seen as a step in the right direction according to some people. This program that Obama is asking for would pay for more than 50,000 devices for police officers across the nation. But, the question is will this actually solve the problem?

 

Sony Gets Hacked, Films Released Along With Other Private Information

December 4th, 2014

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-sony-culver-city-hacking-20141204-story.html

On Wednesday, Sony was hit by hackers that had leaked several finished films along with confidential documents and private information from thousands of their employees from multiple places throughout the nation. The company is trying to figure out who exactly the hackers are and where they are, but have only received the information given by the hackers themselves. When employees had tried to log into their computers, they received a picture of a skeleton along with the message “Hacked by #GOP”. The hackers call themselves the Guardians of Peace. They only other lead they have found is that the language found in the malware the hackers had used had been Korean, but that data could be fake.

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