aggregator

Governors On East and West Coasts Form Pacts To Decide When To Reopen Economies

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2020-04-13 23:50
gollum123 shares a report from CNN: States on the country's East and West coasts are forming their own regional pacts to work together on how to reopen from the stay-at-home orders each has issued to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. The first such group to be announced came Monday on the East Coast. Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his state, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island each plan to name a public health and economic official to a regional working group. The chief of staff of the governor of each state also will be a part of the group, which will begin work immediately to design a reopening plan. Later on Monday, the West Coast states of California, Washington and Oregon also announced they are joining forces in a plan to begin incremental release of stay-at-home orders. When announcing the three-state coordination of the western governors during his midday briefing on Monday, Newsom quoted an old proverb: "If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together." The report notes that other regional pacts could be in the works as well. "Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz told reporters on Monday that he spoke with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers about working together to open those states from their respective stay-at-home orders," reports CNN. "But the only way that this can happen is if we have widespread testing," Walz said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Foxconn's Buildings In Wisconsin Are Still Empty, One Year Later

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2020-04-13 22:50
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Last April, The Verge reported that the Foxconn "innovation centers" scattered around Wisconsin were largely empty and that renovations were stalled. Several days after that article published, Foxconn held a press conference to announce that it had bought yet another building and told reporters that The Verge's reporting was incorrect. Specifically, Foxconn's Alan Yeung said The Verge's story had "a lot of inaccuracies, and we will actually make a correction, and we will make a statement about that." Yeung made those comments on April 12th, 2019. It is now April 12th, 2020, making it exactly one year since Foxconn promised a statement or correction regarding The Verge's report of empty buildings in Wisconsin. That statement or correction has never arrived. And the buildings are still empty. TheThe main Foxconn project -- the factory in Mount Pleasant -- appears to be moving forward, albeit at a much smaller scale than the massive Generation 10.5 LCD fabrication plant originally promised and specified in the company's contract with the state. Earlier this month, the company submitted a project report to the state claiming it now employs more than 550 people, enough to qualify for lucrative subsidies. (Most were hired at the end of last year.) And although no LCD fabrication equipment has been reported as arriving at the factory, Foxconn has announced a giant glass dome that will house a data center, along with deals to make robotic coffee kiosks and alarm system components in what's been described as a "high-mix, low-to-medium volume" manufacturing strategy. And last week, Foxconn and Medtronic announced plans to build ventilators at the factory within four to six weeks. But it's unclear whether Foxconn will receive any subsidies. [...] The factory is set to open in May. Foxconn has deemed construction "essential," and work continues even under Wisconsin's stay-at-home order. It is unclear exactly what the factory will produce when it becomes operational.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Twitter Accused of Obliterating Its Users' Privacy Choices

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2020-04-13 06:40
The EFF's staff technologist -- also an engineer on Privacy Badger and HTTPS Everywhere, writes: Twitter greeted its users with a confusing notification this week. "The control you have over what information Twitter shares with its business partners has changed," it said. The changes will "help Twitter continue operating as a free service," it assured. But at what cost? Twitter has changed what happens when users opt out of the "Allow additional information sharing with business partners" setting in the "Personalization and Data" part of its site. The changes affect two types of data sharing that Twitter does... Previously, anyone in the world could opt out of Twitter's conversion tracking (type 1), and people in GDPR-compliant regions had to opt in. Now, people outside of Europe have lost that option. Instead, users in the U.S. and most of the rest of the world can only opt out of Twitter sharing data with Google and Facebook (type 2). The article explains how last August Twitter discovered that its option for opting out of device-level targeting and conversion tracking "did not actually opt users out." But after fixing that bug, "advertisers were unhappy. And Twitter announced a substantial hit to its revenue... Now, Twitter has removed the ability to opt out of conversion tracking altogether." While users in Europe are protected by GDPR, "users in the United States and everywhere else, who don't have the protection of a comprehensive privacy law, are only protected by companies' self-interest..." BoingBoing argues that Twitter "has just unilaterally obliterated all its users' privacy choices, announcing the change with a dialog box whose only button is 'OK.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

'Abolish Silicon Valley' Author Urges 'Expropriating' Platforms, Making them Open-Source Public Services

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2020-04-13 01:54
The Bay Area Newsgroup just interviewed the author of "Abolish Silicon Valley: How to liberate technology from capitalism". Q: How do you fix this broken system? A: Overall the goal that I'm thinking about is that you have the private sector so overfunded and glorified that it seems like the only way to do things, but things could be much better serviced by the public sector without the profit motive that the private sector demands. Reclaim the wealth from capital, push back capital and fund public innovation... Right now the way it works is all these tech companies are predicated on a very particular way of regulating work and will hire people short-time and pay them nothing and not provide them with safety nets. There are also companies that shouldn't necessarily exist. A lot of companies are being funded to do something the public sector could've provided. Instead of good public transit, we have Uber. Instead of a good social mobility system, we get paid scooters. What people want is to streamline a centralized system that is run in a way that is accountable and actually serves the public... My Utopian view is to put tech companies in full public view. Expropriate platforms and turn them into municipal services, public services and make them open-source.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Cobol Programmers Heed the Call to Support America's Overloaded Unemployment Systems

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2020-04-12 15:34
Earlier this week Slashdot reader puddingebola shared a CNN story headlined "Wanted urgently: People who know a half century-old computer language so states can process unemployment claims..." But now IEEE Spectrum reports that "Cobol programmers in the United States are heeding the call to work on antiquated state unemployment benefits computer systemsâ¦" The new claims brought the three-week total to more than 16 million, the equivalent of a tenth of the U.S. workforce. The spike in new claims has inundated benefits computer systems in states such as Connecticut, Florida, and elsewhere, some of which haven't updated their Cobol-based mainframe systems in years, or decades... New Jersey isn't alone. Florida's unemployment claims system has been so overwhelmed, the state is reverting to using paper applications. Massachusetts deployed more than 500 new employees to work remotely to meet increased demand that has overloaded its unemployment system... Connecticut's labor department is bringing back retirees and using IT staff from other departments to upgrade its 40-year-old system, which runs on a Cobol mainframe and connected components. One company that says it reached out to New Jersey was the Texas-based "Cobol Cowboys" placement agency, with nearly 350 contractors, including a man in his mid-80s "who did some work with Grace Hopper." Also helping is U.S. Digital Response, a new group hoping to find skilled volunteers with technical skills for government agencies. The article notes estimates that Cobol still handles 95% of all ATM swipes and 43% of banking systems.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

How a Corporation Suddenly Faced 'Flood' of Lawsuits From Thousands of Gig Workers

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2020-04-12 09:34
Long-time Slashdot reader PalmAndy shared the New York Times profile of two pioneers in "mass arbitration." One Silicon Valley founder created FairShake, an automated system to help consumers launch hundreds of arbitration cases against corporations like Comcast and AT&T. And then there's attorney Travis Lenkner (and his firm Keller Lenkner), who says most companies never thought consumers would actually use arbitration. "We don't see it that way." Keller Lenkner's first wave of cases have focused on workers in the gig economy. [Alternate version of article] Many of these workers, particularly at food delivery companies, have been thrust onto the front line of the coronavirus crisis by ferrying food and supplies to housebound consumers, while risking getting sick. A large number of their employers require these workers to sign arbitration clauses... One of the firm's latest showdowns is with DoorDash, a leading food delivery app in the United States. It shows the traction that mass arbitration is gaining with judges and the lengths that companies will go trying to stop it. It began last summer when Keller Lenkner filed more than 6,000 arbitration claims on behalf of couriers for DoorDash, known as "dashers...." The cases were taken to the American Arbitration Association, an entity that provides the judges and sets up the hearings for such disputes. DoorDash specified in its contracts with its roughly 700,000 dashers that they had to use the association when filing an arbitration claim. The company also told the dashers that it would pay any fees that the association required to start the legal process. Then DoorDash got the bill for the 6,000 claims — more than $9 million. DoorDash balked, arguing in court that it couldn't be sure that all of the claimants were legitimate dashers. The American Arbitration Association said the company had to pay anyway. It refused, and the claims were essentially dead... But a federal judge in San Francisco wasn't willing to go along with it. The judge, William Alsup, ordered DoorDash in February to proceed with the American Arbitration Association cases and pay the fees... "Your law firm and all the defense law firms have tried for 30 years to keep plaintiffs out of court," the judge told DoorDash's lawyers at the Gibson Dunn firm late last year. "And so finally someone says, 'OK, we'll take you to arbitration,' and suddenly it's not in your interest anymore. Now you're wiggling around, trying to find some way to squirm out of your agreement." "There is a lot of poetic justice here," the judge added.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Can the FBI Be Trusted with the Surveillance of Americans?

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2020-04-11 22:34
Slashdot reader Matt.Battey writes: While everyone was at home, hunkered down watching Tiger King, and avoiding COVID-19, America's Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released an update to his December, 2019 report. The findings weren't reassuring... Over at Bloomberg, they go so far as to say "The FBI Can't Be Trusted With the Surveillance of Americans." From the national security blog Lawfare: Horowitz's team has reviewed 29 FISA applications involving surveillance of U.S. persons. In four of those applications, the inspector general could not review what's called the Woods File—the documentary material that is supposed to support every factual claim in a FISA application—because the files could not be located. In three of these cases, Horowitz reports, it is unclear whether they ever existed in the first place. In the remaining 25 files, the inspector general found discrepancies and errors in all, an average of 20 issues per application—with a range of a small handful to around 65. The blog calls Horowitz's findings "something of a worst-case scenario... It appears that the facts presented in a lot of FISA applications are not reliably accurate."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

American Appeals Court Allows Facebook Privacy Lawsuit to Proceed

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2020-04-11 19:34
Long-time Slashdot reader robbyyy writes: Facebook has been accused of violating its users rights by tracking users internet activity even after they have logged out of the platform. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said that users could now pursue them under various privacy and wiretapping laws. Facebook is still dealing with the legal ramifications of the Cambridge Analytica scandal both in Australia and around the world. "Plaintiffs have plausibly alleged that Facebook set an expectation that logged-out user data would not be collected, but then collected it anyway," the judge wrote. "In addition, the amount of data allegedly collected was significant... "In light of the privacy interests and Facebook's allegedly surreptitious and unseen data collection, Plaintiffs have adequately alleged a reasonable expectation of privacy."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

NIH Begins Clinical Trial To Test Hydroxychloroquine To Treat COVID-19

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2020-04-11 01:20
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced Thursday that it's begun enrolling participants in a clinical trial to test the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19. The Hill reports: The first participants have enrolled in the trial at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. The study will be conducted by the NIH's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. According to the NIH, the blinded, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial aims to enroll more than 500 adults who are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, or who are in an emergency department with anticipated hospitalization. Participants will be randomly assigned to receive 400 mg of hydroxychloroquine twice daily for two doses (day one), then 200 mg twice daily for the subsequent eight doses (days two through five) or a placebo twice daily for five days. Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat malaria, lupus and rheumatoid conditions such as arthritis. However, its effectiveness at treating COVID-19 has never been proven, despite its embrace by President Trump. The evidence on hydroxychloroquine is conflicting, at best. NIH scientists said urgent clinical evidence is needed. Even so, the study is not estimated to be completed until July 2021.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Postal Service Warns of $22 Billion Hole From Coronavirus

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2020-04-10 23:20
The U.S. Postal Service is facing a precipitous decline in mail volume and billions of dollars in additional losses as it operates during the pandemic, where hundreds of its workers have fallen sick and a dozen have died from the coronavirus. The Wall Street Journal reports: The quasigovernmental agency, which operates as part of the executive branch, is asking Congress for financial support, even after the Treasury Department extended it a $10 billion loan and increased its annual borrowing limit under the Cares Act last month. The agency's Board of Governors has asked Congress to provide $25 billion in emergency funding, a $25 billion grant for modernization projects and access to $25 billion in Treasury loans. "We are at a critical juncture in the life of the Postal Service," Postmaster General Megan Brennan said in a statement Thursday. "At a time when America needs the Postal Service more than ever, the reason we are so needed is having a devastating effect on our business." The Postal Service projects the pandemic to add $22 billion to the agency's continuing operating losses over the next 18 months, Ms. Brennan said. Mail volumes and purchases of the agency's services have plummeted with the mandated closures of businesses around the country. She said losses could hit $54 billion over the longer term and threaten the agency's ability to operate. Ms. Brennan delayed her retirement earlier this year during a search for a successor. In other postal service-related news, Amazon announced earlier this week that it will halt its delivery service for non-Amazon packages. "Under the program, Amazon drivers would pick up packages from businesses and deliver them to consumers, rather than ship orders from Amazon warehouses," reports The Wall Street Journal. The pausing of operations will let Amazon handle a surge in its own customers' orders, which may help the USPS as many of the orders get handed off to the company for shipping.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Snowden Warns Governments Are Using Coronavirus To Build 'The Architecture of Oppression'

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2020-04-10 22:40
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Vice: Snowden is the first guest in the new 'Shelter in Place' series debuting on VICE TV on Thursday at 10 p.m. EST, which looks at the global response to COVID-19 and its lasting impact around the world. VICE co-founder Shane Smith will discuss these themes, as well as how to survive quarantine, with a host of thinkers from science, entertainment, economics, and journalism. In the premiere episode, Smith talks to Snowden, who blew the lid off of the National Security Agency's surveillance of the American people in 2012. In the interview conducted from Smith's home in Santa Monica over video chat, the two tackle topics including the lack of preparedness in the face of a global pandemic, how long this will be a threat to humanity, and whether the power we're handing to global leaders will come back and bite us in the ass. [...] It seems that [coronavirus] may be the greatest question of the modern era around civil liberties, around the right to privacy. Yet no one's asking this question. As authoritarianism spreads, as emergency laws proliferate, as we sacrifice our rights, we also sacrifice our capability to arrest the slide into a less liberal and less free world. Do you truly believe that when the first wave, this second wave, the 16th wave of the coronavirus is a long-forgotten memory, that these capabilities will not be kept? That these datasets will not be kept? No matter how it is being used, what' is being built is the architecture of oppression. Snowden said intelligence agencies knew a pandemic like this was coming "because they used to read the reports had been planning for pandemics." Asked about if we can trust the numbers coming from China, Snowden says "I don't think we can," adding that autocratic regimes like China aren't doing things better than democratic ones. "I mean, there are arguments being made that China can do things that the United States can't. That doesn't mean that what these autocratic countries are doing is actually more effective." You can watch Shane Smith's full interview with Snowden here.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Turkey To Require Social Media Giants To Appoint Local Representatives

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2020-04-10 21:23
Turkey will require foreign social media companies with high internet traffic to appoint a representative in the country to address concerns raised by authorities over content on their platforms, a draft law seen by Reuters showed. From the report: Companies that do not comply with the new measure could face having their bandwith halved after 30 days by court order, and then slashed by 95% if they hold out another 30 days, it said. The law will apply to social media networks accessed by more than 1 million people daily from Turkey, the draft law said. Ankara strictly polices social media content, especially during periods such as military operations and the current coronavirus pandemic. In the three weeks to April 6, more than 3,500 social media accounts were reviewed, 616 suspects were identified and 229 were detained for "provocative" social media posts, according to the Interior Ministry.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

People Are Open-Sourcing Their Patents and Research To Fight Coronavirus

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2020-04-10 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: A global group of scientists and lawyers announced their efforts to make their intellectual property free for use by others working on coronavirus pandemic relief efforts -- and urged others to do the same -- as part of the "Open Covid Pledge." Mozilla, Creative Commons, and Intel are among the founding members of this effort; Intel contributed to the pledge by opening up its portfolio of over 72,000 patents, according to a press release. Participants are asked to publicly take the pledge by announcing it on their own websites and issuing a press release. "Immediate action is required to halt the COVID-19 Pandemic and treat those it has affected," the pledge states. "It is a practical and moral imperative that every tool we have at our disposal be applied to develop and deploy technologies on a massive scale without impediment. We therefore pledge to make our intellectual property available free of charge for use in ending the COVID-19 pandemic and minimizing the impact of the disease." From there, people and companies are asked to adopt a license detailing the terms and conditions their intellectual property will be available; while pledgers are permitted to write their own license based on their needs, the organizers wrote "Open COVID License 1.0" as a template for immediate use, which grants usage rights to anyone working toward "minimizing the impact of the disease, including without limitation the diagnosis, prevention, containment, and treatment of the COVID-19 Pandemic." The license is effective until one year after the World Health Organization declares the pandemic to be over. Other participants include Berkeley and UCSF's Innovative Genomics Institute, Fabricatorz Foundation, and United Patents.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

France Rules Google Must Pay News Firms For Content

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2020-04-10 12:00
France's competition authority ruled on Thursday that Google must pay French publishing companies and news agencies for re-using their content. Reuters reports: The U.S. tech firm said it would comply with the French competition authority verdict, which followed a complaint by unions representing French press publishers. "Google's practices caused a serious and immediate harm to the press sector, while the economic situation of publishers and news agencies is otherwise fragile," France's 'Autorite de la Concurrence' said in a statement.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Federal Support Ends For Coronavirus Testing Sites As Pandemic Peak Nears

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2020-04-10 02:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: Some local officials are disappointed the federal government will end funding for coronavirus testing sites this Friday. In a few places those sites will close as a result. This as criticism continues that not enough testing is available. In the Philadelphia suburbs, Montgomery County has a drive-through site that has tested 250 people a day since March 21. "It has been a very successful site. We are hoping by the time it closes Friday afternoon that we will have tested a little over 5,000 individuals," says Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, who chairs the commission in the county of more than 825,000 people. Arkoosh says the site, located on a local college campus, will shut down Friday. Similar announcements have been made in Colorado Springs, Colo., and nearby Philadelphia. A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tells NPR, "Many of the Community-Based Testing Sites (CBTS) are not closing, but rather transitioning to state-managed sites on or about April 10." The agency and a spokesperson for FEMA say the CBTS program originally included 41 sites. It was intended as a stop-gap to bring testing to critical locations, especially for health care facility workers and first responders. "The transition will ensure each state has the flexibility and autonomy to manage and operate testing sites within the needs of their specific community and to prioritize resources where they are needed the most," the HHS spokesperson said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

US Senate Tells Members To Stop Using Zoom

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2020-04-10 01:20
According to the Financial Times, U.S. senators have been advised not to use videoconferencing platform Zoom over security concerns. From a report: According to three people briefed on the matter, the Senate sergeant-at-arms -- whose job it is to run law enforcement and security on the Capitol -- told senators to find alternative methods for remote working, although he did not implement an outright ban. With the coronavirus outbreak forcing millions to work from home, Zoom has seen a 1,900% increase in use between December and March to 200 million daily users. This has been accompanied by a string of bad press about its security and privacy practices, to the point where CEO Eric Yuan was forced to publicly apologize last week. While the Senate has told its members to stay away from Zoom, the Pentagon told the FT that it would continue to allow its staff to use the platform. A memo sent to top cybersecurity officials from the Department of Homeland Security said that the company was being responsive when questioned about concerns over the security of its software, Reuters reported. The slew of privacy issues prompted Taiwan's government agencies to stop using the service. Google also banned Zoom from its employees' devices.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Signal Threatens To Dump US Market If EARN IT Act Passes

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2020-04-10 00:02
Signal is warning that an anti-encryption bill circulating in Congress could force the private messaging app to pull out of the U.S. market. PC Magazine reports: Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the free app, which offers end-to-end encryption, has seen a surge in traffic. But on Wednesday, the nonprofit behind the app published a blog post, raising the alarm around the EARN IT Act. "At a time when more people than ever are benefiting from these (encryption) protections, the EARN IT bill proposed by the Senate Judiciary Committee threatens to put them at risk," Signal developer Joshua Lund wrote in the post. Although the goal of the legislation, which has bipartisan support, is to stamp out online child exploitation, it does so by letting the U..S government regulate how internet companies should combat the problem -- even if it means undermining the end-to-end encryption protecting your messages from snoops. If the companies fail to do so, they risk losing legal immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which can shield them from lawsuits concerning objectionable or illegal content posted on their websites or apps. "Some large tech behemoths could hypothetically shoulder the enormous financial burden of handling hundreds of new lawsuits if they suddenly became responsible for the random things their users say, but it would not be possible for a small nonprofit like Signal to continue to operate within the United States," Lund wrote in the blog post.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Nintendo's Animal Crossing Becomes New Hong Kong Protest Ground

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2020-04-09 03:25
Nintendo's Animal Crossing has become a place for Hong Kong protesters to congregate without flouting social distancing rules. Bloomberg reports: Animal Crossing is a simulation game where players live on an idyllic tropical island and befriend anthropomorphic animals. Players can customize their islands with in-game illustrating tools and visit each other's islands online. Pro-democracy content created for the game has gone viral on social media, including Twitter. In a tweet last week, one of Hong Kong's most well-known democracy campaigners, Joshua Wong, said he was playing the game and that the movement had shifted online. In one video posted to Twitter, a group of players use bug-catching nets to hit pictures of the city's leader Carrie Lam on a beach in the game. A nearby poster states "Free Hong Kong. Revolution Now."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Italy Working On Coronavirus Tracing App To Help Lockdown Exit

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2020-04-09 02:03
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Italian authorities are working on introducing a smartphone app that would help health services trace the contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus as the government looks at ways of gradually lifting a lockdown imposed a month ago. Innovation minister Paola Pisano acknowledged that launching the app would raise major issues of privacy and data control, something which would have to be resolved before it went into operation. But it could help reduce contagion and limit the impact of a disease that has killed more than 17,000 people in Italy in just over a month. "This is delicate terrain. I think we are all conscious of that and we must remain so," she told a parliamentary hearing on Wednesday. Italy launched a fast tender for a monitoring and remote medical support app on March 24 and received hundreds of proposals which are currently under evaluation by a specially created task force. The app would be only one part of a wider monitoring and support system, Pisano said. It would function on a voluntary basis and would have to be limited to clearly defined ends and guarantee anonymity as well as meet technical requirements. The app would record when it came into proximity with another smartphone user with the app, for how long and at what distance and if a person tested positive for the coronavirus, authorities would be able to trace the contacts and alert them. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) is calling for a pan-European mobile app to track the spread of the coronavirus "instead of the current hodge-podge of apps used in various EU countries which could breach people's privacy rights," Reuters reported on Monday. "The EDPS said the use of temporary broadcast identifiers and bluetooth technology for contact tracing protected both privacy and personal data, but voiced concerns about the variety of apps sprouting up." "Given these divergences, the European Data Protection Supervisor calls for a pan-European model COVID-19 mobile application, coordinated at EU level," Wojciech Wiewiorowski, the head of the EU privacy watchdog, said in a statement. "Ideally, coordination with the World Health Organization should also take place, to ensure data protection by design globally from the start," he said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Zoom Accused of Misrepresenting Security Measures In New Lawsuit

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2020-04-09 01:20
Video conferencing company Zoom is being used by a shareholder over allegations of fraud and overstating the security protocols in place on its service. Gizmodo reports: In the lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, plaintiff Michael Drieu -- on behalf of individuals who purchased Zoom securities after the company went public last year -- accuses the company of making "materially false and misleading statements" about its product and failing to disclose key information about the service. Namely, the suit cites Zoom as claiming that its product supported end-to-end encryption, when in fact it supports a different form of encryption called transport encryption -- as the Intercept reported last month -- that still allows Zoom to access data. Additionally, the suit alleges that Zoom's security failures put users "eat an increased risk of having their personal information accessed by unauthorized parties, including Facebook," that these facts would necessarily result in a decline in users, and that the company's responses to ongoing reporting on myriad problems on the service were "misleading at all relevant times." The suit states that the fallout from these incidents was exacerbated by the covid-19 crisis, during which time users of the service jumped from just 10 million to 200 million in a matter of months as schools and organizations turned to Zoom amid social distancing measures and shelter-in-place orders. The suit cites documentation related to Zoom's IPO as evidence that the company misrepresented the security protocols in place for protecting users. Specifically, the suit states, Zoom said it offered "robust security capabilities, including end-to-end encryption, secure login, administrative controls and role-based access controls," and -- in what was clearly an embarrassing claim by the company -- that it strives "to live up to the trust our customers place in us by delivering a communications solution that "just works.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.