If you still use Facebook after the Scandal Cambridge Analytica, Bookand more private life and ethics violations than you and your expanded the family can count sure their fingers and toes, you should not have any ethical concerns about the computer-brain interface they started to grow two years ago. Now, the first fruit of their work has arrived.
A Facebook-sponsored experiment at the University of California at San Francisco has managed to create an interface that translates brain signals into dialogues and dialogue. published its results in Nature Communication. The software reads these signals to determine what you heard and what you answered in response, without access to the audio data of the conversation. The process uses high density electrocorticography (ECoG), which requires sensors implanted in the brain, so there is no immediate concern for a non-consensual (literal) mental reading from Facebook. In addition, it is clear from published research that technology still has a long way to go before it reaches a natural and practical utility:
Here we demonstrate the real-time decoding of perceived speech and produced high-density ECoG activity in humans during a task mimicking the natural dialogue questions / answers. While this task always provides participants with explicit external information and timing, the interactive and goal-oriented aspects of a question-and-answer paradigm are a major step towards more naturalistic applications. During the ECoG recording, participants first listened to a set of pre-recorded questions and then verbally produced a set of answers. These data have been used to form speech detection and decoding models. After the training, the participants performed a task during which they listened to a question and answered it aloud with an answer of their choice. Using only neural signals, we detect when participants are listening or speaking and predicting the identity of each utterance detected using Viterbi decoding at the phone level. Since some answers are valid only for certain questions, we integrate the question and answer predictions by dynamically updating the previous probabilities of each answer using previous predicted question likelihoods.
Essentially, participants provided live responses to pre-recorded questions and researchers used data from their cerebral signals to form models for understanding both what they said and heard. On average, the software correctly detected the correctly collected questions 76% of the time and the participant's answer at a rate of 61% lower. While it's easy to concoct harmful uses of this technology on Facebook's behalf, the technology itself is very promising for communicating with people who would otherwise be unable to because of an injury or injury. neurodegenerative disorders.
Although this research should continue in order to make new medical breakthroughs and help people, it should continue to cause concern when it is funded by a company that wants to predict your future actions and in some cases, already can. Will the company literally read minds in the near future? No he must
to conquer revolutionize the global economy firstand a highly controlled accuracy of 61% achieved through invasive brain sensor implants will take some time to become more accurate and user-friendly. However, we have seen how their confidentiality issues can become significantly worse when concerns are not raised in advance..
Do you want your cerebral signals to be used for advertising? Facebook refused to deny they would use technology for that purpose. Ads are very manipulative and consumers do not want itThat they promote a new mild body cleanser or a questionable political agenda. However, advertising revenues almost reached $ 105 billion in 2017. Imagine what companies will pay for their real thoughts.
Of course, Facebook insists that its brain API will only read the thoughts you want to share. Facebook spokesperson Ha Thai put it like that:
We develop an interface that allows you to communicate with the speed and flexibility of the voice and the confidentiality of the text. Specifically, only the communications that you have already decided to share by sending them to the center of your brain's speech. Confidentiality will be built into this system, as will all Facebook efforts.
Reason for skepticism asidethink about the number of times you put your foot in your own mouth or simply do not want to say something like you say. Remember to have everything you have already said in your file. Do you want Facebook to have this data? You want no matter who l & # 39; have? If this is not the case, it's a good time to start looking at Facebook, because we already know what happens when we wait to see what they do with it.
In recent weeks, FaceApp – the photo enhancement tool for smartphone-based AI – has become the source of a major controversy over data privacy that appears to have been largely overestimated. However, this highlights a clear and common problem regarding the rights that we could give up with potentially any application we allow on our devices.
On July 14, developer Joshua Nozzi tweeted a charge (since removed) indicating that FaceApp seemed to download all the photos from a user's library and not just the photos selected by a given user for use with the application's services. He also pointed to Russia's involvement in the company, reinforcing common concerns about the illicit Russian involvement in US data-related cases. In a few days, a pseudonym security researcher Elliot Alderson responded at 9t05 cover of Nozzi's charge by Mac with contrary evidence. FaceApp too replied with a statement to 9t05Mac with similar intent. Here is the abridged version:
We could store a downloaded photo in the cloud. The main reason is the performance and the traffic: we want to make sure that the user does not download the photo several times for each editing operation. Most images are removed from our servers within 48 hours of the download date.
FaceApp performs the essential of processing photos in the cloud. We only upload a photo selected by a user for editing. We never transfer other images from the phone to the cloud.
Although the main R & D team is in Russia, user data is not transferred to Russia.
Although 9t05mac has taken the plunge by publishing Nozzi's accusation, his claims have been proven false, Chance Miller – the author of the article – raises an important point:
It's always wise to take a step back when applications like FaceApp become viral. Although they are often popular and can provide humorous content, they can have unintended consequences and privacy issues.
The false accusation of Nozzi seems more to be an honest mistake than a malicious act. Miller's argument shows why we are more prone to panic when independent circumstances give us a picture of danger. Although we should always take the time to find evidence of our claims before publishing them, in order to avoid widespread panic unnecessarily, it is not difficult to see how a person could commit this mistake while people are in alert status for this type of activity.
Although FaceApp has not prompted anyone to own their photo library to build a massive database of US citizens for the Russian government – or the conspiracy theory that you prefer – this incident highlights the ease with which we provide wide permissions once we download an application.
When an application requests access to your smartphone data, it generates a large network by necessity. Photo apps do not require the right to save photos or access only photos that you explicitly show, but to your entire photo library. You can not provide access to the microphone and camera, or anything else, with granular permissions that let you control what the application can do. In addition, smartphones do not provide a simple way to see what applications are doing. Newspapers of any kind, or a way to monitor network activity, are not made available to the average user.
For this reason, most users do not have the opportunity to know if an application has made them lose confidence or not. Until we have better control over the applications our apps can and can not access on our devices, we need to consider the worst case scenario every time we download. Unless a person has the knowledge and willingness to regularly monitor the activity of applications, as well as to read (and understand) the terms of service of each application in their entirety, that person can not exclude the possibility of the use of the application. malicious use of their data. After all Facebook has just been fined $ 5 billion for allowing the very consensual leak of user data. (not that it mattered) and much of this has happened through the association of a person with a user who has downloaded the problematic application.
Although the most commonly used apps do not end up in such controversial situations, data leaks happen quite frequently so we have to remember what we risk with every contribution of our personal information. Each granted access, each uploaded photo and each piece of information provided to an application, that it identifies us directly or indirectly-Provides a company with new information about us which it often claims ownership through its terms of service. They may or may not use the data collected for unpleasant purposes, but they allow themselves this right through a process they know that almost everyone will ignore. Businesses need a broad language in their legal agreements to protect themselves. Unfortunately, this legal requirement also creates a framework for leveraging users when a company publishes an application for data collection purposes.
Granular permissions on smartphones are a step forward in addressing this issue, but it will not prevent applications from continuing to request extended permissions and requiring access as an admission price. At this point, most of us know that we pay with our data when we do not pay with our dollars, but the problematic difference lies in the exact cost. Most people would probably not be afraid that FaceApp would use their selfies to improve the quality of service, but they might feel different if these data were used for some other reason. Even if we do not provide all of our photo libraries, and even if FaceApp removes images 48 hours later, they still have enough time to take advantage of the data voluntarily provided by users. Although it seems that they have no malicious intent, we do not know exactly what our data is costing us because we do not know how they use it.
The same applies to almost all the applications we download. Without transparency, we pay a fixed cost in secret. With repeated actions on many applications, it becomes very difficult to determine the source of the potential problems. FaceApp seems to work like any other application: asking for extended data permissions by necessity and reducing liability through a service terms contract. With each application, we must ask ourselves if the service provided is worth the cost of an unknown cost.
From shopping with your credit card to medical records to online browsing history, companies share and sell unidentified datasets containing a record of each of your trips. The information is supposed to be devoid of any specific detail – such as your name – that would link it directly to you. However, it turns out that the actual anonymization of your personal data is much more difficult than you think.
So you find a study published today in the newspaper Nature Communications. The researchers determined that, according to their model, "99.98% of Americans would be correctly identified again in any dataset using 15 demographic attributes".
Although 15 demographic attributes may appear to be a lot of data about a person, the study puts this figure into perspective.
"Modern data sets contain a large number of points per individual," write the authors. "For example, the data broker Experian has sold (company specializing in science and data analysis) to Alteryx an anonymized dataset containing 248 attributes per household for 120 million Americans."
That anonymized datasets can be de-anonymized is not new in itself. In 2018, researchers from DEF WITH HACKING CONFERENCE demonstrated how they could legally and freely acquire the apparently anonymous browsing history of 3 million Germans, then quickly anonymize portions of it. The researchers were able to discover, for example, the pornographic habits of a specific German judge.
This new study shows how little data is needed to identify specific people in otherwise rare datasets. "The (rare) attributes are often enough to re-identify with very high confidence individuals very incomplete data sets," the authors note.
Spoiler: The results are as troubling as you thought – keep in mind the next time the fine print of a company warns that it "could share your anonymous data with third parties."
. (tagsToTranslate) privacy (t) data security (t) tech (t) cybersecurity</pre></pre>
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