How close are we to melding mind and machine? Does customer control over financial data come at a cost? Can hackers guess your smartphone PIN by exploiting sensor data? Has China emerged as a digital data rights champion? Want to keep your data safe from the apocalypse?
Can data science deliver a fake news detector? Ohad Flinker argues that "if you think you’re lying, your physiological response will show as much" - so shouldn't a detector be able to spot fake news in the web trail that articles generate? For example, CrossCheck claim their machine learning algorithm has a 96% accuracy at verifying news, by contextualising new articles to already verified sources. Interesting idea. 📚
How close are we to melding mind and machine? 💭 INTRIGUING article by James Wu and Rajesh P. N. Rao discussing how close we are to developing brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies and what the implications might be. 🤖 In particular - interesting discussion of Elon Musk’s new startup Neuralink, which aims to use BCIs to enhance humans and avoid "a potential dystopian future where AI has far surpassed natural human capabilities". Read more about Neuralink here.
Does customer control over financial data come at a cost? Interesting perspective piece by Izabella Kaminska discussing the implications of the forthcoming EU Payment Services Directive II (PSDII). The legislation aims to "break the banking monopoly on data in the hope of encouraging new entrants into the market with fresh product ideas and services". 👍 However:
Consumers may not understand where the boundaries of a bank’s duty of care begin and end under the new framework. If an unregulated third party misuses the data a customer consented to share, who will that customer blame? The third party or the bank? And where does the liability lie?
Also - how will PSDII work alongside GDPR? 🤔 Although the two have been deemed "complementary", GDPR could "jar with the core tenets of PSDII", as GDPR is "likely to turn data into a liability risk for everyone". Kaminska claims that GDPR will "extinguish" any "competitive advantage tech companies have over banks" due to PSDII -- "leaving only those with fewer scruples, or a much riskier attitude to data management, for customers to choose from". Need a guide on how to approach GDPR and PSDII? ✅
Can hackers guess your smartphone PIN by exploiting sensor data? Researchers at Newcastle University published a paper suggesting that hackers can easily steal PIN numbers by "tracking the angle and motion of a user’s phone when he or she is typing". Whilst testing, the researchers guessed the PIN with a 70% accuracy on the first attempt, and a 100% accuracy by the fifth guess. 😬
Rather than being recognised as the way to secure our online transactions or our conversations, all too often the debate focuses on the use of encryption as a way to thwart law enforcement. To undermine the positive role of encryption in the name of security could have devastating consequences.
Has China emerged as a digital data rights champion? 🤔 China has released new draft rules that would require large corporations (such as Facebook and Google) to obtain explicit consent from the individual, as well as the government, before sending any personal data outside the country. Definitely one to watch. 🔍
Was there a moment in your life when you had an awakening about the importance of digital privacy? 💭 The Electronic Frontier Foundation, who work on defending your rights in the digital world, are "collecting stories from people about the moment digital privacy first started mattering in their lives. Through this collection, [they're] hoping to illustrate the varied, often deeply personal reasons that people care about digital privacy". Get involved!
For April Fool's Day, Reddit launched a little experiment. It gave its users, who are all anonymous, a blank canvas called Place.
The rules were simple. Each user could choose one pixel from 16 colors to place anywhere on the canvas. They could place as many pixels of as many colors as they wanted, but they had to wait a few minutes between placing each one.
Over the following 72 hours, what emerged was nothing short of miraculous. A collaborative artwork that shocked even its inventors.
From a single blank canvas, a couple simple rules and no plan, came this: