Google LLC has been busily collecting health data on millions of Americans across 21 states, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. The initiative, which Google seemed to have kept secret from the public, is codenamed “Project Nightingale.” Documents obtained by the Journal reveal that the heath data has been shared in partnership with St. Louis-based chain of hospitals called Ascension, a Catholic hospital that calls itself “a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care.”
President Trump's newly appointed Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios on Thursday criticized Chinese surveillance and censorship in his first major international remarks, ramping up the Trump administration's intensifying battle to beat out China's fast-growing tech industry. Kratsios, who was confirmed as the White House's top tech adviser in August, spent the bulk of a keynote speech in Portugal urging Europe and the U.S. to "embrace innovation and defend our free system against our adversaries."
A pair of California Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday introduced a tough privacy bill that would significantly curtail Silicon Valley's control over all Americans' personal information. The bill, introduced by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), would create a new federal agency to oversee how the country's largest and most powerful tech companies amass and use data about their millions of users across the U.S. It would also grant all users expansive rights over their data.
There’s nothing “free” about what companies like Facebook and Google are offering, Warner said. Established companies don’t want more transparency about how data is monetized and whether it differentiates among individuals. Whether or not data is considered property, said Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., companies are making money off its value. Out of the 95 billion dollars Facebook made last year, he said, most of the revenue came from targeted advertisements.
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) in letters to Amazon and Google this week raised concerns that smart speakers are "eavesdropping" on customers without their consent. In a pair of letters on Thursday, Dingell pressed Amazon executive Jeff Bezos and Google CEO Sundar Pichai over how they vet applications running on Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant.
WIRED identified eight public school systems, from rural areas to giant urban districts, that have moved to install facial recognition systems in the past year. There likely are many more. The technology watched over thousands of students returning to school in recent weeks, continually checking faces against watch lists compiled by school officials and law enforcement.
The Department of Commerce added 28 new companies and agencies to its running “blacklist” of Chinese firms banned from doing business in the United States, with a notable focus on companies that specialize in artificial intelligence, machine learning and digital surveillance.
A U.S. online privacy bill is not likely to come before Congress this year, three sources said, as lawmakers disagree over issues like whether the bill should preempt state rules, forcing companies to deal with much stricter legislation in California that goes into effect on Jan. 1.
After months of revelations that smart speakers get a very human intelligence boost from contractors who transcribe and review customer audio snippets, the mea culpas are flowing in. At the end of August, Apple issued a rare apology about how it had handled human review of audio for Siri. Amazon has made it easier for users to understand how their data might be used and control whether or not it is eligible for review at all. And now Google is joining the fray with a set of privacy announcements about Google Assistant.
It is a rare occasion when business interests come together and tell the government, “please regulate us.” But that is exactly what is occurring in the area of data privacy. On September 10, 2019, fifty-one companies joined together in a letter to House and Senate leadership asking them to pass “a comprehensive data privacy law that strengthens protections for consumers and establishes a national privacy framework to enable continued innovation and growth in the digital economy.”