Nine great industry news stories from this week you may have missed.
Controversial AI app could 'end privacy'
A powerful new facial recognition app can identify a person's name, phone number and even their address by comparing their photo to a database of billions of images scraped from the internet. While the Clearview app isn't available for public use, it's already being used by more than 600 law enforcement agencies. Could this end privacy as we know it? Learn all the details on CBC.
Predicting the Oscars using Machine Learning
Are the Oscars worth watching if we already know the winners? One data scientist has set out to create a machine learning approach that mimics the Academy's voting system. Read his article on how he configured this system and which film he predicts will win the coveted Best Picture award on Sunday night. With only two days to go, it will be interesting to see whether or not his results were successful.
On the topic of award predictions, it is worth noting Sportspicker AI, which boasts to combine real-time human intelligence with AI algorithms for "amazing accuracy", nailed their Super Bowl LIV prediction last weekend.
Ransomware attacks hit three U.S. law firms in 24 hours
Five U.S. law firms — three of which were affected in 24 hours — have been among the companies and organizations targeted by a new round of ransomware attacks. In two of the cases, a portion of the firms’ stolen data, including client information, has already been posted online for anyone to see. According to Law Sites, the hackers infiltrate systems using emails with malicious attachments. Learn all the details here.
Blackberry manufacturer to stop making and selling handset
Bye bye, Blackberry! Financial Post has reported BlackBerry Ltd. is cutting ties with the Chinese manufacturer that has been selling its mobile phone for the last three years in a move that will take its handsets off the market and potentially bring them one step closer to death. It remains unclear whether BlackBerry will look for another licensee to take on TCL’s responsibilities. Now, only one company in India has a license to sell the phones. While iPhone has surpassed Blackberry sales since 2010, those in the government and business sectors (lawyers especially) may be sorry to see the device — which has always boasted excellent security — finally retire.
Robotic Process Automation to transform legal sector
As one of the longest established professions, the legal sector has previously been resistant to adopt technological change, for cultural, competitive and economic reasons, but the industry is taking steps to catch up. Learn why adopting an ‘automation first’ mindset, whether in-house or outside council, will undoubtedly transform the way the legal sector works in the years to come on Tech Radar.
New California law fights for data rights
According to the Washington Post, Americans can now ask companies to access, delete and stop selling their data thanks to the new California Consumer Privacy Act. As of January 1, 2020, end users across the States can reset their relationships with more than a dozen major businesses (and counting). While this new law only applies to Americans, it's a huge step in a new direction. Time will tell whether Canada will adopt similar laws.
Want to learn more about what's happening to your data? Find out in our recent blog Terms of Service: what are you agreeing to?
Do animals need digital privacy too?
Thanks to the internet, you can watch bears feed, penguins swim, pandas tumble and elephants slurp in real-time. You too, can even set up a live cam to keep an eye on your pets at home. However, it seems the popular discussion surrounding data privacy and consent is now making its way into the Animal Kingdom. A new article from Wired claims even if animals don't know they are being watched or tracked, the data they generate can be used to hurt them.
Phone company broke laws around location sharing
According to CNET, "at least one U.S. phone company" violated federal law in regard to disclosing real-time location data of customers. The Federal Communications Commission started investigating in May 2018 after claims surfaced about carriers selling location data to third parties. The Commission formally wrote a letter to several members of congress stating any violators could face a penalty. No names have yet been released, but it is thought more information from the investigation will be published in the future. Read all the details here.
Yahoo Data Breach
Yahoo famously suffered a number of data breaches from 2012 to 2016 — one of which affected all 3 billion of its users. The company is now informing users that they can submit claims for either credit monitoring or cash compensation as part of a proposed class action lawsuit settlement. The total amount of the settlement fund is $117.5 million, proving that data breaches come at a steep expense. Learn all the details of this developing case on the Verge.