Happy New Year and welcome back! Here are nine great industry news stories from the holiday break you may have missed.
2020: The Year the Office Finds Its Voice?
"Computer, pull up my last document and print it, double-sided on legal-sized paper." If you said this out loud right now you'd probably look silly, but that might not be the case for long. According to Computer World, voice-based AI assistants could soon be as common in the workplace as they are on our personal devices. Initially, these technologies are expected to address simple tasks, but this will lay the groundwork for increasingly complex workflows. Experts believe that AI assistants could help boost employee productivity and create a digital experience in the office that mirrors what we're using at home. Get all the details of the story here.
AI Detects Breast Cancer
It's rare that a week goes by where we don't have a story on AI to share. This week's story is especially groundbreaking. Earlier this week, the medical and tech communities saw a major development as a Google artificial intelligence system was proven to be as good as expert radiologists at detecting which women had breast cancer based on screening mammograms. In fact, the system beat six radiologists. What's more, the AI system also reduced the number of false positive results by 5.7 per cent in the U.S.-based sample group. Learn all the details via CBC.
Twitter Best-Practices for Lawyers
Canadian Lawyer Magazine reports that social media is becoming more than a useful networking tool for lawyers — it's becoming a job requirement. However, many who are new to the world of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are finding that achieving the right balance between being personable and professional on social media can be a challenge. In their latest article, Lawyers Share Twitter Best-Practices, two industry-leading lawyers discuss how you can authentically be yourself while providing a professional persona. Learn their thoughts on what it takes to engage and educate your audience online here.
LifeLabs may Face Class Action Lawsuit Over Data Breach
A proposed class-action lawsuit has been filed against medical services company LifeLabs over a data breach that allowed hackers to access the personal information of up to 15 million B.C. and Ontario customers. A claim has been filed by five individuals who are hoping to represent all Canadians who were affected. In short, LifeLabs allegedly failed to:
- Implement adequate cyber-security measures
- Hire or train personnel responsible for network security management
- Store information on a secure network
- Encrypt the sensitive data
The compromised database included health card numbers, names, email addresses, logins, passwords and dates of birth, but it was unclear how many files were accessed. See The Globe and Mail's recent article for full details on the case.
The Top Legal Stories of the Decade
Which bar exam prep course is the best? Which firms have announced raises and bonuses? What's the best gift to get for the attorney in your life? Lucky for us, Above the Law has posted some great content to keep us in the loop over the past decade. They even created a pictorial walk through on how to use Excel for law firm billing. The questions above are just a few of the top-ranked blog topics of the year, but you can see the full list of stories here.
"Every minute of every day, everywhere on the planet, dozens of companies — largely unregulated, little scrutinized — are logging the movements of tens of millions of people with mobile phones and storing the information in gigantic data files."
If this opening line of the New York Time's recent article doesn't concern you, it's worth clicking through to see the graphics that illustrate the claim. Anything from weather to coupon saver apps could be sharing where you are. In Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy, the authors expose what exactly is being collected and sold on our phones by the location tracking industry.
Exposed Databases are as bad as Data Breaches
2019 was quite the year for data breaches. According to CNET:
- 80 million U.S. households' names, addresses and demographic data was revealed
- More than a million job seekers' expected salaries were leaked
- And, thousands of Facebook passwords were uncovered
The worst part? None of these breaches were exposed by expert hackers. Rather, the data was left sitting on the internet by error. Whether a database manager pressed the wrong button and left your most intimate information sitting on the wrong cloud server or a third-party company stored information incorrectly, these leaks were a result of negligence. Learn how moving to the cloud is solving the problem and tips on how to stay protected here.
The Worst Passwords of 2019
As frustrating as it may be having to create a password that includes an uppercase, lowercase, number and symbol, it's for good reason. SplashData has released its annual list of the most commonly-used passwords across the world. The report shows that old security habits really do die hard. Perhaps the most surprising finding was that "password", for the first time ever, has been knocked out of the top two spots, being replaced by the painfully simple "123456" and "123456789". "qwerty", "iloveyou" and "111111" continue to be top contenders.
Five Tech Stories to Watch in 2020
Now that you're all caught up on the latest legal tech news, here are five more headlines to keep tabs on in the New Year. From privacy laws to political misinformation, there's sure to be lots more stories to come this year.