Nine great industry news stories from this week you may have missed.
Why scammers make spelling and grammar mistakes
"Errors" in phishing emails are not mistakes; they are intentionally included by design. Joseph Steinberg, a recognized Cybersecurity and Emerging Technologies Advisor, published the four surprising reasons why typos actually help scammers on his blog. Whether it's because misspelled words have a greater likelihood of getting through spam folders or are more believable to readers, who likely have a subconscious affinity for emails with minor errors, the truth is that these mistakes work. Read all the details here.
How Taiwan used big data, transparency and a central command to protect its people from Coronavirus
Taiwan, which is only 81 miles off the coast of mainland China, was expected to be hit hard by the Coronavirus due to its proximity. Yet it has so far managed to prevent the virus outbreak from heavily impacting its 23 million citizens, despite hundreds of thousands of them working and residing in China. As of Tuesday of this week, there were only 42 cases and one death in Taiwan, far behind China which had more than 80,000 cases and 2,900 fatalities.
What's kept them safe? According to Stanford Health Policy, Taiwan integrated its national health insurance database with its immigration and customs database to begin the creation of big data for analytics. That allowed them case identification by generating real-time alerts during a clinical visit based on travel history and clinical symptoms. People who had not traveled to high-risk areas were sent a health declaration border pass via SMS for faster immigration clearance. Those who had traveled to high-risk areas were quarantined at home and tracked through their mobile phones to ensure that they stayed home during the incubation period (we'll see if this sparks any privacy debates).
Read the full details of how data and digital communication continues to keep their country safe here.
8 things you should know about Internet privacy, facial-recognition
There has been a lot of talk about facial recognition in the previous months. This article explains everything you need to know. What is it? Who does it work on? And, what are Canada's privacy laws regarding its use? Check out the Toronto Star to find all the answers (plus some great GIFs that break the technology down even further).
OPP confirms past use of controversial Clearview AI technology
Speaking of facial-recognition technology, big news broke this week when the OPP confirmed they had used Clearview AI. What makes this so controversial is the fact the tech company was subject to a massive data breach just last week, when its entire client list was stolen. Breach aside, the AI company has raised red flags for allowing the collection of billions of images from public websites and social media sites.
The police force says some officers with units investigating child sexual exploitation, human trafficking, cyber crime as well as the digital forensics division, had accessed “a free online trial version” of the application since December but were later told to discontinue using it.
They're not the only police force whose tried it. The RCMP, along with police in Toronto, Halifax, Hamilton and Edmonton, have said that officers have used or tested the software. Read more here.
Why integrating network technology and security makes sense now
In 2020, devices (not data centers) need to drive cybersecurity. According to Forbes, the transition from "network as a service" to "network security as a service" is now a top concern. The trend, referred to a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), is creating tighter integration between network technology and security. Since its introduction last year, dozens of vendors have claimed that they are already fully SASE compliant, many without understanding the framework in depth. Find out all the details of the emerging architecture here.
For $3, a ‘robot lawyer’ will sue data brokers that don’t delete your personal and location info
As you may know, the new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) requires all California-based companies (i.e., Facebook, Amazon and YouTube) to share and delete individual's data upon request. The catch is that the process for users to obtain their data can be quite long and complex. DoNotPay has come to the rescue by unveiling a service called Digital Health that automates the data-deletion process. Fortune reports, "Priced at $3 a month, the service will contact more than 100 data brokers on your behalf and demand they delete your and your family's personal information. It will also show you the types of data the brokers have collected—such as phone number or location info—and even initiate legal proceedings if the firms fail to comply." Get the full scoop here.
How Facebook uses machine learning to detect fake accounts
In 2019, Facebook took down close to 2 billion fake accounts per quarter. The fake accounts in question are notorious for spreading spam, phishing links and malware. Facebook has released details about the machine-learning like system it uses to tackle the challenge. Learn how their system, Deep Entity Classification, is getting the job done here.
What 2020 means for encryption
The Verge created a comprehensive guide to encryption: what is it, what isn't it, why it's controversial and how it might be changed. Learn how exactly this process of scrambling information so only the intended recipients can decipher it's contents is continuing to involve politics and corporations, and, what major changes are expected to come.
Data breach at SFU affecting personal information
Simon Fraser University sent a letter to faculty, staff, students and retirees saying electronic data of those who joined the university prior to June 2019 was exposed last week. It informed all the recipients they could be at risk of identity theft since student ID numbers, birth dates, full names, course enrollment, email addresses and encrypted passwords were exposed. Each person was advised to change their passwords to the school's accounts. Read the full story.