By Joseph Marks
Photo by NACHO GALLEGO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (10611449a) A worker, with a protective mask, looks at his mobile phone as he is on board a bus to go to work.
As federal and state officials scramble to fight the novel
Other nations, including South Korea and Israel, have used tracking
“My concern is that out of
Yet one big concern is the virus could lead policymakers to rush headlong into adopting new digital surveillance regimes that don’t get rolled back once the pandemic is under control.
Officials could also adopt tracking tools that are later re-purposed for other things, similar to how post-9/11 surveillance and investigatory powers aimed at combating terrorism were later used to stem drug trafficking and other crimes. Tools that trace who has been in contact with people who test positive for the virus, for example, ultimately could end up being used by law enforcement to track criminals and their associates.
“Mission creep is always a concern because historically we’ve seen it happen,” Jennifer Granick, surveillance and
During a Senate Commerce Committee hearing last week, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), whose state is among the hardest hit by the virus, urged the government to “resist hasty decisions that will sweep up massive, unrelated data sets” and to “guard against vaguely defined and non-transparent government initiatives with our personal data. Because rights and data surrendered temporarily during an emergency can become very difficult to get back.”
The meeting was conducted as a “paper hearing” with lawmakers and witnesses digitally submitting opening statements and questions and answers but not meeting in person.
Though there’s been a lot of talk about leveraging technology to combat the pandemic, there are few hard plans inside the United States so far.
The joint venture between Google and Apple, which could launch as soon as mid-May, includes protections to anonymize user data and would rely on people voluntarily downloading apps that participate in the program and reporting when they test positive.
Google is also using its trove of location data across 131 countries to share
Those privacy and security protections may also make any contact tracing technology less effective, though. For example, the apps probably wouldn’t distinguish between people who passed an infected person on the street and those who spent day after day next to him at the office, Greg Nojeim, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology noted during a panel discussion on
Some tech and security experts also warned information collected by the apps could be used to discriminate against people based on their infection status.
Here’s Sergio Caltagirone, a former National Security Agency official, who’s now vice president for threat intelligence at the
This will ABSOLUTELY be used to discriminate against people as— Sergio Caltagirone (@cnoanalysis) April 10, 2020
fearof coronaviruswill rise as we leave large-scale quarantine. Some people will not be allowed in certain places. Some people may not be allowed to return to work.
For example, U.S.
“We need to be responsive to this crisis now, but we also need to be thinking about how this data will be used in the future,” she said. “Once this data is collected the only thing that really constrains how it’s used are laws and policies.”
Politico also reported last week that a
Note to Readers: The Cybersecurity 202 will just be publishing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week. We’ll be back to our regular schedule next week.
Former first lady Michelle Obama speaks at a rally to encourage voter registration in Las Vegas.
It's the first time the celebrity-fueled organization, whose co-chairs include Tom Hanks and Selena Gomez, has endorsed federal legislation. And it could give a Hollywood-fueled boost to Democrats' efforts to ensure expanded voting options amid the pandemic.
The bill, the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act, would also mandate more early voting days and enhanced protections for in-person voting during the pandemic.
Unless the bill is passed, "millions of Americans will be forced to choose between their health and their right to vote come November," sponsors Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) wrote in an opinion piece for USA Today.
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper.
Among the problems, officials aren't regularly updating Pentagon leadership on
The report recommends dramatically ramping up
The questionable feature would allow hackers who know the unique web address used by third-party apps that connect to an organization’s Slack network to con workers there into downloading what looks like a verified Slack app but that will actually siphon off the organization's data.
The report comes amid a boom in hacking that targets work messaging as offices resort to
AT&T researchers are urging companies that use Slack to require authentication for any outside app and limit users who can download them to people with technical training.
Slack said it blocks people outside an organization from viewing those unique URLs on its own site and does its best to remove them from sites like GitHub so hackers can’t find and exploit them.