Many college students likely would covet an internship at Facebook. One Harvard University student landed such an internship. However, he says that the internship offer to him was rescinded by Facebook because he reportedly exposed privacy flaws in Facebook’s mobile messenger. Is that correct or not, and what lesson has been learned?
Harvard student, Aran Khanna, launched a browser application from his dorm room. The app revealed that Facebook Messenger users were able to precisely pinpoint the geographic locations of people with whom they were communicating, as reported by The Guardian. Continue reading Student’s Internship Canceled After Exposing Facebook Privacy Issue
Social media sites host many thousands of photos posted by people on a daily basis. An obvious issue arises as to whether and when these sites might be liable for copyright infringement with respect to any of the posted photos.
A recent case is worthy of consideration.
Kristen Pierson, a professional photographer who has won awards for her work, has filed legal action in California against Twitter, according to Wired, with respect to a copyrighted photo that was shared on Twitter. Continue reading Twitter Faces Copyright Infringement Allegations
The Ashley Madison site declares on its home page that “Life is short. Have an affair.” The home page goes on to state that “Ashley Madison is the world’s leading married dating service for discreet encounters.” The site also boasts “over 38,050,000 anonymous members!” But how anonymous are those members, really?
People engage in all sorts of communications and transactions on the Internet. Generally, they like to believe that their personal information is handled confidentially. For example, if someone buys an item from Amazon, she hopes that her name, credit card information, and address will not be publicly disseminated. Continue reading Adultery Gone Awry on the Internet
Internet service providers (ISPs) like to believe that in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) Congress afforded them broad immunity from any liability potentially caused by third-party content posted on ISP sites. But how secure is that immunity? Let’s explore a few important cases to explore the answer to that question.
Zeran v. America Online, 129 F.3d 327 (4th Cir. 1997), was an early case to address the scope of immunity provided to ISPs by CDA Section 230. In that case, an anonymous poster urged the public to call Kenneth Zeran to buy goods displaying disgusting expressions of celebration of the 1995 Oklahoma City federal building bombing. Continue reading How Much Immunity Is Provided by CDA Section 230?
Selfies — are you a fan or a hater? Either way, selfies may soon not only be personal, but they may also have a business function. Stay with me here.
Yes, there are people who take photos of themselves on their smartphones on practically a constant basis so that we can see them in every life activity imaginable on social media or mobile-friendly blogs. And yes, this can be annoying, even if some of these photos might actually be interesting if we were not otherwise inundated by mundane selfie photos. Continue reading Selfies Going Business Mainstream?
Let’s face it, the Internet can be a scary place from a risk standpoint. Indeed, it seems that on practically a daily basis we hear about a massive security breach and the theft of sensitive and personal data.
So, what are companies to do to mitigate cyber risks? Of course, they should employ the best in class technologies that are designed to block cyber intrusions and attacks. They also should implement and enforce cyber security company-wide policies. Continue reading Mitigating Cyber Risks
We keep hearing about what is going to be “the next big thing.” That concept seems ever-illusive, perhaps because there has been a constant state of “bigness,” if I may call it that, since long before humankind developed the notion of time.
I was fortunate enough last week to participate in the immersive, five-day Big History Institute at Dominican University of California. Scholars from around the country convened to contemplate, share and discuss big history issues, past, present and even future. Continue reading Big Everything
We all know that Facebook is the social networking beast – with approximately 1.4 billion users across the globe. Who doesn’t have a Facebook page? But if that were not enough, Facebook also is becoming an instant-messaging major player.
Indeed, according to CNET, Facebook Messenger already has as many as 700 million monthly users, as reported by CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a recent company annual meeting. Continue reading Facebook A Major Instant-Messaging Player
Many of us feel the need for control – we need to be behind the wheel when in a car. We do not like others to drive us, and when they do, we become the classic backseat drivers – constantly critiquing the technique of whoever is driving besides ourselves.
And then there is the issue of people beyond the wheel in other cars. So many people can be seen screaming in their cars and gesturing angrily at other drivers. This frustration sometimes boils over into true road rage, and unfortunately there have been instances of true violence that have erupted simply because of quarrels about getting cut off in traffic, road speed and other driving issues. Continue reading Self-Driving Cars — Are We Ready?
Perhaps by now you have seen the recent movie, Ex Machina. If you have not, suffice it to say, an Internet coder is drawn into an unusual experiment in which he engages with a true artificial intelligence (AI) being delivered in the form of an attractive female robot. Is this the stuff of science fiction, or is it possible that humans may transform themselves fundamentally based on human design?
Historically speaking, it was not that long ago that Homo sapiens were not the only human species walking the planet. Indeed, Homo sapiens existed contemporaneously with Neanderthals, and there were other human species along the way as well. As we of course know, Homo sapiens are the only currently surviving human species. But is that about to change? By way of our own ability to create and invent, are we about to change Homo sapiens, or at least some Homo sapiens, into yet a new form? Continue reading Artificial Intelligence – The Potential Emergence of New ‘Human Beings’