Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Vocal Defender of Ethics Has Fans — and Foes; New York Times, May 30, 2017

Nicholas Fandos, New York Times; A Vocal Defender of Ethics Has Fans — and Foes

"Ethics have been thrust to the forefront in President Trump’s Washington, where the president’s own vast holdings and those of his asset-rich cabinet and advisers from businesses and lobbying firms have raised many accusations of conflicts of interest...

Rick Thomas, a close friend who helped recruit Mr. Shaub to the agency almost two decades ago, said Mr. Shaub had more or less made his peace with his role, even if it means he may be fired before his term’s end. He recalled that when Mr. Shaub was first weighing whether to speak out in opposition to Mr. Trump’s conflict of interest plan, the director turned to a line from Albus Dumbledore, the sagacious wizard who tutors Harry Potter in the ways of the world.

“Something to the effect that, ‘There will be a time when we must choose between what’s easy and what’s right,’” Mr. Thomas recalled Mr. Shaub saying over the phone.

“Believe me,” he said, “there was a lot of angst over that.”"

Lies vs. B.S.; New York Times, May 31, 2017

David Leonhardt, New York Times; Lies vs. B.S.

"Even if [Donald Trump's lies] are not meant to persuade, they are typically intended to distract people from reality. That is, his untruths about the House’s health care bill aren’t merely intended to distinguish his supporters from his opponents. They are also intended to obscure the reality that the bill would deprive millions of people of health insurance.

His untruths about his tax plan, immigrants, voter fraud, crime and manyother subjects serve a similar purpose. They attempt to create enough confusion about basic facts that Trump’s preferred policies, and his kleptocratic approach to government, can start to sound sensible. In reality, those policies would benefit the affluent (starting with his own family) at the expense of most Americans.

In this way, Trump’s untruths resemble classic lies. They aren’t merely unconcerned with truth. They are opposed to it. A crucial response, insufficient though it may be, is to document the falseness of his statements with simple evidence."

The Bullshitter-in-Chief; Vox, May 30, 2017

Matthew Yglesias, Vox; The Bullshitter-in-Chief

"The common thread of the Trumposphere is that there doesn’t need to be any common thread. One day Comey went soft on Clinton; the next day he was fired for being too hard on her; the day after that, it wasn’t about Clinton at all. The loyalist is just supposed to go along with whatever the line of the day is.

This is the authoritarian spirit in miniature, assembling a party and a movement that is bound to no principles and not even committed to following its own rhetoric from one day to the next. A “terrific” health plan that will “cover everyone” can transform into a bill to slash the Medicaid rolls by 14 million in the blink of an eye and nobody is supposed to notice or care. Anything could happen at any moment, all of it powered by bullshit."

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Canadian privacy threatened by U.S. border searches, watchdog says; The Canadian Press via Toronto Star, May 30, 2017

The Canadian Press via Toronto Star; Canadian privacy threatened by U.S. border searches, watchdog says

"Canadian privacy could be imperilled by apparent U.S. plans to demand cellphone and social media passwords from foreign visitors, a federal watchdog says.

In a letter to the House of Commons public safety committee, privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien warns the recent pronouncements from the Trump administration could mean intrusive searches — even at preclearance facilities in Canada...

In many situations, Therrien says in the letter, “it would appear that Canadians who wish to enter the U.S. will, at preclearance locations in Canada as well as at border points in the U.S., have to face the difficult choice of either accepting a search without grounds or forgoing their wish to travel to the U.S.”"

GLCR concerned for member safety and privacy after smoking bylaw change; Regina Leader-Post, May 30, 2017

Craig Baird, Regina Leader-Post; GLCR concerned for member safety and privacy after smoking bylaw change

"“In the past, and sometimes in very recent times, we have had incidents of eggs being thrown at the patio deck and instances of graffiti,” said Nathan Markwart, president of GLCR. “We have had times when members have been pushed, or subjected to lewd comments or gestures. This is what we want to avoid. We can avoid that through a reasonable exemption.”

Once the smoking bylaw change goes into effect on July 15, members will be required to smoke in the alley, or in the poorly lit parking lot behind the building.

Speaking to council on Monday night, Markwart asked for an exemption in the smoking bylaw to be put in place for patio smoking at the facility to protect the privacy and safety of its members. 

“One of the main concerns, in addition to safety and security, was that of privacy of expression,” Markwart said. “There are members who may not feel comfortable identifying their attendance of the club, and may be struggling with their expression, be that gender expression or sexual orientation.”"

US and Europe have different ideas about data and privacy; Beta News, May 30, 2017

Nigel Tozer, BetaNews; US and Europe have different ideas about data and privacy

"With a recent, but less publicized executive order from President Trump, there are things happening on both sides of the Atlantic with regard to personal data, and it looks like the US and the EU have very different ideas about which direction to take...

Much of this you might not care about, but personal medical records, mental health, legal records, finance etc. or other areas probably cross the line for you, it's personal after all. The trouble is, the lines between what's shared and what’s kept truly private are blurring.
Some camps think that the pendulum has swung too far in favor of business, and that there should be a rebalancing with more power handed back to the individual.  While this view can be found in the US as well, it's the EU that has chosen to legislate to protect its citizens. This comes in the form of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force in May 2018."

‘Hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment,’ Portland mayor says. He’s wrong.; Washington Post, May 30, 2017

Kristine Phillips, Washington Post; ‘Hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment,’ Portland mayor says. He’s wrong.

"Although the organizers of the rallies have a constitutional right to speak, “hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment,” Wheeler told reporters.

But history and precedent are not on Wheeler's side.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that hate speech, no matter how bigoted or offensive, is free speech.

Although certain forms of speech are not protected by the First Amendment, hate speech isn't one of them, Eugene Volokh, a law professor and free speech expert, wrote last month. For it to be banned, experts say, it must rise to the level of threat or harassment."

As Computer Coding Classes Swell, So Does Cheating; New York Times, May 29, 2017

Jess Bidgood and Jeremy B. Merrill, New York Times; 

As Computer Coding Classes Swell, So Does Cheating

"In interviews, professors and students said the causes were not hard to pin down.

To some students drawn to the classes, coding does not come easily. The coursework can be time-consuming. Troves of code online, on sites like GitHub, may have answers to the very assignment the student is wrestling with, posted by someone who previously took the course.

“You’ve got kids who were struggling with spending a third of their time on their problem sets with the option to copy from the internet,” said Jackson Wagner, who took the Harvard course in 2015 and was not accused of copying. “That’s the reason why people cheat.”

Complicating matters is the collaborative ethos among programmers, which encourages code-sharing in ways that might not be acceptable in a class. Professors also frequently allow students to discuss problems among themselves, but not to share actual code, a policy that some students say creates confusion about what constitutes cheating."

The Coat of Arms Said ‘Integrity.’ Now It Says ‘Trump.’; New York Times, May 28, 2017

Danny Hakim, New York Times; 

The Coat of Arms Said ‘Integrity.’ Now It Says ‘Trump.’

In the United States, the Trump Organization took Mr. Davies’s coat of arms for its own, making one small adjustment — replacing the word “Integritas,” Latin for integrity, with “Trump.”

Joseph D. Tydings, a Democrat and former United States senator from Maryland who is the grandson of Mr. Davies, learned that Mr. Trump was using the emblem, at least at Mar-a-Lago, when he visited the property. Mr. Trump had never asked permission...

The organization has trademarked the Davies coat of arms in the United States, which has far less attachment to such symbols. It is used on the company’s website and is a prominent branding detail of Mr. Trump’s many American golf courses and resorts — emblazoned on golf balls, shirts and bottles of body lotion.

When the Trump Organization created a Civil War memorial at the golf course near Washington commemorating a battle and a “river of blood” that never occurred, a plaque marking the fictitious event was embossed with the coat of arms."

How Congress dismantled federal Internet privacy rules; Washington Post, May 30, 2017

Kimberly Kindy, Washington Post; How Congress dismantled federal Internet privacy rules

"When Senate Republicans passed the bill the following day on a narrow party-line vote, the issue finally exploded across the Internet and in mainstream, liberal and conservative media.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

'No grey areas': experts urge Facebook to change moderation policies; Guardian, May 22, 2017

Jamie Grierson, Guardian; 

'No grey areas': experts urge Facebook to change moderation policies

"Facebook’s ethical standards should not be decided “behind closed doors”, the former chair of an influential parliamentary committee has said after the Guardian revealed the social media giant’s secret rules for moderating extreme content.

Yvette Cooper, chair of the home affairs select committee before parliament was dissolved for the upcoming election, said the files – used by Facebook to moderate violence, hate speech, terrorism, pornography, racism and self-harm – underlined a need for more transparency.

A report from the cross-party committee last month concluded social media companies, including Facebook, should face fines of tens of millions of pounds for failing to remove extremist and hate-crime material."

Revealed: Facebook's internal rulebook on sex, terrorism and violence; Guardian, May 21, 2017

Nick Hopkins, Guardian; 

Revealed: Facebook's internal rulebook on sex, terrorism and violence

"Facebook’s secret rules and guidelines for deciding what its 2 billion users can post on the site are revealed for the first time in a Guardian investigation that will fuel the global debate about the role and ethics of the social media giant.

The Guardian has seen more than 100 internal training manuals, spreadsheets and flowcharts that give unprecedented insight into the blueprints Facebook has used to moderate issues such as violence, hate speech, terrorism, pornography, racism and self-harm...

The Facebook Files give the first view of the codes and rules formulated by the site, which is under huge political pressure in Europe and the US."

Python Meets Plato: Why Stanford Should Require Computer Science Students to Study Ethics; Stanford Review, May 15, 2017

Antigone Xenopoulos , Stanford Review; Python Meets Plato: Why Stanford Should Require Computer Science Students to Study Ethics

"Ethical questions inevitably arise with innovation. But they are often an afterthought. Simplistic justifications can often replace serious ethical consideration. For example, when the tension between privacy and security is perceived as zero-sum, privacy often takes the backseat. With clients demanding quick turnaround, and engineers often lacking a profound understanding of civil liberty concerns, privacy often falls through the cracks. While software requires us to consider both privacy and security, the two issues are still perceived as mutually exclusive. Take the Apple v. FBI fight last year, for example. To whom did Apple owe its allegiance? Its clientele, the government, or itself? Should the firm have prioritized national security or consumer privacy?
Schools like Stanford should work to change this mindset by including an ethical requirement for engineering degrees. Stanford should require Computer Science majors to take a course on computer and information ethics...

Engineers aim to improve the human condition and improve people’s livelihoods. If computer scientists do not consider the moral consequences of their inventions, they will always fall short of achieving this goal. Neither technology nor innovation exist in a bubble. Stanford ought to require computer scientists to study computer and information ethics. Giving students the tools to create harm, without giving them the tools to understand it, is itself unethical."

The Rise and Fall of Yik Yak, the Anonymous Messaging App; New York Times, May 27, 2017

Valeriya Safronova, New York Times; The Rise and Fall of Yik Yak, the Anonymous Messaging App

"At the end of that year, Mr. Droll and Mr. Buffington laid off 60 percent of their employees, and last month, they shut down the operation, selling off intellectual property and employee contracts to Square Inc., a mobile payment company, for $1 million. A few months earlier, Hive, a college-based chat app with a similar color scheme to Yik Yak’s, popped up in the iTunes and Google Play stores, with Mr. Buffington in one of the screenshots. Whether it was an attempt at reinvention under the Yik Yak umbrella or a side project is unclear, but it is no longer available...

Morgan Hines, who will start her fourth year at Northeastern University in Boston this fall, never encountered nastiness on Yik Yak. “I thought it was funny,” she said. “It formed a lot of camaraderie between students. There would be random shout-outs to things happening on campus, like people who are attractive or being annoying in the library, or a fire alarm going off at 4 a.m.”

But Ms. Hines criticized Yik Yak’s hyper-localization. “Yik Yak was for pockets of people on campus,” she said. “If the fire alarm went off at 4 a.m., it only went off at your building, so no one else will give it a thumbs-up.”

That hyper-localization is also what made the cases of harassment particularly galling. Ms. Musick, one of the plaintiffs, said, “With Yik Yak, in the back of your mind, you know they’re not from around the world or other parts of the state, they’re right there in your classroom, in your dining hall. On a campus with 4,500 students, that’s a pretty small group of people. This isn’t some creepy guy in his mom’s basement in Indiana.”"

Amazon's first New York bookstore blends tradition with technology; Guardian, May 26, 2017

Tom McCarthy, Guardian; 

Amazon's first New York bookstore blends tradition with technology

"Also unique here: the section called “Page turners: books Kindle readers finish in three days or less”. Amazon can track how quickly people who purchase books on Kindle read them, a company spokesperson explained, without explaining how."

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Acts of kindness inspire in Manchester; Washington Post, May 25, 2017

[Video] Elyse Samuels, Washington Post; Acts of Kindness Inspire in Manchester

"After a deadly terrorist attack in Manchester, England, on May 23, city residents came together to care for one another and pay tribute to victims of the bombing."

Something is not right; Washington Post, May 26, 2017

Ruth Marcus, Washington Post; Something is not right

"In the middle of one night

Miss Clavel turned on the light
And said, “Something is not right!”
— “Madeline,” by Ludwig Bemelmans, 1939...
Something is really not right when all this is done to help pay for trillions of dollars in tax cuts for the richest Americans. When it is built on an edifice of fairy-tale growth projections exacerbated by fraudulent accounting, double-counting savings from this supposed growth.
We are all Miss Clavel now, or should be."

Episode 774: Unspeakable Trademark; NPR, Planet Money, May 26, 2017

[Podcast] Jacob Goldstein, Ailsa Chang, NPR, Planet Money; 

Episode 774: Unspeakable Trademark

"Warning: This episode has explicit language, for unavoidable and soon-to-be obvious reasons...

Today on the show, a fight over a band name that turns into a fight about free speech. It goes all the way to the Supreme Court."

White House Backs Down on Keeping Ethics Waivers Secret; New York Times, May 26, 2017

Eric Lipton, New York Times; 

White House Backs Down on Keeping Ethics Waivers Secret

"“It’s a victory for checks and balances, the rule of law and the independent oversight of the Office of Government Ethics, and the news media,” Mr. Eisen said. ”With any bully, when you punch them in the nose, they back down.”...

Former senior officials with the Office of Government Ethics said that in the 39-year history of the agency, which was created in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, they could not remember an instance in which the White House had similarly tried to block, or even to discourage, an effort to collect ethics compliance data."

Ethics, Quants and Cold-Calling; Bloomberg, May 25, 2017

Matt Levine, Bloomberg; 

Ethics, Quants and Cold-Calling

I used to be a lawyer, and lawyers have a code of ethics. Now I am a journalist, and journalists have a code of ethics. One thing that strikes me about these codes is that they are opposites. Oversimplifying massively, the basic rule for a lawyer is that your obligations are to your client, and you have to act in her best interests, even if that is against the interests of accuracy; legal ethics is then mostly a set of exceptions to this principle. Oversimplifying massively, the basic rule for a journalist is that your obligations are to the public, and you should be accurate even if that is against the interests of the people you talk to; journalistic ethics is then mostly a set of exceptions to this principle. In both cases the exceptions are huge and important: You're not supposed to lie to the public as a lawyer, or mislead your sources as a journalist, etc; none of this is meant to be any sort of ethical advice. But if someone says to you "oh yeah I murdered someone," as a lawyer, your baseline expected response would be not to tell anyone; as a journalist, your baseline expected response would be to tell everyone.
Obviously these opposite rules make sense in their respective contexts; the role of a lawyer is different from that of a journalist, and each profession's ethics are well adapted to doing their jobs usefully. Still it is weird to think of them as "ethics." They are both functional systems adapted to the work of their professions, not absolute moral-ethical rules handed down by a higher power. Keeping a murderer's secret is not absolutely ethical for humans, and disclosing that secret is not absolutely ethical for humans; each is ethical or unethical depending on its social context."

The U.K. Pleads with Congress to Change an Outdated Privacy Law to Help Fight Terrorism; MIT Technology Review, May 26, 2017

Mike Orcutt, MIT Technology Review; 

The U.K. Pleads with Congress to Change an Outdated Privacy Law to Help Fight Terrorism

"[Paddy] McGuinness pleaded with Congress to make a “technical adjustment” to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), which among other things prohibits U.S. technology companies from disclosing stored communications to foreign governments. Instead, foreign law enforcement officials must request that data via the time-consuming Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty process, which can take months.

McGuinness said that since many criminals in the U.K. communicate using products and services made by U.S. companies, this “arbitrary” legal hurdle is causing crimes to go unsolved and criminals unpunished (see “Why Congress Can’t Seem to Fix This 30-Year-Old Law Governing Your Electronic Data”).

Colm Tóibín Knows You’re Secretly Weak; Daily Beast, May 27, 2017

William O'Connor, Daily Beast; 
Colm Tóibín Knows You’re Secretly Weak

"For Tóibín, “weakness is really something we need to know about.” Fresh on the author’s mind is something that just happened in the news. “I saw the other day with the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, there’s something he clearly should do. I mean he was clearly set up, and he really had to take some action. We’re constantly living with events where somebody should do something and we can watch them deciding not to do it.”

So for Agamemnon, clearly he should have put a stop to the sacrifice of his daughter. “In the case of Clytemnestra, it’s that once she begins, she cannot stop. She will commit the most appalling atrocities,” he explains. But, “the one that matters most is Orestes. What I wanted to suggest is that in us all is Orestes.”

“If any of us talk about how we’re good people, or that under pressure we’d know exactly what to do, I’m not sure about that. And we all need to know that,” he says firmly. “All I’m trying to do is dramatize the gap between what we think we are and what we might become under certain pressures.”"

Friday, May 26, 2017

Is Privacy Still a Big Deal Today?; Knowledge@Wharton, May 25, 2017

Kartik Hosanagar, and Tai Bendit, Knowledge@Wharton; 

Is Privacy Still a Big Deal Today?

"Americans value their privacy, but they are also resigned to giving up their personal data in order to transact with a company. Is there a better way for both sides to get what they want? This opinion piece by Kartik Hosanagar (@khosanagar) and Tai Bendit examines that question. Hosanagar is a professor of technology and digital business at Wharton. He was previously a cofounder of online marketing firm Yodle Inc. Bendit is a senior at Wharton studying economics with a concentration in operations, information, and decisions. He is joining LinkedIn as a business strategy and analytics analyst.

A version of this article was previously published on LinkedIn."

A week that reveals how rotten today’s Republican Party is; Washington Post, May 26, 2017

Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post; A week that reveals how rotten today’s Republican Party is

"This is the state of the GOP — a refuge for intellectual frauds and bullies, for mean-spirited hypocrites who preach personal responsibility yet excuse the inexcusable.

Conventional wisdom says that Trump executed a hostile takeover of the GOP. What we have seen this week suggests a friendly merger has taken place. Talk radio hosts have been spouting misogyny and anti-immigrant hysteria for years; Trump is their ideal leader, not merely a flawed vehicle for their views. Fox News has been dabbling in conspiracy theories (e.g. birtherism, climate-change denial) for decades; now Republicans practice intellectual nihilism...

The country needs two parties and benefits from the ideas associated with classical liberalism (small “l”) — the rule of law (over the law of the jungle), respect for the dignity of every individual, prosperity-creating free markets (including trade), values-based foreign policy. The Republican Party no longer embodies those ideals; it undermines them in words and in deeds. It now advances ideas and celebrates behavior antithetical to democracy and simple human decency. Center-right Americans, we have become convinced, must look elsewhere for a political home."

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Trump scandal that has nothing to do with Russia; Washington Post, May 24, 2017

E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post; The Trump scandal that has nothing to do with Russia

"And it is worth noting, as Ronald Brownstein did in the Atlantic, that in the five Rust Belt states that swung from Barack Obama to Trump, whites without a four-year college degree — the heart of the Trump constituency — “constitute most of those receiving assistance” from food stamps and the parts of Social Security that Trump would also slash. If Trump really wants people to go to work, how does he think taking money away from job training and college assistance will ease their path to self-sufficiency?

Martin Wolf, the Financial Times columnist, captured Trump’s ideology with precision when he called it “pluto-populism.” It involves “policies that benefit plutocrats, justified by populist rhetoric.”"

The White House’s Aversion to Ethical Scrutiny; New York Times, May 25, 2017

Editorial Board, New York Times; 

The White House’s Aversion to Ethical Scrutiny

"Mr. Trump’s own Justice Department disagreed, saying on Tuesday that its ethics experts “determined that Mr. Mueller’s participation in the matters assigned to him is appropriate.” Mr. Mueller did not represent Mr. Kushner nor Mr. Manafort while at WilmerHale, a firm that employs 300 lawyers in Washington and 1,200 globally. Nor was Mr. Mueller privy to any confidential information about their cases, a state of affairs that satisfies both District of Columbia and federal rules.

Why would White House lawyers pursue such a baseless line of attack? “They’re trying to use the ethics rules to fire a special prosecutor,” Richard Painter, chief ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush White House, said. “That’s insane.” If the Bush administration had told him to concoct legal justifications for evading ethics rules and legal inquiries in this way, Mr. Painter said, “I’d have quit.”"

The investigation of Jared Kushner fits a very troubling pattern; Washington Post, May 25, 2017

Aaron Blake, Washington Post; The investigation of Jared Kushner fits a very troubling pattern

"Former Obama administration ethics counsel Norman L. Eisen was among those criticizing that move. And here's what Eisen said back in December, when Kushner's potential role in the Trump White House first made news:

The problem with it is it sends a message that if you want to have influence in the administration, do it through the kids. And there’s a tradition. This is not the first time this has happened. I’m just shocked it’s happened in the United States.

It's possible that Kushner's familial relationship with Trump is part of the reason he's been subjected to more scrutiny than any other White House adviser in this probe. And as emphasized above, we have no idea what will come of this.

But if scrutiny of Kushner becomes more intense and there appears to be some validity to it, it will reinforce a central reason why ethics experts say these kinds of arrangements are to be avoided in the first place.

Target to Pay $18.5M to States Over Data Breach; Inside Counsel, May 24, 2017

P.J. D'Annunuzio, Inside Counsel; 

Target to Pay $18.5M to States Over Data Breach

"Deterrence was a major theme brought up by many of the attorneys general who released statements about the agreement.

The $18.5 million settlement with the states, coupled with the $10 million consumer class action settlement approved last week, may seem like a drop in the bucket for a retail juggernaut like Target, but according to Lambiras, the deterrent effect lies in the residual legal and public relations costs companies incur following a data breach.

In a statement Tuesday, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said the settlement should serve as a wake-up call to companies to tighten their data security. He also gave kudos to Target for working with authorities after the breach."

Obama chief data scientist: Trumpcare health plan would ‘cripple’ precision medicine; FedScoop, May 24, 2017

Billy Mitchell, FedScoop; Obama chief data scientist: Trumpcare health plan would ‘cripple’ precision medicine

"DJ Patil, U.S. chief data scientist in the latter years of Barack Obama’s presidency, wrote on Medium that Trumpcare, as the AHCA is nicknamed, would threaten the country’s ability to leverage data to advance medical science, particularly in the fight against major diseases like cancer. The White House’s proposal would allow insurance companies to deny coverage or charge more when people have preexisting medical conditions. That provision could make people less willing to share important information about themselves with researchers, Patil says, because of fear it could be used against them later.

“[M]y deep fear is that people won’t be willing to donate their data. And there are too many people who have diseases that need us to donate our data to help,” Patil writes.

At the center of the Precision Medicine Initiative introduced under Obama is the “responsible collection of large amounts of data to be able to develop truly customized medical treatments for each patient,” Patil explains. The Trump legislation essentially threatens that project."

One Year Until EU Privacy Regime Change: Prep Time is Now; Bloomberg BNA, May 25, 2017

Jimmy H. Koo and Daniel R. StollerBloomberg BNA; One Year Until EU Privacy Regime Change: Prep Time Is Now

"Companies should start preparing for the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which takes effect May 25, 2018, privacy attorneys said. But regardless of how much they prepare, full compliance with the GDPR is an elusive goal, attorneys said...

The GDPR, which takes effect May 25, 2018, provides one EU-wide regulation to replace a more than 20-year-old directive that required each country to pass its own privacy laws. The GDPR will bring stricter standards for user consent to the use of their personal data, mandatory data breach notification, and fines as high as $20 million euros ($22.4 million) or 4 percent of a company’s annual worldwide income, among other things...

The GDPR “at its core is about information governance,” Clarissa Horowitz, vice president of communications at Mountain View, Calif.-based software company MobileIron Inc., told Bloomberg BNA."

Fox News crew ‘watched in disbelief’ as Montana’s Greg Gianforte ‘slammed’ and ‘began punching’ reporter; Washington Post, May 25, 2017

Fred Barbash, Washington Post; Fox News crew ‘watched in disbelief’ as Montana’s Greg Gianforte ‘slammed’ and ‘began punching’ reporter

"The Gazette referenced an incident at a campaign event in which a Gianforte took questions from the audience, including a man who said:
“Our biggest enemy is the news media. How can we rein in the news media?”
The man then looked at the Ravalli Republic reporter sitting next to him and raised his hands as if he would like to wring his neck.
Gianforte smiled and pointed at the reporter.
“We have someone right here,” the candidate said. “It seems like there is more of us than there is of him.”
That and “other questionable interactions Gianforte had with reporters … must now be seen through a much more sinister lens,” the Gazette said. “What he passed off as a joke at the time now becomes much more serious.”
The Gianforte campaign, it added, “should be appalled” by its statement “that would seem to justify the fight when it said the Bozeman Republican had tussled with a ‘liberal journalist.’ How would the campaign have known the reporter’s political beliefs? And, is it suggesting that it’s acceptable to put your hands on a reporter if you believe their political views are different from yours?”
The Society of Professional Journalists denounced the alleged assault, saying “it is never acceptable to physically harm or arrest a journalist who is simply trying to do his or her job.”"

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Stanford scholars, researchers discuss key ethical questions self-driving cars present; Stanford News, May 22, 2017

Alex Shashkevich, Stanford News; 

Stanford scholars, researchers discuss key ethical questions self-driving cars present

"Trolley problem debated
A common argument on behalf of autonomous cars is that they will decrease traffic accidents and thereby increase human welfare. Even if true, deep questions remain about how car companies or public policy will engineer for safety.
“Everyone is saying how driverless cars will take the problematic human out of the equation,” said Taylor, a professor of philosophy. “But we think of humans as moral decision-makers. Can artificial intelligence actually replace our capacities as moral agents?”
That question leads to the “trolley problem,” a popular thought experiment ethicists have mulled over for about 50 years, which can be applied to driverless cars and morality.
In the experiment, one imagines a runaway trolley speeding down a track which has five people tied to it. You can pull a lever to switch the trolley to another track, which has only one person tied to it. Would you sacrifice the one person to save the other five, or would you do nothing and let the trolley kill the five people?
Engineers of autonomous cars will now have to tackle this question and other, more complicated scenarios, said Taylor and Rob Reich, the director of Stanford’s McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society."