rDigital News: CSEC surveillance, the “right to be forgotten” and more

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They say that the internet never forgets. Whether it is national security agencies keeping a bank of your online activity or your all-encompassing Google search results, the internet has redefined how we think about and guard our personal privacy.

And this week’s news once again posed that question. 

Here are the biggest stories from this week in tech:

Keeping an eye on Canadians online

Last week, Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian raised serious concerns about the potential expansion of online surveillance included in anti-cyberbullying legislation Bill C-13.

This week, the Canadian Press revealed that the Canadians may already be subject to more surveillance than they may think. According to the story published Wednesday, the electronic spy agency CSEC says that collecting and banking Canadian’s online data, such as names and email addresses, is necessary in order to monitor global communications.

Click here for the full breakdown on what is being monitored, where the information is being stored, what it is being used for and different perspectives on what this means for online privacy in Canada.

google-76522_640The “right to be forgotten” proves popular

After much debate, the European Court of Justice ruled earlier this month that EU citizens have the “right to be forgotten” online. This landmark privacy ruling means that people can request to have links and certain damaging search results removed from Google.

This week, Google launched an online form to help handle the requests from patrons wishing to be forgotten online and in less than 48 hours, the search engine received 12,000 requests according to a Reuters report.

But given the global community of online sharing, can you ever really permanently delete your online history? 

For more on Google’s response to the ruling, also check out this report from ars technica discussing the finer points of the process of being forgotten.

Merging man with machine

“For Ito, the next great engineering platform will be living matter itself.”

Joi Ito is the director of the MIT Media Lab and spoke recently about what the future may hold for man and machine at O’Reilly’s Solid Conference, giving examples that range from Google’s self-driving car to his recent work with hybrid biological-electrical devices.


But, as pointed out by Wired magazine, Ito is not naive to the risks posed by these potentially revolutionary new technologies. “You get the promise of immortality together with the biohacker script kiddie extinction event,” he says.




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