Government surveillance may have dominated recent headlines, but this week, a new security threat emerged hitting at the heart of online privacy issues. News of the Heartbleed bug dominated this week, while other headlines took a look at how our digital lives are fusing with our real lives, as well as the potential possibilities and consequences of this merger.
Here are the biggest stories from this week in rDigital News:
The Internet recovers from Heartbleed
This week’s headlines were dominated by alarming news of Heartbleed, a ‘catastrophic’ Internet bug that exposed user’s personal information to hackers for the past two years. The bug “allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users,” according to it’s official site.
It is estimated that around half a million sites have been affected—such as social networks like Facebook, dating sites like OkCupid, and online shopping sites such as Amazon. To help users decipher what exactly this bug meant to their online safety, Mashable compiled a list of sites that were affected and what action users should take and a security firm set up a Heartbleed test, where users can investigate specific URLs.
In response to this online security threat, the Canadian government shut down its online tax-filing service on Tuesday and later opted to shut down other government sites thought to be vulnerable to the bug. Canadian tax services went back online on Sunday.
While governments and web leaders are working to recover from this newly discovered threat, the Heartbleed bug brings up concerns about privacy in our digital age and the need for online security.
In a world where we increasingly share information online, how safe is our personal data?
For more on the Heartbleed virus, check out these top stories:
- Heartbleed developer explains OpenSSL mistake that put Web at risk – Ars Technica
- Heartbleed Sheds Light on NSA’s Use of Bugs – The Wall Street Journal
- Has the NSA Been Using the Heartbleed Bug as an Internet Peephole? – Wired
- Heartbleed a reminder of need for strong security practices: Bitcoin community – IT Business
- How Heartbleed Broke the Internet — And Why It Can Happen Again – Wired
- For more on online security issues, check out our series with the Walrus Magazine, Privacy in a Digital Age
Google Glass in the operating room
While the Internet attempts to recover from Heartbleed, interactive technology is creating new opportunities for healing such as the increasing use of Google Glass by surgeons. According to a recent article on CBC, this technology gives surgeons the ability to record surgeries, access medical records hands-free in the operating room, and even communicate with other professionals during procedures.
As Google Glass finds applications in different areas of business, law, medicine and more, professionals seem to be excited about the prospect of constant connectivity. But, the Globe and Mail asks, are you cool with your surgeon wearing Google Glass?
Merging man and machine
“It’s time to come to grips with what it means to be human in a digital environment,” he says.
In his latest article for Mashable, Havens shares his thoughts on a future where tech is an intrinsic part of our lives including what we can gain and what we stand to lose.
For more from John Havens, check out his “H(app)y” interview here: