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Is Facial Recognition Fair to All Students?

Recent research has shown that facial recognition technology is more likely to misidentify African Americans and Asian Americans, a finding that is continuing to raise questions about using the technology in K-12 schools. In a blog post, Sarah St. Vincent, director of Cornell Tech's Computer Security Clinic, shares 10 questions school leaders and parents should ask before adopting the technology, including how accurate the system is, particularly for women and people of color.

Data Breaches Lead to Scam Phone Calls

Have you been getting a lot of spam calls on your mobile phone recently? One study shows that nearly half of all calls to mobile phones are fraudulent, and scams are getting more sophisticated. Call-protection company First Orion says that hacker breaches of major consumer-oriented businesses, such as retailers, give scammers data such as names, phone numbers and more that they can use to impersonate brands or charities in phone calls or emails to consumers.

Online Tutoring Firms Take Steps To Curb Abuse

According to a recent article from Edsurge, at least two online tutoring companies are taking steps to protect students following reports that educators have witnessed students being abused by parents or others during lessons. Qkids has launched a tool to help teachers report unsafe activity they witness during lessons, and VIPKid has added educational videos for parents and others on appropriate discipline.

Understanding the Implications of the New California Consumer Privacy Law

A new law in California taking effect on January 1, 2020 will give Californians the right to see, delete and stop the sale of the personal information that companies have compiled about them. The California Consumer Privacy Act applies to businesses operating in California that collect personal information for commercial purposes and meet certain condition – such as collecting the data of more than 50,000 people. This covers scores of tech companies, app developers, websites, mobile service providers, streaming TV services and even includes brick and mortar retailers like drug stores and other small businesses. The effort could have national implications as well – some companies including Microsoft have said they will honor the data rights in the California law for consumers nationwide.

Watch Out for Virtual Drive-Bys

The FBI is warning that unsecured smart digital devices, such as refrigerators and baby monitors, can be used by hackers "to do a virtual drive-by of your digital life." Homeowners should consider running separate networks for smart TVs and smart home appliances ,while keeping devices that store sensitive personal information, such as a laptop, on another network.

Twitter Offers More Ways to Get Control of Responses to Your Tweets

Annoyed by a response to one of your tweets? Twitter is rolling out a feature that enables users to hide replies. Twitter's Suzanne Xie says that during testing, users usually hid replies because they found them "irrelevant, off-topic or annoying" and also explained that the platform is exploring further ways to give users more control over conversations.

YouTube Trends

Trends on YouTube reflect shifting cultural outlooks and consumer behaviors, according to recent data analysis. Google's Gina Shalavi writes that the globalization of content continues with 60% of videos made by US creators now viewed by people in other countries. Entertainment and shopping have become increasingly linked with the popularity of videos showing virtual hauls or shopping sprees, and there has been a marked rise in the viewing of content focused on sustainability and environmental protection, such as videos featuring "clean beauty" in their title.

Watch Out For “Juice Jacking”

Travelers who need to charge their smartphones while on the go might want to avoid public USB charging stations, due to the security risk known as "juice jacking." California law enforcement is warning that USB charging outlets in airports and coffee shops could be loaded with malware. The malware could lock your smartphone or forward personal information such as passwords to hackers.

Fake Microsoft Update email Contains Ransomware

PC users who are updating to the Windows 10 operating system are being warned about fake update emails coming from an address that looks like it is Microsoft. The emails have an attachment that contains ransomware and will encrypt the user's files or lock up a computer, demanding $500 in bitcoin to unlock data. "Windows users should understand that Microsoft will never send patches via email, but rather use their internal update utility embedded in every current Windows operating system," writes Karl Sigler, threat intelligence manager at Trustwave SpiderLabs.

A Teen’s Guide to Privacy

A recently published guide for teens is aimed at teaching “how to become a private public person”. Writers Lam Thuy Vo and Caroline Haskins consulted teens, schools administrators, security officers and other experts to write a guide to help teens safeguard their privacy online and stay safe on social media. The guide includes tips such as knowing your audience on social media and separating content accordingly, assuming your words will always be taken out of context, and knowing what to post and what to keep private.