Why vaccine passports are a dangerous idea

Vaccine passports violate freedom-of-movement rights. And it would let authorities know people’s habits, a violation of privacy

Why vaccine passports are a dangerous ideaSince the COVID-19 pandemic began, many countries have imposed restrictions. Vaccine passports are the latest and perhaps most dangerous of these restrictions. The rest of the world imported the lockdown strategy first used in China, restricting businesses classified as non-essential. Vaccination has been presented as a way to return to pre-COVID-19 times, but it has…

Google’s leverage raises serious antitrust allegations

As the world’s favoured search engine, dominant email service and most popular video provider, Google has immense power over public opinion

Google’s leverage raises serious antitrust allegations“The Google of today is a monopoly gatekeeper for the internet,” reads the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit against the tech giant. The document filed on Oct. 20 alleges the company has used exclusionary agreements to block out competitors. Google accounts for 80 per cent of U.S. internet searches and 30 per cent of U.S.…

AI could offer big energy savings for office towers

U of A computing scientist Omid Ardakanian is working on software to make buildings more comfortable while cutting emissions, lowering costs

AI could offer big energy savings for office towersFor most of us, office cooling and heating systems are like wallpaper: you only really notice them if they catch fire. For Omid Ardakanian, office buildings offer potential energy savings on a skyscraper scale. “My obsession, if you want to call it that, comes from the sensors in these buildings,” said Ardakanian, a computing science professor…

Pandemic gives government perfect excuse to monitor us

Fear often trumps any proportionality or civil-liberties concern. After the virus passes, surveillance tools will remain

Pandemic gives government perfect excuse to monitor usCrises are the perfect breeding ground for authoritarians and social engineers. The extreme measures governments have rolled out to contain the COVID-19 pandemic remind us that fear often trumps any proportionality or civil-liberties concern. Since it originated in Wuhan, the crisis has exposed the spread and depth of the Communist Party of China’s mass-surveillance apparatus.…

Too many fault lines in digital voting process

The shambles of the Iowa caucuses reconfirms that electronic voting is still a long way off

Too many fault lines in digital voting processThe recent Iowa caucuses debacle reminded me of two things. First, my about-face as a member of the New Brunswick Commission on Electoral Reform with respect to electronic voting. Second, further confirmation that the electronic infrastructure continues to be an impediment in advancing digital democracy. The 21st century has empowered humanity with electronic connectivity and…

Beyond carding: how police surveillance has dangerously evolved

The end of carding won’t cease the gathering of information. Instead, it will be entered into police data bases without the public’s knowledge

Beyond carding: how police surveillance has dangerously evolvedWe’re in the era of predictive policing, geo-profiling and crime prevention – carding 2.0 – and need to ask the tough questions about what that means. Understanding and safeguarding personal freedom and civil rights is more critical than ever. The pace at which artificial intelligence is being developed and incorporated is far outpacing the regulatory…

We must manage the Internet of things with care

Who will ensure devices have been tested thoroughly and are secure? Who will ensure our privacy is protected?

We must manage the Internet of things with careBack in the early 1990s, I came across a story about a Coke machine that you could query from anywhere on the Internet and it would tell you the temperature of the drinks, the last time it was stocked and how full it was. The machine was in the computer science department of Carnegie Mellon…

Visual intelligence is the next wave of digital security

Visual intelligence allows for face identification, incident recognition, behaviour monitoring, object identification and even face or activity prediction

Visual intelligence is the next wave of digital securityBusiness owners and managers increasingly deal with information overload, including from camera feeds. The cost outlay for a good camera system with extensive storage is dropping daily and new technologies that promise to process all this information continue to emerge. But although it’s valuable information, it’s also exceedingly time consuming to sift through all the…

Towing the party line in the Internet age

It’s worthwhile remembering that before the Internet, instant messaging, social media and meme merchandising, depending on where you lived, almost nothing was private

Towing the party line in the Internet ageOne morning in the late 1980s in the middle of Nowheresville, a young woman, prompted by a profound sense of neighbourliness, impressed a couple of city girls by introducing them to her new pony, all of 12 hands tall. At the sight of the hoofed beast loping down the stone path towards our family homestead,…

Towing the party line in the Internet age

It’s worthwhile remembering that before the Internet, instant messaging, social media and meme merchandising, depending on where you lived, almost nothing was private

Towing the party line in the Internet ageOne morning in the late 1980s in the middle of Nowheresville, a young woman, prompted by a profound sense of neighbourliness, impressed a couple of city girls by introducing them to her new pony, all of 12 hands tall. At the sight of the hoofed beast loping down the stone path towards our family homestead,…