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The Weekly Roundup 11.27 Edition

by Amy November 25, 2015


Facebook Will Use Safety Check for More Human Disasters

Facebook activated its Safety Check feature for a human disaster for the first time following the Paris attacks. Previously, Safety Check had only been used for natural disasters around the world. Safety Check allows a user who is in the affected area to send a notification to their Facebook friends that they are safe. Over 4 million people used safety check to notify their friends they were safe during the recent Paris attacks. Some scrutinized the fact that Facebook did not allow Safety Check for the Beirut bombings that took place. Facebook responded that they saw a lot of Facebook activity around the Paris attacks and felt that it was important to activate the Safety Check. Still, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook plans to use Safety Check for “more human disasters going forward.”

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Gmail Will Soon Alert Users About Unencrypted Emails

With leaked emails and email security breaches constantly making headlines, the security of your internet mail account has never been more important. Google understands the need to protect users and has introduced a new alert to Gmail to help reduce security threats. The alert pops up when you receive messages from unencrypted sources. A study that Google conducted with the help of the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois showed that inbound encryption is on the rise and more and more receiving domains are also supporting encryption. This is important, because it makes messages users send and receive much more difficult to decipher. Unfortunately there are still those on the internet that are working to undermine encryption. Google is continuing to work with researchers to safeguard against these cyber attackers.

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Security Concerns About Wi-Fi Enabled Barbie

Hello Barbie, a Wi-Fi enabled doll, is raising concerns in the security community. The doll records and saves conversations it has with children. The voice data that the doll saves can potentially be used for research and data purposes, and it can be shared with third parties. Not only does the doll record conversations it has with the child, however, it can also record conversations that are happening in the background. Additionally, conversations your child has with Hello Barbie may not stay confidential and could potentially be monetized in the future.

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Robots May Be Taking Your Job

The threat of new technology taking jobs from workers is no new fear, but this time could be different. The chief economist for the Bank of England describes 80 million jobs in the U.S. as potentially automatable. Again, this is no new revelation. However, when we consider advances in current automated technologies, it is easy to see how automation is slowly defining more and more of the services we use. While autonomous vehicles are not currently the norm, we can expect a significant amount of the vehicles on the road to be autonomous in the next 20 years. As always with technology taking jobs, those who are in unskilled positions are going to be the most affected. Ultimately, with the adoption of more and more new technologies, we must remain cognizant of the impact it will have on our economy.

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