If you never thought that Copyright was out of hand then you might be interested to know that Copyright laws are being use to stomp on your right as a consumer to choose the mobile carrier you want and take any devices that you might own with you. The mobile phone industry (hand in hand with the carriers) is trying to put the baseband locks on a phone into the realm of copyrighted material. The way they are doing this is by claiming that the locks protecting the baseband are the same as those found on a DVD or Blu-ray disk. Since they have convinced the US lawmakers that this is so we now find that unlocking your phone (any phone) is illegal and punishable by a minimum of $2,500.
Facebook has finally bought facial recognition company Face.com. For those of you that do not know Face.com are the people behind the facial recognition API in Facebook and their Apps for both iOS and Android. This technology (that is also used in a few other apps) has brought about a wave of privacy concerns (as is tagging of any kind really). It is known that Face.com stores face information in a database and is capable up dating facial information as more pictures of an individual are tagged. This can be used to create a very accurate likeness model of someone regardless of what they do to change or conceal their appearance (with the exception of radical plastic surgery or prosthetics).
Wow… I can remember rather vividly trying to get out of trouble for doing something as a kid with the rather flimsy excuse of “but everyone is doing it”. To make a long story short here, that did not work and I had to face my consequences over my misdeed. So if that excuse does not work with my parents (and believe me it does not work with a traffic cop either). How is it that corporations can get away with it?
The online privacy debate is heating up as we head into an election year in the US. So far we have watched as a handful of new legislation is talked about and data brokers, online services and others are asked for commentary on their practices. Of course, the real question is; will any of this matter or make it into law? As we have witnessed in the past, what congress asks for does not always happen and in fact many times it is dropped for unknown reasons.
We have always been a supporter of certain Internet freedoms as well as individual privacy (no surprise there huh). Bills like PIPA and SOPA showed us a glaring issue with the existing level of knowledge currently held by the people that make our laws (and not just in the US). This is not a big shocker to most people either. It is fairly common knowledge that our law makers get into office based on little more than a popularity contest that is held every few years. Once in office they are like the gullible kid in school that gets talked into things, by the “cool kids”, but in this case the cool kids are lobbyists and are not looking for a laugh they are looking to improve their control and profit.