The French government has come up with an innovative way of financing a program of mass social media, surveillance, to use it to detect tax fraud.
The self financing surveillance scheme has now been given the go the constitutional court. Customs and
tax officials will be allowed to review users' profiles, posts and pictures for evidence of undisclosed income.
In its ruling, the court acknowledged that users' privacy and freedom of expression could be compromised, but its applied caveats to
the legislation. It said authorities would have to ensure that password-protected content was off limits and that they would only be able to use public information pertaining to the person divulging it online. However the wording suggests that the non
public data is available and can be used for other more covert reasons.
The mass collection of data is part of a three-year online monitoring experiment by the French government and greatly increases the state's online surveillance powers.
Smart TVs are called that because they connect to the Internet. They allow you to use popular streaming services and apps. Many also have microphones for those of us who are too lazy to actually to pick up
the remote. Just shout at your set that you want to change the channel or turn up the volume and you are good to go.
A number of the newer TV's also have built-in cameras. In some cases, the cameras are used for facial recognition
so the TV knows who is watching and can suggest programming appropriately. There are also devices coming to market that allow you to video chat with grandma in 42" glory.
Beyond the risk that your TV manufacturer and app
developers may be listening and watching you, that television can also be a gateway for hackers to come into your home. A bad cyber actor may not be able to access your locked-down computer directly, but it is possible that your unsecured TV can give him
or her an easy way in the backdoor through your router.
Hackers can also take control of your unsecured TV. At the low end of the risk spectrum, they can change channels, play with the volume, and show your kids inappropriate
videos. In a worst-case scenario, they can turn on your bedroom TV's camera and microphone and silently cyberstalk you.
TVs and technology are a big part of our lives, and they aren't going away. So how can you protect your
Know exactly what features your TV has and how to control those features. Do a basic Internet search with your model number and the words "microphone," "camera," and "privacy."
Don't depend on the default security settings. Change passwords if you can -- and know how to turn off the microphones, cameras, and collection of personal information if possible. If you can't turn them off, consider whether you are
willing to take the risk of buying that model or using that service.
If you can't turn off a camera but want to, a simple piece of black tape over the camera eye is a back-to-basics option.
the manufacturer's ability to update your device with security patches. Can they do this? Have they done it in the past?
they collect, how they store that data, and what they do with it.
China has stepped up its internet censorship by demanding its citizens pass a facial-recognition test to be able to use web services.
People who want to have the internet installed at home or on their phones must have their faces scanned by the
Chinese authority to prove their identities, according to a new regulation.
The rule, which will take effect on December 1, is said to be part of the social credit system which rates the Chinese citizens based on their daily behaviour.
Chinese citizens are also banned from re-selling their SIM cards by the regulation to prevent unregistered users from making calls from mobile phones.
China has been building the world's largest facial-recognition surveillance system.The Big-Brother-style scheme is powered by hundreds of millions of AI street cameras aiming to identify any of the country's citizens within three seconds.