This special issue interrogates the meaning and impacts of "tech ethics": the embedding of ethics into digital technology research, development, use, and governance. In response to concerns about the social harms associated with digital technologies, many individuals and institutions have articulated the need for a greater emphasis on ethics in digital technology. Yet as more groups embrace the concept of ethics, critical discourses have emerged questioning whose ethics are being centered, whether "ethics" is the appropriate frame for improving technology, and what it means to develop "ethical" technology in practice. This interdisciplinary issue takes up these questions, interrogating the relationships among ethics, technology, and society in action. This special issue engages with the normative and contested notions of ethics itself, how ethics has been integrated with technology across domains, and potential paths forward to support more just and egalitarian technology. Rather than starting from philosophical theories, the authors in this issue orient their articles around the real-world discourses and impacts of tech ethics--i.e., tech ethics in action.
The term"dox" is an abbreviation for"documents," and doxing is the act of disclosing private, sensitive, or personally identifiable information about a person without their consent. Sensitive information can be considered as any type of confidential information or any information that can be used to identify a person uniquely. This information is called doxed information and includes demographic information  such as birthday, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and religion, or location information which can be used to precisely or approximately locate a person such as the street address, ZIP code, IP address, and GPS coordinates. Other categories of doxed information are identity documents like passport number and social security number, contact information like phone number and email address, financial information such as credit card and bank account details, or sign-in credentials such as usernames and passwords. Such disclosure may have various consequences. It may encourage forms of bigotry and hate groups, encourage human or child trafficking and endanger people's lives or reputations, scare and intimidate people by swatting
Ranking, recommendation, and retrieval systems are widely used in online platforms and other societal systems, including e-commerce, media-streaming, admissions, gig platforms, and hiring. In the recent past, a large "fair ranking" research literature has been developed around making these systems fair to the individuals, providers, or content that are being ranked. Most of this literature defines fairness for a single instance of retrieval, or as a simple additive notion for multiple instances of retrievals over time. This work provides a critical overview of this literature, detailing the often context-specific concerns that such an approach misses: the gap between high ranking placements and true provider utility, spillovers and compounding effects over time, induced strategic incentives, and the effect of statistical uncertainty. We then provide a path forward for a more holistic and impact-oriented fair ranking research agenda, including methodological lessons from other fields and the role of the broader stakeholder community in overcoming data bottlenecks and designing effective regulatory environments.
The metaverse, enormous virtual-physical cyberspace, has brought unprecedented opportunities for artists to blend every corner of our physical surroundings with digital creativity. This article conducts a comprehensive survey on computational arts, in which seven critical topics are relevant to the metaverse, describing novel artworks in blended virtual-physical realities. The topics first cover the building elements for the metaverse, e.g., virtual scenes and characters, auditory, textual elements. Next, several remarkable types of novel creations in the expanded horizons of metaverse cyberspace have been reflected, such as immersive arts, robotic arts, and other user-centric approaches fuelling contemporary creative outputs. Finally, we propose several research agendas: democratising computational arts, digital privacy, and safety for metaverse artists, ownership recognition for digital artworks, technological challenges, and so on. The survey also serves as introductory material for artists and metaverse technologists to begin creations in the realm of surrealistic cyberspace.
ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they're published. When Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new "privacy-focused vision" for Facebook in March 2019, he cited the company's global messaging service, WhatsApp, as a model. Acknowledging that "we don't currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services," the Facebook CEO wrote that "I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won't stick around forever. This is the future I hope we will help bring about. We plan to build this the way we've developed WhatsApp." Zuckerberg's vision centered on WhatsApp's signature feature, which he said the company was planning to apply to Instagram and Facebook Messenger: end-to-end encryption, which converts all messages into an unreadable format that is only unlocked when they reach their intended destinations. WhatsApp messages are so secure, he said, that nobody else -- not even the company -- can read a word. As Zuckerberg had put it earlier, in testimony to the U.S. Senate in 2018, "We don't see any of the content in WhatsApp." If you like our stories, mind sharing this with a friend? For more ways to keep up, be sure to check out the rest of our newsletters.
The ubiquitous availability of computing devices and the widespread use of the internet have generated a large amount of data continuously. Therefore, the amount of available information on any given topic is far beyond humans' processing capacity to properly process, causing what is known as information overload. To efficiently cope with large amounts of information and generate content with significant value to users, we require identifying, merging and summarising information. Data summaries can help gather related information and collect it into a shorter format that enables answering complicated questions, gaining new insight and discovering conceptual boundaries. This thesis focuses on three main challenges to alleviate information overload using novel summarisation techniques. It further intends to facilitate the analysis of documents to support personalised information extraction. This thesis separates the research issues into four areas, covering (i) feature engineering in document summarisation, (ii) traditional static and inflexible summaries, (iii) traditional generic summarisation approaches, and (iv) the need for reference summaries. We propose novel approaches to tackle these challenges, by: i)enabling automatic intelligent feature engineering, ii) enabling flexible and interactive summarisation, iii) utilising intelligent and personalised summarisation approaches. The experimental results prove the efficiency of the proposed approaches compared to other state-of-the-art models. We further propose solutions to the information overload problem in different domains through summarisation, covering network traffic data, health data and business process data.
"I have nothing to hide" was once the standard response to surveillance programs utilizing cameras, border checks, and casual questioning by law enforcement. Privacy used to be considered a concept generally respected in many countries with a few changes to rules and regulations here and there often made only in the name of the common good. Things have changed, and not for the better. China's Great Firewall, the UK's Snooper's Charter, the US' mass surveillance and bulk data collection -- compliments of the National Security Agency (NSA) and Edward Snowden's whistleblowing -- Russia's insidious election meddling, and countless censorship and communication blackout schemes across the Middle East are all contributing to a global surveillance state in which privacy is a luxury of the few and not a right of the many. As surveillance becomes a common factor of our daily lives, privacy is in danger of no longer being considered an intrinsic right. Everything from our web browsing to mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) products installed in our homes have the potential to erode our privacy and personal security, and you cannot depend on vendors or ever-changing surveillance rules to keep them intact. Having "nothing to hide" doesn't cut it anymore. We must all do whatever we can to safeguard our personal privacy. Taking the steps outlined below can not only give you some sanctuary from spreading surveillance tactics but also help keep you safe from cyberattackers, scam artists, and a new, emerging issue: misinformation. Data is a vague concept and can encompass such a wide range of information that it is worth briefly breaking down different collections before examining how each area is relevant to your privacy and security. A roundup of the best software and apps for Windows and Mac computers, as well as iOS and Android devices, to keep yourself safe from malware and viruses. Known as PII, this can include your name, physical home address, email address, telephone numbers, date of birth, marital status, Social Security numbers (US)/National Insurance numbers (UK), and other information relating to your medical status, family members, employment, and education. All this data, whether lost in different data breaches or stolen piecemeal through phishing campaigns, can provide attackers with enough information to conduct identity theft, take out loans using your name, and potentially compromise online accounts that rely on security questions being answered correctly. In the wrong hands, this information can also prove to be a gold mine for advertisers lacking a moral backbone.
The most recent big iOS update, which makes it easier to opt out of ads that track you across apps and web sites, has sent the digital marketing industry into a bit of a tizzy. That includes Facebook, which has been telling users that tracking helps keep its services "free of charge." Facebook is doing just fine, and choosing to preserve your privacy is not going to result in an Instagram service fee. Elsewhere in social media privacy news, Twitter rolled out a so-called Tip Jar this week that lets you send money to your favorite users. But it failed to vet how PayPal handles payments, potentially exposing users' home or email addresses when they send or receive a tip.