WeeklyTech #8

Privacy and technology

You know the eerie feeling that someone is watching or listening to you? Maybe it’s the specific ad you get on social media after a conversation with your roommate or spouse, or how your mapping app, like Waze, seems to recommend your favorite coffee drink at the exact moment you yawn. We live in a hyper-connected world and share some of the most intimate details of our lives more openly online than we would with a flesh-and-blood human being. 

We have all come to rely on and trust technology in ways we never thought possible. But that trust is starting to wane in light of major privacy issues and the ways that we are being shaped by the tools we use. According to a new study from Pew Research Center, Americans now have less faith in technology companies than the church.

Interesting technology stories

Facebook Paid Contractors to Transcribe Users’ Audio Chats – Bloomberg

The work has rattled the contract employees, who are not told where the audio was recorded or how it was obtained — only to transcribe it, said the people, who requested anonymity for fear of losing their jobs. They’re hearing Facebook users’ conversations, sometimes with vulgar content, but do not know why Facebook needs them transcribed, the people said.

Legal Shield for Websites Rattles Under Onslaught of Hate Speech  – The New York Times

When the most consequential law governing speech on the internet was created in 1996, Google.com didn’t exist and Mark Zuckerberg was 11 years old.

Snap, in augmented reality push, launches new Spectacles – Reuters

Snap Inc said Tuesday it will launch a new version of its Spectacles sunglasses, which will have the capability of capturing photos and videos and uploading them directly to its unit Snapchat, as the technology company works to develop its augmented reality features.

A startup that marries AI with empathy is helping women conceive – Technology Review

Univfy uses machine learning to give women personalized predictions—and a sense of hope—for their chances of having a baby.