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Most people don’t know they’ve been hacked

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A recent survey has shown that 73 percent of users in 24 countries have never been notified that their information was compromised due to security breach.

At a time when millions of people’s personal information can be exposed by a single data breach, a survey has found that 73 percent of citizens in 24 countries have never actually been notified that their information has been compromised due to a data breach.

The issue was highlighted by news last week that  500-million Yahoo! accounts were exposed in 2014 without the organisation knowing, and a more recent breach of Dropbox that exposed personal information on upwards of 68 million account holders.

Financially, at least, data breaches do not seem to cause individuals much hardship. Of those notified that their data had been compromised, almost half—47 percent—reported suffering no personal financial losses as a result of their stolen information. Another 44 percent reported that the loss of their data cost them between virtually nothing ($0.01) and less than $1,000. Yet the non-tangible costs of data breaches can still be quite significant.

“Although citizens largely report minimal financial losses from personal data breaches, many of the effects may be less visible,” notes Michael Chertoff, former secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security and member of the Global Commission on Internet Governance. “Victims can experience damage to reputation and privacy. The uncomfortable truth is that the openness of the Internet also yields many opportunities for bad actors to breach users’ trust.”

Supporting this notion, the survey further confirmed that the actions of cyber criminals and Internet companies contributed most to Internet users’ concerns about online privacy, among those who say they’re more concerned now than they were a year ago.

“If the level of confusion and distrust among global citizens concerning how their data is treated online continues to grow, the worst case scenario we may face is the possibility that individuals will begin to lose trust and disconnect from the network all together,” said Sir David Omand, former director of the UK GCHQ and another member of the Global Commission on Internet Governance. “To address these issues, companies and governments need to do more to keep the public informed about what happens to their private data.”

The survey, conducted by global research company Ipsos, was commissioned by CIGI as part of a two-year initiative launched in partnership with Chatham House to articulate and advance a strategic vision for the future of Internet governance. The Global Commission on Internet Governance, created out of this partnership, delivered its final report, One Internet, on June 21, 2016, at the OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy in Cancun, Mexico.

These results and additional survey data from the 2014 & 2016 CIGI/Ipsos Global Surveys on Internet Security and Trust are extensively analyzed in Look Who’s Watching: Surveillance, Treachery and Trust Online, the forthcoming book by Fen Hampson, CIGI Distinguished Fellow and Director of the Global Security and Politics Program, and Eric Jardine, CIGI Fellow and Assistant Professor of Political Science at Virginia Tech.

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CES: Most useless gadgets of all

Choosing the best of show is a popular pastime, but the worst gadgets of CES also deserve their moment of infamy, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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It’s fairly easy to choose the best new gadgets launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Most lists – and there are many – highlight the LG roll-up TV, the Samsung modular TV, the Royole foldable phone, the impossible burger, and the walking car.

But what about the voice assisted bed, the smart baby dining table, the self-driving suitcase and the robot that does nothing? In their current renditions, they sum up what is not only bad about technology, but how technology for its own sake quickly leads us down the rabbit hole of waste and futility.

The following pick of the worst of CES may well be a thinly veneered attempt at mockery, but it is also intended as a caution against getting caught up in hype and justification of pointless technology.

1. DUX voice-assisted bed

The single most useless product launched at CES this year must surely be a bed with Alexa voice control built in. No, not to control the bed itself, but to manage the smart home features with which Alexa and other smart speakers are associated. Or that any smartphone with Siri or Google Assistant could handle. Swedish luxury bedmaker DUX thinks it’s a good idea to manage smart lights, TV, security and air conditioning through the bed itself. Just don’t say Alexa’s “wake word” in your sleep.

2. Smart Baby Dining Table 

Ironically, the runner-up comes from a brand that also makes smart beds: China’s 37 Degree Smart Home. Self-described as “the world’s first smart furniture brand that is transforming technology into furniture”, it outdid itself with a Smart Baby Dining Table. This isa baby feeding table with a removable dining chair that contains a weight detector and adjustable camera, to make children’s weight and temperature visible to parents via the brand’s app. Score one for hands-off parenting.

Click here to read about smart diapers, self-driving suitcases, laundry folders, and bad robot companions.

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CES: Tech means no more “lost in translation”

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Talking to strangers in foreign countries just got a lot easier with recent advancements in translation technology. Last week, major companies and small startups alike showed the CES technology expo in Las Vegas how well their translation worked at live translation.

Most existing translation apps, like Bixby and Siri Translate, are still in their infancy with live speech translation, which brings about the need for dedicated solutions like these technologies:

Babel’s AIcorrect pocket translator

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The AIcorrect Translator, developed by Beijing-based Babel Technology, attracted attention as the linguistic king of the show. As an advanced application of AI technology in consumer technology, the pocket translator deals with problems in cross-linguistic communication. 

It supports real-time mutual translation in multiple situations between Chinese/English and 30 other languages, including Japanese, Korean, Thai, French, Russian and Spanish. A significant differentiator is that major languages like English being further divided into accents. The translation quality reaches as high as 96%.

It has a touch screen, where transcription and audio translation are shown at the same time. Lei Guan, CEO of Babel Technology, said: “As a Chinese pathfinder in the field of AI, we designed the device in hoping that hundreds of millions of people can have access to it and carry out cross-linguistic communication all barrier-free.” 

Click here to read about the Pilot, Travis, Pocketalk, Google and Zoi translators.

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