Race is the new black

Since people have been anesthetized to the “privacy threats” that everybody and his cousin is seeing around, now “race” is the new trend to bash profiling, surveillance and whatever else the “human rights  warriors” pick as “enemy-of-the-day”.

This article from wired.com – that matches the same “philosophy” of this one published by Wired.it about the racism of algorithm – hints at  a new trend to give trollers something to (keyboard) fight for: forget privacy, RACE is the buzzword-to-go to show righteous indignation!

Algorithms are bad for RACE, Artificial Intelligence is bad for RACE, face recognition is a RACE thing… computer and RACE, smartphone and RACE, videogames and RACE, RACE, RACE,  RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE.

p.s. Sorry Monty Python.

The Austrian Data Protection Authority and the feasibility if a “quid pro quo” consent

The Austrian Data Protection Authority ruled that consent as a quid-pro-quo is a viable option as soon as an essentially similar consent-free alternative is given to the data subject.

The case was related to the way an Austrian newspaper managed cookie-based consent to access its services. The user was given the choice to access the service either without paying with a legal tender in exchange of the cookie consent or to access the site with no advertising cookies but by paying a subscription fees.

While saluted as a “good news” for online marketing, this decision is actually a cause of concern.

Continue reading “The Austrian Data Protection Authority and the feasibility if a “quid pro quo” consent”

A contribution to the analysis of the legal status of cryptocurrencies

Andrea Monti, A contribution to the analysis of the legal status of cryptocurrencies, in “Ragion pratica, Rivista semestrale” 2/2018, pp. 361-378, doi: 10.1415/91544

This paper advocates that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum don’t challenge the current legal system, since they fit comfortably enough into the immaterial asset legal definition. As such, while a blockchain-based cryptocurrency can’t be considered as legal tender or electronic money, it can be exchanged on a contractual basis as it happens with every other kind of good. As per the alleged crime-supporting role of cryptocurrencies by way of the anonymity of the blockchain transactions, this article demonstrates that the anonymity granted herein is not absolute. Therefore it is not correct to claim that this technology has been built, by design, to foster illegal behaviour. This is an important finding because, in the opposite case, there would have been room to affirm the impossibility to use a cryptocurrency as part of an agreement because of its intrinsic illegal nature.
Keywords: Legal Tender; Private Money; Electronic Money; Asymmetric Encryption; Blockchain Forensic; Cryptocurrencies.

An Australian Bill makes mandatory for IT companies to crack users’ encrypted messages

The Australian Parliament recently passed the  Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018 that might have a disruptive effect on the whole IT business, by forcing companies into designing unsecure hardware and software and weakening users’ confidence. Continue reading “An Australian Bill makes mandatory for IT companies to crack users’ encrypted messages”