As readers of the InsidePrivacy blog know, we often save some fun reading on privacy issues for the weekend, given the crush of business during the week. This week, we’re up for some digital magazine reading. It’s refreshing when privacy issues burst into the mainstream consciousness, and we have two great examples of that this week — robotics in Foreign Affairs, and the Internet of Things in Politico.
I’ve often thought that “privacy” is the intersection between human and machine — the way that we express the values of our humanity in a connected world. But it turns out that the “machine” in that analogy is becoming increasingly literal, as robotics expand and privacy interests expand in turn. This weekend, I’m looking forward to digging into Foreign Affairs’ special issue on robots — Hi, Robot: Work and Life in the Age of Automation and, in particular, the essay on robotics, humanism and the future by Illah Reza Nourbakhsh of the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon. It’s also a great time to re-read Robots and Privacy by Covington alum Ryan Calo, who is becoming the world expert on this expanding field of work.
Over at the new Agenda at Politico, there’s an entire July issue dedicated to the Internet of Things — what it means, whether Washington will get it, and whether the United States can compete in the market. It’s a rich array of viewpoints from 40 thought leaders, who generally agree that the government needs to step up to the security and privacy issues raised by an increasingly connected world, but worry about our government’s ability to tackle those challenges.
And, speaking of media, I was saddened to read about the passing of one of the great headline writers of all time, Vincent Musetto, who famously penned “Headless Body in Topless Bar” for the New York Post. But it reminded me that the privacy community has its own headline artist: Lesley Fair of the FTC. Just a few of her zingers: “What’s Yours is Mined” (malicious apps mining virtual currencies); “Lifestyles of the Pitchin’ Shamless” (bogus cancer charities bilking consumers); “Shifty Shades of Gray” (fraudulent dietary supplements to keep hair from turning gray); “Cram Doesn’t Pay” (unauthorized charges on phone bills); “Diaper Claims Don’t Pass the Smell Test” (you can guess); “Taken Aback by a Hack Attack?” (data breach); “Lawsuits of Mass Reduction” (mortgage scams); and “Plastics, Benjamin” (reloadable payment cards). And all with rather less flamboyant subject matter than a newspaper headline writer. Bravo!
If there are interesting and compelling pieces you’re reading or watching about privacy these days, we’d love to know about them. Please tell us on Facebook or Twitter, and we’ll share them through the blog.