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Beware perpetual cyberattacks, and protect education data

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Experts want us to stop using the term "cyber 9/11". Why is that?

Well, indeed many cybersecurity experts, including my brilliant Stanford colleague, Jacquelyn Schneider, have pointed out that a "cyber 9/11" is not the metaphor that helps people understand the actual nature of the threats. You may have also heard politicians warning for a "cyber Pearl Harbor," and indeed experts are also pushing back against this metaphor. Cyberattacks happen often and are maybe more like massive shots of hail. By trying to probe many vulnerabilities and sending multiple phishing emails, criminals and state entities are trying which digital door might open, trying over and over again, and then can help them achieve their criminal, intelligence or geopolitical goals. The notion of a perpetual shot of hail may also make people realize that the attacks can be closer to them, and then empowering them to be part of the solution instead of feeling defeated by the notion of a massive terrorist attack, targeting a landmark far away, and causing major physical and human suffering.

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China data privacy law limits big tech, but has few rights protections

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

How does China's recently passed privacy law compare to other countries?

While China's new law is said to be similarly comprehensive as the EU's General Data Protection Regulation and would indeed limit the decision-making power of its big tech companies. However, no law exists just on paper. There's always a context. And in the case of China, there are very few rights protections for people. While in the EU, fundamental rights protections were the main aim of the GDPR. For all geopolitical blocs with new data governance laws, China, India or the EU, we see a balancing act between national security arguments, rights protections, and economic development ambitions. But conspicuously absent from the list is the United States, which still does not have a federal data protection law.

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Personal data risks with TikTok; Tesla driverless cars investigation

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Beijing took a stake and a board seat in TikTok owner ByteDance's key Chinese entity. Should I worry about my data on TikTok?

Now, being concerned about where your data ends up is always a good idea, but for underage children, many of whom love video-sharing apps and social media, that question is even more sensitive. And for apps that end up being accessible by governments, and essentially most of them are, you want to be aware of what you share. I recall an account of an American teenager being shut down as they highlighted the human rights violations of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, which is, of course, something that should be highlighted and it's troubling that the video-sharing company intervenes on behalf of a Chinese state agenda.

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QR codes and the risk to your personal data

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

QR codes are everywhere. Are they also tracking my personal data?

Well, a QR code is like a complex barcode that may be on a printed ad or product package for you to scan and access more information. For example, to look at a menu without health risk or for two-factor verification of a bank payment. And now also as an integral part of covid and vaccine registration. QR codes can lead to tracking metadata or personal data. And when your phone scans and takes you to a website, certainly the tracking starts there. Now, one big trap is that people may not distinguish one kind of use of QR codes from another and that they cannot be aware of the risks of sharing their data.

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Twitter hack mystery; does two-factor authentication make you safe?

Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of WIRED, helps us make sense of today's stories in technology:

Whoa Twitter! What happened this week?

Well, on Wednesday, a whole bunch of prominent Twitter accounts, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Apple, started tweeting out a Bitcoin scam. The same one. It said, "send money to this address and we'll send you back twice as much." Clearly a fraud. But what was interesting about it is that it wasn't like one account that had been compromised. A whole bunch of accounts have been compromised. Meaning most likely someone got access to a control panel at Twitter. The big mystery is how they got access to it? And why, if they had so much power, all they did was run a stupid Bitcoin scam?

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