• facial recognition and mass surveillance
    Lounge,  Technology

    The San Francisco’s Facial Recognition Ban and the questions it raises

    //14th May 2019: San Francisco, long at the heart of the technology revolution, took a stand against potential abuse on Tuesday by banning the use of facial recognition software by the police and other agencies.// The word that came to my mind when I read about the above law (ordinance) was “Hypocrisy”. Silicon Valley is where most of the technology used in surveillance gets invented by tech giants and exported worldwide – now the elected officials of the same community are saying it may be harmful and are enacting a ban for it – I am confused to say the least!!! I subscribe to the idea that technology advancements and…

  • Hacking
    Technology

    Be aware of online data breaches

    In 2019, almost 40% of humans are using a smartphone. That is nearly 3.3 billion users, many of them use several apps/websites on a daily basis. All this generates a humongous amount of data every second – add to this, most of the citizen services offered by the state are also done online which puts more data than ever at the hands of every government department. Unfortunately, companies around the world that collect/collate these data are being careless beyond belief. In the last few years, the number of data breaches keeps growing, think Target, Mariott, Yahoo, Equifax and many many more. I am not even adding the number of times Facebook…

  • Technology

    Google Plus and making secure products

    Even though I thought that the “Don’t be evil” mantra of Google was nothing more than a brilliant marketing slogan, I always admire(d) the company for its engineering and security prowess. They are way ahead of Apple and even Facebook when it comes to their software expertise. In that context, it is sad that this company too is reacting to a security vulnerability than being proactive. While I feel for the loss of Google+, the only competitor (at the time of its launch) to the monopoly of Facebook, no one will be missing it. As a Google Pixel user, I am disappointed that the changes announced to Android privacy/app scrutiny…

  • Economy

    Why I pity normal people?

    I feel pity for “normal” (Non-Technical Savvy) people – as it is becoming ever more difficult NOT to fall a prey to trickery and lose your hard earned money. See the below email I got recently: I often receive many of these, especially to my company address in the USA, where these kinds of “deceptive” invoices are common and earlier used to come by US Post. Just like how a “good” monopoly game set tries to make their play money resemble the “real” money, these invoices are designed carefully to mimic the IRS (USA’s Income Tax Department) notices or the regular invoice formats that you have seen from genuine company’s…

  • Lounge

    Why Uber cannot be exonerated?

    Lot has been written about the Uber incident that happened two weeks back in Delhi. Most of them were understandably outbursts calling for banning Uber. I condemn the incident strongly and my empathy lies with the victim and her family for what happened. Banning Uber is not the solution for this, for that as a society we need to look deeper. In this background, I happened to read this article “In defense of Uber in India”  by my friend Sriram Krishnan (who works in Silicon Valley) which has looked into this from a different perspective. In response to that article is my below response. Sriram, yours was a refreshing piece to tell the…