Apple finally announced the iPhone X this week, complete with a facial recognition system that Apple calls FaceID. Preliminary impressions are that FaceID will be hard to trick , and needs to be secure for the average user, but researchers are ready to check its robustness. Consumer facial recognition has existed, but not yet at this scale, inviting questions about what its consequences will be, especially for solitude . Apple’s new iOS 11 mobile operating system does have more crucial privacy protections against muggers and government officials alike but investigators detailed doubts this week about the “differential privacy” techniques Apple uses which are thought to aggregate and analyze customer information without invading their privacy. read more

For the past year, Apple has touted a mathematical tool that it refers to as a remedy to some paradoxical problem: mining consumer information, while simultaneously protecting user privacy. That secret weapon is “differential privacy,” a novel area of information science which concentrates on closely adding random noise to a single user’s information before it is uploaded into the cloud. This way, a company like Apple’s total dataset reveals meaningful results with no 1 individual’s secrets being spilled. read more

Throughout the past several decades, in my capacity as deputy director and then acting director of national intelligence, I’ve participated in National Security Council meetings about immediate challenges, from North Korea’s aggressive missile and nuclear development programs to Russian military operations and its borders, and from ISIS threats to the homeland to Chinese action in the South China Sea. read more

The recent, massive Equifax data breach , which place 143 million US customers’ private data at risk –such as names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and a few drivers license and credit card numbers–drove home the dangers confronting any company that stores a valuable trove of information. But awareness alone has not stopped or even slowed the current slate of mega-breaches, which have affected strongly defended networks, such as those of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency . That doesn’t mean it is time to give up. Even in the event that you can not stop breaches altogether, plenty of measures could slow them down. read more