Tech@FTC

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Open Police Data Re-identification Risks

Last week I spoke at a White House event “Opportunities & Challenges: Open Police Data and Ensuring the Safety and Security of Victims of Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Assault.” This event brought together representatives from government agencies, police departments, and advocacy groups to discuss the potential safety and privacy impact of open police data initiatives.

Four upcoming opportunities to submit your research to the FTC

Researchers, the FTC is interested in hearing from you! Last week we announced our Fall Technology Series on emerging consumer technology issues, and this week we announced our second PrivacyCon event. Both the technology series and PrivacyCon offer opportunities for researchers to submit work that informs questions the FTC is exploring.

Saying hello from the FTC's new Chief Technologist

I’m Lorrie Cranor, and I wanted to briefly introduce myself as the FTC’s new Chief Technologist and the new custodian of the Tech@FTC blog.

I’m excited to be joining Chairwoman Ramirez and the FTC team, and I’m looking forward to serving the FTC and consumers by helping to advance the agency’s understanding of evolving tech, privacy, and data security issues.

Enhancing permissions through contextual integrity

This is the third post in my series on privacy and security in mobile computing, which builds on the Commission’s 2013 mobile security workshop. In my last post, I concluded that – despite a history of usability concerns – permissions in mobile operating systems are clearly an improvement over the opacity of traditional operating systems.

Secure APIs and the principle of least privilege

Editor’s Note: As noted in a previous post, Tech@FTC is expanding to include posts by other technically minded staff at the Commission. This is the first in a series of blog posts by Nithan Sannappa, an attorney in the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, that will explore several important issues regarding user privacy and security in mobile computing.

FTC.gov is now HTTPS by default

In another step to enhance the FTC’s website, I'm pleased to announce that our agency has enabled encryption by default (HTTPS) for ftc.gov, our primary public domain, and home of the Tech@FTC blog. Ironically, as I was preparing this post, the entire internet has been FREAKing out about another vulnerability in SSL.

What’s the security shelf-life of IoT?

The FTC released a staff report in late January that took a comprehensive look at the emerging “Internet of Things” and security, including secure APIs, authentication, and product updates, was a key theme.

I’d like to briefly explain why I believe IoT security is so important and why the IoT ecosystem presents a unique set of factors that give rise for special attention to security.

Hello world!

I’d like to introduce myself as the new Chief Technologist of the FTC, following in the footsteps of my predecessors, Latanya Sweeney, Steve Bellovin, and Ed Felten. As the Commission enters its 100th year, technological expertise will be more important than ever, and I’m excited to lead this charge.

In this regard, my agenda will include the following:

Online ads roll the dice

Online ads, exclusive online communities, and the potential for adverse impacts from big data analytics

Online advertising today is a big data analytic marvel, deciding in the time it takes to load a web page which ad, among billions, to deliver to which of billions of domains. Large and fast for sure, but what are the ramifications of some of the decisions ad networks are making?

Technology science

Does enjoying a camcorder, a new computer, or a football game mean you have to risk personal harms like loss of privacy? Sometimes we enjoy advances in technology with protections like privacy. How can we do so more often?

Before I go any further, let me advise you that I am solely responsible for this blog’s content, characterizations, ideas and choice of topic. This blog does not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or any of its Commissioners. The goal of this blog post is to spark discussion and debate.

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