Thursday, December 22, 2022

Technology Can You Have Your Cookies and Eat (or Delete) Them, Too?

Adults are buying toys for themselves, and it’s the biggest source of growth for the industry CNBC. I bought myself a Slinky and a Superball some years back, but they were partly for my cats. They did like the Slinky sound.

Under attack: Researchers shed light on how Lyme disease infects body Gina Wadas, Johns Hopkins

Does This New Artificial Intelligence ChatGPT Spell The End Of The Student Essay?

The essay, in particular the undergraduate essay, has been the center of humanistic pedagogy for generations. It is the way we teach children how to research, think, and write. That entire tradition is about to be disrupted from the ground up. - The Atlantic

 Tracking Social Media Bans Center for Data Innovation: “Researchers at Surfshark, a cybersecurity company based in the Netherlands, have created a datasettracking governments that have imposed restrictions on Internet service or social media companies from 2015 to the present. For each restriction, the dataset contains the dates, duration, affected population, available context, and notes on the restricted platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Telegram, or Whatsapp. The dataset also lists local restrictions in India and disputed territory Jammu and Kashmir, as well as instances of miscellaneous outages or restrictions, such as telecommunications disruptions in Ukraine.”

Technology Can You Have Your Cookies and Eat (or Delete) Them, Too?

ABA: “Until recently, a “cookie” was just a popular baked treat commonly consumed with milk. Since the dawn of the internet, however, the term has taken on a different meaning, namely that of a small text file that is automatically stored on a user’s web browser when viewing a particular website. Although initially intended as a means to track transaction-specific information for short periods—such as the items in an online shopping cart—there is nothing inherent in the technology that limits a cookie to mere transitory use. Cookies can remain on a user’s computer for weeks or months and, in doing so, can enable the long-term tracking of the user’s internet browsing activity. This capability is of great commercial value to advertisers, but the fact that advertisers might be able to determine all the websites that one has visited in the previous month—or even the previous year—has drawn attention from certain regulators and lawmakers…”

Wall Street Journal, Ken Griffin Sues IRS Over Tax Privacy Breach That Also Affected Other Billionaires:

Pro PublicaBillionaire hedge-fund manager Ken Griffin sued the Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department on Tuesday, seeking damages after disclosure of his tax records.

Tax data about wealthy people such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos were published by the news organization ProPublica starting in June 2021, in an unusual breach of the confidentiality of tax returns. The news site published articles mentioning Mr. Griffin and using information from his tax records in April and July this year.

The IRS inspector general and Justice Department are investigating the disclosures, and officials say they are taking the matter seriously. So far, they have released no reports and haven’t charged anyone with a crime. ...

The exact path by which the tax data reached ProPublica isn’t publicly known. The lawsuit cites a long series of inspector general reports dating back more than a decade showing various flaws and gaps in IRS information security. 

“The IRS made these unlawful disclosures knowingly, or at the very least negligently or with gross negligence,” the lawsuit says. “The IRS willfully failed to establish appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to insure the security and confidentiality of Mr. Griffin’s confidential taxpayer information.”

ProPublica, Hedge Fund Manager Ken Griffin Sues IRS Over “Unlawful Disclosure” of His Tax Information to ProPublica:

ProPublica has declined to elaborate on how and when we obtained the tax information or to comment on any investigations of the leak. We do not know who the source or sources of the tax information was.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage: