Technology

Scores of Education Experts Call on Schools to Reject Screen-Saturated Return to Learning

As school districts across nation make plans for the fall semester—with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic forcing varying degrees of reliance on remote learning—scores of education experts on Tuesday sounded the alarm over the very real threat to students posed by increased screen time. The warning comes in a new statement (pdf) that cites risks to …

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Oxfam America Calls for Tax on ‘Pandemic Profiteers’ to Fund Covid-19 Recovery and the Common Good

The U.S. government could easily ensure that all Americans and the global community benefit from the profits that many wealthy U.S. companies have raked in during the coronavirus pandemic, Oxfam America said in a report released Wednesday as the group called for the country to implement a Pandemic Profits Tax, similar to one used during …

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‘A Victory for Us All’: In Rebuke to US Mass Surveillance, EU Court Blocks Data Transfers by Web Corporations

A major ruling from the European Union’s top court on Thursday curtailed U.S. authorities’ power to surveil the personal data of Europeans and is being called a victory for privacy rights and a call for U.S. lawmakers to roll out sweeping surveillance reforms. The E.U. Court of Justice invalidated a transatlantic data protection deal with the U.S., ruling …

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‘This Bill Should Immediately Pass’: Applause for New US Legislation to Ban Facial Recognition

In a move cheered by civil liberties advocates, a quartet of progressives in Congress announced on Thursday they will introduce sweeping legislation to effectively ban government use of facial recognition and other biometric technology nationwide, citing threats to privacy rights and the well established flaws of such tools. “This bill would boldly affirm the civil …

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Survey Shows 1 in 5 Teachers—Citing Covid-19 Concerns—Likely Won’t Return to US Schools This Fall

While most U.S. schools have ended in-person instruction for the rest of this academic year because of the coronavirus pandemic, polling results published Tuesday show that the majority of parents and teachers expect classrooms to reopen in the fall and worry about what that will mean for safety and education. In mid-May, Ipsos conducted a …

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100+ Lawmakers Demand Moratorium on Utility Shutoffs to Ensure Access to Services ‘Essential to Survive’ During Coronavirus Crisis

Over 100 federal lawmakers on Wednesday demanded a nationwide moratorium on utility shutoffs with a letter to congressional leadership demanding the freeze be part of the next coronavirus relief package to ensure Americans have access to services that are “essential to survive during this health crisis.” Spearheaded by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Reps. Peter …

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Big Brother in the Age of Coronavirus: 100+ Groups Warn Against Exploiting Pandemic to Permanently Expand Surveillance State

As the number of COVID-19 cases climbed toward a million worldwide on Thursday, over 100 human rights groups issued a joint statement warning that governments’ response to the coronavirus pandemic “must not be used as a cover to usher in a new era of greatly expanded systems of invasive digital surveillance.” “Now more than ever, …

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Cell Phone Tracking Analysis Shows Where Florida Springbreakers and New Yorkers Fleeing Coronavirus Went to Next

A viral video showing cell phone data collected by location accuracy company X-Mode from spring break partiers potentially spreading the coronavirus around the U.S. has brought up questions of digital privacy even as it shows convincingly the importance of staying home to defeat the disease.  “I don’t know what scares me more, the spread of …

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