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Researchers from the International Computer Science Institute say the majority of popular, free children's Android apps are tracking data on kids in violation of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, a federal law that regulates data collection from users who are under 13 years old.

Thousands of Android apps potentially violate child protection law
April 16, 2018 | Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian

“We identified several concerning violations and trends,” wrote the authors of the Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies, led by researchers at the International Computer Science Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. “Overall, roughly 57% of the 5,855 child-directed apps that we analysed are potentially violating Coppa.”

Additionally, the study — led by researchers at the International Computer Science Institute at the University of California, Berkeley — says the apps that are improperly collecting and sharing data are all included in Google’s Designed for Families program.

Thousands of Android Mobile Apps Improperly Track Children, Study Says
April 13, 2018 | Benjamin Herold, Education Week

"These problems are rampant, and it's resulting in kids being exposed to targeted advertising and automatic profiling that could be illegal," said Serge Egelman, who co-authored the report and works as the director of usable security and privacy research at ICSI, which is connected with the University of California, Berkeley.

Others are still not convinced. Nicholas Weaver, a researcher at the International Computer Science Institute at UC Berkeley, told Vox this week that bitcoin’s price remains too volatile for it to be considered a worthwhile currency. “In order to make a cryptocurrency work, you need stability,” he said in the interview, published Wednesday. “The value has to hold. So, what you need is an entity that will take, say, dollars, and give you cryptodollars one-for-one and vice versa. But we know what these institutions are; they’re called banks.”

UpFront (radio show)
April 11, 2018 | UpFront radio show on 94.1 KPFA

7:20AM – Mark Zuckerberg Testifies About Facebook Before Congress Serge Egelman, Director of the Usable Security & Privacy Group at the International Computer Science Institute, affiliated with UC Berkeley, and co-director of the Berkeley Laboratory for Usable and Experimental Security

Why Bitcoin is bull****, explained by an expert
April 11, 2018 | Sean Illing, Vox

To get some answers, I reached out to Nicholas Weaver, a researcher at the International Computer Science Institute at UC Berkeley. Weaver teaches a course on blockchains and seems to think the technology is, at best, misguided and, at worst, a fraud. So I asked him to lay out his case in the simplest possible terms.

Knowing your information was used “accomplishes next to nothing, since there’s nothing you can do about it other than be mad,” according to Serge Egelman, research director of the Usable Security & Privacy group at the International Computer Science Institute, an affiliate of the University of California, Berkeley. Unless, of course, you channel your anger to effect change, he added.

Which Tech Giant Will Build a Revenge Porn Database?
April 3, 2018 | Joseph Cox, Motherboard

“You can't make the fingerprint algorithm public (these things are too brittle), so you [the revenge porn victim] have to provide someone with a copy of the image (e.g. Facebook),” Nicholas Weaver, a senior researcher from the International Computer Science Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, told Motherboard in a Twitter message.

Facebook is just the tip of the iceberg. Thousands of apps can take your data
March 30, 2018 | Hiawatha Bray, Boston Globe Tech Lab

Serge Egelman, a researcher at the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley, Calif., built a website, AppCensus , where consumers can find privacy ratings for about 80,000 Android apps. He also built an app called Lumen that lets Android users see what all the apps on their devices are doing.

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