Friday Five for June 24, 2022

1. Digital Safety Tips: For People Seeking an Abortion 

Given the shifting state of the law, people seeking an abortion, or any kind of reproductive healthcare that might end with the termination of a pregnancy,  may need to pay close attention to their digital privacy and security. We've previously covered how those involved in the abortion access movement can keep themselves and their communities safe. We've also laid out a principled guide for platforms to respect user privacy and rights to bodily autonomy. This post is a guide specifically for anyone seeking an abortion and worried about their digital privacy. There is a lot of crossover with the tips outlined in the previously mentioned guides; many tips bear repeating.

We are not yet sure how companies may respond to law enforcement requests for any abortion related data, and you may not have much control over their choices.  But you can do a lot to control who you are giving your information to, what kind of data they get, and how it might be connected to the rest of your digital life. Continue reading.

2. Fair Game

Every day, without our realizing it, the images, text and other data we post for our own purposes are scrutinized and collected by countless outside eyes for purposes we are unaware of and would often not consent to if we were aware of them. This process of collection and analysis is known as “data scraping” or “web scraping.” Though scraping overrides people’s will without scruple and enlists their contributions in initiatives they would reject, most people in the tech industry take scraping for granted as a ubiquitous, unavoidable part of the everyday operation of web technology. Some claim that it can be harnessed as a force for good, even as it has empowered data brokers, surveillance tech merchants, and forms of automation and algorithmic administration. Is it defensible? Is it necessary? Should it be outlawed altogether, or allowed without any regulation at all? Continue reading.

3. LAST DAY: BruinTech Assessment Survey

We launched an assessment of BruinTech last fall with a series of listening sessions, followed by a series of brief surveys this spring. This final survey is focused on communication. It is important that we understand the needs, interests, and communication preferences of the BruinTech community, so that we continue to evolve in thoughtful, relevant ways and provide ongoing value to our community.

Please help shape future BruinTech programming. Take a minute (literally!) to complete this 3-question survey by END OF DAY TODAY and be entered to win a gift card.*

We thank you for your continued input, and we look forward to sharing our findings with you soon! 

4. Amazon’s Alexa could turn dead loved ones’ voices into digital assistant

Amazon plans to let people turn their dead loved ones’ voices into digital assistants, with the company promising the ability to “make the memories last”.

The company is developing technology that will allow its Alexa digital assistant to mimic the voice of anyone it hears from less than a minute of provided audio, Rohit Prasad, its senior vice-president and head scientist, said on Wednesday. He added that during the coronavirus paramedic “so many of us have lost someone we love”. Continue reading.

5. Data Science Center Workshops

Upcoming workshops include: Geospatial Analysis with R and Git for Beginners. Check back throughout the summer and the coming school year as workshops are added!  Continue reading.