Examples of Abuse

Almost everyday a company or government abuses your data. Whether these abuses are intentional or the result of error, we must learn from these abuses so that we can better build tomorrow's policies and technologies. This resource is an opportunity to learn that this has all happened before, as well as a tool to query these abuses.

Please contact us if you think we are missing some key stories.

 

05 Aug 2020
In early August, when the UK government announced it was purchasing 90-minute saliva-based COVID-19 tests called LamPORE and 5,000 lab-free machines to process them, supplied by DNANudge, clinical researchers were dismayed to find that there is no publicly available data about the accuracy or
29 Jul 2020
Questions have been raised about an irregular process by which the Trump administration awarded a $10.2 million dollar six-month contract to Pittsburgh-based TeleTracking Technologies. TeleTracking has traditionally sold software to help hospitals track patient status; under the new contract it is
28 Jul 2020
A growing number of companies - for example, San Mateo start-up Camio and AI startup Actuate, which uses machine learning to identify objects and events in surveillance footage - are repositioning themselves as providers of AI software that can track workplace compliance with covid safety rules such
01 Aug 2020
Professional sports teams are considering adopting facial recognition admissions systems to make stadiums as touchless for fans as possible as part of efforts to provide a safe environment during the pandemic. Both the Los Angeles Football Club and the New York Mets are trying the Clear app, made by
21 Jul 2020
The algorithm and mathematical model used to predict students’ grades by the International Baccalaureate programme, which was forced to cancel exams because of the pandemic, incorporated three elements: coursework, teachers’ predictions of their students’ exam grades, and “school context”, which was
30 Jul 2020
As part of efforts to make returning to campus safer, US universities are considering or implementing mandates requiring students to install exposure notification apps, quarantine enforcement programs, and other unproven new technologies, risking exacerbating existing inequalities in access to both
27 Jul 2020
A preliminary study finds that facial recognition algorithms struggle to identify people wearing masks. The study tested 89 commercial facial recognition algorithms, and the best had error rates between 5% and 50% in matching unmasked photos with photos of the same person wearing a digitally-applied
10 Aug 2020
Manchester-based VST Enterprises is developing a rapid COVID-19 testing kit intended to help restart stadium sporting events. The results of tests, which fans will take the day before the event they wish to attend and provide results within ten minutes, will be stored in VSTE’s V-Health Passport, a
23 Jun 2020
By the end of its first three weeks of availability, the French contact tracing app, “StopCovid”, had seen 1.9 million downloads. Of these, only 68 people had entered a positive COVID-19 test result, and only 14 were notified that they might have been exposed, according to the French junior minister
23 Jun 2020
Los Angeles Airport (LAX) has begun the first of two six-week voluntary trials in which travellers walk past fever-detecting cameras before reaching security. Those who show a temperature above 100.4F will be taken aside for secondary screening. During the pilot no one will be stopped from
25 Jun 2020
A study of 17 Android mobile contact tracing apps from 17 different countries found that most government-sponsored contact tracing apps are insecure and risk exposing users’ privacy and data. The researchers used the presence or absence of six basic hardening techniques: name obfuscation (just one
21 Jun 2020
New York City’s contact tracing system got off to a shaky start; in its first two weeks only 35% of the 5,347 residents who tested or were presumed positive for the coronavirus gave information about close contacts to tracers, rising slightly to 42% in the third week. Encouragingly, however, almost
20 Jun 2020
Corruption scandals have added to Latin America’s challenges in dealing with the coronavirus. In Ecuador, prosecutors identified a criminal ring that colluded with health officials to sell body bags to hospitals at 13 times the normal price, and many others are accused of price-gouging for other
19 Jun 2020
A new requirement to wear wear masks in public in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus poses a problem in France and Belgium, where laws prohibit wearing face coverings, with health as the only allowed exception. In France, where the law was passed in 2010, between 2011 and 2017 1,830 Muslim
25 Jun 2020
Germany’s contact tracing system is thought to have been critical in controlling the COVID-19 outbreak, especially given superspreader events such as infections in meat packing plants. Each of Germany’s 16 federal states is responsible for health, and together with the national Robert Koch Institute
18 Jun 2020
In the second week of operation of the UK’s contact tracing system a quarter of people who tested positive for COVID-19 could not be reached because they had not supplied phone numbers or email addresses. Of the close contacts whose details were provided, contact tracers reached 90.6% to advise them
16 Jun 2020
The US National Basketball Association’s plan to restart its season includes isolating players and other personnel at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida with a plan for frequent testing, quarantine protocols, and bracelets that beep if people come within six feet for too long. In addition, the
18 Jun 2020
France has been testing AI tools with security cameras supplied by the French technology company Datakalab in the Paris Metro system and buses in Cannes to detect the percentage of passengers who are wearing face masks. The system does not store or disseminate images and is intended to help
05 Aug 2020
In early August, when the UK government announced it was purchasing 90-minute saliva-based COVID-19 tests called LamPORE and 5,000 lab-free machines to process them, supplied by DNANudge, clinical researchers were dismayed to find that there is no publicly available data about the accuracy or
29 Jul 2020
Questions have been raised about an irregular process by which the Trump administration awarded a $10.2 million dollar six-month contract to Pittsburgh-based TeleTracking Technologies. TeleTracking has traditionally sold software to help hospitals track patient status; under the new contract it is