Daily Digest (4/9)

Zoom Shareholder Sues Over Privacy, Security Flaws; Study: False COVID-19 Posts Higher on Twitter Than Other Platforms; 2020 Census Privacy Move Will Yield Flawed Results, Scholar Warns. Click below to read.

Zoom Shareholder Sues Over Privacy, Security Flaws

Zoom Video Communications Inc. is facing a class-action lawsuit from a shareholder, accusing the company of overstating the privacy standards in its beleaguered teleconferencing app — and citing its encryption flaws.

Shareholder Michael Drieu claimed in a Tuesday filing that rampant media reports highlighting Zoom’s privacy flaws have led to the company’s stock, which had rallied for several days in the beginning of the year, to plummet, Reuters reports.

Zoom’s shares closed $4.06 higher Wednesday, to $117.81, after falling nearly 7.5% Tuesday, on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.

CEO Eric Yuan last week apologized to users, saying that Zoom had fallen short of its privacy and security expectations, and that the company was working to fix the issues, Reuters reports.

Source: Reuters UK (external LINK)

Study: False COVID-19 Posts Higher on Twitter Than Other Platforms

More than half of the misinformation about COVID-19 that has been debunked by fact checkers remains on Twitter without a warning label, according to Oxford University researchers.

The study examined 225 pieces of content that “independent fact checkers had rated as false or misleading between January and March,” The Washington Post reports. The Oxford researchers found that 59% of the posts remained on Twitter, 27% remained on YouTube and 24% were still up on Facebook.

A Twitter spokeswoman said it had created a coronavirus misinformation policy on March 18, which could explain the results from a study that utilized data from January.

The company since has removed more than 1,100 tweets and “challenged 1.5 million potentially spammy accounts targeting COVID-19 discussions,” Katie Rosborough said.

Source: Washington Post (LINK

2020 Census Privacy Move Will Yield Flawed Results, Scholar Warns

Tests of the Census Bureau’s plan to adopt a “differential privacy” method to protect citizen data in the 2020 census is likely to yield results that “are not fit for many uses, including some required by state and federal laws,” a University of Tennessee professor warned.

The method was developed in response to longstanding concerns about Americans not taking the census out of privacy concerns.

Created by a Harvard computer scientist, differential privacy involves “not reporting exactly accurate numbers — like ‘5 people in Bigtown City are Hispanic males’ — but rather a random number relatively close to the accurate one, like 11,” Nicholas Nagle, an associate geography professor, said in an op-ed in Fast Company.

However, “these random errors make it much harder for a data scientist to go back and figure out which Hispanic male in that city might be connected with a specific public record,” he continued. “And the public has some information, though it’s not exactly accurate or complete.”

Sources:

  • Fast Company (external LINK)
  • The Conversation (external LINK)

— By DPN Staff