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What we've been reading - w/c 22nd August

Updated: Sep 21, 2022

Each week, Alice puts together a round-up of interesting articles from the world of technology ethics. We post these on our social channels as well as sharing them on our blog.

Here’s her pick from w/c 22nd August:

👉Illegal weapons found for sale on Amazon, eBay, Wish and AliExpress


Third-party sellers on eBay, Wish, AliExpress and Amazon Marketplace are able to offer illegal weapons (sometimes loosely masquerading as a legal object) to the UK marketplace. These are weapons like clubs, butterfly knives and paralysing sprays.

“All of the weapons we found for sale are illegal to own – even in a private home – because they are specified as banned weapons by law, including by the Offensive Weapons Act 2019.”

Read more from here

August 2022 - 1

👉Google results for abortion clinics are misleading and politically fraught


“Google Maps continues to show results for anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) when users search for a nearby abortion clinic….

Unlike legitimate abortion clinics, CPCs don’t actually provide abortions. They instead attempt to dissuade people from going through with the procedure and often use misinformation to make their case.”

Read more from here

August 2022 - 2

👉Cops use newborn baby’s DNA to nail Dad for Crime from the 90s


“If it's news to you that blood samples are taken from newborn babies, you're not alone… After being taken, these newborn samples can even be used in biomedical research, and most states don't require parental consent for that, either.”

Read more from here

August 2022 - 3

👉Mailchimp is still silencing activists in Russia


“In March 2022, Mailchimp, a newsletter service provider owned by Intuit, left Russia to signal its support for the people of Ukraine. But it went too far, cutting off the accounts of prominent civil society organizations that defend human rights in Russia. It did so without letting them retrieve their subscriber data. Today, Mailchimp and other tech companies have failed to restore service for human rights defenders, helping Russia’s repressive regime silence civil society.”

Read more from here

August 2022 - 4

👉WFH - Watched from Home: Office 365 and workplace surveillance creep


  • Privacy International and UCL students looked into Office 365 and found features that can enable employers to access all communications and activities on Microsoft services

  • These features can be operated without the employees' knowledge and there seems to be a lack of transparency for users in terms of what data is collected and for what purpose

Read more from here

August 2022 - 5

If you think we should be reading anything else please email, and finally, thank you for reading, Sophie Ryan.

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