Connect with us

Social Media

Google threatened with $100m lawsuit over nude celebrity photos

Published

on

Firm threatened with lawsuit over failure to remove hacked photos from subsidiaries including YouTube and BlogSpot

Jennifer Lawrence, one of the actresses whose photos were stolen by hackers, on the red carpet at the 2014 Academy Awards.

Lawyers representing celebrities whose private photos were published by hackers have threatened to sue Google for $100m, accusing the company of “making millions from the victimisation of women”.
Private images of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Rihanna and others were widely distributed on the internet last month in the largest celebrity hacking scandal in history.
The top entertainment lawyer Martin Singer has written to Google demanding that the company pay for its “blatantly unethical behaviour”. His Los Angeles-based firm Lavely & Singer represents more than a dozen of the women affected, the director Bryan Singer and the actors John Travolta and Charlie Sheen.
In the letter, addressed to Google’s co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page and other top executives, and first published by the New York Post’s Page Six website, Singer accused the tech giant of failing “to act expeditiously and responsibly to remove the images” and of “knowingly accommodating, facilitating, and perpetuating the unlawful conduct”.

“Google’s ‘do no evil’ motto is a sham,” he wrote.
“Google knows the images are hacked stolen property, private and confidential photos and videos unlawfully obtained and posted by pervert predators who are violating the victims’ privacy rights … Yet Google has taken little or no action to stop these outrageous violations.”
Singer’s letter, sent on behalf of his unnamed clients, claims that he sent a notice to the company to remove the images four weeks ago, but that many are still available on Google sites such as BlogSpot and YouTube.
He said that after the images were released over the Labor Day holiday weekend, his office had written to various website operators and internet service providers (ISPs) demanding that the images be taken down under the digital millennium copyright act (DMCA). The DMCA requires tech firms to “expeditiously” remove unlawful images from their servers.
“The vast majority of those sites and ISP/hosts, all of which are much smaller than Google, with far fewer staff and resources, complied with their obligations under the DMCA and removed the images within an hour or two of receiving our DMCA notice,” he wrote.
Google, by contrast, had “recklessly allowed these blatant violations to continue in conscious disregard of our clients’ rights”.
“Because the victims are celebrities with valuable publicity rights you do nothing, nothing but collect millions of dollars in advertising revenue … as you seek to capitalise on this scandal rather than quash it. Like the NFL, which turned a blind eye while its players assaulted and victimised women and children, Google has turned a blind eye while its sites repeatedly exploit and victimise these women.”

A Google spokesman said: “We’ve removed tens of thousands of pictures –within hours of the requests being made – and we have closed hundreds of accounts. The Internet is used for many good things. Stealing people’s private photos is not one of them.”

If Singer follows through on his threat to go to court, it will not be the first time Google has faced legal action over inadvertently facilitating the spread of nude photos. In March this year, Hollie Toups, 34, sued both Yahoo and Google for failing to remove links to pictures of herself hosted on a revenge porn site.
Like Singer, Toups alleged that she had sent Google proper notice, requesting links to the pictures be taken down, but that the company had refused to do so.

source:http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/oct/02/google-lawsuit-nude-celebrity-photos

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Internet

INSTAGRAM IS USING AI TO DETECT BULLYING IN PHOTOS AND CAPTIONS

Published

on

Last year, Instagram introduced an enhanced comment filter that uses machine learning to spot offensive words and phrases in challenging contexts. Now, the company is expanding similar coverage to photos and captions. Today, it announced that it will use AI to “proactively detect bullying” before sending content to human moderators for review.

The new feature will roll out to users in the coming weeks, launching in time for October’s National Bullying Prevention Month in the US and just before Anti-Bullying Week in the UK. The same technology is also being added to live videos to filter comments there as well.

This is the first product announcement under new Instagram chief Adam Mosseri who took over following the hasty departure of co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger last month. The split was reportedly due to simmering tensions between the pair and parent company Facebook, which has frequently meddled with Instagram’s product.

With public trust in Facebook continuing to fall, Instagram remains the bright spot in the company’s product lineup. It’s popular, profitable, and it has yet to be tainted by the scandals that have undermined Facebook. In this context, using AI to help weed out offensive content and keep Instagram a home for good vibes is extremely important.

A story published in Wired last year explained some of the details of Instagram’s machine learning comment filters, but it’s well-established that this sort of technology is no silver bulletfor content moderation. AI is cheap to deploy at scale, yes, but it still has trouble dealing with human context and nuance. That’s why it’s good that these new bullying filters also send content to human moderators to perform the final check. Automation without oversight is a recipe for disaster.

Interestingly, Instagram says it’s not just analyzing photos captions to identify bullying, but also the photo itself. Speaking to The Verge, a spokesperson gave the example of the AI looking for split-screen images as an example of potential bullying, as one person might be negatively compared to another. What other factors the AI will look for though isn’t clear. That might be a good idea considering that when Facebook announced it would scan memes using AI, people immediately started thinking of ways to get around such filters.

Along with the new filters, Instagram is also launching a “kindness camera effect,” which sounds like it’s a way to spread a positive message as a method to boost user engagement. While using the rear camera, the effects fill the screen with an overlay of “kind comments in many languages.” Switch to your front-facing camera, and you get a shimmer of hearts and a polite encouragement to “tag a friend you want to support.”

Continue Reading

Internet

FACEBOOK IS TESTING ITS VERY OWN DATING APP

Published

on

Yes, Facebook Dating is a real thing. And we may have just received a sneak peek.

Jane Manchun Wong — an app researcher who’s spotted Facebook features in the past, like Talent Show — posted photos from what she claims is an internal test of Facebook Dating.

 

The company wouldn’t say whether these pics are the real deal, although it did confirm it’s testing Facebook Dating internally.

Two months ago, at its F8 developer conference, Facebook shared that it was developing a dating app. Aspiring yenta Mark Zuckerberg explained it was “going to be for building real, long-term relationships, not hookups.”

Later, on its blog, Facebook dished out a few more details: “People will be able to create a dating profile that is separate from their Facebook profile — and potential matches will be recommended based on dating preferences, things in common, and mutual friends. They’ll have the option to discover others with similar interests through their Groups or Events.”

From Wong’s photos, it looks like the app will let you prevent your current Facebook friends from seeing your dating profile, thus avoiding potential embarrassment. It’ll also offer a variety of gender options, including trans man, trans woman, and non-binary.

No word on when, exactly, Facebook Dating will become available to the public. Guess you’ll just have to make do with Tinder, Bumble, OKCupid, Happn, Grindr, Hinge, and the thousands of other dating apps out there in the meantime.

Continue Reading

Internet

WHATSAPP MESSAGES AND SENDERS CAN BE ALTERED AFTER YOU RECEIVED THEM, SAY RESEARCHERS

Published

on

Security researchers have discovered that it’s possible for hackers to change both the content and the sender of a WhatsApp message after you’ve received it …

This includes the ability to change quoted messages, to make it appear you said something you didn’t.

CNET reports that the possibility was discovered by Check Point Software Technologies.

The firm] found that hackers can create a hacked version of the app and alter a quoted message (a past one that someone is replying directly one) to change the content or sender.

The hacker would, however, need to be part of the chat, so the vulnerability mostly applies to group chats.

WhatsApp told the NYT that it was not aware of the technique being used in the wild, and a cure would be worse than the problem.

One solution would be to create transcripts of every message exchange to verify the accuracy of every quote. Creating such a transcript is a significant privacy risk because those accounts of what people wrote to each other must be stored somewhere, the company said.

All WhatsApp messages are protected by end-to-end encryption, which means that only those within a chat would be able to exploit the loophole. Storing a transcript would effectively mean removing that end-to-end encryption.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending