Earlier this month, the United States and the United Kingdom signed a monumental agreement on data sharing. This agreement allows the two countries to share data between each other electronically for certain criminal cases. This agreement is important because it will open the door for similar international agreements to be signed by more countries, increasing data flow from one country to another. The agreement specifically allows authorized officials from the two countries to request electronic data from one another regarding serious crimes, such as terrorism and cyber crime, without legal barriers. A process that traditionally took two years to complete, this new agreement will allow countries to share data at a significantly faster rate.
The CLOUD Act (Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act) does raise some concerns, however, about the privacy of the citizens in both countries. For example, if data is being collected from a citizen in the United States and their interaction with a citizen from the U.K. for a specific crime, the data they are collecting could contain information about another crime they are committing, unrelated to the one they were initially investigating. This is a concern for citizens in both countries as their respective privacy’s could be compromised. Despite this, the idea seems to be gaining popularity as more countries are expected to follow in the U.S. and U.K.’s footsteps in the coming months.
Over the past week, scientists at Orca (Offshore Robotics for Certification Assets) in Scotland have finished the development of new autonomous drones and robots that will change the way traditional work is done in the energy industry. The first development is a drone that is completely autonomous and and had the ability to repair wind farms. The drone attaches itself to the turbine and has a robotic arm that can do everything from simply inspecting the turbine to actually repairing it. With no human controlling the drone on land, the process of repairing wind turbines becomes more efficient and more safe, as no human has to dangle above an ocean below in order to repair a wind turbine.
The second development to come this week is a robot that looks almost like a dog. This robot is capable of floating or sinking below water and autonomously sending itself to an offshore energy site and carrying out repairs on its own. This is beneficial because most offshore energy sites are very small and hard for humans to actually move around in them. This robot facilitates the process of repairing offshore energy sites and has the ability to get to hard to reach places that would be difficult for humans. Although all of these robots are autonomous, and through artificial intelligence will learn to carry out repairs on their own, there will still be some degree of human supervision to make sure the robot is doing the job correctly. The main objective of these developments is to take humans out of harms way, as some of these traditional repair jobs are very dangerous.
A few weeks ago, Apple released a new software update for all Apple devices, iOS13, along with the release of the new Iphone 11. This new update, among many other new features, came with the option for users to allow certain apps to use their location. When an app is opened for the first time after the new update, a notification appears on the screen asking the user if they want that app to have access to their Bluetooth. This allows apps access to your location in order to advertise specific products or services based on your location.
Apple released this new feature on its newest update to give its users control over which apps can have access to their location and to suspicious apps that stored users location for no clear reason. For example, apps such as the flashlight app and wallpaper apps were allowed to have access to users location with no obvious reason to do so. Users now have more control over who they want to have access to their location, but this new update is hurting companies such as Amazon and Best Buy as they now don’t automatically know their customers location in order to market to them. Customers would have to opt in to letting the app use their location, otherwise, these companies’ ability to target market is severely weakened.