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Technology 14 January 2019

The Week in Internet News: Connected Hot Tub Lands in Hot Water

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

Hot tub vulnerabilities: New connections to the Internet of Things for hot tubs – allowing users to do things like adjust water temperature using their smartphones – also may make the products vulnerable to attacks, Naked Security writes. At least one connected hot tub would be easy to attack by a nearby hacker, according to research.

IoT security by BlackBerry: The vintage smartphone maker is rebranding itself as an IoT security vendor, with the release of three products, CNet reports. BlackBerry wants to license its technology to IoT device makers.

It’s a fake fake news study: Researchers who released a study on fake news in mid-2017 have retracted it, saying erroneous data lead to the study’s conclusion, Vice reports. The study had suggested that fake news is as likely to go viral on social media as true information, but the reevaluated data doesn’t support that conclusion, the authors said.

The golden years for fake news: Meanwhile, people over age 65 are likely to share the most fake news on Facebook, The Verge says. That’s the conclusion of researchers from New York University and Princeton University.  Older users shared more fake news than younger ones regardless of education, sex, race, income, or how many links they shared, and age predicted their behavior better even than party affiliation.

Worrying about an AI apocalypse: U.S. adults expect major advancements in Artificial Intelligence in the coming years but are also concerned about the direction of AI, according to a study detailed at Vox.com. Survey respondents were concerned about issues like data privacy, AI-enhanced cyberattacks, and surveillance, but also about longer-term issues like hypothetical AI-related safety issues that kill at least 10 percent of the world’s population. Yikes.

Selling your location: U.S. mobile carriers, through a credit risk reporting firm, have been selling cell phone location data to third parties, ZDNet reports. A U.S. senator has called for Congress to pass legislation to ban the sale of location data.

Shutting down after attempted coup: The government of Gabon shut down Internet and broadcasting services after an attempted coup in the country, Al Jazeera reports. The government then claimed the coup had been thwarted.

Do you know the risks of what you’re buying? Get IoT smart!

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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