Apple CEO Calls For Better Data Protection Regulation
Nov01

Apple CEO Calls For Better Data Protection Regulation

Apple CEO Tim Cook has condemned the United States’ current policy on data protection. In a speech at the European Parliament in Brussels on October 24, the tech giant leader called for better regulation on data protection in the United States. Cook claims that personal information online has subsequently been weaponized due to the lack of federal data regulation. Currently, the U.S. does not have federal legislation pertaining to comprehensive data protection, instead letting states and companies to make the decisions for themselves. “Our own information—from the everyday to the deeply personal—is being weaponized against us with military efficiency. Today, that trade has exploded into a data-industrial complex,” Cook said. According to the Wall Street Journal, however, Cook may care more about the safety of his company than user data. Back in May, the EU implemented a new law regarding data protection. If a company is found in violation of these regulations, the EU can charge fines reaching up to 4% of a company’s annual revenue. This came after a significant breach in Facebook user information that put nearly 50 million accounts at risk. Since the regulation was issued back in May, Twitter alone has taken down an estimated 70 million bot accounts. According to the WSJ, Cook’s claims work to appease privacy activists while ignoring the fact that Apple makes over $5 billion from Google searches thanks to its licensing fees through Alphabet. However, Apple claims they still make the brunt of their revenue through device sales. On top of that, the company also caps the amount of user data they collect while anonymizing information. “These scraps of data, each one harmless enough on its own, are carefully assembled, synthesized, traded, and sold. This is surveillance. And these stockpiles of personal data serve only to enrich the companies that collect them. This should make us very uncomfortable,” Cook continued. The United States is awash in data storage, both sensitive and not. In fact, it’s estimated that 60% of all data stored in computers and on clouds is simply copies or duplicates. To keep up with this flood of data storage and collection, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy claims that data centers typically upgrade IT equipment between every three to five years. To put it simply, we’re creating 50,000 GB of data every second. Luckily, most of this data is unusable. But for the sensitive information that’s constantly being uploaded and traded, Cook claims that the U.S. needs to do better. It’s estimated that Carequality, a data sharing site for medical and clinical documents, has exchanged over 59 million documents since its inception in late 2016....

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Making Your Website Colorblind Accessible
Nov01

Making Your Website Colorblind Accessible

If you’re a freelancer with your own website, have you considered all kinds of accessibility? Is your website colorblind-accessible? Many designers and casual site creators don’t even consider the possibility of colorblind visitors to their site. However, colorblindness affects 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women worldwide. This means 8% of men and .5% of women may be having trouble using your website. Luckily, there are a bunch of popular apps and online tools that can help you figure out if your site and other online content are usable for the colorblind. There is a Google Chrome extension called Colorblindly that is especially popular among web designers. How does it work? The extension uses a CSS filter that modifies color ratios on the page. The filter mimics what people with various types of colorblindness would see. And yes, I said ‘different types’. Remember that there are different types of colorblindness, though red-green (AKA deuteranopia)is the most common. Tritanopia is yellow-blue color blindness. Achromatopsia, or total color blindness, is extremely rare, only occurring in one in 33,000 people. The lead singer of band Steppenwolf, John Kay, has achromatopsia. There are different levels of severity for each type of colorblindness, and someone can even have multiple types of colorblindness at once! This is why it’s a bit complicated for the average website creator to plan for this particular problem. Text, charts, and infographics in particular are places where design can be optimized for colorblind folks. Using monochrome colors can help, as people of any level of colorblindness can distinguish light shades from dark shades. Colors with high contrast is also effective. Here are some of the worst color combinations for any kind of colorblindness: Red and green. Blue and purple. Gray and pink. Blue and gray. Green and brown. Green and blue. Green and gray. Note that if you use highly contrasting shades of these colors together, then a colorblind person should be able to distinguish the darker shade from the light. Even if it’s not an astronomical percentage of people affected, you’d still be practicing good site design and good business practices by using color with color vision deficiency in...

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