Earlier this week I ordered contacts online. When I found out they were scheduled to be delivered by UPS on a day I was traveling, I immediately went online to request that UPS to hold the package (or deliver it on another day). This service usually costs $5.
To my surprise, there was another “hold” option available: Have UPS deliver my package to my local CVS for me to pick up later. Say what now??! I immediately selected that FREE option and as I am now sitting in another state, I just got a text alert that my contacts were just delivered to my local CVS (a place I pass by at least twice a day). It will be in safe hands for me to pickup anytime during CVS’ normal business hours over the next seven (7) days. This is a much better option than having my package sit outside on my front porch.
Way to go UPS and CVS! You can select one of CVS’s 12,000 stores nationwide or pickup UPS packages at Michael’s and Advance Auto Parts stores.
CNBC reports that consumers are demanding more ways to pickup and return packages, which is driving these types of corporate partnerships. A few more examples include: FedEx at Walgreens and Amazon at Kohl’s or UPS. In similar news, UPS’ drone technology will soon be used to deliver prescription drugs to CVS patients at their home. Read more here or watch below.
In the last few days, several reports have emerged outlining steps the United States Federal Government is taking in realm of (personal) technology. These accounts are in line with what I recently told you in a post about Smart Speakers. When it comes to technology, privacy/security trumps EVERYTHING and the three (3) reports below are proof that the contentious convergence of government and technology is here to stay.
Here’s what you need to know:
Amazon, Google, Microsoft… Selling face-snooping tech to the Feds (The Register)
Why should you care? More than 85 advocacy groups focused on a diverse set of social issues, including racial justice, religious liberty, civil rights, human rights, and immigrant rights have raised concerns about this practice, including the ACLU.
“History has clearly taught us that the government will exploit technologies like face surveillance to target communities of color, religious minorities, and immigrants.”
Feds Can’t Force You To Unlock Your iPhone…. With Finger Or Face (Forbes)
Why should you care? The judge says all logins are equal. In the past, they couldn’t force you to give up your pass code, now fingerprints, facial recognition (or other future innovations… i.e. voice) are also included. Forcing you to do this could be the equivalent of forcing you to self incriminate.
“If a person cannot be compelled to provide a pass code because it is a testimonial communication, a person cannot be compelled to provide one’s finger, thumb, iris, face, or other biometric feature to unlock that same device,” the judge wrote.
Feds to allow drones to to fly over crowds at night… and make routine night flights (ABC)
Why should you care? Rogue drones have been used to carry bombs on battlefields, to deliver contraband to prisoners, to interfere with firefighters and, last month, to cripple the operations of a major airport.
Last year, Congress approved a measure that will let the government develop a system to identify and hack or shoot down drones that authorities deem threatening.
Do these statements make you feel safe?
“Drones can collect massive amounts of sensitive data from people and can be equipped with facial recognition technology as well as license plate reading software”
Suzette Kemp is the Federal Government’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) appointed by President Donald Trump. The federal CIO is charged with driving government wide technology policy, leading the federal CIO Council and often putting out unexpected IT fires. She has recently said her office is crafting legislation to provide the government with “guardrails” for how to incorporate the technologies and ensure they don’t possess bias that runs counter to the mission of agencies (FedScoop).
Everyone is talking about drones! Amazon wants to use drones for 30-minute delivery service, right to your front porch; Netflix wants to use drones for a same-day movie delivery service; and Photographers now offer drones at weddings, to capture those hard-to-get shots. It’s probably not to hard to even imagine drones at sporting events!
So, what exactly is a drone? “Drone” as a category refers to any unmanned, remotely piloted flying craft, ranging from something as small as a radio-controlled toy helicopter to the 32,000-pound, $104 million Global Hawk. If it flies and it’s controlled by a pilot on the ground, it fits under the everyday-language definition of drone. (Popular Science)
But be careful! A man in upstate New York man was recently arrested and is facing felony charges for allegedly using a drone to film outside a medical exam room. While the jury is still out on the legalities of drones and privacy, keep in mind: somebody is always watching! Furthermore, all this talk about transporting packages via air makes me think of the Jetsons…. How far are we really away from transporting ourselves?! I’m not talking about Delta or Southwest; rather, companies like Ford and GM selling drones as “personal transportation devices”. Stay tuned!
If you haven’t seen drones in action, check out the video below from Amazon.