The Creepy Line reveals the stunning degree to which society is manipulated by Google and Facebook and blows the lid off the remarkably subtle – hence powerful – manner in which they do it.
In my book Data and Goliath, I write about the value of privacy. I talk about how it is essential for political liberty and justice, and for commercial fairness and equality. I talk about how it increases personal freedom and individual autonomy, and how the lack of it makes us all less secure. But this is probably the most important argument as to why society as a whole must protect privacy: it allows society to progress.We know that surveillance has a chilling effect on freedom. People change their behavior when they live their lives under surveillance. They are less likely to speak freely and act individually. They self-censor. They become conformist. This is obviously true for government surveillance, but is true for corporate surveillance as well. We simply aren't as willing to be our individual selves when others are watching.
Chinese telecoms giant ZTE is helping Venezuela build a system that monitors citizen behavior through a new identification card. The "fatherland card," already used by the government to track voting, worries many in Venezuela and beyond.
The past few years have seen growing awareness and concern about U.S. government surveillance of the American people. Unfolding revelations about the National Security Agency’s collection of data about Americans via access to their basic communications channels have awakened many people to the increasingly real risk that the government might get — or already have — outsized ability to identify and track the populace. With that comes outsized power to influence and control.Federal surveillance of private communications infrastructure is only one avenue along which government can monitor the private lives of citizens. Another is direct identification and tracking, such as would be possible under a national identity system. Since 2005, the federal REAL ID Act has encouraged states to combine their driver-licensing programs into a unified national ID system run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Some states also require their businesses and government agencies to use E-Verify, also run by DHS, to examine the immigration bona fides of all newly hired workers. Full implementation of the E-Verify program would ultimately require a national ID system, and it continues to weave together databases of identifying information about all Americans. The threat of formal national ID systems is relatively well known, raising the question of whether the United States should have such a system.Less well known are the many other government programs that would result in the comprehensive tracking of Americans without the use of an identity card or other formalities. State and local governments are deploying technologies such as facial recognition and license plate tracking that can observe and record the locations and movements of distinctly identified people, collecting and storing information about their comings and goings. Such programs position governments to make once-ordinary behavior like driving on city streets and strolling the sidewalks of American towns into recordkeeping events for an overly attentive state. Systems that gather identifying information about people, along with metadata revealing their movements and activities, together comprise what might be called the new national ID. These programs are on a trajectory to produce surveillance and tracking that is just as consequential and worrisome as the federal government’s surveillance and formal national ID programs.
In July 1996, flight TWA 800 exploded in mid-air, 12 minutes after taking off from JFK International Airport in New York. All 230 passengers on board were killed.It would be four years before an investigation concluded the likely cause of the explosion was a short circuit in the plane’s fuel tank.But at the time, President Clinton felt the overwhelming need to do something.People suspected terrorism. So Clinton issued new airport security rules.From then on, identification was required to board an airplane.Before that, you just needed a ticket.
Digital privacy philosopher Helen Nissenbaum goes deep on the fundamental flaws in data collection policies.
For free coffee, students can provide their names, phone numbers, email, majors and interests. This information is then provided to corporate sponsors who want to "diversify students' career choices."
Once again, Google has rankled privacy-focused people with a product change that appears to limit users’ options. It’s easy to miss the fact that you’re automatically being logged-in to Chrome if you’re not paying attention.
America, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and Australia are in a surveillance alliance called The Five Eyes, through which they share much of their illegally harvested surveillance data.In a recently released Statement of Principles on Access to Evidence and Encryption, the Five Eyes powers have demanded, again, that strong cryptography be abolished and replaced with defective cryptography so that they can spy on bad guys.They defend this by saying "Privacy is not absolute."But of course, working crypto isn't just how we stay private from governments (though god knows all five of the Five Eyes have, in very recent times, proven themselves to be catastrophically unsuited to collect, analyze and act on all of our private and most intimate conversations). It's how we make sure that no one can break into the data from our voting machines, or push lethal fake firmware updates to our pacemakers, or steal all the money from all of the banks, or steal all of the kompromat on all 22,000,000 US military and government employees and contractors who've sought security clearance.Also, this is bullshit.Because it won't work.Here's the text of my go-to post about why this is so fucking stupid. I just can't be bothered anymore. Jesus fucking christ. Seriously? Are we still fucking talking about this? Seriously? Come on, SERIOUSLY?
Google wants to know where you go so badly that it records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to.An Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used privacy settings that say they will prevent it from doing so.Computer-science researchers at Princeton confirmed these findings at the AP’s request.
Sorry, conspiracy theorists: They found no evidence of an app unexpectedly activating the microphone or sending audio out when not prompted to do so. Like good scientists, they refuse to say that their study definitively proves that your phone isn’t secretly listening to you, but they didn’t find a single instance of it happening. Instead, they discovered a different disturbing practice: apps recording a phone’s screen and sending that information out to third parties.
Sorry, conspiracy theorists
they discovered a different disturbing practice: apps recording a phone’s screen and sending that information out to third parties
The leak may include data on hundreds of millions of Americans, with hundreds of details for each, from demographics to personal interests.
As the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is implemented across Europe, users of digital services have been confronted with new privacy settings through numerous pop-up messages.
Federal agents refused to let drivers in Maine and New Hampshire pass until they disclosed their citizenship. The government says checkpoints are vital to curbing unauthorized immigration.
It's no secret that Facebook collects information on all its users. The Cambridge Analytica scandal in April brought the extent and depth of this data acquisition to the public eye, leading Congress to request Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear before them. Senators asked the company over 2,000 questions, which Facebook has now answered. And it appears there's a lot of ways in which the social media platform can track us that many people might not be aware of.
Say no to defaults. A clickable guide to fixing the complicated privacy settings from Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple.
The Supreme Court reversed a conviction that came after an officer looked at a motorcycle under a tarp outside a private residence — without a warrant.
In the age of Alexa, new questions arise about how your smart devices could be used by police.
The digital privacy world was rocked late Thursday evening when The New York Times reported on Securus, a prison telecom company that has a service enabling law enforcement officers to locate most American cell phones within seconds. The company does this via a basic Web interface leveraging a location API—creating a way to effectively access a massive real-time database of cell-site records.