California law enforcement announced the possible capture of a long-sought serial killer. Shortly after, it was reported that police had used public DNA databases to determine his identity.
Whether or not you realise or consent to it, big data can affect you and how you live your life. The data we create when using social media, browsing the internet and wearing fitness trackers are all collected, categorised and used by businesses and the state to create profiles of us.
“Doxxing” is an old internet term that comes from the idea of collecting the documents, or “docs,” on a person. The effort to discover and reveal personal information, of course, long predates the internet. It’s worrying, and potentially dangerous, when someone peels back the curtain of another’s identity.
In late April, the top federal cybersecurity agency, US-CERT, announced that Russian hackers had attacked internet-connected devices throughout the U.S., including network routers in private homes.
As concerns about privacy increase for people using mobile apps, new research suggests that trust and engagement may hinge on perceptions about how the app uses personal data and whether it seeks user input before delivering services.
As a scholar of the social and political implications of technology, I would argue the internet is designed to be hostile to the people who use it. I call it a “hostile information architecture.”
Every time you open an app, click a link, like a post, read an article, hover over an ad, or connect to someone, you are generating data.
The dealings that have been revealed between Cambridge Analytica and Facebook have all the trappings of a Hollywood thriller
At a time when social network privacy is in the news, new research shows there are more ways than previously realized to reveal certain traits we might be trying to conceal.
Facebook announced last week it would discontinue the partner programs that allow advertisers to use third-party data from companies such as Acxiom, Experian and Quantium to target users.
Is it time to give up on social media? Many people are thinking about that in the wake of revelations regarding Cambridge Analytica’s questionable use of personal data from over 50 million Facebook users to support the Trump campaign.
The researcher whose work is at the center of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data analysis and political advertising uproar has revealed that his method worked much like the one Netflix uses to recommend movies.
It’s no secret that big tech companies like Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon are increasingly infiltrating our personal and social interactions to collect vast amounts of data on us every day.
Smartphones store your email, your photos and your calendar. They provide access to online social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and even your bank and credit card accounts. And they’re keys to something even more private and precious – your digital identity.
Buying ethically sourced products is not as straightforward as it might seem, according to the first large-scale analysis of sustainable sourcing practices.
Black people, especially women, are more likely to have been unarmed when killed by police than non-blacks, according to a new study of nationwide data.
As cloud storage becomes more common, data security is an increasing concern. Companies and schools have been increasing their use of services like Google Drive for some time, and lots of individual users also store files on Dropbox, Box, Amazon Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and the like.
A 27-year-old medical resident in general surgery is sexually harassed by two men – the chief resident and a staff physician at the hospital. She feels trapped.
The belief that unrestricted internet access is vital to modern life is not necessarily a view held by all businesses that provide internet services.
The revelation that New Zealand children as young as six or seven are posting sexually explicit images of themselves online may come as a shock to many, especially parents. The reality is that for many teenagers today, engaging with explicit material is not uncommon.
Hundreds of the world’s top websites routinely track a user’s every keystroke, mouse movement and input into a web form – even before it’s submitted or later abandoned, according to the results of a study from researchers at Princeton University.
Since the mid-20th century many have grown used to the idea of having human rights and how these can be used when those people feel they are being threatened.
Have you ever wondered why your computer often shows you ads that seem tailor-made for your interests? The answer is big data.
While deaths from mass shootings are a relatively small part of the overall homicidal violence in America, they are particularly wrenching.
Should someone wearing a badge have the power to relieve a suspected drug dealer of his Maserati on the spot without giving him an opportunity to flee or liquidate and launder his assets? Known as civil asset forfeiture, this practice might sound like a wise policy.
With President Donald Trump’s reversal of an Obama-era executive order known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Leticia’s worst fears seem to be coming true.
I belong to a generation that has been told there is no other choice other than to be flexible in the labour market. For many of us, the idea of a long-term employment contract in a company where there is the possibility to progress belongs to another time.
The use of lethal force by police officers in Minnesota and Baton Rouge has once again sparked protests over the violent dynamic between citizens and the police
If you are the owner of a credit or a debit card, there is a non-negligible chance that you may be subject to fraud, like millions of other people around the world.
Our mobile phones can reveal a lot about ourselves: where we live and work; who our family, friends and acquaintances are; how (and even what) we communicate with them; and our personal habits.
It seems like every month brings news of another border wall going up.
Fictional metaphors matter, and in the battle to safeguard our civil liberties few metaphors matter more than George Orwell’s 1984. Although first published almost 70 years ago, the lasting salience of this most archetypal dystopia is undeniable.
Recently it was reported that a hunter who had shot an elephant was crushed when it fell over dead on top of him. A friend emailed the story to me with one word in the subject line: “Justice!”
Police officers consistently use less respectful language with black community members than with white community members, the first systematic analysis of body camera footage shows.
Harvard recently rescinded admission offers for some incoming freshmen who participated in a private Facebook group sharing offensive memes.
At least 40% of Australian households now have at least one home “Internet of Things” device. These are fridges, window blinds, locks and other devices that are connected to the internet.
How are U.S. presidents and FBI directors supposed to communicate? A new FBI director has recently been nominated, former Assistant Attorney General Christopher Wray. He will certainly be thinking carefully about this question as he awaits confirmation.
The Victorian Liberal Party recently announced that, if elected in November 2018, it would introduce mandatory minimum sentences for repeat violent offenders as part of its crackdown on crime.
Anyone who spends much time online knows the saying: “If you’re not paying, you’re the product”. That’s not exactly correct.
Think about what you shared with your friends on Facebook today. Was it feelings of “stress” or “failure”, or perhaps “joy”, “love” or “excitement”?
More and more conservatives and liberals, from the halls of Congress to people in communities across the country, are agreeing that the so-called “war on drugs” needs serious rethinking.
Recent reports suggest that terrorists can now create bombs so thin that they cannot be detected by the current X-ray screening that our carry-on bags undergo.
Disruptions reported in at least 74 countries, including Russia, Spain, Turkey, and Japan, with some reports of U.S. infiltration as well
What would it mean if you lost all of your personal documents, such as your family photos, research or business records?
Large-scale cyberattacks with eye-watering statistics, like the breach of a billion Yahoo accounts in 2016, grab most of the headlines.
In the U.S. today, a single immigration case takes an average of 677 days simply to get to the initial scheduling hearing.
We pay our monthly Internet bill to be able to access the Internet. We don’t pay it to give our Internet service provider (ISP) a chance to collect and sell our private data to make more money.
Recently, several states, including Nevada, have introduced bills that cite legal costs as one of the reasons for ending the death penalty. Further, there is no credible evidence that supports the death penalty as a deterrent.
The U.S. Senate voted last week to allow internet service providers to sell data about their customers’ online activities to advertisers.
The remarkable feature of this judicial sentence was how it clashed conceptually with the customary default question that suffuses our judicial system as a whole
We are producing more data than ever before, with more than 2.5 quintillion bytes produced every day, according to computer giant IBM.
The tech revolution is coming to advertising. Chatbots are replacing humans, big data threatens our privacy, and the blockchain is linking it all together.
Although it is difficult to get exact numbers, some estimates show Immigration and Customs Enforcement home raids have never resulted in more than 30,000 apprehensions in any given year.
Introducing new security measures for the airline industry is rarely done lightly by governments.
When the Indian government recently banned two high-value currency notes, it led to all sorts of chaos.
The year 2016 was a wild one for the private prison industry.
In the coming months, the Seattle-based nonprofit The Tor Project will be making some changes to improve how the Tor network protects users’ privacy and security.
The Trump administration has released a series of executive orders targeting immigration at the U.S. southern border.
The election of Donald Trump signals an end to the recent optimism about reducing the mass imprisonment of two million U.S. citizens each year.
Companies are bombarded with phishing scams every day.
A NASA scientist heading home to the U.S. said he was detained in January at a Houston airport, where Customs and Border Protection officers pressured him for access to his work phone and its potentially sensitive contents.
This week’s WikiLeaks release of what is apparently a trove of Central Intelligence Agency information related to its computer hacking should surprise no on.
Since 2009, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have been allowed to search electronic devices carried by citizens or noncitizens as they cross the border into the United States from other countries.
A rowdy segment of the American electorate is hell-bent on banning a specific group of immigrants from entering the United States.
Wearing a fitness tracking device could earn you cash from your health insurance company. At first, this sounds lucrative for the people who participate, and good for the companies, who want healthier insurance customers.
Having access to the internet is increasingly considered to be an emerging human right. The United Nations has taken note of the crucial role of internet connectivity in “the struggle for human rights.”
As you browse the internet, online advertisers track nearly every site you visit, amassing a trove of information on your habits and preferences.
The U.S. criminal justice system is driven by racial disparity.
Every January, I do a digital tune-up, cleaning up my privacy settings, updating my software and generally trying to upgrade my security.
Republican legislators are proposing laws that would criminalize nonviolent protest in North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Washington, and Iowa
A common stereotype of fraudsters is that they are psychopaths. That fraudsters are considered manipulative, callous and remorseless is understandable, considering the consequences of fraud.
New evidence based on groundwater and stream flow reveals mixed messages for the United States, as flood and hurricane frequency depends on region.
Facebook has long let users see all sorts of things the site knows about them, like whether they enjoy soccer, have recently moved, or like Melania Trump.
Wealthy politicians and businessmen suspected of corruption in their native lands are fleeing to a safe haven where their wealth and influence shields them from arrest.
At the touch of an app, Emma tracks her diabetes. She enters food, exercise, weight and blood sugar levels, then sets up medication reminders.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which opens in theaters this weekend, shows how the Rebel Alliance steals architectural plans for the Death Star in order to eventually destroy it.
Far from ending with President-elect Trump's announcement that he will separate himself from the management of his business empire, the constitutional debate about the meaning of the Emoluments Clause — and whether Trump will be violating it — is likely just beginning.
“I have moved in the world as a woman and a man. I never realized the absence of fear, and the feeling of invulnerability until I lived as a man.”
The age of digital technology, in which we can search and retrieve more information than we could in any previous era, has triggered a debate over whether we have too much information. Is the cure to “unpublish” things we think are wrong or out of date? Ought we have a “right to be forgotten”?
The word “scapegoat” is being used a lot in discussions about politics in 2016. The new US president-elect, Donald Trump, appealed to some voters with rhetoric that appeared to scapegoat Mexicans and Muslims for various social and economic problems.
The big, rarely asked question about our current economy is who gets the benefits of common wealth? Common wealth has several components. One consists of gifts of nature we inherit together: our atmosphere and oceans, watersheds and wetlands, forests and fertile plains, and so on (including, of course, fossil fuels).
Kryptowire, a security firm, recently identified several models of Android mobile devices that have preinstalled permanent software, known as firmware, that serve as backdoor that collects sensitive personal data, including text messages, geolocations, contact lists, call logs and transmits them to a third-party server in Shanghai, China.
In an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes, United States president-elect Donald Trump highlighted some campaign promises that he actually plans to keep.
About 1.5 million people have been shot by a gun, 468,758 fatally, in the United States over the past 15 years. The majority, nearly two-thirds of gun deaths, are suicides; more than a third are gunshots due to assault.
New research shows that racial biases affect more than how we treat individual black people. Biases also lead us to devalue black homes and neighborhoods, and to subject them to potential health hazards.
This year’s election season was historic in more ways than one. An unprecedented nine states considered liberalizing cannabis laws, and here’s how it broke down: California, Massachusetts and Nevada saw their ballot measures pass.
There has been significant suspicion in Australia and elsewhere on the wealth of particular business people, investors and companies from China. There’s always the suggestion that there is something unacceptable about it...
Congress continues to resist decriminalizing marijuana even as a popular crusade to legalize its use state by state may soon mean almost a quarter of Americans can smoke up at will, not including the many more who can use the drug medicinally.
FBI Director James Comey’s Oct. 28 bombshell letter to Congress – which has the potential to affect the presidential election – may be based on illegally obtained emails.
When it comes to theft online, “you’re only protected by other, easier victims,” says Hsinchun Chen, an expert in cybersecurity.
Many experts and politicians believe there is, as Hillary Clinton has said repeatedly, “systematic racism throughout the criminal justice system.”
Enabled by exponential technological advancements in data storage, transmission and analysis, the drive to “datify” our lives is creating an ultra-transparent world where we are never free from being under surveillance.
A new study highlights problems with how many law enforcement agencies handle officer-involved shootings.
We live in an interconnected age where wirelessly controlled computing devices make almost every aspect of our lives easier, but they also make us vulnerable to cyber-security attacks. Today, nearly everything can be hacked, from cars to lightbulbs
When Yahoo! confirmed that it had experienced a massive online attack from hackers who stole personal information from more than 500 million people — including names, emails and phone numbers — it revealed a disturbing truth about our digital media system.
Imagine, if you can, a period long before today’s internet-based connectivity. Imagine that, in that distant time, the populations of every country were offered a new plan.
Drone footage is everywhere, whether used to film extreme sports, outdoor events, nature, music festivals, or just for its own sake.
Fear of hackers reading private emails in cloud-based systems like Microsoft Outlook, Gmail or Yahoo has recently sent regular people and public officials scrambling to delete entire accounts full of messages dating back years.
At a recent rally of Donald Trump supporters in North Carolina, Republican vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence said the result of the November presidential election would determine the shape of the US Supreme Court for the next 40 years.