Tag Archives: privacy

How much should we really expect privacy?

Derrick Harris wrote up a great piece for GigaOm today, Pondering Privacy, Part 2: Let’s get over ourselves already. In his article, he argues the following: While the work privacy advocates do to highlight the tactics and implications of online data collection is commendable, it’s a little misleading. No, it’s not ideal that companies and […]

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Do we have a right to be forgotten?

The Web and Big Data are making the world a much smaller place. Uncomfortably small in some cases. As reported in the NY Times, many sites have sprung up across the Internet that post mugshots online in what could be best described as extortion…they’ll take them down for a fee. What truly makes it extortion […]

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Someday the magic will stop

The following is a guest post by Alistair Croll. I posted this on Facebook but it belongs here instead. There’s a meme running around that somehow the iPhone fingerprint scanner uploads your biometrics to Apple’s servers. The way these things work is that your fingerprint is turned into a series of numbers, usually through a one-way mathematical […]

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Thin walls and traffic cameras

The following is a guest post by Alistair Croll. A couple of years ago, I spoke with an European Union diplomat who shall remain nameless about the governing body’s attitude to privacy. “Do you know why the French hate traffic cameras?” he asked me. “It’s because it makes it hard for them to cheat on their […]

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Massive security hole

Is the Internet of Things a gaping security chasm?

Kashmir Hill’s piece in Forbes, The Terrifying Search Engine That Finds Internet-Connected Cameras, Traffic Lights, Medical Devices, Baby Monitors and Power Plants, reports on a search engine, Shodan, built for the purpose of crawling for devices on the Internet, many of which are programmed to answer and are sometimes easy to hack. Among the devices […]

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Do you spy on your child? Maybe you should…

Technology makes it easier than ever to spy on citizens, as we saw with the NSA’s Prism and other (…domestic) surveillance programs. By extension, technology also makes it easier to spy on just about anyone we have some control over, including employees and our loved ones, especially our children. Last week, we received an ad […]

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Amber Alert

When software ate police work

If you live in California and had your phone turned on one evening  last week, you were probably startled to get a text from the statewide system that alerts residents to emergencies. Boulevard, CA AMBER Alert UPDATE: LIC/6WCU986 (CA) Blue Nissan Versa 4 door While it was startling for many, what it showed us was […]

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Crystal Ball

Going one step further on Big Data and civil rights.

The following is a guest post by Alistair Croll. Recently, I wrote a post about big data and civil rights, which seems to have hit a nerve. It was posted on Solve for Interesting and on Radar, and then folks like Boing Boing picked it up. I haven’t had this kind of response to a post before (well, I’ve had […]

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Big data is our generation’s civil rights issue, and we don’t know it

The following is a guest post by Alistair Croll.  Data doesn’t invade people’s lives. Lack of control over how it’s used does. What’s really driving so-called big data isn’t the volume of information. It turns out big data doesn’t have to be all that big. Rather, it’s about a reconsideration of the fundamental economics of analyzing […]

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Big Data and analytics as both hero and villain

As the NSA PRISM debacle continues to unfold and spreads across continents it’s probably good to stop and think about the technology and philosophy behind it all. Because this is big data and analytics in its most potent and controversial form and it’s certainly not the last time we’ll see this hit the headlines. The […]

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We’re headed for a surveillance society and that’s OK

The brouhaha over NSA’s PRISM project that involved spying on Verizon customers and asking Silicon Valley giants for access to their customer records is a bit of false indignation, if you ask me (what, you didn’t ask me?). First, there have been warnings for years about our loss of privacy. Secondly, and may more importantly, […]

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NSA monitors phone calls

Are we stupid? Of course the NSA crunchs our call data.

Most people working in technology are in some way part of the vast conversation taking place around Big Data. That has to be hundreds of thousands if not millions of individuals. “Powerful insights” is the commonly heard phrase. It should also be completely clear to the public by now that data in large enough sets, […]

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No where to hide

Yahoo is the latest to show us there’s no place to hide

Is there nowhere left to hide, even for the rich? Andorra announced that they’ll begin phasing in taxes to comply with European regulators looking to prevent tax cheats from hiding their money in this tiny mountain-locked country in the Pyrenees between France and Spain. Secrecy is a common reason to open bank accounts in places […]

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facial recognition

60 Minutes: “Say goodbye to anonymity”

In case you missed 60 Minutes on CBS last night, there’s a new challenge to privacy that is coming faster than people realize and was made more urgent by the terror attack in Boston a month ago. The 60 Minutes piece started with the following: The ability of computers to recognize faces has gotten a […]

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Facial recognition creeps quietly into our personal space

If you don’t follow Alistair Croll of Solve for Interesting, you should. In a piece published last week, You’ll Be Tagged, Croll makes the point that common photo tagging technology like Facebook allows for a remarkable decrease in personal privacy. The face in the background of the photo today may not matter to those who […]

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Do you really think you have a privacy right when you shop ?

This week a US Senator wrote to a tech firm which tracks and monitors consumers and asked them to change their practices. Euclid Analytics uses technology and data to help retailers build a consumer relationship by turning in-store behavior into insights and recommendations for improving marketing, merchandising, and operations. They do this by using the […]

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