Few notice the “spotter car” from Manny Sousa’s repo company as it scours Massachusetts parking lots, looking for vehicles whose owners have defaulted on their loans. Sousa’s unmarked car is part of a technological revolution that goes well beyond the repossession business, transforming any industry that wants to check on the whereabouts of ordinary people.
The infographic presents the categories of information that social networks can make available to other applications. You authorize these applications by, say, logging in to a Web site with your Twitter account, or by playing Farmville on Facebook. The applications, in turn, often give data about your activities back to the social network. These exchanges of information take place through what’s known as an application programming interface, or an A.P.I. Read more here. (To use the infographic, click to zoom in and see specific fields; click on the black bar to zoom back out.)
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The agency is secretly collecting bulk records of international money transfers, under the same law that the National Security Agency uses for its phone record database, according to government officials.
In the last five months, the NSA's surveillance practices have been revealed to be a massive international operation, staggering in scope. But how do all of the NSA's programmes fit together – and what does it mean for you?
As Web companies and government agencies analyze ever more information about our lives, it’s tempting to respond by passing new privacy laws or creating mechanisms that pay us for our data. Our home computer console will be used to send and receive messages—like telegrams. We could check to see whether the local department store has the advertised sports shirt in stock in the desired color and size. We could ask when delivery would be guaranteed, if we ordered. The information would be up-to-the-minute and accurate. We could pay our bills and compute our taxes via the console. We would ask questions and receive answers from “information banks”—automated versions of today’s libraries. We would obtain up-to-the-minute listing of all television and radio programs … The computer could, itself, send a message to remind us of an impending anniversary and save us from the disastrous consequences of forgetfulness.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Federal grants of $7 million awarded to this city were meant largely to help thwart terror attacks at its bustling port. But instead, the money is going to a police initiative that will collect and analyze reams of surveillance data from around town — from gunshot-detection sensors in the barrios of East Oakland to license plate readers mounted on police cars patrolling the city’s upscale hills.
As it turns out, snooping federal agencies probably have nothing on private data collectors and aggregators. Their focus isn’t national security; it’s creating a profile of your likes, dislikes and behaviors to figure out ways to sell you stuff.
The HeLa cell line is named after Henrietta Lacks, a woman whose aggressive cervical cancer killed her in 1951. Researchers used cells sampled from that tumor to create the HeLa cell line, the first and now by far the most commonly used in cell biology laboratories. Lacks herself was all but forgotten until science journalist Rebecca Skloot published a book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, that revealed how insensitively biomedical researchers have treated the family over the decades.
But scientists who want to use those data must now ask for permission from a committee that includes descendants of the woman whose cells were taken—without her consent—62 years ago.
Tiny hardware imperfections in smartphone and tablet accelerometers lead to unique “fingerprints” within the data they produce, researchers find.
The sensor that lets your phone know which way the screen is oriented also—thanks to minute manufacturing variations—emits a unique data “fingerprint” that could allow your phone to be tracked, even if all other privacy settings are locked down, researchers say.
Whether you agree with the activities of Anonymous or not -- there are many shades of gray around using DDoS attacks as a protest tactic -- the salient point is that democratic governments are now using their very tactics against them. The key difference, however, is that those involved in Anonymous can and have faced their day in court for those tactics ... while governments remain unchecked. And that power differential makes all the difference.
Almost five billion records revealing the location of mobile phones around the world are collected by the US National Security Agency every day.
Data collected by the NSA provides the US with the ability to pinpoint hundreds of millions of phones and their users daily, it was reported.
Moreover, the records allow US intelligence agents to establish not just the movements of individuals but to monitor who else they communicate with.
The scale of the monitoring project was revealed by officials speaking to theWashington Post, combined with documents made public by Edward Snowden, who worked for the National Security Agency before he leaked the secret files.
“We are getting vast volumes,” an unnamed official told the newspaper, by tapping into cables that connect mobile networks.
Google users will soon find themselves unwittingly advertising products for the company, thanks to a massive change Google is making to its terms of service. First reported by the New York Times, he change categorizes a user's follows, comments, and +1s as "shared endorsements" for a product or service. These shared endorsements can be used to build ads across the platform, pulling in a user's profile name and photograph to help boost the ad's credibility.
Albert-László Barabási, a physicist and well-known expert in network analysis, published last week an op-ed calling for his fellow scientists to spearhead “the ethical use of big data.” Barabási accuses the NSA of breaking “the traditional model governing the bond between science and society” and argues that big data is like other dual-use “breakthrough technologies” such as atomic energy and genetic engineering. “Powered by the right type of big data, data mining is a weapon,” he says. “It can be just as harmful, with long-term toxicity, as an atomic bomb.”
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