Tagged: privacy

A “pay it back tax” on data brokers: a modest (and also politically untenable and impossibly naïve) policy proposal

I’ve just returned from the “Social, Cultural, and Ethical Dimensions of Big Data” event, held by the Data & Society Initiative (led by danah boyd), and spurred by the efforts of the White House Office of Technology and Policy to develop a comprehensive report on issues of privacy, discrimination, and rights around big data. And […]

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Post-Snowden, is Microsoft the Right Choice for Universities?

In light of the ongoing leaking of information about international and domestic government surveillance by the National Security Administration (NSA) in the United States and Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in the United Kingdom, scholars and administrators need to reconsider if our data and confidential communications are truly secure. While the ethics review committees do their […]

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Reveal a little to hide a lot: Acxiom’s consumer data portal

In early September 2013 the consumer marketing data company Acxiom unveiled a new website: AboutTheData.com. The site is billed as a resource for consumers seeking answers to “questions about the data that fuels marketing” and has been received by some as a welcome opportunity to peek under the hood of one of the nation’s largest […]

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In Context: Digital Surveillance, Ethics, and PRISM

With recent revelations about the U.S. government’s PRISM program targeting top internet companies to monitor online activity, state surveillance is a matter of public discussion. PRISM is an intelligence tool that gathers data from emails, file transfers, images, chats, and search histories. Questions of civil liberties, government overreach, ethics and trust define much of the […]

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The Boston Marathon Bombings, 4Chan’s Think Tank, and a Modest Proposal for an Emergency Crowdsourced Investigation Platform

We are still in the immediate wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, but it is already clear that the investigation into these attacks is taking a very different shape than the investigation into the 9/11 attacks. One of the big reasons, naturally, is the explosion of smartphone use in recent years, providing a wealth of […]

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