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every news outlet slowly become an anchor of internet surveillance at the behest of the data warehousers and advertisers who became the news industry’s only path to survival in the 21st century.

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I just bought a new TV. The old one had a good run, but after the volume got stuck on 63, I decided it was time to replace it. I am now the owner of a new “smart” TV, which promises to deliver streaming multimedia content, games, apps, social media, and Internet browsing. Oh, and TV too. The only problem is that I’m now afraid to use it. You would be too — if you read through the 46-page privacy policy. The amount of data this thing collects is staggering. It logs where, when, how, and for how long you use the TV. It sets tracking cookies and beacons designed to detect “when you have viewed particular content or a particular email message.” It records “the apps you use, the websites you visit, and how you interact with content.” It ignores “do-not-track” requests as a considered matter of policy.

Typically within existing academic debates, forensic databases are seen as tools of state surveillance and are deeply connected to issues of privacy. This project moves the debate beyond these themes to explore how citizen-led forensic databases can be used as a tool for reparation and truth finding. The project breaks with traditional (state-centric) ways of researching violence and disappearance, since it challenges the persistent boundary between victims and experts: between claims for justice by victims, and official practices of constructing ‘truth’ about the dead and disappeared. It is also fuses biogenetic and social research thus providing a tool to open novel avenues of academic inquiry, as well as grounded insights for humanitarian and political intervention.

Detekt is a free tool that scans your Windows computer for traces of FinFisher and Hacking Team RCS, commercial surveillance spyware that has been identified to be also used to target and monitor human rights defenders and journalists around the world.

We’ve done a lot of work here at Adweek on ROI data, and a few readers have asked that we explain what on earth we’re talking about, because it’s a somewhat scary phenomenon to consumers—especially in an age when surveillance is such a hot topic—and a thrilling opportunity to advertisers.
Here’s the short version: Everyone in advertising is buying exhaustive records of your purchases—all your purchases—and comparing them to your viewing habits so that they know which ads you saw and whether or not they changed your behavior.