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“Privacy-technologies have come a long way in the lab, but they need to be made accessible and usable by end-users. Simply Secure will bring together developers, designers and users to ensure simple daily tasks can be made private, without increasing their complexity.” George Danezis, reader in security and privacy engineering at University College London

http://marketplace.org/sites/default/iframes/learningcurve/studentdatainfographic.html

“We have five orders of magnitude more data about you than Google has,” he says in the video. “We literally have more data about our students than any company has about anybody else about anything, and it’s not even close.” Five orders of magnitude more data than Google is a whole lot of data. The promise is that all that data can be used to tailor lessons to individual kids, to their strengths and weaknesses. They will become better learners, and that will lead to higher grades and better graduation rates. Ferreira imagines a day when “you tell us what you had for breakfast every morning at the beginning of the semester, by the end of the semester, we should be able to tell you what you had for breakfast. Because you always did better on the days you had scrambled eggs.” (via A day in the life of a data mined kid | Marketplace.org)

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that police officers usually need a warrant before they can search the cellphone of an arrested suspect, a major decision in favor of privacy rights at a time of increasing concern over government encroachment in digital communications. In an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court said there are some emergency situations in which a warrantless search would be permitted. But the unanimous 9-0 ruling goes against law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Department of Justice, which wanted more latitude to search without having to obtain a warrant.

Whisper has developed an in-house mapping tool that allows its staff to filter and search GPS data, pinpointing messages to within 500 meters of where they were sent.

The technology, for example, enables the company to monitor all the geolocated messages sent from the Pentagon and National Security Agency. It also allows Whisper to track an individual user’s movements over time.

When users have turned off their geolocation services, the company also, on a targeted, case-by-case basis, extracts their rough location from IP data emitted by their smartphone.

The Guardian witnessed this practice on a three-day visit to the company’s Los Angeles headquarters last month, as part of a trip to explore the possibility of an expanded journalistic relationship with Whisper.

[…]

The Guardian had previously worked with Whisper to find Iraq war veterans who wanted to share their opinions of Isis, find an undocumented immigrant to write an opinion article and post people’s confessions about Valentine’s Day. At no point during those collaborations did Whisper indicate it was ascertaining the location of individual users who had disabled their geolocation feature.

The Guardian visited the Whisper offices to consider the possibility of undertaking other journalistic projects with the company and sent two reporters last month to look in detail at how the app operates. At no stage during the visit were the journalists told they could not report on the information shared with them.

The Guardian is no longer pursuing a relationship with Whisper.