Data Sharing

30 posts
Facebook doesn’t seem to fully know how its data is used internally

Lorenzo Franceschi reporting for Motherboard on a leaked Facebook document: “We do not have an adequate level of control and explainability over how our systems use data, and thus we can’t confidently make controlled policy changes or external commitments such as ‘we will not use X data for Y purpose.’ And yet, this is exactly what regulators expect us to do, increasing our risk of mistakes and misrepresentation,” the document...

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Tracking the CIA to demo phone tracking

Sam Biddle and Jack Poulson for The Intercept reporting on Anomaly Six, a company that knows a lot about a lot of people through phone data: To fully impress upon its audience the immense power of this software, Anomaly Six did what few in the world can claim to do: spied on American spies. “I like making fun of our own people,” Clark began. Pulling up a Google Maps-like satellite...

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Tax services want your data

Taxes are due today in the U.S. (yay). Geoffrey A. Fowler for The Washington Post on the part when tax services like TurboTax and H&R Block ask for your data: What he discovered is a little-discussed evolution of the tax-prep software industry from mere processors of returns to profiteers of personal data. It’s the Facebook-ization of personal finance. America’s most-popular online tax-prep service, Intuit’s TurboTax, also asks you to grant...

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Recontextualized media

The Media Manipulation Casebook summarizes how bad-intentioned people take media from past events, movies, and video games and shove the bits into a different context to fill a different purpose: Posts with recontextualized media often take advantage of short, less than one-minute video clips that lack much context about where the video originates. One 19-second video clip posted to TikTok on February 24, 2022 depicts two paratroopers mid-flight before switching...

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Visual forensics to spot fake videos and photos

It’s easy for anyone to grab a picture or video and claim that it shows something that it doesn’t. This is problematic during times of conflict, when accuracy is especially important. For The Washington Post, Elahe Izadi describes how journalists separate real from fake: The process begins with geolocation: pinpointing exactly where an image was recorded on a map, which Willis calls the “the bread and butter” of verification. “We’ll...

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Family safety app sells location data to third parties

Life360 is a service that lets families keep track of where members are based on phone location data. For The Markup, Jon Keegan and Alfred Ng report on how Life360 then sells that data to third parties for millions of dollars: Through interviews with two former employees of the company, along with two individuals who formerly worked at location data brokers Cuebiq and X-Mode, The Markup discovered that the app...

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A short film on giving up privacy, for better or worse

We know what you did during lockdown is a short fiction film by Financial Times that demonstrates the challenges of using data for good at the sacrifice of privacy and the complexity of individual lives. Worth the watch. I immediately wanted to unplug every single internet-connected device in the house. But of course I did not. See also the short film Sight from 2012, which imagines a world where everyone’s...

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U.S. military buys location data from apps

Joseph Cox, reporting for Motherboard: Some app developers Motherboard spoke to were not aware who their users’ location data ends up with, and even if a user examines an app’s privacy policy, they may not ultimately realize how many different industries, companies, or government agencies are buying some of their most sensitive data. U.S. law enforcement purchase of such information has raised questions about authorities buying their way to location...

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Student surveillance and online proctoring

To combat cheating during online exams, many schools have utilized services that try to detect unusual behavior through webcam video. As with most automated surveillance systems, there are some issues. For The Washington Post, Drew Harwell looks into the social implications of student surveillance: Fear of setting off the systems’ alarms has led students to contort themselves in unsettling ways. Students with dark skin have shined bright lights at their...

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DIY satellite ground station to receive images from NOAA

You can basically hook up an antennae to your laptop and start receiving images from space. This DIY guide from Public Lab amazes me. The NOAA satellites have inbuilt radio antennas that transmit the data collected by the AVHRR instrument on a frequency in the 137 MHz range. To minimise interference between satellites, each NOAA satellite transmits on a different frequency within the 137 MHz range. […] Your antenna is...

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