A Google data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Even online privacy advocates acknowledge that keeping personal data out of the hands of third parties is virtually impossible today. Connie Zhou/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Connie Zhou/AP

The NSA used a program codenamed Dishfire to collect text messages worldwide that were then used to extract location and financial data, according to The Guardian. Here, women use their cellphones in Los Angeles earlier this month. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

A November demonstration against Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Designated Secrets Bill drew thousands of protesters. The Japanese Parliament has since passed the law, under which people convicted of leaking classified information will face five to 10 years in prison. Franck Robichon/European Pressphoto Agency/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Franck Robichon/European Pressphoto Agency/Landov

Gen. Keith Alexander is director of the National Security Agency, whose duty, his office has said, "requires us to attempt to collect terrorist communications wherever they traverse global infrastructure." Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Evan Vucci/AP

Say hello to your microbiome, Rob Stein. Our intrepid correspondent decided to get his gut bacteria analyzed. Now he's wondering if he needs to eat more garlic and onions. Morgan Walker/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Morgan Walker/NPR

Cell towers are constantly tracking the location of mobile phones. And that data, federal courts have ruled, is not constitutionally protected. Steve Greer/iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption Steve Greer/iStockphoto.com