Cell towers are constantly tracking the location of mobile phones. And that data, federal courts have ruled, is not constitutionally protected.
October 29, 2013 Law enforcement agencies across the country subpoena cellphone location data regularly. But civil liberties groups hope a series of state-level legal victories will usher in stronger protections for that often-revealing digital information.
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Google, like Facebook, Microsoft and other Internet companies, is concerned that data requests from U.S. surveillance agencies could ultimately damage its reputation in the U.S. and overseas.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
June 12, 2013 Tech companies that field National Security Agency data requests are currently barred from sharing those requests publicly. But Google, Microsoft and Facebook all have a financial interest in showing their users that the NSA does not enjoy unfettered access to their data.
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Shwetak Patel (foreground), a MacArthur Fellow, recognized that every device in a home has a unique signature that can be used to track energy usage. The data collected by Patel's system showed that digital video recorders were responsible for 11 percent of this home's power use, just one example of The Human Face of Big Data.
© Peter Menzel 2012/from The Human Face of Big Data
January 8, 2013 As I venture into new fields (like thinking about physics and cities) I become more astonished at Big Data's capacity for revolutionizing the way human beings organize themselves for better or for worse.
Mobile apps and devices track a user's health statistics. But those data are sometimes sold and can end up in the hands of employers and insurance companies.
December 26, 2012 Those of us trying to get in shape after overindulging this holiday season can get help from a slew of new devices that monitor steps climbed, calories burned and heart rate. But companies and venture capitalists in new startups hope to make money in a new way: by selling the data right back to the people tracking their activity — and to their employers.
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Researchers are increasingly using cloud computing to discover new drugs and medical treatments. Cloud computing is often cheaper and quicker than in-house computing.
October 1, 2012 The cloud's vast computing power is making it easier and less expensive for companies and clinicians to discover new drugs and new medical treatments. Analyzing data that used to take years and tens of millions of dollars can now be done for a fraction of that amount.
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September 18, 2012 The rise of Big Data means we live in a society that is being monitored on both the individual and collective level in new and truly unimaginable ways.
January 31, 2012 A biology professor pleas for a return to the proper use of "data" as a plural noun. But in the world of ever-changing language and fashion, is it too late to turn back time? If we could find a way....
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