November 4, 2013 Scientists are asking people to contribute samples of their gut microbes to help figure out how those microbes affect human health. But ethicists say sharing that information, as well as the personal health data that make it useful to researchers, poses risks. That's especially true for children.
August 28, 2013 A New York design team has just produced an invisibility cloak for your cellphone. Pop it in and no government, no merchants, no friends, no one knows where your phone is. Another design team in Canada says it could do stuff like this — but it won't. Who's right?
August 20, 2013 The website Groklaw, which for 10 years demystified complex issues involving technology and the law, is shutting down. Editor Pamela Jones writes that she can't run the site without email, and that since emails' privacy can't be guaranteed, she can no longer do the site's work.
August 16, 2013 This summer, The New York Times moved all of it reporters' email to corporate Gmail accounts. This move to a third party could leave Times reporters and their sources with fewer legal protections if they are the subject of a government investigation.
August 14, 2013 People who use Gmail and other free email systems have no reasonable expectation of privacy, according to court papers filed by lawyers for Google. The filing was made in June, when Google moved to dismiss a case accusing it of breaking laws by scanning users' emails to target them with ads.
August 12, 2013 The Renew company has been asked to cease tracking the cellphones of pedestrians who pass its recycling bins, which also double as kiosks showing video advertisements. The bins logged data about any Wi-Fi-enabled device that passed within range.
July 18, 2013 Facebook and Twitter are among the 63 companies and groups behind a pointed letter calling for specific disclosures of government surveillance requests.
June 21, 2013 The company says it has fixed the problem, which allowed users who were downloading data from the site to see email addresses and phone numbers for other people.
June 21, 2013 The recent controversy about government surveillance intersects in surprising ways with big questions at the heart of philosophy, cognitive science and computer science. Alva Noë says privacy is a big problem in the age of Big Data.
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.
June 11, 2013 Big Data raises concerns about more than just privacy. The debate opening up before us is an essential one for a culture dominated by science and technology. Who determines if a technology is adopted? Who determines when and how it will be deployed? Who owns our data? What are our rights in this new world?
June 9, 2013 Revelations about government surveillance have motivated a lot of reactions, some of which take into account that we gain something for some of the data we give up in our day-to-day lives. But the transaction is different when the government is involved.
June 7, 2013 The news that the nation's spy agencies have been collecting phone records has been followed by word that they're also gathering up reams of information from the servers of major Internet and tech companies.
June 6, 2013 The National Security Agency is able to pluck data — including e-mails, videos, pictures, and connection logs — from the main servers of Microsoft, Google, Apple, and other leading U.S. tech companies, according to reports by The Washington Post and The Guardian. The newly disclosed U.S. government program, they say, is named PRISM.