1. Has Privacy Become a Luxury Good?

    Reporter Julia Angwin spoke to Fresh Air last week about the extreme measures she took to escape the clutches of data scrapers. "I want all the benefits of the information society; all I was trying to do is mitigate some of the risk," she says. You can read her recent opinion piece in the New York Times

    LAST year, I spent more than $2,200 and countless hours trying to protect my privacy.

    Some of the items I bought — a $230 service that encrypted my data in the Internet cloud; a $35 privacy filter to shield my laptop screen from coffee-shop voyeurs; and a $420 subscription to a portable Internet service to bypass untrusted connections — protect me from criminals and hackers. Other products, like a $5-a-month service that provides me with disposable email addresses and phone numbers, protect me against the legal (but, to me, unfair) mining and sale of my personal data.

    In our data-saturated economy, privacy is becoming a luxury good. After all, as the saying goes, if you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product. And currently, we aren’t paying for very much of our technology.

  2. privacy

    julia angwin

    fresh air

    new york times

  1. Today investigative reporter Julia Angwin speaks to Fresh Air about her extreme efforts to erase her digital footprint. Part of that work involved developing a better understanding of what kind of data is out there and where it comes from. Here she explains data brokers:

"Data brokers began by compiling very simple information from the Yellow Pages, the White Pages and government directories. The property records in your state are publicly on file somewhere, the data brokers will go buy it and put it in their dossier. At the same time, your address is usually on-file [in] many places with magazines or newspapers you subscribe to. … Also the post office sells access to its change of address list.
What’s happening now in the digital era is that they’re adding to their files with all sorts of digital information, so they can find out about you, what you’re doing online, what you’re buying online. … So now these records that they have are getting much more precise. They’re no longer just being used to send you junk mail that you can throw away. Now they’re being used online as well to help places figure out who you are as soon as you arrive at their website. They can make an instant assessment by matching your online stuff to some of the online data…


I found out there are a lot of data brokers out there. It took me almost a month to compile a list, because there’s no real list of who are they all, and I was able to identify about 200 or so of them. Of those, very few were willing to let me see my data. It was about a dozen that would let me see my data: some of the bigger brokers, LexisNexis, Axium, and some very small outfits.
… What was shocking about it was that it ranged from incredibly precise — every single address I’d ever lived at including the number on my dorm room in college, which I couldn’t even remember … to very imprecise, inaccurate things … that were not at all true — that I was a single mother … with no college education living in a place I didn’t live.”


Angwin’s book is called Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance
graffiti by Banksy  View in High-Res

    Today investigative reporter Julia Angwin speaks to Fresh Air about her extreme efforts to erase her digital footprint. Part of that work involved developing a better understanding of what kind of data is out there and where it comes from. Here she explains data brokers:

    "Data brokers began by compiling very simple information from the Yellow Pages, the White Pages and government directories. The property records in your state are publicly on file somewhere, the data brokers will go buy it and put it in their dossier. At the same time, your address is usually on-file [in] many places with magazines or newspapers you subscribe to. … Also the post office sells access to its change of address list.

    What’s happening now in the digital era is that they’re adding to their files with all sorts of digital information, so they can find out about you, what you’re doing online, what you’re buying online. … So now these records that they have are getting much more precise. They’re no longer just being used to send you junk mail that you can throw away. Now they’re being used online as well to help places figure out who you are as soon as you arrive at their website. They can make an instant assessment by matching your online stuff to some of the online data…

    I found out there are a lot of data brokers out there. It took me almost a month to compile a list, because there’s no real list of who are they all, and I was able to identify about 200 or so of them. Of those, very few were willing to let me see my data. It was about a dozen that would let me see my data: some of the bigger brokers, LexisNexis, Axium, and some very small outfits.

    … What was shocking about it was that it ranged from incredibly precise — every single address I’d ever lived at including the number on my dorm room in college, which I couldn’t even remember … to very imprecise, inaccurate things … that were not at all true — that I was a single mother … with no college education living in a place I didn’t live.”

    Angwin’s book is called Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance

    graffiti by Banksy 

  2. fresh air

    interview

    julia angwin

    data surveillance

    NSA

    privacy

    digital footprint

  1. Regarding the ongoing controversy with the National Security Agency, this morning the Washington Post stated: 

"The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to and other top-secret documents.”

Fresh Air interviewedShane Harris, author of The Watchers: The Rise of America’s Surveillance State spoke to Fresh Air about privacy in the digital era : 

Any movement that you make today leaves a digital signature, a digital trail. Investigators, after a terrorist attack has occurred, go back and use all of those digital signatures and trails to figure out who these people were and how they did the plot. Why can’t we look at it before the event occurs and try to predict with some degree of certainty where we should then be focusing our attention and which people we should be closely monitoring? But to do that you had to collect all of the information available everywhere.
View in High-Res

    Regarding the ongoing controversy with the National Security Agency, this morning the Washington Post stated:

    "The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to and other top-secret documents.”

    Fresh Air interviewedShane Harris, author of The Watchers: The Rise of America’s Surveillance State spoke to Fresh Air about privacy in the digital era : 

    Any movement that you make today leaves a digital signature, a digital trail. Investigators, after a terrorist attack has occurred, go back and use all of those digital signatures and trails to figure out who these people were and how they did the plot. Why can’t we look at it before the event occurs and try to predict with some degree of certainty where we should then be focusing our attention and which people we should be closely monitoring? But to do that you had to collect all of the information available everywhere.

  2. fresh air

    interview

    shane harris

    The Watchers

    NSA

    Washington Post

    Edward Snowden

    privacy

  1. Our cellphones are collecting a heck of a lot more information than we expect them to be collecting about us. They are collecting where we are, not just at one particular moment in the day but at virtually every moment of the day - where we move to, how long we stay there. This is location information that they collect and that the cellphone carriers collect and most importantly retain for sometimes quite long periods of time. They are also taking note of what we are buying, how we’re purchasing it, how often we’re purchasing it - that’s just the starting point for very important sensitive things phones take note of, including our text messages.

    — ProPublica investigative reporter Peter Maass on what information cell phone companies collect about us

  2. cell phones

    privacy

    information

  1. Young people in particular often self-reveal before they self-reflect. There is no eraser button today for youthful indiscretion.

    — On today’s Fresh Air, how the digital age is changing kids, teens and parents.

  2. james steyer

    internet

    privacy

  1. We know that Facebook has the ability and does target you on their website in an enormous number of ways. They don’t give your name to any of the advertisers — it’s all done anonymously. I’m not a fan of the distinction between anonymity and non-anonymity. … If you’re Joe Schmoe online or they know your real name or they give you an identification number — and so much of our lives is done online — in the end it doesn’t matter. You’re treated like a person who they know with all of the possible discriminatory activities we’ve talked about.

    — Joseph Turow on online privacy.

  2. privacy

    facebook

    joseph turow

  1. The relevant constitutional text is the Fourth Amendment which says, ‘The right of the people to be secure in their houses, persons, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated. But that doesn’t answer the question: Is it an unreasonable search of our persons or effects to be monitored in public spaces?

    — On today’s Fresh Air, law professor Jeffrey Rosen talks about United States v. Jones, a case the Supreme Court is currently considering. At issue is whether police need to have a warrant from a judge before attaching a secret GPS monitor to a car to track a suspect around the clock.

  2. jeffrey rosen

    privacy

    fourth amendment

    gps

  1. At the moment, lawyers at Facebook and Google and Microsoft have more power over the future of privacy and free expression than any king or president or Supreme Court justice. And we can’t rely simply on judges enforcing the existing Constitution to protect the values that the Framers took for granted.

    — On today’s Fresh Air, legal scholar Jeffrey Rosen talks about technologies that are challenging our notions of things like personal vs. private space, freedom of speech and our own individual autonomy.

  2. law

    constitution

    technology

    privacy

    jeffrey rosen

  1. Tomorrow: how new technology is challenging our notion of Constitutional values like privacy and freedom of speech. We’ll be talking with law professor Jeffrey Rosen about technology, the future of democracy, free speech, privacy, surveillance cameras, data mining and the effect of neuroscience on the law.

Constitution of the United States of America (by The U.S. National Archives)

    Tomorrow: how new technology is challenging our notion of Constitutional values like privacy and freedom of speech. We’ll be talking with law professor Jeffrey Rosen about technology, the future of democracy, free speech, privacy, surveillance cameras, data mining and the effect of neuroscience on the law.

    Constitution of the United States of America (by The U.S. National Archives)

  2. jeffery rosen

    technology

    privacy

    constitution

    democracy

    law

  1. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone on Twitter’s privacy policies: [complete interview here] "When we’re asked to give over private information about users — and in  many cases, it’s the law — our policy is, we give the user time to react  to this request. If we’ve given 10 days to turn over this information,  we immediately notify the user and we tell them, ‘We’ve been asked by  the law to hand over this information. We would like to give you this  time to fight it on your own behalf and deny giving up this  information.’ That allows us to comply with the law and gives the user  the ability to hold onto their privacy if they need to." View in High-Res

    Twitter co-founder Biz Stone on Twitter’s privacy policies: [complete interview here] "When we’re asked to give over private information about users — and in many cases, it’s the law — our policy is, we give the user time to react to this request. If we’ve given 10 days to turn over this information, we immediately notify the user and we tell them, ‘We’ve been asked by the law to hand over this information. We would like to give you this time to fight it on your own behalf and deny giving up this information.’ That allows us to comply with the law and gives the user the ability to hold onto their privacy if they need to."

  2. twitter

    biz stone

    privacy

    internet

    social media