Google collects Android users’ locations even when location services are disabled

Many people realize that smartphones track their locations. But what if you actively turn off location services, haven’t used any apps, and haven’t even inserted a carrier SIM card? Even if you take all of those precautions, phones running Android software gather data about your location and send it back to Google when they’re connected to the internet, a Quartz …

FCC plans total repeal of net neutrality rules

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai will reveal plans to his fellow commissioners on Tuesday to fully dismantle the agency’s Obama-era net neutrality regulations, people familiar with the plans said, in a major victory for the telecom industry in the long-running policy debate. The commission will vote on the proposal in December, some seven months after it laid the groundwork …

European Court Ruling Could Recognize Mass Surveillance Violates Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights last week held a hearing in a challenge to the United Kingdom’s mass surveillance practices, brought by the ACLU, Privacy International, Liberty, and seven other human rights organizations from around the world. The case challenges practices, revealed by Edward Snowden, that breach the rights to privacy and freedom of expression, which are guaranteed not …

Apple vs Google on privacy: a tale of absolute competitive advantage

Apple vs Google on privacy: a tale of absolute competitive advantage 15 Jan, 2015 Isn’t Apple just spyware, like Google? Apple willingly giving up its absolute competitive advantage in privacy over Google would be as daft as Samson shaving his head every morning. (Samson image courtesy Wikipedia; Public Domain.) Mac and iOS as stopgaps Apple is a secretive company with …

The Orwellian doublethink of ‘open data’: when closed is open.

The Orwellian doublethink of ‘open data’: when closed is open. 28 Mar, 2015 Proprietary platforms that call themselves ‘open’ create the illusion of choice, lead to apathy, and have ramifications for privacy, human rights, and the health of the commons. It’s time to call them out on it. Sorry, we’re open… when words don’t mean what we think they mean.Photo …

The nature of the self in the digital age

The nature of the self in the digital age 3 Mar, 2016 This is the original English version of an op-ed I wrote for Zeit Online. It is the first in a new series to take a critical look at technology as part of their 20th-year celebrations. This piece is based on a talk I gave at Bucerius Lab in …

We didn’t lose control – it was stolen

We didn’t lose control – it was stolen 12 Mar, 2017 The Web we have is not broken for Google and Facebook. People farmers are reaping the rewards of their violations into our lives to the tune of tens of billions in revenue every year. How can they possibly be our allies? The Web we have works perfectly well for …