Tag: Surveillance of Citizens by Government

N.S.A. Phone Program Cost $100 Million, but Produced Only Two Unique Leads

WASHINGTON — A National Security Agency system that analyzed logs of Americans’ domestic phone calls and text messages cost $100 million from 2015 to 2019, but yielded only a single significant investigation, according to a newly declassified study. Moreover, only twice during that four-year period did the program generate unique information that the F.B.I. did […]

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Your Doorbell Camera Spied on You. Now What?

Has there ever been a tech product more polarizing than Ring? The internet-connected doorbell gadget, which lets you watch live video of your front porch through a phone app or website, has gained a reputation as the webcam that spies on you and that has failed to protect your data. Yet people keep buying it […]

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All This Dystopia, and for What?

When you signed up for this newsletter you may have noticed the language indicated it would be a “limited run.” And like all limited runs, ours is coming to an end next week. We’re winding down next Tuesday and taking a brief hiatus. Next month, The Privacy Project newsletter will evolve into The New York […]

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How China Tracked Detainees and Their Families

The last time she heard from her family was over three years ago, before China began rounding up Muslims in the country’s far west. She lived abroad and knew nothing of her family’s fate — until the contents of a leaked government document surfaced, describing their lives in chilling detail. Rozinisa Memettohti, an ethnic Uighur […]

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The End of Privacy as We Know It?

Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile device:Via Apple Podcasts | Via Spotify | Via Stitcher A secretive start-up promising the next generation of facial recognition software has compiled a database of images far bigger than anything ever constructed by the United States government: over three billion, it says. Is this technology a […]

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The Government Uses ‘Near Perfect Surveillance’ Data on Americans

“When the government tracks the location of a cellphone it achieves near perfect surveillance, as if it had attached an ankle monitor to the phone’s user,” wrote John Roberts, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, in a 2018 ruling that prevented the government from obtaining location data from cellphone towers without a warrant. “We […]

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Coronavirus Live Updates: Hong Kong Reports Its First Death From Outbreak

Here are the highlights: ImageMedical workers in Hong Kong rally Tuesday on the second day of a strike to demand that the government shut the city’s border with China.Credit…Billy H.C. Kwok for The New York Times Hong Kong’s first death comes amid calls for border shutdown. A 39-year-old man in Hong Kong died Tuesday from […]

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China, Desperate to Stop Coronavirus, Turns Neighbor Against Neighbor

GUANGZHOU, China — One person was turned away by hotel after hotel after he showed his ID card. Another was expelled by fearful local villagers. A third found his most sensitive personal information leaked online after registering with the authorities. These outcasts are from Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province, where a rapidly spreading viral […]

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The Super Bowl Ads You Won’t See This Year

ImageCredit…Pete Gamlen C.T.E. Class-Action Lawsuit Attention, if you or a loved one received a diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., you may be entitled to financial compensation. C.T.E. is caused by repeated head injuries and linked to playing professional football. Please, don’t wait. Call 1-555-STOP-NFL for a free legal consultation and a claims packet. […]

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You Are Now Remotely Controlled

The debate on privacy and law at the Federal Trade Commission was unusually heated that day. Tech industry executives “argued that they were capable of regulating themselves and that government intervention would be costly and counterproductive.” Civil libertarians warned that the companies’ data capabilities posed “an unprecedented threat to individual freedom.” One observed, “We have […]

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London Police Will Begin Using Real-Time Facial Recognition

London’s police department said on Friday that it would begin using facial recognition technology in the city to identify people in real time, becoming one of the largest Western police forces to deploy software that has been criticized for its questionable effectiveness and violation of privacy. The Metropolitan Police provided few details about when and […]

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We’re Sleepwalking Into a Surveillance State

There is much about the future that keeps me up at night — A.I. weaponry, undetectable viral deepfakes, indefatigable and infinitely wise robotic op-ed columnists — but in the last few years, one technological threat has blipped my fear radar much faster than others. That fear? Ubiquitous surveillance. I am no longer sure that human […]

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We Need a Law to Save Us From Dystopia

Over the long weekend, my newsroom colleague Kashmir Hill had a blockbuster article about a facial recognition company “that might end privacy as we know it.” It charts the rise of Clearview AI, a company that scrapes images from social networks like Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other sites to create a repository of […]

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Chinese City Uses Facial Recognition to Shame Pajama Wearers

BEIJING — When officials in an eastern Chinese city were told to root out “uncivilized behavior,” they were given a powerful tool to carry out their mission: facial recognition software. Among their top targets? People wearing pajamas in public. On Monday, the urban management department of Suzhou, a city of six million people in Anhui […]

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How Technology Saved China’s Economy

Landing in Shanghai recently, I found myself in the middle of a tech revolution remarkable in its sweep. The passport scanner automatically addresses visitors in their native tongues. Digital payment apps have replaced cash. Outsiders trying to use paper money get blank stares from store clerks. Nearby in the city of Hangzhou a prototype hotel […]

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Banning Facial Recognition Isn’t Enough

Communities across the United States are starting to ban facial recognition technologies. In May of last year, San Francisco banned facial recognition; the neighboring city of Oakland soon followed, as did Somerville and Brookline in Massachusetts (a statewide ban may follow). In December, San Diego suspended a facial recognition program in advance of a new […]

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