Data Mining

TSA Once Again Considering Using Commercial Data To Profile Passengers

TSA Once Again Considering Using Commercial Data To Profile Passengers

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:09am
The TSA has issued a “Market Research Announcement” in which the agency expresses a desire to expand its Pre-Check whitelist program by allowing private companies to carry out risk analysis of Americans that would determine whether they are “trusted” enough to participate in the trusted traveler program. This would be a major step toward turning the agency’s Pre-Check whitelist into the insidious kind of passenger profiling system that was proposed under the Bush Administration in the wake of 9/11, and a confirmation of our longstanding warnings that the logic of the risk-assessment approach to security will drive the government toward the use of more and more data on individuals. It would be the most significant of the new initiatives the TSA is looking at this year.
Privacy, Computers, and Consequences (Computers vs. Humans Part 2)

Privacy, Computers, and Consequences (Computers vs. Humans Part 2)

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:09pm

In a post yesterday I discussed the belief that as long as our behavior and communications are only scrutinized by a computer, our privacy has not been invaded. Many people have that sense because computers are so much dumber than human beings.

But…

Raytheon’s “Riot” Social-Network Data Mining Software

Raytheon’s “Riot” Social-Network Data Mining Software

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:08pm

A video touting software created by Raytheon to mine data from social networks has been attracting an increasing amount of attention in the past few days, since it was uncovered by Ryan Gallagher at the Guardian.

As best as I can tell from…

Computers vs. Humans: What Constitutes A Privacy Invasion?

Computers vs. Humans: What Constitutes A Privacy Invasion?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:37pm

The NSA is refusing to tell two U.S. Senators how many Americans the agency has eavesdropped upon. According to a letter obtained by Wired, the NSA claims that “dedicating sufficient additional resources” to gather that information “would likely…

Big Data: NSA, Facebook—and My University?

Big Data: NSA, Facebook—and My University?

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 12:51pm

On Sunday, the New York Times published an extensive piece surveying the ways American universities are using their access to students’ information to tailor their college experiences. Universities collect a huge amount of data on their students—course…

The Potential Chilling Effects of Big Data

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:46am

Last week I posted about “Big Data” and how it is being used to discover new facts about people, to sift and sort them based on subtle patterns, to flag them as “risks” in this field or that, to predict their behavior, and to manipulate them…

When Smart Gets Scary: Invasion of the Data Snatchers

When Smart Gets Scary: Invasion of the Data Snatchers

By Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 4:54pm

Smartphones and smart refrigerators and smartwatches, oh my.

I know, I know, it doesn't sound scary, but more and more, the things we own are being hooked up to the Internet and quietly collecting data on us, which is then packaged and sold…

What to Make of the TrapWire Story

What to Make of the TrapWire Story

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:34pm

Some of the Wikileaks-fueled swirl of stories about the TrapWire program appear to have been overhyped, as my colleague Kade Crockford of the ACLU of Massachusetts noted in her excellent roundup of the story yesterday. Others writing about the program…

Will We Mold Ourselves To Match Our Data?

Will We Mold Ourselves To Match Our Data?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:42pm

I recently came across a very nice essay on “The Stupidity of Computers” by David Auerbach, which is really much more interesting than that truism of a headline might suggest.

Auerbach starts with the observation that computers…

Monitoring Internet Usage Patterns Has Privacy Implications Too

Monitoring Internet Usage Patterns Has Privacy Implications Too

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 4:34pm

The New York Times Sunday Review included a striking op ed suggesting that universities could one day deploy software to analyze students’ internet usage for the purpose of assessing their mental health. The writers, Sriram Chellappan and Raghavendra…

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