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“Encrypt your face”: protestors Signal digital data privacy fears with new face-blurring feature

“Encrypt your face”: protestors Signal digital data privacy fears with new face-blurring feature

In the wake of George Floyd’s death, protestors flocked to encrypted messaging application (“app”) Signal to plan events and share content. In response, a new tool was quickly released that allows faces to be blurred in photos. These events...
Health Code, a tool to tackle COVID-19 or automatize social control?

Health Code, a tool to tackle COVID-19 or automatize social control?

“Please show your Health Code.” A few months since the COVID-19 pandemic started, almost all public places in China have posted such requests at the entrances. Health Code, a color-based application, is rolled out to control people’s movements and...
Covid-19 Contact Tracing Apps: a Threat or a Solution?

Covid-19 Contact Tracing Apps: a Threat or a Solution?

In the last few months, we have witnessed a new wave of technological innovations with the goal to help contain the Covid-19 pandemic, including contact tracing applications developed by numerous countries to track the contamination cases and help identify...
Smoke Signals: A technical and ideological response to U.S. surveillance in 2020

Smoke Signals: A technical and ideological response to U.S. surveillance in 2020

Americans have a lot to say in 2020, and protests are the chosen platform of the year. With race-fueled police brutality reaching peak heights, people are occupying space physically and vocally to say their piece in the Black Lives...
Amazon Prime Air – convenience, surveillance and more from your “friendly” ecosystem

Amazon Prime Air – convenience, surveillance and more from your “friendly” ecosystem

“The pleasure of consumerism is so widespread that it is has reached the status of a universal human right” (Lovink 4). But for a right like that to exist, others had to fall – such as individual and collective...
Bluetooth and Its Mutation Into a Surveillance Tool

Bluetooth and Its Mutation Into a Surveillance Tool

The almighty Facebook corporation has announced its entrance into the dating industry using bluetooth, facilitating the social network with yet another facet of user-generated data. In the past, this repurposing of the Bluetooth technology as an actor within the...
Deepfake technology: a paradox of economic and political possibilities

Deepfake technology: a paradox of economic and political possibilities

Abstract: Nowadays, deepfake technology seems to be a trending debate in not only media academia but also the social world. The discussions encompass many economic and political concerns that perhaps become prerequisites of further research in disinformation, misinformation and...
Sherlock Holmes of the Data-Driven world: ‘Big Data Policing’

Sherlock Holmes of the Data-Driven world: ‘Big Data Policing’

The emergence and rise of ‘Data Policing’, all around the world, is noticeable. And it is not a traditional use of technology by police, For instance, surveillance cameras in some public places. Nowadays we are encountering a completely novel...
Facebook Gaming: Live Streaming the Perils of Data Privacy

Facebook Gaming: Live Streaming the Perils of Data Privacy

The ability to record and live stream video games has completely reformed the gaming industry as it became the birthplace of popular online live streaming communities. Why do younger people today spend more time watching gaming content than playing...
Vote yay or vote nay, but you just can’t ignore micro-targeting.

Vote yay or vote nay, but you just can’t ignore micro-targeting.

“Numbers and democracy have always been linked.”John Durham Peters proclaims, giving examples from Greek political systems to modern opinion surveys. He focuses on majority – the social force through numbers, that democracy uses to establish legitimacy (434). And when...
Big Brother is watching you play football

Big Brother is watching you play football

The new football season has recently started again. Millions of people will watch the matches of their favourite professional football clubs live on one of their digital devices. For the first time in history, it will also be possible...
AI IS WATCHING YOU

AI IS WATCHING YOU

Artificial Intelligence is, and actually always has been, a hot topic of debate. In the computational sciences AI is conceptualized as the study of intelligent agents. The computer perceives the environment and consequently performs actions that are expected to...
The Elephant in the Room: Privacy and Zoo Animals (and Humans Too)

The Elephant in the Room: Privacy and Zoo Animals (and Humans Too)

ABSTRACT – Would you want your whole life broadcasted, without you knowing it? Thankfully, humans have rights protecting this from happening. As concern over privacy grows, paradoxically the trend to watch other animals online increases. Are we biased when...
“De Sleepwet”: Why five students are trying to protect the privacy of Dutch citizens

“De Sleepwet”: Why five students are trying to protect the privacy of Dutch citizens

A revised version of the Dutch law on intelligence and security is challenged by five students, because it violates the right to privacy. They started a campaign with the goal to enable a referendum, in an effort to protect...
Weeping Angel: The latest surveillance tool, that can turn your smart TV into a bug TV

Weeping Angel: The latest surveillance tool, that can turn your smart TV into a bug TV

  Earlier this year, a revelation by Wikileaks called Vault7 refueled the privacy debate concerning intrusive media (Hacker News; The Verge, 2017). The series released documents on CIA activity between 2013 and 2016, showing how the intelligence agency gained access...
Publicism: Breaking the chains of press censorship and surveillance

Publicism: Breaking the chains of press censorship and surveillance

MEDIA FREEDOM IS INCREASINGLY FRAGILE   The 2017 World Press Freedom Index, published by Reporters without Border (RSF), shows that media freedom is increasingly threatened not only in authoritarian regimes but also in democratic countries. For example, the Netherlands...
Using Personal Data to buy Art: The Data Dollar Store

Using Personal Data to buy Art: The Data Dollar Store

Recently, Kaspersky Lab has been in the news due to so-called suspicious activity within their security software system and a supposed link with the Russian government. Both TechCrunch and Wired state that the Department of Homeland Security has “banned...
Yelp for Humans: Technology Gone Wrong or Sign of a Dystopian Future?

Yelp for Humans: Technology Gone Wrong or Sign of a Dystopian Future?

Peeple, an application described as “Yelp for humans” launched in 2016, despite being mired in controversy. Even ‘Black Mirror’, a popular dystopian TV series, aired an episode about an app that was eerily similar, cementing Peeple’s distinction as nightmare...
The Future of Mass Surveillance Is Here (and We Are Excited About It)

The Future of Mass Surveillance Is Here (and We Are Excited About It)

On the 12th of September 2017 Apple announced the iPhone X, proclaiming that “the future is here”. According to the company the iPhone X contains multiple new technologies, one of which is Face ID. This new technology is described as...
‘M’ Assistant – a New Territory For Advertising

‘M’ Assistant – a New Territory For Advertising

‘M’ is an Artificial Intelligent virtual assistant inside Messenger which aims to be helpful to its users when appropriate. M Assistant analyzes their normal conversation on Messenger and pops up to suggest one of the features within the app...
New Digital Ink: The Terms and Conditions of Tech Tats

New Digital Ink: The Terms and Conditions of Tech Tats

A future with chips implanted under your skin which track your health and makes bankcards and keys unnecessary might seem distant, but with the development of the newest generation of wearables – the so called Tech Tat – it...
Surveillance through a new way of payment

Surveillance through a new way of payment

A couple of days ago I lost my debit card. At first I thought it was fine because I do not need to use it that often, but after some hours I already noticed that it is quite inconvenient...
Spy me, please!

Spy me, please!

A project, brought to you by Afra Suci Ramadhon, Alina Niemann, Kimberly Leerkes, Kyra Teklu and Radina Teodosieva The exhibitionist beginning Several weeks ago we were presented with an assignment ­- to create a new media project, intervening an...
G is for Google, F is for friendly and I is for innocent

G is for Google, F is for friendly and I is for innocent

The 11th of August this year Google announced a big change; Google from now on will be part of a new parent company Alphabet which will cover all of Google’s activities. For some this might be a surprising move as Google...