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Shrek, Bots, and Whistleblowing: Dismantling the Texas Right to Life Whistleblower website in an Age of Dataveillance

Shrek, Bots, and Whistleblowing: Dismantling the Texas Right to Life Whistleblower website in an Age of Dataveillance

On September 1, 2021 Texas introduced a highly restrictive abortion ban called the Texas Heartbeat Act. It is the first of its kind to rely solely on enforcement by private individuals through civil lawsuits. In anticipation of the law...
Contact tracing: an aid for humanity or a Trojan horse of surveillance?

Contact tracing: an aid for humanity or a Trojan horse of surveillance?

By Sophie Letschert (smwletschert@outlook.com), Caroline Stanislawczyk (claarecaro@gmail.com) and Karlygash Nurdilda (k.nurdilda@gmail.com) Introduction Can contact tracing apps become the ultimate flooding gates for private data to flow into the hands of the third parties, bringing out health surveillance en masse?...
Signal – Speaking with no one listening

Signal – Speaking with no one listening

Signal is a messaging app that has been around since 2013. It is said to be one of the most secure messaging apps on the market. Whistleblower Edward Snowden uses it daily and describes Signal as the safest messaging...
Don’t Leave the Light On: Visualizing Privacy in iOS14

Don’t Leave the Light On: Visualizing Privacy in iOS14

The iOS14 update offers new forms of visualizing privacy, through features such as the camera indicator light and (still forthcoming) opt-in tracking. Rather than put pressure on the developer, these features act to visualize the continued shift of power...
“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...
No card, No Phone, No problem! Alipay: Pay with your face,  A balance between convenience, security and privacy

No card, No Phone, No problem! Alipay: Pay with your face, A balance between convenience, security and privacy

Can you imagine that you are able to pay without mobile phones, bank cards, and cash? Alipay made it happen in 2017, and it provides the facial recognition payment that lets people make payments by scanning their faces. In...
What is VK and why could it be a social media platform of the future?

What is VK and why could it be a social media platform of the future?

What is the best and most well-known social network of all times? Most of the people would say Facebook. But what if somewhere in the land of forests, snow, and, of course, bears exists a social media platform, which...
Fawkes: “Cloaking” Your Photos to Elude Facial Recognition Systems

Fawkes: “Cloaking” Your Photos to Elude Facial Recognition Systems

For too long we have lived under the fear brought by the deepfake. In that case, it’s time for us to meet the photo-editing tool, Fawkes. Since the deepfake is generally based on images, Fawkes can fool the AI...
Trick-or-Treating Dressed as Apple

Trick-or-Treating Dressed as Apple

Only with a mask was it possible for Romeo to disguise his true identity and enter the Capulets’ ball to meet Juliet. An unimaginable feat in today’s world of digital footprints and traces. With Apple’s recently announced sing-in alternative...
The Worrisome Biometrics: Deepfakes, ZAO and Privacy Issue

The Worrisome Biometrics: Deepfakes, ZAO and Privacy Issue

In early September, a face-swapping app called ZAO attracted universal attention in China. Using the technology of “Deepfakes”, it allows users to swap their faces into famous characters’ in the film and TV show clips. ZAO prevailed like the...
Deepfakes, Privacy Paradoxes and Black Boxes

Deepfakes, Privacy Paradoxes and Black Boxes

“I do worry about my privacy,” Huang said. “Because no one cares about my data when I’m a nobody. But if people think they can make money from my information, it makes me worry about the security of my...
Digital resistance: A brief introduction to decentralized data-right movements

Digital resistance: A brief introduction to decentralized data-right movements

This post provides a brief introduction to collective organization as a form of resistance, whose ambition is overcoming technological determinism and creating new paths to re-define our relationship with “new” technologies, connecting the labor and knowledge of so many...
Reality Slap Plugin: You Never Know When It Hits You

Reality Slap Plugin: You Never Know When It Hits You

With the number of Tweets, Facebook statuses, Instagram pictures and Stories many users share on a daily basis, we think it can be exhausting to keep track of the wide-ranging visibility a single post can have. With a public...
The Ultimate ‘Data Selfie’: An era of self-tracking explosion

The Ultimate ‘Data Selfie’: An era of self-tracking explosion

‘The End of Forgetting’: Self-tracking and the Quantified Self Humans are forgetful. We make errors. We easily neglect matters that are trivial. However, this is not a problem in the 21st century: we have self-tracking apps and devices to...
Facebook’s Rosetta: How Are Algorithms Using Our Data?

Facebook’s Rosetta: How Are Algorithms Using Our Data?

Digital networking companies have started to build artificial intelligence software that can filter through unwanted content that may be offensive to their users. Facebook recently announced the latest addition to this trend with a machine learning program called Rosetta; software...
WhatsApp Doc? The alternative

WhatsApp Doc? The alternative

WhatsApp Doc? The privacy alternative Within the digital media environment, we nowadays live in, it is taken for granted that every piece of desired information will appear on your display within seconds. Even so, we are finger clicks away...
Spare Change Investment: Saving for the Future or Selling Out Today?

Spare Change Investment: Saving for the Future or Selling Out Today?

Millennials are a new target market. Personal growth, independence, and self-improvement are trends especially prominent with generation Y and Z. Right in tune, finances are following suit with budget, mobile payment and now investment apps like Acorns and Moneybox....
Goodbye Cashiers. Goodbye Checkouts. Goodbye Privacy?

Goodbye Cashiers. Goodbye Checkouts. Goodbye Privacy?

Imagine going to University in the morning. You haven’t had breakfast, but you missed your train, so there’s no time for that queue at Albert Heijn. Now, imagine how convenient it would be to just run into a grocery...
Love at Stake? Facebook Is Entering the Online World of Dating!

Love at Stake? Facebook Is Entering the Online World of Dating!

Are you ready to leave behind your one-night-stands and start a meaningful relationship? Well than thank God, Facebook is here to help you! When Mark Zuckerberg, a co-founder and the current CEO of Facebook, said during the annual F8...
Power according to Foucault

Power according to Foucault

Introduction This article gives a short overview about several concepts related to ‘power’ from 20th century French social theorist Michel Foucault. He was highly influenced by Jean Hyppolite and Louis Althusser. Foucault is both associated as a structuralist and...
Uber, uber bad.

Uber, uber bad.

It seems that Uber, the global transportation technology company, is having issues with keeping itself out of trouble. Last year, Uber agreed to pay a fine of 20,000 USD as well as adopting a more stringent privacy practice after...
Make voting safe again? A selection and as-sessment of contemporary technologies in relation to their integration with i-Voting

Make voting safe again? A selection and as-sessment of contemporary technologies in relation to their integration with i-Voting

By conducting an academic literature review along with an empirical analysis of the Estonian i-Voting system, our aim was to identify weaknesses in the i-Voting infrastructure, and assess whether biometric technologies can be implemented to help alleviate issues and...