Signal vs WhatsApp: Chat App Encryption

If you spend any amount of time on social media these days (and heaven knows I do), you’ll see people talking about encrypted chat apps. In the days following the Capitol riots, both Twitter and Facebook cracked down hard on violent speech and anything that could be considered a conspiracy theory. The result was a […]

Corporate Surveillance, Data Privacy, and iOS 14

I have this whole rant about security prepared, but I just realized this is the Halloween edition of This Week in Mobile. So be prepared to be spooked. We’ve all sort of become inured to the fact that being on the internet means your privacy will erode away, at least to some degree. Every time […]

Facial Recognition and Bias: The Price of Progress

We can remember facial recognition seeming like a sci-fi wonder. There was something alluring about the idea of machines so smart they’d know us, and tech so advanced it was like a friend. But the more sinister applications were always simmering under the surface. Even in 1990, Total Recall envisioned a world in which you […]

Somebody’s Watching You

Decade Dangers   Every now and then, the internet graces us with a new way to explore our own mortality. Take Facebook’s “10-Year Challenge,” for example. Doing a close-read of how much you’ve aged in the past decade doesn’t sound all that fun, but it’s all the rage right now, and Facebook, Instagram, and even […]

Cars and Congress

I Hear the Secrets That You Keep, When You’re Talking in Your Sleep Last week we got a little scaremongery about the future of electronic surveillance. (Ironically we dictated part of that piece.) We talked about eavesdropping speakers and the limits of privacy, and this week, as then, there’s really no easy answer. We accept […]

Autonomous Cars and the Sketchy NSA

The NSA hits keep on coming In the past three years we’ve learned more about the NSA than we ever thought we would. And no matter how sketchy they could be in our imaginations, the reality seems to be worse with each new tidbit we receive. But at least they never planned to infect your […]

Copyright trolls, the NSA, and a Failing Zynga

Copyright troll smackdown, part II Hated “copyright troll” firm Prenda Law got its just comeuppance this week, when the 9th Circuit tore it a proverbial new one while hearing oral arguments against the ruinous sanctions imposed two years ago by Judge Otis Wright. Continuing their masochistic tour of US courts, Prenda’s principals unsuccessfully argued that […]

Android Privacy, Facebook’s App Store, and the FCC

I’m in Ur Apps Privacy-minded Android users got a shock this week when Carnegie Mellon announced the results of a recent app privacy study. It turns out that dozens of popular apps track their users’ locations to within a 50-meter radius, approximately every three minutes. Yep, your apps know more about your whereabouts than your […]