We live in the glorious future that technophiles have long dreamed of. Almost everything can now connect to the internet: cameras, coffee pots, televisions, vacuums, toilets, children’s toys, sex toys. If you build it, a wireless connection will come for it. These smart devices are always on, always connected, and…
Every spring, nearly 300 white nationalists convene in Burns, Tennessee for the American Renaissance Conference—and they always need a place to stay.
Last week, a sheriff’s office in South Carolina posted a pretty crazy story to its Facebook page about how Facebook’s “People You May Know” feature had foiled a woman’s attempt to hide her identity from the police.
At the end of 2018, in a dramatic series of events, lawmakers in England had a sergeant-at-arms storm to an American tech executive’s hotel room and insisted on the release of confidential documents from his company’s ongoing lawsuit against Facebook. Then, in the style of vigilante hackers, the lawmakers posted many…
Last month, I tried to find out what Amazon learns about people who have an Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card from Chase. Neither Chase nor Amazon would give me a straight answer. In fact, Chase’s spokesperson, Mary Jane Rogers, gave me a wrong answer in telling me that Amazon fell into a category that it didn’t.
Week 6: Blocking them all
Do Not Track is apparently dead, and Apple is now taking steps to shed itself of the failed privacy project.
Week 5: Apple
Week 4: Microsoft
Week 3: Google
Week 2: Facebook
Whenever I go out to dinner with a bunch of friends, and we split the check, multiple people wind up throwing in those heavy, slate-grey credit cards bearing Amazon’s smiley arrow.
Week 1: Amazon
Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple collectively make products that we love, products that we hate (but can’t stop using), and products that dictate how we communicate and how we are seen. Their devices and services make our lives easier than they’ve ever been before, yet more complicated in unforeseen…
The visitors started coming in 2013. The first one who came and refused to leave until he was let inside was a private investigator named Roderick. He was looking for an abducted girl, and he was convinced she was in the house.
Back in 2015, a woman named Imy Santiago wrote an Amazon review of a novel that she had read and liked. Amazon immediately took the review down and told Santiago she had “violated its policies.” Santiago re-read her review, didn’t see anything objectionable about it, so she tried to post it again. “You’re not eligible…
Aleksandra Korolova has turned off Facebook’s access to her location in every way that she can. She has turned off location history in the Facebook app and told her iPhone that she “Never” wants the app to get her location. She doesn’t “check-in” to places and doesn’t list her current city on her profile.
Last year, I was trying to solve a mystery. Facebook’s “People You May Know” tool was outing sex workers’ real identities to their clients, and vice versa, and I was trying to figure out how. A sex worker using the pseudonym Leila told me she had gone to great lengths to hide her identity from clients by using an…
Back in 2015, Facebook had a pickle of a problem. It was time to update the Android version of the Facebook app, and two different groups within Facebook were at odds over what the data grab should be.