America: Land of the Unfree

Conjure an image of ninth graders, fourteen-year-olds who have just barely entered high school, putting tape over their laptop webcams in an effort to thwart U.S. government spies. When I was in ninth grade, this trend was all the rage. Many of us feared that the FBI agent “personally assigned” to us would snitch on us for going on Facebook during class. Most students did this as a joke, but some of my slightly less-informed peers surmised that the government could – and would even bother to – watch them…

Open Data: Privacy vs. Innovation

With a countless number of avenues in which we can find data, it can be difficult to differentiate between credible and illegitimate sources. The Internet at large is an information platform, where accurate facts are lost in a jungle of fictitious data. Open data is the transparent and accessible flow of researched information, allowing new data to be universally available with permission to reuse or redistribute the data. The number of available government and scientific information has skyrocketed ad infinitum. These datasets have empowered citizens, government agencies, and researchers to…

Privacy Inequality is Coming, and it Does Not Look Pretty

Today we are on a technological precipice. Falling off the edge will lead us on a collision course to a new dimension of social inequality, a world in which access to privacy is out of reach for a large segment of society. Article 12 of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation.” Over the past decade, however, society has been willingly sacrificing this right, embracing technologies…