Sara Morrison
Sara Morrison
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Think you have nothing to hide? Why you should care about data privacy anyway.

Think you have nothing to hide? Why you should care about data privacy anyway.

Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.When I tell people I write about data privacy, I usually get something along the lines of these two responses:“Is Facebook listening to me? I got an ad for parrot food, and the only possible explanation is that Facebook heard my friend tell me about his new pet parrot, because he mentioned that exact brand, which I never even heard of before.”(No, .)Here’s the other:“I’m sure that’s important to someone, but I don’t have anything to hide. Why should I care about data privacy?”A ton of personal and granular data is...

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Sara Morrison
Jan 28
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How your mobile carrier makes money off some of your most sensitive data

How your mobile carrier makes money off some of your most sensitive data

T-Mobile’s new personalized ad program is invasive — and common.Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.T-Mobile raised a few eyebrows — and got some unflattering press attention — when the Wall Street Journal on its . Beginning April 26, T-Mobile says it will use its customers’ web browsing and app usage data to sell targeted ads unless those customers opt out.It sounds very creepy. No one likes to think that someone is watching and cataloging all the websites they visit. But it’s also a good example of just how much of our data can be and is collected...

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Sara Morrison
Mar 13
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You’ve been invited to Clubhouse. Your privacy hasn’t.

You’ve been invited to Clubhouse. Your privacy hasn’t.

Clubhouse has millions of users, millions of dollars, and very few privacy options.Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.Did you get an invitation to join Clubhouse, the invite-only, audio-based app that seemingly ? Before you decide to join the cool kids club, you might want to consider who will see you there, even if you take every available measure to keep your contacts private.Though it’s still in beta mode, Clubhouse has millions of users, and privacy issues are starting to emerge, both for measures the app has built to preserve the privacy of...

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Sara Morrison
Feb 12
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The Apple car, briefly explained

The Apple car, briefly explained

The Apple car, if there is one, could be on the road by 2024.Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.The long-rumored, long-dead Apple car may soon be resurrected. Apple is reportedly talking to auto manufacturers about building a fully autonomous electric car as soon as 2024. As is typical of Apple’s projects, we’re still short on verified facts.The , courtesy of CNBC, had Apple and Hyundai “close to finalizing” a deal to build the cars at a Kia plant in Georgia. They would be Apple’s own brand of cars, and the partnership would give Apple a factory...

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Sara Morrison
Dec 23
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The Capitol rioters put themselves all over social media. Now they’re getting arrested.

The Capitol rioters put themselves all over social media. Now they’re getting arrested.

How law enforcement and internet detectives are identifying the Capitol rioters.Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.Capitol Police nearly every member of a mob of pro-Trump rioters to enter, vandalize, and leave the Capitol building scot-free, but internet sleuths and official investigators are determined to hold them accountable. The reckoning has already begun: Several people have now been charged with riot-related crimes, and law enforcement officials promise more charges are to come.After insurrectionists crashed through barriers surrounding...

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Sara Morrison
Jan 8
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How retailers track your every move in exchange for coupons and convenience

How retailers track your every move in exchange for coupons and convenience

Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.Once upon a time (February 2020), you could walk into a store, casually browse its wares, and try things on, making sure they fit and felt right before you decided to buy them. Maybe you joined a few friends for social interaction over coffee at the in-store cafe. You could even buy things in relative anonymity using cash.Online shopping eschews this experience in favor of data-driven convenience. Physical stores were already losing ground before the drove customers away, and now they’ve had to accelerate their...

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Sara Morrison
Dec 4
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How hackers, probably Russian, infiltrated the federal government

How hackers, probably Russian, infiltrated the federal government

Here’s what we know so far.Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.Hackers reportedly linked to the Russian government managed to hack into multiple US government agencies in what could be the largest hack of government systems since the Obama administration — or perhaps ever.Malware inserted into third-party software may have given hackers access to various government systems for months. It went undetected until last week, when a cybersecurity company that makes hacking tools that its own systems were breached. Security agencies are currently assessing...

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Sara Morrison
Dec 14
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The future of commercial space travel is almost here with the latest SpaceX launch

The future of commercial space travel is almost here with the latest SpaceX launch

Elon Musk’s private space company has now successfully launched two crewed flights into orbital space.Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.Elon Musk’s SpaceX just launched the first operational crewed flight into orbital space, following up on its successful test flight several months ago and bringing us one step closer to private commercial space travel.SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Crew-1 capsule, seated on top of the company’s Falcon 9 rocket, on Sunday night with four astronauts on board — three from NASA and one from Japan’s JAXA — for a return flight to...

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Sara Morrison
May 26
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Facebook’s sad summer continues with a $650 million settlement

Facebook’s sad summer continues with a $650 million settlement

The company will pay Illinois users between $200 and $400 over claims that it violated the state’s facial recognition law.Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.Facebook has agreed to pay $650 million to settle a years-long class action lawsuit over its use of facial recognition in what continues to be a less-than-great summer for the social media company.The lawsuit is over Facebook’s photo-tagging feature, which used facial recognition software to identify faces in users’ photos. The state of Illinois, however, has a law against businesses collecting...

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Sara Morrison
Jul 23
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Everything you need to know about Palantir, the secretive company coming for all your data

Everything you need to know about Palantir, the secretive company coming for all your data

How Palantir and Peter Thiel might lead the biggest tech IPO of the year.Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.In the earlier days of the , many of the country’s public health departments, , were woefully unprepared for the massive amounts of data they needed to process. Looking for a tidy private sector solution to a messy government problem, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with ties to the Trump administration to build something new. That company is called Palantir Technologies, and if you don’t know much about it, that’s by...

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Sara Morrison
Jul 16
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