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Data Privacy: Legal Landscape in the United States

The issue of data privacy is not a twenty-first century concept: it is a debate that goes back more than a century. In an increasingly interconnected world with rapidly developing technology, it is important to take a step back and realize what is happening with the information we provide when we type on a keyboard …

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Abortion Clinics and Misleading Google Maps

With over 118.4 million monthly users in the United States, and a 56% share of the market among mobile users, Google Maps is without a doubt the United States’ most dominant navigation service. However, a new analysis by Bloomberg has found the platform routinely misleads people searching for abortion providers and clinics. When users search …

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The Postal Paradox

In 1864 in Italy, the concept of a civilian registry was introduced. A civil registry enabled the government to have a systematic practice to record legal residents in Italy. However, with the registry, people had to register their permanent addresses with the government in order to enjoy their constitutional rights. This system became problematic for …

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The Geographic Distribution of Extreme Wealth in the U.S.

The Covid-19 pandemic brought upon significant levels of uncertainty to the American populace. In July of 2022, 57 percent of unemployed Americans were out of work because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic. Despite these impacts, individual wealth amongst the highest tax brackets rose dramatically from pre-pandemic levels, heavily skewing the …

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Google Pays Nearly $392 Million Settlement in Location-Tracking Case

Google recently agreed to pay nearly $392 million in a settlement with 40 states over allegations of the giant tech company tracking people through their devices, even after location tracking had been turned off. According to authorities, since at least 2014, Google has broken consumer protection laws by misleading users about when it secretly recorded …

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U.S. History of Census Data Abuse

The United States Census Bureau collects and produces data about the American people and economy. With such data, it becomes easier to map and visualize the areas of improvement, populations in need, as well as social progress. The census data is collected through extensive efforts, and Americans reap its benefits by ensuring government funding and …

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Does Google’s ‘Neighborhood Vibe’ pass the vibe check?

Google’s third annual Search On event, held this past September in San Jose, California, signaled to consumers that Google executives were focusing on keeping up with Silicon Valley’s latest trends, moving towards more “immersive” material. The announcement follows previous moves by the giant tech company, specifically its 2020 introduction of Google Maps’ Live View feature. …

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How Amazon May Be Using Your Vacuum to Map Your Home

Last month, Amazon Inc. announced a $1.7 billion deal to acquire iRobot Corp., which produces and sells the Roomba vacuum cleaner. While Amazon stands to make plenty of money from these vacuums, another potential reason behind the deal may be a bit more sinister. iRobot Corp, though primarily functioning as a maker of robot vacuum …

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OpenStreetMap: Disputed Territories

If you are looking for the Wikipedia of geospatial data, OpenStreetMap (OSM) is your platform. Steve Coast, who was a student at University College London at the time, initially introduced the idea of mapping a street with GPS by volunteers in 2004. Coast’s OpenStreetMap presented an alternative to the UK government’s expensive geographical datasets. With …

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Catfishing the Enemy: How Ukrainian Hackers are Discovering Russian Locations

With each new generation, warfare continues to expand and match the day’s most current technologies. Oftentimes we think of physical objects such as the introduction of tanks in World War I or fighter jets in World War II, however wartime tactics also include the gathering of information. The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine is …

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Federal Agencies Are Quietly Using Your Cell Phone Data

On July 18, 2022, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released thousands of pages of documents revealing that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been buying location data from third parties, thus sidestepping the traditional warrant process. Agencies such as Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been able …

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