Blog- Old Format

The author's gravitar image

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 …

Read More...
The author's gravitar image

Apple AirTags and Stalking

Released on April 30, 2021, Apple AirTags were created to help keep track of items by allowing auditory pings to be sent to the tag or having the tags location connected to Apple’s “Find My Friends” app. Measuring 1.36 inches in diameter, 0.21 inches high, and weighing only 0.39 ounce, the tags are small enough …

Read More...
The author's gravitar image

Who Gets Mapped? The Politics of Mapping Informal Settlements

Informal settlements, defined as housing constructed on land in which its occupants have no legal claim, and unplanned settlements, where housing is not in compliance with regulations or else unauthorized, account for one-third of the urban form and house 30-70% of the developing world’s urban population, well over a billion people. According to the United …

Read More...
The author's gravitar image

The Ethics of Building a Megacity in the Desert

In 2017, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced his country’s plan to build a futuristic megacity by 2025. Called Neom, a combination of the Greek word “new” and the Arabic term for “future”, this project is certainly no small undertaking. Neom is proposed to cover an area the size of Belgium along the …

Read More...
The author's gravitar image

Geospatial Technologies and War

The history of geography is also a history of warfare, and there has historically been no greater determinant of a war’s outcome or its aftermath than through a geographic lens.The Russian invasion of Ukraine is taking place during an era of unprecedented advances in telecommunications and machine connectivity. Satellite maps and geospatial technology which have …

Read More...
The author's gravitar image

Contact Tracing and the Olympic Games

With the 2022 Olympics wrapping up in Beijing this week, it has been fascinating to learn how China has navigated hosting such a global event during the Covid-19 pandemic. China is known for its strict lockdown policies since the beginning of the pandemic, which have only shifted slightly to host this year’s Winter Olympic Games.  …

Read More...
The author's gravitar image

Selling Your ‘Digital Soul’

Physically invisible and conceptually hard-to-grasp, data is both omnipresent and hidden from the public eye. Personal data—including name, address, phone number, browsing history—is quietly collected and brokered for profits at almost any opportunity available. Only now is the business of selling data becoming common knowledge, with those concerned about privacy using VPNs or services that …

Read More...
The author's gravitar image

Ethics Board at IBM

When it comes to the ethics of artificial intelligence, technology leader IBM takes a ‘multidisciplinary, multidimensional approach to trustworthy AI’. IBM was recently recognized for the third year in a row as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. This achievement was given to a total of 135 companies across 22 countries and 47 industries. …

Read More...
The author's gravitar image

An Algorithm for Morality

Researchers at the Allen Institute of Artificial Intelligence recently created an algorithm they claim can determine morality. The program, named Delphi after the ancient Greek oracle, takes a statement as input and determines whether the situation is morally just, or on the contrary, unjust. For instance, when asked “Is it okay to rob a bank?” …

Read More...
The author's gravitar image

The Struggle to Confirm Consent with Location Data

It’s no secret that companies are interested in your location data: it is valuable, insightful, and can provide them with much needed information to grow their businesses. Whenever you pick up your phone, there is a good chance that your location is being used–whether it be for directions, weather, or coffee shop recommendations, your data …

Read More...
The author's gravitar image

Entrenching the Surveillance State with COVID-19 Contact Tracing Data

COVID-19 has brought on a number of ethical challenges in harnessing mobile data for contract tracing purposes. There is a heightened interest around the world in using location data, specifically held by companies like Google and Facebook, to track individuals with coronavirus in order to understand how effective social distancing measures can be, as well …

Read More...