Techno Sapiens: The Ghost in the Data Edition

Cross-posted from Slate.

Welcome to Techno Sapiens, a biweekly series of six podcasts hosted by Future Tense fellows, Christine Rosen, senior editor of the New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology & Society, and Marvin Ammori, a First Amendment lawyer who has worked for Google, eBay, and Dropbox, among others. Each podcast will examine how technology—now and in the future—will impact us as a species, and how we relate to each other.

On today’s first episode, Christine and Marvin debate the pros and cons of big data with American Civil Liberties Union legislative counsel Chris Calabrese. As Twitter, Facebook, and all the other tech companies hoover up our information, learning more and more about us, is it time to ask: If we have nothing to hide, do we have nothing to fear?

  • OkCupid’s blog, OkTrends, is full of interesting data sets about American relationships.
  • Opower is a company that helps energy utilities tell their users how their energy use compares with their neighbors.
  • The 2008 National Research Council report argued that data mining does not help us find terrorists.
  • The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board’s report also suggested that the National Security Agency program collection of American phone call data has been almost useless in catching terrorists.
Focus Area: 

Add new comment

Once you hit Save, your comment will be held for moderation before being published. You will not see a confirmation message once you hit the Save button but please be assured your comment has been submitted and we will review it.
Enter the characters shown in the image.