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the end of privacy

Episode 3: Data brokers - the news business' awkward little secret

Nov 23, 2015

Advertisers and data brokers collect information about you as you move from site to site across the internet – including your hobbies, your politics, your religion and race, how much debt you have, what health issues you look at and much more.

There are dozens of data trackers on most news sites, too. But most news organizations only reveal that in the middle of impenetrable privacy policies. Is it time for news publishers to be more transparent about their roll in how your data is collected?

With Josh Sterns, director of journalism and sustainability at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; Cooper Quintin, staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation; Wendy Davis, senior writer at MediaPost; Tim Libert, researcher at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania; and Mike Zaneis, executive VP and general counsel at IAB. Music by Bobby McElver.

If you’re really interested in ad tech, tracking and news sites, I would definitely suggest reading Don Marti. He has some of the most cogent, lucid writing on the topic. Here are a couple posts to start you off:

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Episode 2: Sources at Risk

Sep 9, 2015

Mass surveillance programs and aggressive government crackdowns on leaks are creating serious risks for sources. A single email or phone call to a reporter could leave a source without a job, or worse, facing criminal prosecution.

Episode 2 looks at the state of source protection around the world and how journalists are adapting to these new challenges. With Stephen Engelberg, editor in chief at ProPublica; Peter Finn national security editor at The Washington Post; Marisa Taylor investigative reporter at McClatchy’s Washington DC bureau; Julie Posetti, researcher at the University of Wollongong; and Garrett Robinson from the Freedom of the Press Foundation. Music by Bobby McElver.

Listen and subscribe on iTunes, Soundcloud or via the Stitcher app.

Episode 1: When Governments Spy on Journalists

Aug 24, 2015

Today I’m launching The End of Privacy, a five-part series on the intersection of journalism and privacy issues. Are journalists entitled to special privacy rights? Are news publishers helping data trackers violate users’ privacy? Is it possible to have confidential sources in the Age of the NSA? All of that and more is coming up.

In today’s episode, Jason Parkinson, a freelance video journalist from the UK, tells me what it’s like to discover the police have been spying on you for almost a decade. And Ryan Gallagher of The Intercept and Eva Blum-Dumontet from Privacy International talk about the company that makes high-end spyware governments use to spy on journalists. Music by Bobby McElver.

Listen and subscribe on iTunes, Soundcloud or via the Stitcher app.

  • Episode 1: When governments spy on journalists
  • Episode 2: The losing battle to protect sources
  • Episode 3: Data trackers and user privacy, the news business’ ugly secret
  • Episode 4: Are journalists entitled to special privacy rights?
  • Episode 5: Do we have an obligation to help our users protect their privacy?