Apple is in the hot seat this week, but the reality is that none of the companies that control the flow of your personal data, your access to information, or your ability to publish and communicate through your smartphone are doing enough to respect your privacy or freedom of expression.

Photo by Twitter user Chris Velazco

Last January, a prominent billboard near the Consumer Electronics Show declared: “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.” As support for privacy rights and data protection grows around the world, Apple has been positioning itself as the privacy-respecting alternative to companies like Google whose business models rely on…


Yesterday’s Slate piece cover story by April Glaser, which argued that digital privacy advocates aren’t doing enough to reign in Facebook and other tech companies whose business models rely on targeted advertising, rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. The question at the heart of the piece — Why aren’t we seeing more action from privacy groups? — is a good one, and as the sub-headline points out, “the digital crusaders who pushed back against America’s surveillance state are crucial to reining in Facebook.”

I found a lot to agree with in the piece — hence my tweet calling…


With thanks to Molly Sauter for reporting help

A large Silicon Valley corporation is funding research that serves its interests. But it’s not the one you think.

That research in question comes from the opaque Campaign for Accountability and its Google Transparency Project, whose only known funder is Google rival Oracle Corporation, claiming that research issued by dozens of independent scholars is bought and paid for by Google.

First, a recap: Last Wednesday, both the Wall Street Journal and the Chronicle of Higher Education published articles repeating and amplifying the claims of a new “report” (a list, really) published by…


We’re living in scary times. Terrorism in Europe. Rape on college campuses. Police violence in the U.S. Cop-killing in Canada. The most polarizing U.S. election in my lifetime. And that’s barely scratching the surface.

We’re also living in polarized times. Our lived experiences and scientific research tell us that we live in media echo chambers, surrounded by points of view we already agree with. We post, share and like in violent agreement with our friends without actually hearing, much less listening to, other points of view. …


After Dallas, it is more important than ever for white people to affirm that #BlackLivesMatter

Death is always tragic. Murder is always abhorrent. Shooting police officers for doing their jobs is reprehensible, as is the pattern (is that word even strong enough? No) of police violence against black Americans in the US. Outside of any slogan, in the normal conversational sense, of course all lives have meaning. Of course all people matter. All people have human rights. That’s not up for debate with me.

But as a political slogan, in the current US climate, saying that “all lives matter” is…


J’étais en terminale quand les tours jumelles sont tombées le 11 septembre. Peu après, mon gouvernement a voté le Patriot Act, limitant les libertés fondamentales de manière conséquente, soi-disant pour les protéger. Il a envahi deux pays musulmans que peu d’Américains auraient pu situer sur une carte, et est largement passé outre le Patriot Act lui-même afin de surveiller les communications de plusieurs millions de personnes à travers le monde. Il a kidnappé, torturé des innocents — ainsi que des moins innocents — au nom de la liberté et des droits de l’homme. Nous aurions pu, aurions du reconnaitre certaines…


I was a senior in high school when the twin towers came down on 9/11. It wasn’t long after that before my government voted to severely restrict civil rights and liberties in the name of protecting them, invaded two Muslim countries most Americans couldn’t place on a map, and secretly exceeded the provisions of the new national security laws to monitor the communications of millions of people worldwide. It abducted and tortured innocents — as well as some who were not so innocent — in the name of defending freedom and human rights. Some of this we could have, should…

Nathalie Maréchal

Senior research analyst at Ranking Digital Rights. Opinions are my own.

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