Tag Archive | Wall Street Journal

What Does the Supreme Court GPS Ruling Mean for Technology and Privacy?

By Jennifer Valentino-DeVries, Digits, Wall Street Journal, January 23, 2012

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that police violated the Fourth Amendment when they attached and used a GPS device to track a suspect’s vehicle without a warrant. … [But the Court's decision] applies only to the placement and use of a GPS device that had to be attached to the suspect’s car. The justices said the device was an intrusion onto the suspect’s property, even if the car was being driven on public roads. The opinion doesn’t say anything about what would happen if the government were able to track the car through other electronic means, without ever touching the vehicle. …

For full text of the article, visit What Does the Supreme Court GPS Ruling Mean for Privacy? – Digits – WSJ.

Supreme Court Ruled on GPS Tracking Case, Backs Privacy Rights

By Jess Bravin, Wall Street Journal, What They Know, January 23, 2012

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court ruled Monday [in United States v. Jones] that police must obtain a warrant before attaching a GPS tracker to a suspect’s vehicle, voting unanimously in one of the first major cases to test constitutional privacy rights in the digital age. … The court split 5-4 over the reasoning behind Monday’s decision, with Justice Antonin Scalia writing for the majority that as conceived in the 18th century, the Fourth Amendment’s protection of “persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” would extend to private property such as an automobile. …

For full text of the article, visit Supreme Court Backs Privacy Rights in GPS Case – WSJ.com.

For full text of the Court’s opinion in United States v. Jones, click here.

Citizen-based Science: Decoding Our Twitter Chatter

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By Robert Lee Hotz, Wall Street Journal, October 1, 2011

When Virginia’s magnitude 5.8 earthquake hit last August, the first Twitter reports sent from people at the epicenter began almost instantly at 1:51 p.m.—and reached New York about 40 seconds ahead of the quake’s first shock waves, according to calculations by the social media company SocialFlow. The flood of messages peaked at 5,500 tweets a second. …Never have scientists had so much readily accessible, real-time data about what people say.  … As Twitter’s message traffic has grown explosively, so has the scientific appetite for the insights the data can yield.

via Decoding Our Twitter Chatter – WSJ.com.

FBI’s ‘Stingray’ Cellphone Tracker Stirs a Fight Over Search Warrants, Fourth Amendment – WSJ.com

By JENNIFER VALENTINO-DEVRIES, Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2011

For more than a year, federal authorities pursued a man they called simply “the Hacker.” Only after using a little known cellphone-tracking device—a stingray—were they able to zero in on a California home and make the arrest. Stingrays are designed to locate a mobile phone even when it’s not being used to make a call. The Federal Bureau of Investigation considers the devices to be so critical that it has a policy of deleting the data gathered in their use, mainly to keep suspects in the dark about their capabilities, an FBI official told The Wall Street Journal in response to inquiries.

For full text, visit FBI’s ‘Stingray’ Cellphone Tracker Stirs a Fight Over Search Warrants, Fourth Amendment – WSJ.com.

Apple’s iPhones and Google’s Androids Send Cellphone Location

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By Julia Angwin and Jennifer Valentino-Devries, Wall Street Journal, April 22, 20111

Apple Inc.’s iPhones and Google Inc.‘s Android smartphones regularly transmit their locations back to Apple and Google, respectively, according to data and documents analyzed by The Wall Street Journal—intensifying concerns over privacy and the widening trade in personal data.Google and Apple are gathering location information as part of their race to build massive databases capable of pinpointing people’s locations via their cellphones. … In the case of Google, according to new research by security analyst Samy Kamkar, an HTC Android phone collected its location every few seconds and transmitted the data to Google at least several times an hour. It also transmitted the name, location and signal strength of any nearby Wi-Fi networks, as well as a unique phone identifier.

For full text of the article, visit Apple’s iPhones and Google’s Androids Send Cellphone Location – WSJ.com.

WSJ: Your Apps are Watching You

A Wall Street Journal investigation finds that iPhone and Android apps are breaching the privacy of smartphone users.

Few devices know more personal details about people than the smartphones in their pockets: phone numbers, current location, often the owner’s real name—even a unique ID number that can never be changed or turned off.WSJ’s Julia Angwin explains to Simon Constable how smartphone apps collect and broadcast data about your habits. Many don’t have privacy policies and there isn’t much you can do about it. These phones don’t keep secrets. They are sharing this personal data widely and regularly, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found. An examination of 101 popular smartphone “apps”—games and other software applications for iPhone and Android phones—showed that 56 transmitted the phone’s unique device ID to other companies without users’ awareness or consent. … For full text of the article, click here.

Source: Scott Thurm and Yukari Iwatani Kane, WSJ, December 17, 2010.

For the rest of the articles in the WSJ series, click here or on the follwing  links below.

Online Privacy and the Mobile Web

Online Privacy and the Mobiel Web

The Kojo Nnamdi Show, January 18, 2011

Online advertisers and marketers are using increasingly sophisticated tools to track us, especially on our cell phones. But most consumers are unaware of the many ways Internet traffic is being analyzed and interpreted. We examine new debates about privacy on the Web, and learn about data collection over smart phone apps.

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