A talk with New Yorker staff writer EVAN OSNOS about the crisis at Facebook. Serious data breaches and the 2016 Russian disinformation campaign have put the company and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, under scrutiny as the mid-term elections approach.
Whether it's logs of phone calls or GPS data, commentator Geoff Nunberg says it still says a lot about who you are: "Tell me where you've been and who you've been talking to, and I'll tell you about your politics, your health, your sexual orientation, your finances," he says.
Many people generate an immense amounts of digital data during a single day — often without a second thought. But Stephen Baker, a senior writer at BusinessWeek, warns that the information generated is being monitored by a group of entrepreneurial mathematicians.
Robert O'Harrow, Jr. is a reporter for The Washington Post and an associate of the Center for Investigative Reporting. His new book is about how the government is creating a national intelligence infrastructure with the help of private companies as part of homeland security. Huge data-mining operations are contracted by the government to gather information on our daily lives. Information technology has enabled retailers, marketers, and financial institutions to gather and store data about us.