It's been about 17 months since Edward Snowden leaked details about the National Security Agency's tracking practices, information that triggered a firestorm of investigations into the US government's access to private data and the way technology companies secured and shared consumer information.
On Tuesday, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith spoke at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, facing an audience that included some of the loudest critics of the NSA's activities in the US.
Read MoreSocial CommentaryAn interview with danah boyd, author of 'It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens' (and drag queens)
Two weeks ago, Facebook began suspending the accounts of members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a drag and community service organization. Members who'd been active on Facebook under their stage names were locked out until they registered with their legal names.
For those members who wanted to keep their stage identities separate from the rest of their lives, at least online, Facebook's actions threatened to tear down a critical wall of privacy. After attempted discussions with Facebook, a whole lot of media (and social media) attention, and a Change.org campaign that's collected more than 36,300 signatures, on Wednesday Facebook's chief product officer Chris Cox apologized to the group. Read MoreForget your passwordCan the fitness-tracking Apple Watch offer a healthy alternative to passwords?
Apple showed off its Apple Watch today and demonstrated how it's also a sophisticated fitness and health tracker that measures your heart rate, various activity levels, and syncs with your phone.
Apple, the company that once held your photos and emails and contacts, can now collect a whole other kind of additional private data that's even closer to your skin—heart rate, movement patterns, sleeping patterns, and more.
They also have a unique opportunity to use that very same information for security. But will they take it?
A new three-part series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 forthcoming) from Dig Boston is looking at how IBM lured the city into trialling a new model of a "smarter city": One that watched and listened to its citizens, seeking out suspicious activity while tracking faces and clothing, tying together tweets and hundreds of cameras in a system the current administration ultimately found no "practical value" in.
Read MoreFuture FacingReal Life Analytics will watch your face while you shop
The trio behind Real Life Analytics is aiming for a Minority Report future. The MassChallenge finalists are building a system that will help retailers watch customers entering their stores and eventually serve them ads based on their age, race, and gender, sort of like the personalized treatment Tom Cruise’s character gets at the GAP.
Danny Weitzner, an MIT researcher who served as Deputy Chief Technology Officer at the White House under President Obama is hatching a new startup related to data privacy: TrustLayers, which is out now raising a seed round of funding. Weitzner's co-founder is Adam Towvim, a long-time executive at the mobile advertising startup Jumptap, acquired last year by Millennial Media.
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