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Special Report

Technology and the Emerging Post-Privacy Era

Computers, databases and networks have connected us like never before, but at what cost?

  • June 25, 2014
A Survey Asks: How Much Does Your Privacy Online Matter?

A Survey Asks: How Much Does Your Privacy Online Matter?

Is online anonymity important to you? How far are you willing to go to protect your privacy? These two the key questions are examined in a report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

September 5, 2013 — Larry Greenemeier

Invasion of Privacy: A Conversation with Larry Greenemeier's Larry Greenemeier talks about your privacy and the threats to it. See our privacy package online at, as well as the September special single-topic issue of Scientific American. Steve Mirsky reports

August 18, 2008

Apple disses hackers' Black Hat convention

In a move that could backfire, according to one security expert, Apple pulled out of a prominent hackers' convention taking place this week in Las Vegas.

August 5, 2008 — Larry Greenemeier

Mac Attack Targets Porn Surfers

Does a scheme for stealing personal information from Mac OS X users mean that a few bad Apples are about to spoil the bunch?

November 1, 2007 — Larry Greenemeier

Privacy in an Age of Terabytes and Terror

Introduction to SciAm's issue on Privacy. Our jittery state since 9/11, coupled with the Internet revolution, is shifting the boundaries between public interest and "the right to be let alone"

September 1, 2008 — Peter Brown
Planning to E-Vote? Read This First

Planning to E-Vote? Read This First

With less than three months before the presidential election, the hotly contested state, Ohio, along with others, continue to have problems with E-voting technology

August 18, 2008 — Larry Greenemeier
Internet Eavesdropping: A Brave New World of Wiretapping

Internet Eavesdropping: A Brave New World of Wiretapping

As telephone conversations have moved to the Internet, so have those who want to listen in. But the technology needed to do so would entail a dangerous expansion of the government's surveillance powers

September 1, 2008 — Whitfield Diffie and Susan Landau

How Loss of Privacy May Mean Loss of Security

Many issues posing as questions of privacy can turn out to be matters of security, health policy, insurance or self-presentation. It is useful to clarify those issues before focusing on privacy itself

September 1, 2008 — Esther Dyson

Pedophile-Proof Chat Rooms?

Can Lancaster University's Isis Project keep children safe online without invading our privacy?

August 18, 2008 — Brendan Borrell

How to Disappear from the Web

If you've ever been the victim of identity theft, or a stalker, or you just value your privacy, Tech Talker has the tools to help you ditch the digital age and remove your presence from the web.

June 25, 2014 — Tech Talker Eric Escobar

Secure E-mail Services Shuttered over Fears of Government PRISM Reprisals

Revelations of the U.S. National Security Agency’s PRISM program continue to have worldwide ripple effects. Nearly two months after U.S. federal prosecutors charged NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden with espionage and theft of government property for blowing the lid off of the clandestine surveillance program, the company that secured Snowden’s electronic communications with journalists and international [...]

August 9, 2013 — Larry Greenemeier

California Tables Plans for RF Enhanced Driver's License

EDLs contain a RFID chip and let you rapidly reenter the U.S. at a land border without needing a passport. Proponents in California want to alleviate congestion at the Mexico border. Opponents worry about privacy. Larry Greenemeier reports

September 6, 2013

6-Month-Old E-Mails Easy Pickings for Police

The outdated 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act considers e-mail "abandoned" and searchable if it's stored for more than 180 days on a server. Larry Greenemeier reports

June 6, 2013

Is Privacy Dead? Technological Approaches to the Technological Threat

In this episode Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist Latanya Sweeney talks about the changes in privacy due to data collection and approaches to protect privacy in the future, with Scientific American contributor Chip Walter. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned in this episode include;

August 1, 2007 — Steve Mirsky

Who's Watching You: The Future of Privacy

Scientific American editor in chief, John Rennie, discusses the future of privacy and security, the subject of the September single-topic issue of Scientific American magazine. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned in this episode include;

September 3, 2008 — Steve Mirsky

How I Stole Someone's Identity

The author asked some of his acquaintances for permission to break into their online banking accounts. The goal was simple: get into their online accounts using the information about them, their families and acquaintances that is freely available online

August 18, 2008 — Herbert H. Thompson

Gifts for Mom

Mother’s Day is Around the Corner