90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Big Business Of Big Data Collection

The NSA and the phone companies aren’t the only ones vacuuming up your data. Who is? And should you be worried?

With guest host Dina Temple-Raston.

This Screen grab from the website WhiteHouse.gov taken Friday April 18, 2014 shows the screen explaining a new Obama administration privacy policy released Friday explaining how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites, and it clarifies that online comments, whether tirades or tributes, are in the open domain. (AP)

This Screen grab from the website WhiteHouse.gov taken Friday April 18, 2014 shows the screen explaining a new Obama administration privacy policy released Friday explaining how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites, and it clarifies that online comments, whether tirades or tributes, are in the open domain. (AP)

Big Data and intelligence.  That’s not just an NSA issue. Private companies have been quietly storing your personal information too. And it isn’t just what you are searching for on the Web or what you buy. There are operations trolling Twitter for your product preferences. Others capturing your license number .  A White House report warns about private data collection run amok. And officials are calling for new regulations to govern how private companies use your data.  This hour On Point: Who’s vacuuming up your data, and why.

Guests

David Sanger, national security correspondent for the New York Times. (@SangerNYT)

Bruce Schneier, cyrptographer and computer security expert. Blogs at Schneier on Security. Author of “Carry On: Sound Advice From Schneier on Security.” (@schneierblog)

Kennieth Cukier, data editor for The Economist. Co-author, with Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, of “Learning with Big Data: the Future of Education” and “Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think.” (@kncukier)

Todd Hodnett, founder and chairman of the Digital Recognition Network.

From The Reading List

New York Times: In Surveillance Debate, White House Turns Its Focus to Silicon Valley — “At their core, the questions about the N.S.A. are strikingly similar to those about how Google, Yahoo, Facebook and thousands of application makers crunch their numbers. The difference is over the question of how far the government will go to restrain the growth of its own post-Sept. 11 abilities, and whether it will decide the time has come to intrude on what private industry collects, in the name of protecting privacy or preventing new forms of discrimination.”

Los Angeles Times: Ownership of personal data still appears up for grabs — “While the report addresses the ease with which people’s information can be collected, crunched and put to use, it fails to adequately convey the sense of violation that comes with businesses and government officials knowing your habits, behavior and activities. Privacy advocates welcomed the administration’s attention to these issues but said the report didn’t go far enough in keeping people’s personal data under wraps.”

Washington Post: White House releases big data and privacy report — “Two years ago, the president called for a consumer data ‘bill of rights,’ that would protect consumers when companies collected data about their activities. But the subsequent release of classified information by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden complicated that effort, which never gained traction on Capitol Hill. In Thursday’s report, the panel recommended that the bill of rights proposal be revived and advanced.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 30, 2014
Realtor Helen Hertz stands in front of one of her listings in Cleveland Heights, Ohio Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Hertz, a real estate agent for more than three decades, has seen firsthand what has happened to the market in the wake of the recession and foreclosure crisis. (AP)

Home ownership rates are at a 20-year low. Millennials and more aren’t buying. We’ll look at what American’s think now about owning a home.

Oct 30, 2014
Soylent is a new meal-replacement substance meant to offer a complete nutritional alternative to traditional food. (Courtesy Soylent)

Soylent is a grey smoothie the consistency of pancake batter that claims it can replace all your food. On a crowded planet, is this the future of food? Plus: what does the Antares rocket crash mean for private space travel?

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 29, 2014
A visitor looks at the simple wooden cross that marks the grave of Welsh poet and playwright Dylan Thomas, in Laugharne, Wales, Sept. 17, 1963. (AP)

A century after his birth, poet and writer Dylan Thomas lives on. We look at his exuberant work and short life.

 
Oct 29, 2014
In this Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 image provided by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, a young bear is rescued from drowning after eluding officials, at Lake Powell, Utah. (AP)

A big debate in the West over transferring Federal public lands to states. We’ll hear from both sides.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Two: Why Is Election Day On A Tuesday?
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

The Explicast is back for another round. This time, we’re looking at Election Day, and why we all keep voting on a random Tuesday in early November.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: October 24, 2014
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

On comments, comment sections, and ROY G BIV.

More »
Comment
 
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
3 Comments