tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 1, 2015 12:51am-3:01am EST
>> host: you are watching booktv on c-span2. we are on location at pepperdine university in malibu california as part of our university series. we like to visit universities and colleges and talk to professors who are authors. joining us now is craig detweiler. his book "igods" how technology shapes our spiritual and social lives. here is the book cover by professor detweiler before we get into that what do you teach a pepperdine? >> guest: i am a filmmaker first and so i teach screenwriting and i teach production and help students navigate the entertainment industry. >> host: you are also director of the center for entertainment. that is part of your professorship here? >> guest: yes it's a bit of a think tank looking at how media and culture impact each other sort of on both sides. how film shapes or public conversation and how maybe students can figure out how to
contribute to hopefully the greater good. >> host: your book "igods" is listed and classified as christianity and culture. why is that? >> guest: i am also trained as a theologian. i am a graduate of theological seminary so i've always been interested in how religious feelings are transmitted across cultures. i'm a person who has been moved by moving pictures and so this is a chance for me to consider how the small screen we carry in our pockets is slowly overtaking that big-screen. that big-screen of cinema but also of religion. what i do in the book is a look at these new companies that have essentially overtaken our lives whether it's apple, google
facebook amazon. those are the big four who at this point we are spending so many hours in a given day either on their devices or in their platforms that i wanted to figure out how they built their software. how does that affect our relationship to each other and deepen our relationship to god? >> host: you quote kevin kelly kelly. we tend to see god reflected in nature but my bet is that technology is the better mirror of god. next to that is a picture of jesus with a laptop. >> guest: he is the whole world in his hands i think is what we are thinking there. kevin kelly is such a fascinating character. he was one of the early editors of "wired" magazine and yet he also comes from a position of faith. i think he has looked at technology how we organize our lives how engineer structure
things as a way of talking about the ways in which god might be the original technologists. in what may look at our dna which fed human genome project to what degree is the information that we have in our bodies and reflection? are we wired or encoded in an organized fashion? and what again does god a technologist play in all of that? >> host: are you worried about all the time we are spending with technology from a christian point a christian point of view? >> guest: as the parent of a 14-year-old and a 12-year-old we deal with a lot of technology in our household. the other day my kids said i want a cell phone i have to think. what is putting a smartphone with access to all the world's
information be via -- via the internet what does that do and what kinds of filters might weed to help them understand how to deal with that onslaught. i think all of us feel the effects of too much information and so how do we sort through all that they prompts and interruptions all of the things tugging at her tension and how do we sort out what's urgent perhaps from what matters? >> host: you write jesus was more than a carpenter. >> guest: indeed, it's funny everybody knows jesus was the son of a carpenter. they don't realize that greek word for carpenter is the word tech don. so it could be as we enter this new century that we will come to think of jesus as more than somebody good with his hands and a handyman person but was he more of the builder?
was he more of a designer and engineer? maybe if we want to understand what jesus looks like weekend looks not to the front of the auditorium at the front of editorial. he would be the person with a flashlight figuring out how to tweak things. >> host: are we idolizing technology? >> guest: when i allow it to be the first thing that i interact with in the morning and the last thing i do at night i have allowed it to order my -- the monks invented a mechanical clock is a way of ordering our days so we would understand there's a time for work and a time for prayer at a time for food. i feel like now we are allowing our smartphones to take the hours of our day and i wonder for relationship is a little too
intense. it's her closest companion and do we need to turn it off occasionally, to take back the power in our lives perhaps to power it down or to power it up. >> host: do you power down? >> guest: yes, our family loves to lead our phones behind. we live here in california and so the temptation might be to take that phone to the beach but that's supposed to be a time away, time apart, a time to think and a time to not be interrupted, time to wander and the need for space in our lives to i guess make room to be surprised by what is in front of us rather than telling us what is next. >> host: is that tufted to? >> guest: it's very hard to separate ourselves from
technology. i have an assignment in class were asked the students to put it away for 24 hours to have no cell phone use and to put away their computers in their laptops and even their television set. they are like how can i possibly do this? my parents will panic. what am i doing and where my? get what they discover is they might begin that activity. but as they turn off they make more space and suddenly get a more clear. they might do a weeks worth of homework in one afternoon because they are suddenly able to concentrate on one thing rather than fragmented and distracted. >> host: are there students you can do at? >> guest: all students are supposed to do it. some of them confess how hard it is and picked up a little bit of an update when they hear that click. what i find is they end up
remarkably relieved a little bit freed by this thing. i think they start to wonder if there's a possibility of recovering electronic savvy putting a pause on our lives. >> host: craig detweiler is it possible to be a good christian and still very tech focused? >> guest: i certainly hope so. i am on twitter. nobody interacts with social media more than i do and yet i'm just trying to help us to appreciate the genius of the igods people like steve jobs and engineers at google and marx zuckerberg who have redefined our world in amazing ways. they have taught us to solve the
problems of abundance, of too much information and too many friends. they helped us bring order to the chaos of our world and yet we might still feel a little chaotic. i'm trying to challenge not just people of faith but all people to question the degree to which we made technology and idle and perhaps to realize the limits of what it can and can't do for them. >> host: you pointed out that steve jobs and jeff bezos didn't know their real fathers. what you bring that up? >> guest: it's an interesting thing. you have such talented in a sense superior and driven people behind these companies. why is it that apple and amazon the visionaries of these companies who were so relentless and restless in their pursuit
it's interesting that jeff bezos and jobs didn't know their fathers. i feel in a sense they have become our fathers the fathers of technology and just had this relentless pursuit to be at the top, to be number one. i respect them but i also wonder at what point are they satisfied and at what point will they be happy? >> host: you have a subchapter called the problem with life. what is the problem? >> guest: one thing that the facebook like if there is not a dislike button. even if you have bad news to share peoples only option is to like it and say yes i agree you lost your job. what do i do? so it forces you to make all your news positive even if that
something bad. in the way people say i liked that and i think it's a bit of a problem when you limit emotions and possibilities in a certain kind of way. perhaps that's the power of the hashtag that allows us to comment on this thing that might be bad and you play with it a little bit. it's interesting the software facebook itself forces you to be positive and share something that deserves a thumbs up and deserves a life. >> host: is a college professor at at pepperdine is's technology interfering with teaching? >> guest: every teacher i think wonders what to do with technology in the classroom. the students if they are taking notes on their laptops they are also getting those updates are getting that twitter feed. and so you are constantly competing for their attention. even in an exam situation the
possibility of students accessing their information via their cell phone under the desk is very high and so one way i have dealt with it is i'm teaching media get i allowed no media. no laptops, no cell phones. they have to be fully present both to the discussion into each other. i might use media on the screen and i might have a laptop it's bringing up slides and showing videos but i don't want them jacking themselves out. yet when it comes time for exams they are allowed to have all media access. >> host: why? >> guest: there will never be a time in their workplace where they are cut off from those resources so to test them by saying what can you remember from your head or what can you memorize is not a real test. the moment kids are and they
have access to all the information so the question is how can you sort through too many options and a limited timeframe and that's the challenge of the workplace now. given all the options how do you see through things? how do you analyze? how do you make wise decisions given all the options? >> host: craig detweiler you close "igods" with the question is technology slavery? what is the answer? >> guest: i guess we will come to see technology like smartphones as something moving into glass. google glass. i think we will come to see it like a fork, like a spoon or a pair of glasses. it won't be anything special but at this point is so captivating and magical that i think we can give ourselves a little too boldly and then critically.
my book "igods" is an effort to push the pause long enough to think and gain a little perspective make sure those tools designed to serve us are not enslaving us. so the book is kind of a warning shot across the bow? >> guest: i think "igods" is a deep appreciation for the people who created these technologies. i appreciate how they helped us to manage abundance and too much but it's a chance to say be careful that you have a raise too much faith in technology and ascribe too much magic to something that is really meant to serve us rather than to drive us. >> host: "igods" is the name of the book, how technology shapes our spiritual and social lives. craig detweiler of pepperdine university.
that. this is not part of it to her to the public. this has never been opened to the public and you are seeing it because of c-span special access access. vips come into this space as they did in lyndon johnson's day but it's not open to visitors on a daily basis. the remarkable thing about this space is it's really a living breathing room that hasn't changed at all since president johnson died in january of 1973. there's a document in a corner this terms signed by among others of an archivist of the united states and lady bird johnson telling my predecessors, myself and my successors that nothing in this room can change. >> we are here in the 100 block of congress avenue in austin. to my left down the block is the river, the colorado river and this is an important historic site in the city's history because this is where waterloo
was. waterloo consisted of a cluster of cabins occupied by four or five families including the family of jay carol. i'm actually standing in the spot where the herald cabin was then this is where lavar was staying when he and the rest of the men got wind of this big buffalo herd in the vicinity. lavar and the other men jump on their horses. congress avenue in those days was a muddy ravine that led north to "the hill" of the capital and the men galloped on their horses. they stuffed their belt full of pistols and rode in the herd of buffalo firing and shouting. he shot this enormous buffalo. he went to the top of the hill where the capitalism that is where he told everyone that is where should be the empire.
in january the new congress will have the largest gop house majority since 1928 elections. julia angwin talks about the many ways government private businesses and criminals can and do collect their private data. charities to do the pervasiveness of the chakra system we live in today we are in danger of becoming a society that centers itself instead of
demanding our rights. this is just under an hour. >> ladies and gentlemen welcome to the national constitution center. it's such a pleasure to see you here. i'm jeffrey rosen the present of this wonderful institution. the national constitution center is the only institution in america chartered by congress to disseminate information about the u.s. constitution on a non- partisan basis and part of this wonderful mandate we have three goals for the museum of we the people and an october displaying a rare copy of the bill of rights. we are as a center for civic education in america's town hall the one place that someone's all the constitutional debates that allow citizens to make up their own minds. in the past weeks and in the
coming months we have such a remarkable variety of town hall programs. we had a debate between alan dershowitz and -- about whether they present has the constitutional power to target and kill american citizens abroad. after rousing speech by tom dershowitz the audience changed its mind to yes. tomorrow seth toobin will come for great discussion on whether constitution is broken and in the spring we are handing out our spring mailer. i'm so excited about this dizzying array of programs from justice john paul stevens one of the few appearances to lynne cheney on james madison. there are several books about the 50th anniversary the history of the second amendment. it is constitutional happen every day of the week and we are proud to share with you. finally will save please look at our new redesigned web site
constitution or. all of these great programs as well as her weekly podcast can be found on our homepage and we hope you will enjoy this much we enjoy presenting them. my friends ladies and gentlemen out of all the topics i'm privileged to discuss here at the great national constitutional center there's none that i am more concerned about than probably saved and no author that i have looked more forward to speaking with then julia angwin. where fellow soldiers in the privacy trenches for many years. we have both written about privacy and no reporter then i have learned more than from julia. your pathbreaking and about the tangible harms of on line tracking and especially the details about how much precisely is being collected and what's being done with it are unparalleled. you are finalist for the pulitzer prize in 2012 because
of your incredible wall street journal series which revealed for the first time something many of us have not known which is people are charged different prices on line based on the profiles and the things things algorithms create about us without our knowledge or consent. let me introduce julia properly. among her great achievements use current -- currently a journalist cap propublica and a reporter with "wall street journal" from 2000 to 2005 teen anna finalist for the pulitzer prize in 2011. she was on a team of reporters that won the pulitzer in 2003 in coverage of corporate corruption and the author of stealing myspace the battle to control the most popular web site in america. we are so thrilled and i'm so thrilled to have julia here to discuss her latest book "dragnet nation" a quest for privacy, security and freedom in a world of relentless surveillance.
welcome. >> thank you. [applause] we have so much to discuss. i'm going to start with the obvious opening question, what surprised you the most about how much companies in and the government know about you? >> thanks for having me here. i'm huge fan of your work as well. in my book "dragnet nation" i decided to take a privacy investigations i had done to further investigation myself. what is known about me and so i sought my data from many places i could find. it was actually few places so for instance i identify 200 data brokers out there but only a dozen would let me see my files. they are not required to but interestingly even in a small
set of files it was shocking how long some of them were and how right some of them were. some companies were completely wrong about me. one company said i had never completed college. i was a single mother and i had poverty level income. none of those things happen to be true. other files were incredibly detailed and had every address going back to the number on my dorm room in college. which i had actually forgotten. and every member of my family perfectly associated to me and all sorts of purchases i made including ones i had made fairly recently. on the whole they knew a lot about me and occasionally they knew all sorts of wrong things about me that i couldn't decide which one outraged me more. >> were you surprised at how much google new? it was the depth of your searches that actually freaked me out.
>> it was incredibly shocking to me. since i joined gmail in 2006 they have been storing all of my searches and that's a long time. when i started to look at my searches i realized how revealing they were. they were far more revealing that my addresses because it was a map of every single day. i would wake up in the morning and google the weather and then i would google something about something with my kids school and then i would look at what article i was researching. then i would start shopping for on line kids clothing. you could see in my mind making as little leaps and the idea there was a record of the mental madness that goes on really disturbed me and i quit using google search after that. >> we will talk about the alternatives and how you coped with them but there was more that struck me. you got your tsa records and found the description of why you were going abroad for reporting
trip was reported to private companies pay. >> this was shocking. i went to the customs and border patrol and they said give me the record. it was one of a few sets of files that you can obtain from the government fairly easily if easley means waiting three months of writing letters. [laughter] so it was incredibly comprehensive and what i learn from it was that "the wall street journal" where i was working use a travel agency which used a system that basically automatically send some of the internal committee occasions that i had with my boss. had to fill out an on line form about why was paddling and that is how my travel would be approved. by the virtue of no one paying any attention all those were swept in the government bias. when i brought to this to "the wall street journal" they understandably flipped out. advanced knowledge about what story is something they don't
want the government to have. they actually stopped working with the agency for period of time until they got a fix. it took quite a bit of time. this is one of the many problems of the data age we live in right now. if i asked "the wall street journal," it's secure and it's right here. they didn't know. >> demanded inaccuracies and glitches it would seem hard to get a sense of control and handle on how much was out there. >> it was difficult to get a handle on it and i'm sure i don't have a handle on it. i have seen a thin layer of the top of what is known about me. most companies don't have to share it and even if they do share it facebook let me download an archive. we know from a european who obtained a fuller set of this data under stricter privacy laws what i saw was less than what they had. his biohe had deleted his
friends and it actually kept this ghostly record of things he thought were gone. whereas the one i saw was a more sanitized version. >> okay we are going to discuss in a little bit the steps you took to protect her privacy but before we do that i want to talk through question both of us get all the time. people say what's the harm. nothing to hide, nothing to fear. i'm not doing anything wrong why should i care? the great virtue one of the many great virtues as you enumerate those harms with great specific -- specificity and give us examples of people who were harmed in different ways. let's are with government surveillance. talk about edward snowden in the prism program and they fact that the government is collecting data and intercepting the contents of some corporations.
i am not a terrorist. why should i care? it was a pleasure for me to be able to ask that question. you must be a terrorist yourself. >> it's interesting for sabaga we would have this conversation because it's worth noting in europe there's no need to did justify this. privacy is a human right and you don't have to have this conversation. putting that aside this is the u.s. so let's debate it. the biggest harm from government surveillance actually is it leads us to be less free with our speech. i read about this guy in my book who is surveilled by the fbi. he and his friend both teenage young men in santa clara and his friend had written a sassy post on a social network called redick and he basically said i don't know why the tsa is so crazy at airports. i could just go to the mall and no problem which is actually
through but it may be unwise to say. he said it's a couple of weeks later this guy and his friend were out getting an oil change and a friend yes, sir saw there was something in the car as a tracking device. the fbi had put it on the car to surveilled him. he later found out it was because of his friends comment. this was a disturbing story about what i found disturbing was what happened afterwards. after they found out they were being surveilled by the fbi their friendship fell apart. the author didn't want to be friends with a guy who might put him in danger. he became circumscribed in his actions and he doesn't feel free to talk about anything served -- subversive. he is muslim-american and he now uses a different name because he feels like it's less muslim. he is still detained every time he comes across international borders. he doesn't feel he has the same free-speech rights that i feel
is a central part of our country. >> you argue so powerfully in that chapter that's not just privacy but free speech that is at stake and what the framers were concerned about the supreme court has not been sympathetic. >> the supreme court has not and there are a number of reasons why we have taken that path. largely it's an issue of standing which is you can't prove your surveilled. we have finished in case coming up which is now after snowden people can prove they were surveilled. it will be interesting to see whether the supreme court reads that. one thing that i talked about and i called it freedom of association. even more than speech i was concerned about association. he was afraid to associate with this branded a more and what that data is as a way to build associations.
people who collect data say the thing they love about it is you realize the people who buy felt pads to put under their furniture better credit risks. we have never seen that and other data so it builds associations associations. we do have a history of protecting freedom of association. the naacp were alabama one of the list of members of the naacp and the supreme court upheld the right to keep that list. the thing is those lists are no longer private because you don't have to join the young muslim santa clara. >> in addition to those first amendment concerns you identified fourth amendment concerns and you actually went to the former east germany and found out what stasi knew about his citizens. how much more are listed stasi know then you? >> the stasi if they really
wanted there were couple of people on whom they had dozens of binders. they measured their surveillance inviter so some people had -- but i looked at average files which were 20 to 50 pages longhand written. that was translated by stasi experts and they were not as robust as a typical facebook profile. nowadays the timeline dates back several years. that's not to say they didn't know how to be repressive. they were far more repressive and guys want to be cautious with this. we are better at surveillance but not as good at repression we want to make sure we keep it that way. >> you tell the story of the saucy hugh is one of the people who the government has offered as an example caught through this prism surveillance and it is not clear as the ravens
itself was the cause of it and he might have been caught without it. >> the saucy case the government uses to defend the bulk of surveillance programs. zogby was a guy who wanted to blow up the subways in new york city. they did identify him because he agreed an e-mail to somebody who was a known terrorist. they did catch that through the prism program. the thing is you don't need a bold surveillance program to monitor communications to known terrorists. we have a process for that. that was their tip but basically they caught him by literally chasing him across the country and cars. he was driving from denver to new york and they had a team of agents trailing him. it was incredibly old-school. >> the gps device that yes, sir
was followed by was a formal search that the supreme court struck down in the jones case saying you are not allowed to put gps on the bottom of a car and truck peoples movements 24/7 for a month. what about the future of fourth amendment issues? to talk about fascinating cell phone tracking cases news is currently open whether or not the government is allowed they can no longer put a gps device on the bottom of my credit can subpoena the information shared by at&t and verizon and some folks in congress are saying you need a warrant for that and the government is pushing back. >> the problem we have with the fourth amendment and these devices they are the best tracking device. any spy would love their target to carry such a thing. the fourth amendment the way the court has interpreted it has
been very much about the boundaries of your home. the interpretation has been that if you give your information to somebody outside the home a third-party such as the phone company or a bank you have a lesser expectation of privacy in those records. that allows the government to get your cell phone records with less of the legal standard. that is known as the third party doctrine. in the jones case you referenced justice sotomayor suggested it might be time to reconsider that in a world where we store all of our papers in third-party servers. that hasn't yet been opened up. >> this is a law professor's question. what is the best alternative to the third-party? we have her problem. if the supreme court said if i
take data and stored in a database held by a third party i have no expectation of privacy and that means none of us have privacy. they didn't say what the court should do. >> i don't know that i know the answer but i think it's worth pointing out that all the tech companies from at&t to google to facebook are lobbying to get that particular part of the law change. they want the search warrant to be the standard for cell phone location records e-mail really sensitive data that currently because of a third party doctrine is easier for the government. >> as you say congress could pass a bill saying they need a warrant to get access to information that would help things. >> yes, it would. .. practical obscurity and
anonymity was necessary for full democratic participation and forms of ubiquitous tracking the defeat that are unreasonable searches of up person. >> i think certainly brandeis would agree with that. i heard an argument recently that said maybe the second amendment should protect us the right to bear counter surveillance. i have armed myself with counter surveillance and that puts me on a suspicious list actually. it may well be there is a level of anonymity needed for political discourse. the fact that i have my phone in a bag that prevents signals from getting through. >> the hottest privacy accessory. it prevents signals from
getting in and out. it is not communicating with a cell tower. it saves me from having to constantly think, think, do i have my location setting on or whatever. it is worth pointing out that you can turn your phone off, but the head of the cia chief technical officer went public one year ago saying we can track you even when your phone is off which probably means remotely activating the microphone or some other part. true privacy paranoids put their phones in bags and this is something protesters do. cops want to no who is at the protests. it is commonly commonly used by occupy and other people. >> just because you're paranoid. far more stylish alternative
he's a stoner conversations so far who in the audience would went by. >> all right, wow. so this is actually a hearty and already committed audience at the constitution center today but i think we have a little more work to do to persuade the people about what the harms are so again the great virtue of this book. there are stories and practical tips about how to protect their privacy but you give us the harms and we talked about the harms of government surveillance. let us talk about private-sector surveillance of being tracked by on line companies and i mentioned the great contribution of your "wall street journal" articles was to reveal that people may be charged different prices on line based on who the companies think they are.
tell us about that example of differential pricing. >> what is happening now when you are on line is your computer has information about you. imagine yourself being very anonymous but when you arrive at a web site and a retailer web site or someone is trying to say something they have quite a bit of information about you and they can dynamically change the page to tailor to you. this is marketed to personalization. sometimes it is when amazon tells you what books you might want although they only books they tell you our nsa -- i already have them all. but what i wanted to find out at the journal in my investigations was how is this thing is to provide different prices because that is what i think is ultimately what i would want to to do as a retailer so we did
find in 2010 the capital one was and we just went to the web site and said here is a card for you. to analyze that traffic it said in the traffic it would save the instant analysis like middle income and the qualification that you had. so the choice to be fully limited as to what we thank you might want but then, in 2012, we found staples would change the prices for everybody and it was not optional as soon as they identified your physical location and made an instant assessment how close you were to a competitor store in if you were close enough they would give you a better price. so you could buy in actual stapler this a exact ones
from two different locations from two different prices. it is more and more possible. is completely legal and economists argue it is pricing but nationwide it is lower in the tom. so i need to rethink what is the redline. what do we consider fair? because the ability to be unfair will increase technologically. so where do you want to do draw the why and how willing they are based on individual attributes? >> this is of little classification with the
high-tech spender but then to charge permanently different prices you nielsen thinks they are sure that the illegal? >> that is the question we need to confront. we have very technical definitions having to do with credit and loan applications and racial minorities. and we can think bigger where else we draw those lines. although it seems like when you go onto the internet that you can be tracked into the hall of mirrors but and the price you should have. >> but those that visit the
mitt romney site only get mitt romney as a and it if you visit the obama web site than the cookie is auctioned off in realtime to the company that can send you the advertisements for ever then as a result we've lived in the of filtered bubble to consume the entire reality is to they think they are. >>. >> but the filter bubble if you did the search for obama then subsequent searches to have guns so the obama deposition bedew search for
romney and i tested this across the country and one week before the election what is happening? if we thought the wall street journal said you read the obama stories of now there is his views we would literally be strung up. so the al gore the fount people who read obama and news want more obama news. that may be true but is it fair? for them to make that assumption for us? >> host: is it consistent with democratic values? can we live in a society where we only hear one side of the story? >> that is why i fought the key issue was fairness.
it doesn't make you feel like you live in a fair society. we need to make sure with that technology that i love. to log on to get my files from home but i want to mitigate that of fairness that is illegal and ubiquitous. >> host: and police lineups. what will happen there? >> i talked about the police lineup that is the idea before the surveillance was ubiquitous to be on file anywhere so they drive
around and keep them in a file forever and that means they have a history of the location for the last three years and also your driving down the street with oncoming traffic and behind. co pay guy is in california is will tell photograph to more than 200 times including getting in and out of his car in the driveway. so that changes the presumption of innocence in my mind. bed then they evade somewhat. something that you don't know.
so now they have a way to find something on everybody. >> host: so now all of us the supreme court has said even as the pretext it is okay and this is a compelling example. with the repair man up in massachusetts basically one day guided notice his driver's license was suspended a and he didn't know why. he went to the hearing and we have a facial recognition program and your face lift very similar so prove who you are. so he had to prove his innocence. the program flag to the
wrong people and accused him said he did not even look like your photo. this is one -- 30 years ago and 100 pounds heavier. so that happen is where the algorithms are not checked. and we need to be informed. >> host: in order to your dramatized spending doing a privacy audit on yourself to come up with the model been enlisting every available technology to protect your privacy. so with the rigors that you endured one of the most dramatic is you left to go and went to duck duck go. and even if you don't have
emails day are based on a it address but in my case it can be very revealing. so there is a web site called duck duck go they don't store in the it addresses or searches. but then google would finish my sentences. but once i realized it was not that hard to add new york at the end of the search i started to appreciate the fact that my searches were not tailored because i had control what i was looking for and then i
thought switching your passwords i could not remember them i have the obvious with the exclamation point. [laughter] what is the take away? >> passwords are a terrible situation i use a password manager but it is impossible for anyone to try to come up with all of them at themselves. then i hired my daughter to use a special technique and
we think we have a good ability to create random words but it is better tear tried to come up with the way to find a random words. >> host: why is this important? why should people take the trouble? >> passwords are important even if you don't believe a single thing about privacy you don't want to be packed it is important particularly
your e-mail account could reach all your other passwords to get all your other accounts so criminal hacking games are expert so even if you don't believe good privacy change your password. >> host: would you have taken these steps if you had not read blood dash written the book? >> i started this as an exercise to investigate but it is a way of life every day have to wake up to do something or choose to put my phone in the bag or not give my real name at the coffee shop and it is a pain but it is important for myself i have taught my kids
these techniques so they will not have a trail that will always be with them. but some of it is impossible. even i did it this is not a good solution that i should do this to show we need another way to block tracking. >> host: we should get to questions. so why is the average person so unconcerned about privacy rights to give out personal information? >> because we don't know the true cost. we get all the free services did everybody loves free. we paid with a personal data that now how much is that
worth? we cannot tell how what would be used against us we can only speculate soaking it is rational to be confused because it is the opaque market like the bond market. you can only the eye with the price of the data. >> host: but google says they don't share your search history. >> but they have so much data themselves that they don't want to share it they keep for themselves and by other data and they have the best profiles out there but the problem is the government is always at google's store. i would like to trust them but i don't know if they
could against the nsa. >> host: when there is required for the nsa? >> it is that third party doctrine. but these days it is easy to remotely get the information from your computer to circumvent that search warrant requirement. >> host: you talked about the ninth circuit that said computer searches even outside the home could reveal so much that they have to be minimized and the police should only look for specified bits of information. >> that is the first time but right now talking to the
wikileaks volunteered to he was coming back from a international trip and let him go on. bills are the tools that they don't want to get a warrant for. said there is day of legal standard required. >> host: the woodrow said general warrant will allow them to search anyone's house for her material our people not paying taxes that they fought the revolution because of its purpose isn't this like a general war adore it is just metadata it is not? >> i don't see how you could look at the collection of
every single phone calling record over the last seven years but that is what the nsa was doing. now they say it just sits there to do research in that data into maybe they're right it doesn't just exist it is sitting fair but what i am concerned about what is the level of oversight? that there is no data. so that is a file you were not supposed to have said to make sure nobody is looking at this. >> in with the constitution
center non-partisan mandate when judge says james madison would have been appalled by the surveillance program with a slowing curches of liberty and one said because of a third-party dr. every don't have those expectations and justice scalia said he expects that supreme court to hear this at some point. if i hide my informational that encourage them to do more surveillance? >> yes it will. [laughter] so by using encryption is services that they use as much as i can. that it puts you on a suspicious list and allows them to keep your data
logger for analysis. i recognized early on that many of the things that was doing would raise a red flag. but i basically felt just because a want to have a conversation not read by someone else with my mother that should not put me on the list. so i knew it might raise suspicions but i expect that to happen any time. is that what we want them to do? may be. >> that has not led to more trouble so far? >> seriously they also don't need my naked by the picture. [laughter] >> but one victory for privacy said debra had the
choice is between the two scanners said naked machines of blob of machine. and in fact, they bring in the naked machine and then they had to explain don't touch my job -- junk and obama was actually shocked that they could. >> it just as a matter of principle i want there to be metrics forever betty says nobody cares about privacy. but then to presented as the choice.
so if in some way is side called the bluff. okay i and choosing. help me. >> host: what about their privacy skitters? >> is said to google a hypocrite complaining about the nsa when it is more pervasive? >> i think google has a right to be upset. the makers that can now with the incredible statement that we now consider that government the u.s. government to be a room largest threat. previously was chinese hackers. so now they're at the top of all packing concerns.
but that there was a lot of coverts stuff going on. with those were unaware it was going on the back and. >> is the supreme court understand enough to make of privacy ruling? [laughter] in she remembers playing paul and as a kit. [laughter] >> when i hear the arguments that was a great moment for justice roberts to say you mean they could track my car? so i think they're starting to wake up. i don't know how you could not be aware that a this is transmitting information is to make their reading briefs and text message coverage you have to be a tech savvy are the principles broad enough that you could
understand? >> malevolence of tax literacy should increase. people are too confused about the level of tracking behind the scenes. but there is so much press you have to live under a rock maybe that is through the supreme court is located >> at joe's decision was nine / o not one single justice that we have no expectation of privacy and public. >> but there does seem to be an incredible movement against drones almost a dozen states have laws limiting drone surveillance and we're coming to the conclusion of freer in public that doesn't necessarily mean we have given up our privacy. >> host: is that because reno what it is like to be
followed? does the nsa and the government make the extra effort to get supporters? -- or from the reporters? >> the evidence leans to the answer being yes. . . journalists and obtaining information about their phonecall records. we have seen in the gem rise in case "the new york times" reporter who said his phone records were obtained for a case. i think we have to say reporters are probably in it difficult situation right now. see including the question about whether or not publishers
themselves could be charged. >> if you don't care about privacy that's fine but i think it's worth thinking about the challenge to journalists as an issue for our democracy. journalist are supposed to be the watchdogs of democracy. if we can't have any contact confidential because everything is surveilled and we can only rely on sources and mr. breccia like snowdon we won't have the ability to be a watchdog on our government. it's a question for society to grapple with. >> have there have been many or any legal cases where all my data has been used against defendants or job applicant's? >> i'm not sure if there have been explicitly. one of the problems with this information is that oftentimes you would know why but it's pretty difficult for an employer i would imagine to get the on line password.
>> based on first amendment issues and surveillance concerns why should we discuss this issue on twitter with the constitution center? [laughter] >> that's great. you know that's a good question. people ask me all the time why i am on twitter. i quit facebook. it didn't quite quit. i left a little page that says i'm not here. i'm on twitter. i think twitter is a little more clear about its issues. his public broadcast like publishing in the newspaper. i put in there what i would write for consumption by the whole world. but i don't like about facebook and linked in is that your associations and lists of friends and contacts are public. we all think we are incredibly incredibly -- that would basically like the same movies and music. our associations can be very
revealing. >> and twitter facebook and google have different standards for free speech. twitter is the most speech protected and will only take down speech that threatens and is intended to provoke the muslims -- limitless limitless action where facebook and google have more speech -- if it offends a religious standard. >> twitter has been aggressive on defense and its users rights. c on that point would have been a world where google and facebook have more power over who is private than any king or president or supreme court justice and yet the first and fourth amendments apply to the government and not to google. do we need a constitutional amendment to protect free speech against google and facebook and privacy in the digital age? >> wow i haven't thought about that before. that's an interesting question. i do think we have to sort of
evaluate when we go on to facebook and google we think of our choice as being in the public square and a town hall in any way we are kind of the north korea like the totalitarian dictatorship where, where were they decide is the rule for free speech. we have to think about -- personally my decision as let's not have the speech there. i'm opting out to a different way but you could also force them to try to have free speech. there is a precedent for telecom companies having to abide by some standards. that's a possibility. >> we unfortunately -- i could continue this all afternoon. you and your book talks about reform treaty were skeptical about the consent model because you think people might sell their privacy in exchange for a toaster. you like transparency as louis
brandeis didn't you like the fair credit reporting act which tells people how much is being collected and you have five questions that should be asked of every digital dragnet to decide whether or not it's fair or legal. should i read them? does the dragnet provide individuals with legal rights to access -- as the dragnet is too intrusive for his purpose does it benefit society doesn't fall into the ugly abyss of racism or other prejudice? cannot withstand public scrutiny? these are questions that i think jurors at the time of the framing of the fourth amendment would have passed. tell us more about these principles. >> i wish it was more optimistic but i think i feel i'm asking for not that much. i just feel that i wouldn't mind trading my data for services if i could have some assurances that if it was used against me i
would have some rights. i could challenge the data and i could see it that i could sue over it and it was being used as a public benefit. it wasn't to be used against me. i came up with these standards is my own thoughts about what would i want to trade my data and feel confident. i feel we are in the information economy and it's going to be although i've tried to opt out it's not actually practical. what i would rather do is participate freely and have some assurances that i won't be packed. we have assurances that safety measures are taken and we have redress if something goes wrong and i want a similar standard for treatment of my data. >> wonderful. ladies and gentlemen and her c-span audience as well first of all come downstairs dumpsters and by julius wonderful book and c-span go to amazon and use an anonymous user.
>> i'm glad to be with you here. i thought it would start to talk this afternoon going back in time a quarter-century to an episode that was briefly mentioned and that was in the final years of communism in eastern europe, 1988 in east berlin. now at the time this was one of the strictest countries, one of the most communist countries and the economist block like moscow.
i had the opportunity to visit their number of times. in 1988 in particular something quite interesting happened. i visited dresden which is the cultural capital of germany they of germany is a well-known as being bombed during world war ii and at the time a city that was famous monuments were still in rubble. during that day i was followed by the secret police. i just want to give you a quick indication of what the times looked like back then. here's a picture of a store in east berlin in 1988. you see a long line of people trying to get bread. there is war damage on the building. there were better things in extra workers could have done with their time but they thought it was a good idea to follow me around on this august day in 1988. this is me taking notes on the streets. they took secret photos of me and they followed me around minute by minute trying to assess what i was up to during the day. as you go forward a little bit of this year is the outline of
the 60 page file just for that day. here's what it says for example. at 8:00 it has become. i've left the hotel npk w. which is on the mobile. i was traveling in style back then. at 8:55 i arrived at the opera and so on and so on. they make a lot of data and if you read the file in greater detail you see what i was up to a lot of detail. some of it is comical because i'm wandering around in wandering around at one point it says 10:57 he is looking at a map and 11:01 still looking at a map and 11:03 asking a passerby for directions. you may say well what has aroused the interest of the secret police and one of the most efficient states of the continental world at that time lexus is what i was up to. i was writing a travel guidebook
of eastern europe and yugoslavia on $25 a day. the interesting thing about that is even though i had efficient secret police following me during that time they knew little about me compared to what corporate interests know about most people in the united states today. information gathering in the electronic era and the internet era is much easier to gather and accumulated to one place over time investigating a much more detailed profile. so i began to wonder who collected data about us today and what do these people look like? that's one of the motivations of my book "what stays in vegas." i wanted to reflect on his gathering data and what impact does it have? i was surprised by how many people gather data and in fact who they are. here's a little test case example. this is someone who gathers data and perhaps the person who is
the most surprising data gatherer that i have come across in my research. can anyone gas? it's a 70-year-old man who was once considered a god. this is jimmy page of led zeppelin. if you go to the site jimmy page.com use the site to be go -- to go down the page. psu for your first name, your last name your e-mail address on a date of birth. he wants all the information just jesse can go into jimmy page.com. the story is the jimmy page with wild rock 'n roll or his gathering information about you. another story he was referencing before that i wanted to tell was the way i came to the realization about how everyone is affected in different ways. no one is really exempt from the collection of data about them in today's dossier world.
this is president gerald ford. he died when i was working as a correspondent in san francisco. he was old and it was expected he would die. the obituary ran that evening california time in the next day i thought how can i get something else to say about gerald ford this man who was in the public eye for such a long time. i thought interesting way to do it would be to try to find this man chevy chase who as an actor 40 years ago in the first episodes of saturday night live portrayed the president as a bumbler. he would come in and stumble over the desk falling over and so when creating humorous routine. typically when you want to find a celebrity you call an agent or lawyer or publicity person and it usually takes days or weeks to setup set up an interview. but when you're working for a wire service speed as though the essence. i looked into a dossier file of the company to specialize in
gathering information about people. i looked up his name and i couldn't find him but i found the name and number for his wife. i called the number and i said i would like to reach chevy chase, here's what i'm doing. she said i'm not mrs. chase, i am his daughter. he is with me right now but we are on top of mountain in colorado skiing so he will call you back when we get to the bottom of the mountain. 30 minutes of phone rings and it's chevy chase. i ran the article on the wire and everything is fine and that evening the phone rings again and chevy chase calls again and he says listen i was thinking about this. how "the hill" did you get my daughter's cell phone number? binnie said the following. i knew some guy who'd make fun of gerald ford in 1976 and i prefer to be left alone. at that point i realized celebrities politicians and sports heroes ordinary people
everyone earn the databases for data brokers collecting companies collect and he cannot be exempt very easily. so i thought of an interesting way to explore this with the world of las vegas. the reason for this is several fold. first of course las vegas has such a huge amount of money. the other reason why las vegas is interesting as public records are gathered there. public records at the base of what data brokers use about people. they gather wedding documents so more people are married in las vegas than anywhere else. so you can think of elvis presley and many people over time who have been married in las vegas. those documents become public record that anyone can look up and find out contact details from people. also there are more surveillance cameras in private spaces in las
vegas than other places and they have some of the most sophisticated programs in gathering data on customers that exist now and we will go into that and a little bit of time. vegas is an iconic place around the world. i was traveling in istanbul and wandering through the streets and i came across an unusual sight. it was a woman in full dress covered from head to foot in traditional muslim style and there was a man in a t-shirt that said nevada las vegas. even in the different parts of all different cultures las vegas is an emblematic -- of this wild world. my way to get into that was to look at caesars and caesar's palace the flagship property of the world's biggest casino company. now the man behind caesars is the ceo today is an especially interesting figure in the history of casino bosses. if you think of siegel and some
of the others you may have seen in movies lefty rosenthal portrayed by robert de niro in casino this is a different breed nowadays. he is someone he got his ph.d. at m.i.t. and then went on to become a junior professor at harvard business school. and at harvard business school typically you work four days a week and on the fifth day you are a consultant to an outside company. this article called the service profit change. translated that means how do you get someone to be a loyal customer over time because if you come to my pizzeria today and you buy one slice of pizza that's worth 1 dollar but if i can get it to come year after year over a lifetime that may be worth seven or $8000. the lifetime revenue stream can be a thousand dollars and a cadillac owner 232,000 a corporate purchaser of aircraft
to literally billions of dollars. his idea was how do we do this in the casino world? the problem with casinos is the games are in essence exactly the same. the odds are the same in each place. i can play or the slot machine or the roulette wheel in any of these casinos. of course they don't have gondoliers and dancing fountains but his concept was to try to build a program that was going to keep you coming back by knowing more about you in gathering more data about you. back in the olden days in the twilight zone the only place the machine could actually know anything about you. this is a 1960s episode called the fever in which a player calls franklin gibbs is called by the slot machine. he becomes obsessed that the slot machine calls out his name. franklin, franklin and it beckoned him over. in today's world the slot machine often does know who you are and there's a huge amount of information about you based on
the loyalty program. i want to step back for a moment and tell you about the history of the to ban which is the heart of a lot of consumer data collection in today's world. the image in the background here you see green stamps which in decades before were given out when he would buy things at the supermarket for example and you might get 100 stamps if you bought $100 worth of groceries and a certain amount of time he would have enough to get a toaster or some other reward. the problem with those old-style programs as they did know who you were until that day you showed up and put down your coupon book and said i'd like my toaster. but the company really wanted to do more. who are my valuable customers and how do i cater to you the best? the best solution was the modern-day airline program. the airline in 1981 introduces the modern program.
they tried to check passengers surreptitiously to figure out john smith is going every week to london. let's give him a special offer so he flies only with us. the problem with that method failed its people were using different phone numbers and addresses and they weren't able to track people to find out who their best customers were. so they said let us offer some reward pre-flight so we can track our her best customers. from this idea almost instantly after american airlines did this other airlines followed united and other airlines and hotels and rental cars and other companies. in the casino context this is a world that you know exists with the slot machines and it's interesting how the evolution of the traditional old-style. there was just a lever and they didn't know anything. it was not an intelligent machine. then came along john akers who
is a casino entrepreneur still lives in las vegas today and in fact he standing in front of some of his current innovations. what he realized what he was opening a present he was packing some presents for his children and amongst them was to speak and spell game which is a primitive early electronic game where you see a word and spell it out. he was startled that this game was only 50 or $60 but it was sophisticated at the time. he had been trying to build brains that could track people on the slot machine but you have to build it for each different machine. there's a lot of hardware to be installed. >> may i have for attention please? the testing is concluded.
thank you. sorry for any inconvenience. >> so john akers was packing these presents as i mentioned that he became fascinated. how can they do this so cheaply when it's costing me three or $400 to build the tracking machine on the side of the slot machine. he got out a screwdriver and opened up the back and was quite inspired by what he saw. their children ended up getting one last gift that you're pretty innovated a modern system of intelligence for each slot machine could track who is doing like gambling. the way the system works today is when you arrive at a casino you step up to add register your name and address and other details. this is a voluntary thing. if you don't want to join the loyalty program you don't have to but if you want the freebies that come with it like the free meals, the free ram and other benefits than he will join the
program. the overwhelming bulk of people at caesars and many other casinos did choose to join the loyalty program. then wherever you go you have to stick your card into machine or hand to the concierge. if you go to the restaurant at caesars you may save a dollar or two on the entrée. you buy tickets to see jerry seinfeld at caesars palace you will hand them a card and they will register all of the services. so they are going to know everything you do in the public space at caesars if you're using the card. the tracking electronically behind the scenes as well so here are two employees working in the casino in cincinnati. they swipe their card and they may be swiping at other stations said they are following in the front of the room where the customers are in the back as well. the reason you want to join the program as i mentioned is you want better service for better goods that others get.
here's a picture for example of the famous essay in caesars palace in las vegas. this is a busy holiday weekend as you can see this is quite a long line to get the all-you-can-eat buffet. if you had joined the loyalty program and he moved up into the tears you would be able to go for example this line the elite line. you would be quizzed to the front of the various lines to get much better service. that's why people join the program. when you do join they will know an incredible amount of intimate details at the time the instant you are playing. here's an example of what a casino management will know. you will have on his cell phone exact details and he will walk up to you. location. this slot machine eubie 01. john is playing right now and here is his level and the tears
he is in the loyalty program. he's a seven star member which is top-level so he's an important client. he now has 98000 points which is a few shy of being at the top level for the next year as well. kansas city is where he normally comes from pretty typically spends $212 per night and theoretically he should have lost $145 because he spent 1000 ordered $50 on a machine which keeps 10% on average and would lose 145. cellulaze $59 today. he's having a pretty good night giving the statistical odds. the amount of information the manager knows is the second screen here. here is the last time he visited the casino. the last trip he should have lost $563 but he had a quite poor evening and he lost $772.
this is determined by the statistical odds with the slot machine keeping 10% of every gamble. he gets extra credits and so on. know this incredible amount of information allows the host to step up and say good morning -- good evening mr. jones. we want to welcome you. they talk a little bit. when i wandered around with a manager often the players were not completely clear about how much money they were losing. they would say i have 150 but they didn't exactly know. the other thing that can happen is they can see this guy is down 772 and remembering the previous screen he typically plays $200 per evening. so you may come up to him and say oh i would like to give you a free steak dinner and here are tickets to the comedy show tonight so the person feels good
about it despite having a poor evening at the gambling table. what else is the casino no? they know what drinks customers prefer. drinks are not always served. there are some things the casino does not know and so as i mentioned the casino does pretty much what's happening in a public spaces but it doesn't know what's happening in a private spaces. here's an actual door that i photographed during my research in las vegas. this is what it said. i will read it out for you. the code for this party is. if you don't like the party please check out the parties upstairs. this is the activity in vegas that is not being surveilled because it's not useful for marketing purposes. of course there is video surveillance.
a typical large casino in las vegas might have 3000 cameras and some have 4000 or 5000 they are monitoring not the customers who are coming but also the back of the houses i mention. the reason for that is there's lots of opportunity for self-enrichment. you could be counting the money wrongly, you could have stakes that are missing. you could not charge for a drink and hope your tips with the increase. there's a lot of surveillance on both sides of the camera. even if you have 3000 cameras you don't have 3000 people watching them. what you have is a room like this. this is a las vegas strip security guard one of five or six typically and duty. they have monitors that show them at different points in the casino. various card tables and you will see various hallway entrance. for example some entrance points people coming in and out of hallways.
like a lot of the technology they can be very good or it can be negative depending on how you use it. if you have been playing at the slot machine and he left a handbag they are and you can't find which machine you are sitting out and maybe you had a drink or two clouding the experience they can go back on the tape follow where the bag is and recover the bag for your you left your ipod or any other device. oftentimes this surveillance can be used for good but often it can be used for different purposes beyond casinos. it's also interesting how widespread a lot of the technology has become worldwide. for example this is a street in a town in sicily. you see up here a little sign that says we are watching you video surveillance and we see cameras cameras looking the slam that way. here is another example of that. this is a church in sicily and
the areas under video surveillance. this can be great because allows a the church to be open at different hours without someone being there all the time but if they were using technology to say you have not been coming to church much lately and we have been tracking your behavior that might be something that's a little more intrusive. the technology can be used in different ways. the technology is also not new. this is a cave that was used by an ancient tyrant in sicily in the city of syracuse and east of the prisoners into this cave. at the very top emperor would put his ear behind this outlet and the acoustics were such that he could hear the talking of the prisoners. there's a sense of wanting to hear or observer people are doing. it's not new. it's just much more sophisticated and easier to gather that data in one place. i wanted to take you a little into this datamining to explain what are some of the details of
a typical dossier or a typical commercial folder about someone might look like. this is one example. you will see things such as genealogy and family, court records, education, work information web profiles photos and home information phonecalls e-mails and professional licenses. all of this is put into a commercial dossier and you can get access to these on numerous web sites that are people look up sites for example and there are more sophisticated ones then lawyers use when they are looking for people. there are also variants of this. ..
and they said, a letter like that would be an amoral use of our data. this is an example of data brokers are quite secretive of. now now this is just one of many different categories they have hypertension, and continents, insomnia schizophrenia. if you want to buy a list of women who are schizophrenic you can buy this list. list. you may think to yourself, this sounds kind of out there and mainstream companies don't deal in that kind of data. well, according to the website of this company, these are some of their clients :: procter & gamble, comcast, toyota, so on and so forth pillars of the american economy
widespread daily use throughout the economy. it could also be use in used in ways that could lead to embarrassment or other kinds of harm. a the subsection a criminal data and humiliation. if if you visit las vegas today, one of the new sites is the museum of the law which celebrates the rich criminal history of las vegas. it is quite an interesting museum. this is how the museum begins. a room where you can line up and pretend to be on a criminal lineup. one of you has a long rap sheet, and people think it is hilarious , a lot of cackling and laughter. it is it is not so funny when it actually happens in real life.
there is the 13 million americans arrested, only some of whom actually face criminal charges. in recent years some entrepreneurs have made a business of publicizing these mugshots of course public record record documents. for the overwhelming number of people they were in court records. away from the general public. so one chapter in my book talks about the mug shot business. here is -- the chapter looks at a company called busted mugshots. his innovation was to print up a little magazine busted, in austin texas and put funny photos of people and sells it. after he got into this business the expanded to the internet putting people's photos up. the twist of this company was they would coat code them in a way for a typical
person look up john smith and because there is not much about you this mug shot would come up very permanently. permanently. one woman who has been impacted in this way a citizen of south florida. one day a friend called her and said why don't you join me for lunch. she says i have already made the afternoon but afternoon, but i would be glad to join you. she ordered a small portion of lentils. the bill came and the owner charged her for a large portion. she refused to pay the difference $3.68, lay down the exact money on the table and left the restaurant. the owner said if you don't pay the exact amount i am going to call the police. he did
and going to call the police. he did, and she was arrested and taken to jail. now cases -- the case was ultimately dropped. years passed. she was than looking for a job and someone called her up and said have you looked up your name recently on the internet? because an old mugshots comes up. so they had been posting it along with millions of other pictures. the twist was when you are horrified you can click the photo and page to remove the photo. so in terms of classic it was allowed under the law, although their are now lawsuits and legal disputes about it. it was a case where the law was hazy. it was not blackmail. they put up the photo and later offer you the chance
to take it down but their are interesting things about the company which includes the men behind it. the kind of person that goes into this business. there is a whole chapter about kyle perl. he has six mugshots. he lived a bit of an unruly youth a high school drug dealer. his father was a judge and he was a smart a smart guy who went into various financial businesses but always found them a bit goal there is what he looks like today living in austin, texas. there are variants of this kind of business. another one called my ex
.com. you can put photographs of a former boyfriend or girlfriend of all different natures, compromising naked photos anything and offer a convenience fee, $499 they we will remove your photo. others have taken this concept of the takedown fee. as i mentioned, a lot of people look at companies that have emerged in recent years. here is one that has been very successful thanks to clever marketing and successful marketing campaigns, instant checkmate .com. you look up a name, but often you will generate ads that say look say, look up this person or check out the arrest record. and they really ham it up. they say please use caution
to ensure all information entered is accurate. learning the truth can be shocking so be cautious when using this tool. they are hamming it up. so this is one of a a series of companies that make public information from dossiers. but but like many companies, this one in particular was not especially forthcoming about who was behind it. yet to shine some light on these companies i was looking in particular for a woman that appeared in this companies press releases quite often a woman called kristen bright. i called her up and they would typically say she is not here, we have never seen her we don't no. so i began to suspect there was something odd.
i began the search for a mystery woman. i became convinced over time that perhaps she was not a real person. i did find one pill. there is a yelp page with a single a single picture of this woman. it says on the bottom hello, i am kristen. if i could find the woman i i could say are you kristen bright? and from that little photograph i was able to find a headshot of a woman. from that i found other photographs. she had a fake surname. by digging around in various
documents i was ultimately able to find there is another webpage i kept looking through various documents. ultimately i came across a bankruptcy petition. this was using databases and looking at the bankruptcy petition she had some kind of debt at victoria's secret. some of the home photos. a lot of photographs. it peaked my interest. i was able to ultimately track her down. this is an episode from a thumbnail sized photo, how much information i was able to learn.
an interesting side story how she came to post photos on the internet. because our conversation is being recorded i will let you read it in the book. it it is quite an interesting one. finally i called them up. the husband answered the phone. here is what he said back before ten years ago there was total anonymity but it is not like that anymore. you put up a picture and get a guy from harvard calling you on your cell phone. the littlest smallest littlest smallest piece of information can lead to a lot of stuff. incidentally this is what she looks like today. as i said, a little piece of
information can be vague, but if you have a few more pieces and a few more pieces over time the full picture comes into view which is the importance of why you should give thought to how you share data. ultimately i am not one who says you must do this or follow this prescription but i advocate people give thought to this world of data collection because different people we will have different tastes. i encourage you to look into how it all works before you decide. here is a cartoon that sums up this sentiment. it says here your call may be monitored internet searches may be recorded, email may be scanned, whereabouts may be tracked, credit card purchases may be analyzed and your most personal details may be accumulated to serve you better. this seemed amusing but i saw this following at a
turkish airline. the agent is behind the desk , that customer here, a sign here. if you look at that closely, it is a recording device. it is recording the conversation and the sign above the desk says just like in the cartoon in order to improve our quality of service your conversations are being recorded. the.of this is that it is not just something common to our country but increasingly common throughout the world. again, it can be done in a way that is appealing to customers, or it can be done in ways that cause embarrassment or difficulty down the line. one question to think about, behind this fog of commerce, how commerce, how do you no what companies do with your data.
company. a lot of transactions today, it is obscure exactly what happens with the data, who gathers it, and what happens over time. something pretty something pretty straightforward and easy to do that has not yet been done is something like a nutrition label for personal information. quickly say, we share data with outside companies aggregated. companies aggregated. even something simple like facebook, we are glad you love our service. of course, as you know, we are a free service and in order to make money we gather information to target advertising as best we can. companies today often are quite obscure and opaque as to what is done with data. i think this would be a straightforward way to give more insight. there there is more of this in financial statements.
a report from a credit card company might say what they do and be a little more clear thanks to regulation. by conclusion, personal data lives forever. information never disappears it may have been in years past you told the storekeeper something and that was it but now it is added to multiple files, often amassed by data broker companies many of them have hundreds and thousands of data points. for companies for companies personal data does not always portray or predict reality by this i mean, there is lot of wrong data out there. axiom had an initiative called about the data .com and you can look up what information they have about you as a consumer. if you are interested, you go there, put your social
security number and other information, but it does not cost anything. you see whether the list is being married or not. people i talked to said that they often got little details wrong. people interested as gun buffs and so on. there is a lot of data that is correct. another issue that i think we will come into the four of businesses who are open about what they do with data. and to some extent the casino model i i have been talking about, we gather a lot of data but we are giving you benefits. we are clear about the equation. i think that is a model worth emulating in other aspects of the economy.
the opposite of that is, businesses dishonest about the personal data practices for one day end up and run. over time if there is data breach or something happens, their may be steps that will lead to damages for corporations that have this information that were not especially open. that is something worth keeping in mind. that was the general outline of the book. an attempt to bring to life the narrative of the story of personal data and ultimately with the message of decide for yourself be informed and decide. if you want to take strenuous protection for yourself, there is an appendix that says you can do this and this. with that i am am glad to answer any questions. [applauding]
>> thank you. right here. [inaudible question] >> there will always be ways to discover more data. how data is used by organizations, researchers government versus how much information individuals but about themselves online. >> should the onus be on individuals or more broadly on other institutions. the problem is legislation and laws often fall behind the quick advance of technology. and and so we are here at a law school right now many of you could come up with the new new guidelines and regulations and standards to guide us in the future, but right now i try to encourage
the consumer to park themselves. certainly there could be more provisions to help in that regard. use of medical data for example our current standards sufficient to protect medical data given that there is such a wide sale of medical data that is unseen or should we protect data related to sexual orientation or religion or other sensitive information. these are things that i think are worthy of consideration. given what we have now reading the book today, tomorrow, a month from month from now laws may take some years. if you are cautious or thoughtful and the way you share data it may work to your advantage. you may have a multi- varied approach. we saw the case were
intimate photos were leaked from the cloud. if you are putting up images or documents into the cloud you may have two different servers dropbox is easy to use. the other might be an encrypted server, which server which is more of a pain but maybe where you put more intimate photos or financial documents. any other questions? >> during your research what surprised you the most about data gathering? >> i think it was not any individual practice but the vast scale of the practice. as i pointed out, this little company and this vast array of different sellers. one day i got a solicitation from the aclu with my knew
home address. i called them and said, can you uncover this mystery as how you have my current home address. they dug it up and found out through a magazine that i have been subscribing to sold it to them. i called up one day at amenities and they said, yes, we sell the information. from the magazine, they are not very sensitive to the vast amount of data being sold. ten and a half cents by selling my name multiplied by tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of customers, it is attractive revenue. >> i have found that if you want people to do something you make it easy for them to do. a policy of 6000 words
everyone interpreted. it becomes so complex and tangled that even people studying law cannot understand it. exactly that. three groups, privacy experts, practice students and then crowd workers, just a person on the street. none of them agree. >> that is fascinating and shows that basically there is a a fundamental failure. of course, if you want to up the stakes stakes, you can confuse this vast array of people. as i mentioned before, there is nothing wrong with saying we collect data. here is the kind of data we gather.
i don't think that is so bad. you can have an abbreviated fax. they can look at the abbreviated version. and as i mentioned credit cards and financial statements, mutual fund statements have simplified some aspects of what they do with these. these are models that can help clarify. honesty should be rewarded by customers. many are frustrated by this deliberate obfuscation and are crying out for something simpler. the study you just mentioned is one example. [inaudible question] >> i think it is way to make you skip to the end and say i agree. whatever you need to do, you just agree.
first of all all, you might not understand it. and then the purpose is to make it not understandable. maybe i am cynical but i think it is like an insurance contract. do you understand everything? i don't. >> you are certainly right. my.is, it does not have to be that way. this whole data aggregation as part of advancements that have made our lives better. it is like the car, at a certain time without seatbelts and airbags that things were happening so certain measures had to be taken to up security where industrialization