ProPublica: Inside the Capitol Riot: What the Parler Videos Reveal. “Parler’s failure to ‘effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others’ led Amazon to expel the site from its cloud-hosting servers. Some people managed to grab the material before Parler went down, and one of them shared a trove of videos with ProPublica. We culled the collection to some 500 videos uploaded to Parler by people in the vicinity of the White House and Capitol on Jan. 6, and sorted them by time and location, thus giving the public an immersive experience that would previously have been impossible to achieve without being there amid the clouds of tear gas and pepper spray and the crush of bodies pressing toward their goal.”
Motherboard: This Company Built a Private Surveillance Network. We Tracked Someone With It. “This tool, called Digital Recognition Network (DRN), is not run by a government, although law enforcement can also access it. Instead, DRN is a private surveillance system crowdsourced by hundreds of repo men who have installed cameras that passively scan, capture, and upload the license plates of every car they drive by to DRN’s database. DRN stretches coast to coast and is available to private individuals and companies focused on tracking and locating people or vehicles. The tool is made by a company that is also called Digital Recognition Network.”
Wired: Your Old Tweets Give Away More Location Data Than You Think. “An international group of researchers has developed an algorithmic tool that uses Twitter to automatically predict exactly where you live in a matter of minutes, with more than 90 percent accuracy. It can also predict where you work, where you pray, and other information you might rather keep private, like, say, whether you’ve frequented a certain strip club or gone to rehab.”
Motherboard: I Gave a Bounty Hunter $300. Then He Located Our Phone. “T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T are selling access to their customers’ location data, and that data is ending up in the hands of bounty hunters and others not authorized to possess it, letting them track most phones in the country.”
CNET: This location-sharing app exposed 1.7 million passwords — and some nudes. “Apps that allow you to share your location and activity can leave your data and personal information exposed, according to a recent finding by the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology, which is based in Darmstadt, Germany. As reported by Forbes, the study found that tracking apps made for families and couples to monitor their loved ones can easily be intercepted and allow hackers to spy on the phone user.”
Krebs on Security: Why Is Your Location Data No Longer Private?. “The past month has seen one blockbuster revelation after another about how our mobile phone and broadband providers have been leaking highly sensitive customer information, including real-time location data and customer account details. In the wake of these consumer privacy debacles, many are left wondering who’s responsible for policing these industries? How exactly did we get to this point? What prospects are there for changes to address this national privacy crisis at the legislative and regulatory levels? These are some of the questions we’ll explore in this article.” A thorough deep dive, as you would expect from Mr. Krebs.
Motherboard: How to Scrub GPS Data from Your Photos. “So you want to help protect wildlife and scrub the GPS data that might be embedded in your photos? Great! First, know that when you upload an image to a majority of popular social media sites (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), the EXIF data (where location info can hide) is automatically deleted. ‘But Asia,’ you say, ‘Who knows if they’re actually deleting the data. I have to nuke the EXIF myself. It’s the only way to be sure.’ You’ve convinced me with that Aliens reference. Here’s a brief, non-comprehensive walkthrough to make sure your images are squeaky clean.”
Phys.org: CU Boulder to create digital archive of 1.7 million Rocky Mountain botanical specimens. “University of Colorado Boulder researchers and collaborating institutions have been awarded $2.9 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create a comprehensive digital archive of over 1.7 million plant specimens native to the southern Rocky Mountain region. CU Boulder will serve as the lead institution of an interdisciplinary consortium composed of 38 collaborating partners, which includes universities, botanical gardens, national parks and Native American Nations, who will help compile and cross-reference the specimen data. Specimens from areas of the 10-state region of the Southern Rocky Mountains and High Plains will be located, imaged, entered into a central database and georeferenced.”
Social Media Examiner: How to Create a Snapchat Geofilter on Your Phone. “Want to design Snapchat geofilters on the go? Have you seen the Snapchat in-app geofilter creation tool? In this article, you’ll discover how to easily create and purchase custom Snapchat geofilters from within the mobile app.” Very step-by-step.
New York Public Library: Surveyor Geotagging Tool Puts NYPL Photos on the Map. “Today, we’re proud to release Surveyor, our new website for crowdsourced geotagging of NYPL’s photo collections. With Surveyor, we invite everyone who is interested in the history of New York City to try and determine the locations depicted in these mostly unlabelled photos. With your help, we will create a database containing the geographic locations of our photos, and this data will be available for everyone to use and download. We’ll start small, with around 2,500 photos from five collections, but we will add more of the Library’s photo collections later (you can find a list of these collections on Surveyor’s About page).”