It’s not new that Spotify is extracting data points from the kinds of music that people listen to at different times of the day. But what is new, is that a few months ago Spotify was granted a patent by the US government that allows it to monitor users’ speech for a wild new range of data collection.
While news of data leaks and malware attacks seem to be on the upswing, there are forms of web surveillance that reveal just as much data, only they are completely legal and receive much less publicity. On Sept. 5, Cornell’s Department of Computing and Information Science kicked off the first of a series of talks that aims to discuss the importance of technological advancements and the law in exploring surveillance, privacy and bias. Prof. Arvind Narayanan, computer science, Princeton University, was the first speaker of the series and presented his research with a talk entitled “Uncovering Commercial Surveillance on the Web.”
Commercial surveillance involves techniques used by companies to discreetly and legally trace the internet activity of users. Such surveillance is so widespread that it affects anyone who uses the internet, even for basic browsing.
The internet is everywhere. From simple dial-up connections on bulky computers, the spread of internet access to watches, cameras, printers, refrigerators and televisions demonstrates the progress the computing industry has made. Connectivity is lauded for making our lives convenient and efficient. However, the increasing frequency of malware attacks and data leaks suggests that advancements in cybersecurity are not keeping pace. As a testament to this fact, on Sept.