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In the loop

In the Loop is our monthly newsletter, sharing our own news as well as some of the stories we've tweeted in the last month.

Tactical Tech news and events

Tactical Tech releases, events, and press

Releases (4)

  • Facebook guides in the age of uncertainty

    Towards the end of March, a news story broke that revealed how millions of Facebook users' personal data had been accessed and used by Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm who used it to build a software program to predict and influence voters in US and UK elections. There has been lots of talk in the media about leaving Facebook, but do we really have to leave Facebook to protect our privacy? Tactical Tech's Leil-Zahra Mortada has written two articles to help you decide: one on how to delete Facebook and one on how to increase your privacy if you want to stay.


  • Psychometric profiling: an explanation and history

    Ever wondered how the companies and platforms behind the internet can build a data profile about you? Tactical Tech's Varoon Bashyakarla has written an article on psychometric profiling, one of the key tactics that Cambridge Analytica used in their harvesting of over 80 million Facebook users' profiles.


  • Visualising information for advocacy spanish edition

    Infoactivismo have published a Spanish translation of our Visualising Information for Advocacy book, about how advocates and activists can use visual elements in their campaigns. It is now available in English, Arabic and Spanish! You can read about the main project here.


  • Resources on security and privacy from a gender perspective: what's already there and what's needed?

    Can you help us with a 10 minute survey? We're currently mapping the field of self-learning resources that are available online and listing them on a wiki page which you can find here. At the same time we're trying to understand what's missing. If you have 10 minutes, please help us so we can collect your input and ideas.

Events (1)

  • Pedro oliveira: sonic insolance auditory fabulation

    We're hosting a series of talks in Berlin that combine art, technology and politics, inviting experts and practitioners from the field. The second in this series took part last month with sound artist and researcher Pedro Oliveira who spoke about sound and violence with reference to his studies about Brazil. There will be an audio recording of his talk online soon. Missed this talk? Keep up to date with Tactical Tech's events on our website.

Press and media (3)

  • Responding to the cambridge analytica story

    Towards the end of March, a news story was published in the New York Times, the Guardian and by Channel 4 that revealed how millions of Facebook users' personal data had been accessed and used by Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm who used it to build a software program to predict and influence voters in US and UK elections. We contributed to a number of articles during this wave of news, some of which are listed below:


  • How much does amazon's alexa know?

    If you read the German newspaper Die Zeit over Easter Weekend then you would have seen a feature on the front of the Wirtschaft section titled 'My Eerie Roommate' with a picture of Amazon's Alexa product. This article is the result of months of research by Tactical Tech's Danja Vasiliev and Raquel Renno to see how much data they could glean from the journalist's own Alexa. (Die Zeit)


  • Cashing in on crisis? the refugee eye scan experiment

    Co-founder Marek Tuszynski spoke with Red Fish Media about the potential dangers of companies like IRIS developing eye-scanning technology for refugees. (Red Fish Media)

Stuff we're reading

Stories we've found interesting in the past month

Activism (5)

  • Tech thursdays: kcrw radio berlin

    On our weekly radio spot, data and elections researchers Gary Wright and Varoon Bashyakarla spoke with Marlene in a two-part series about what can be done for your digital footprint in a post-Cambridge Analytica world. (KCRW Berlin)


  • The cambridge analytica files

    The Guardian, one of the leading publications in breaking the Cambridge Analytica story, have created a really good series that covers everything.


  • How to make a clean break with the clingiest of social networks

    Fed up with social media scandals? The major social networks don't want you absconding with your precious data, so deleting your accounts requires some determination. (Wired)


  • 6 reasons why you should care about the future of policing

    A detailed listicle outlining some of the reasons we should be wary of policing in relation to digital technologies, created in preparation for a session at the Internet Freedom Festival 2018. (Medium)

  • Europeans asked for their right to be forgotten 2.4 million times

    Google's transparency report found that from 2014-2017, Europeans requested that Google delist 2.4 million URLs from search, primarily regarding individuals' personal information, or legal history. (Mashable)

Provocation (5)

  • Eu says facebook confirmed data of 2.7 million europeans 'improperly shared'

    BRUSSELS - Facebook (FB.O) has confirmed that the data of 2.7 million EU citizens were among those improperly used by political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, the EU executive said. (Reuters)


  • Gentrification, alienation, and homelessness: what really happens when amazon moves to town?

    A college professor in Seattle shares her views on “Spheres”, three huge polyhedron Amazon conservatories built in the center of Seattle’s downtown. (Arch Daily)


  • China will ban people with poor 'social credit' from planes and trains

    The new restrictions, which start in May, can last for up to a year. (The Verge)


  • Grindr sends hiv status to third parties, and some personal data unencrypted

    Dating app Grindr is under fire for inappropriate sharing of HIV status with third parties and inadequate security on other personal data transmission. (Tech Crunch)

  • Algorithms of opression. how search engines reinforce racism

    A new book by Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble, a co-founder of the Information Ethics & Equity Institute, on her findings of algorithmic racism. (We Make Money Not Art)

Illumination (4)

  • The billion-dollar hacking group behind a string of big breaches

    There was a data breach impacting more than five million credit and debit card numbers. The culprits? The same group that's spent the last few years pulling off data heists from Omni Hotels & Resorts, Trump Hotels, Jason’s Deli, Whole Foods, Chipotle: a mysterious group known as Fin7. (Wired)


  • Startup wants to upload your brain to the cloud, but has to kill you to do it

    Nectome offers to preserve grey matter through ‘vitrifixation’ process tested on rabbits – but doesn’t have a method for uploading brains yet. (Guardian)


  • On mobile apps, who can see your personal data?

    A new report co-authored by Mozilla Fellow Rishab Nithyanand explores the opaque realm of third-party trackers. (Medium)

  • Internet artists invaded the moma with a guerrilla augmented reality exhibit

    "Hello, we're from the internet" is an art project that took over the MoMA's Jackson Pollock room without permission. (Motherboard)