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Aleks Krotoski discovers that even if you have your data locked down, the people connected to you are constantly uploading information about you into the digital world.

Even if you are the most careful person in the world when it comes to your data, little pieces of your personal information are constantly being uploaded into the digital world without you being aware of it. How? Because of your connections to everyone around you.

The idea of personal privacy might not even apply any more. Your family, friends, even a random guy you bought a couch from a decade ago all have information about you that is incredibly valuable to technology companies - from phone numbers and emails in a contact list, to new baby photos and even the code of your DNA - all of it is being harvested, sold and used without you having any way to know about it, let alone have any control.

And Aleks Krotoski discovers that when those little pieces of the digital jigsaw are put together, they can have unexpected and sometimes shocking consequences in our real lives.

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28 minutes

Last on

Mon 24 Sep 2018 16:30

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Stephanie Hankey

Stephanie Hankey

Stephanie Hankey is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Tactical Technology Collective. Her work combines her technology, art and activism background with her focus on privacy, personal data, ethics and design.


She talks to us about how companies harvest data about us from sources we may not even imagine.

Kashmir Hill

Kashmir Hill

Kashmir Hill is a senior reporter for the Special Projects Desk, which produces investigative work across all of Gizmodo Media Group's web sites. She writes about privacy and technology.


She tells us about the shadow profiles that make up Facebook’s ‘People You May Know’ feature, and the strange connections made without users being able to control what’s being shared.

Erin Murphy

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Erin Murphy is Professor of Law at New York University, and author of ‘Inside the Cell: The Dark Side of Forensic DNA’.

She talks to us about how DNA Databases lead to an innocent man being investigated as part of a murder investigation, and how commercial DNA databases mean we’re giving up personal information of every person we’re biologically related to.

Jessica Nelson

Jessica Nelson

Dr. Jessica Nelson is a medieval records specialist at The National Archives. She specialises in the records from 11th-13th centuries and her research interests include royal women, Anglo-Scottish relations and the mechanics of government.


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Sandra Wachter

Sandra Wachter

Dr. Sandra Wachter is a lawyer and Research Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute.


She explains the legal issues behind personal data, and why the theory of what our rights are differ from what is put into practice.

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