Author Archive

Sidney Fussell

Staff Writer

Sidney Fussell is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers technology.
Cybersecurity

Why Hong Kongers Are Toppling Lampposts

For protesters, claims of Chinese surveillance are politically useful, even when they can’t be proved.

Cybersecurity

People Are Starting to Realize How Voice Assistants Actually Work

The secrecy surrounding AI products makes even basic information about them a scandal.

Ideas

FaceApp Is Everyone’s Problem

It feels good to call out people for being duped by the Russian app, but the individualist framing of privacy is the bigger culprit.

Emerging Tech

The AI That Could Help Curb Youth Suicide

For many reasons, parents and teachers may fail to intervene when they spot LGBTQ teens in trouble. Can Google help?

Emerging Tech

ICE and the Ever-Widening Surveillance Dragnet

ICE agents have used facial-recognition technology on state driver’s-license photos, turning a public database into a de facto criminal database.

Emerging Tech

You No Longer Own Your Face

Students were recorded for research—and then became part of a data set that lives forever online, potentially accessible to anyone.

Emerging Tech

The AI Supply Chain Runs on Ignorance

Tech companies often fail to tell users how their data will be employed. Sometimes, the firms can’t even anticipate it themselves.

Data

Your Online-Shopping Experience Was Grown in a Lab

How companies are using biofeedback to sell more products

Emerging Tech

Why the New Zealand Shooting Video Keeps Circulating

Teaching AI to filter out banned content isn’t the solution advocates hoped for—or the one Silicon Valley promised.

Data

Your Health Data Are a Gold Mine for Advertisers

In the hospital and at home, illness data can be lucrative.

Emerging Tech

The Microphones That May Be Hidden in Your Home

The controversy around Google’s Nest home-security devices shows that consumers never really know what their personal technology is capable of.

Featured eBooks

Emerging Tech

The Quiet Ways Automation Is Remaking Service Work

Workers may not be replaced by robots anytime soon, but they’ll likely face shorter hours, lower pay, and stolen time.

Emerging Tech

The City of the Future Is a Data-Collection Machine

In Toronto, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, hopes to create the sensor-filled metropolis of tomorrow.

Emerging Tech

The Next Data Mine Is Your Bedroom

Google wants to scan your clothing and listen to you brush your teeth. Welcome home.

Emerging Tech

A Rare Issue Is Causing Police Body Cameras to Explode

The nation’s largest police force is changing its body-camera policy after a malfunctioning camera started a fire.

Cybersecurity

The Newest Password Technology Is Making Your Phone Easier for Police to Search

For the first time, police have compelled a suspect to unlock his phone using Face ID. The case reveals an interesting inversion: More advanced password technology is less protected from police seizure.

Emerging Tech

Schools Are Spending Big On Surveillance Technology. Is It Worth It?

After Parkland, schools are installing gunshot-detection systems typically used in cities like Oakland and Chicago. But the concrete benefits of the technology are dubious.

Emerging Tech

The Always-On Police Camera

A new patent proposes body cameras that can automatically activate in response to the sound of gunfire, or scan crowds for criminal suspects. What does that mean for expectations of privacy in public spaces?