All Articles


Schoolchildren in China work overnight to produce Amazon Alexa devices


Leaked documents show children as young as 16 recruited by Amazon supplier Foxconn work gruelling and illegal hours

Hundreds of schoolchildren have been drafted in to make Amazon’s Alexa devices in China as part of a controversial and often illegal attempt to meet production targets, documents....
08/08 1401

Innocence lost: What did you do before the internet?


People born in the late 1970s are the last to have grown up without the internet. Social scientists call them the Last of the Innocents. Leah McLaren ponders a time when our attention was allowed to wander

In moments of digital anxiety I find myself thinking of my father’s desk. Dad was a....
08/04 952

From a wrongful arrest to a life-saving romance: the typos that have changed people's lives


In our digital world, a misdirected text or simple keyboard error can trigger huge unintended consequences

One day in May this year, Luigi Rimonti left his home in Gateshead to catch a ferry from North Shields, the first stage in a 1,000-mile drive across Europe to Italy. A dapper, energetic....
08/03 487

Apple contractors 'regularly hear confidential details' on Siri recordings


Workers hear drug deals, medical details and people having sex, says whistleblower

Apple contractors regularly hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex, as part of their job providing quality control, or “grading”, the company’s Siri voice....
07/26 5473

Craigslist's Craig Newmark: 'Outrage is profitable. Most online outrage is faked for profit'


The founder of the online classifieds site is a survivor from the era of internet optimism. He has given significant sums to protect the future of news – and rejects the idea his website helped cause journalism’s financial crisis

As the Craig in Craigslist, the free online noticeboard that....
07/14 3746

Warning: free hotel wifi is a hacker’s dream


Hotel systems are so leaky it’s worth investing in your own virtual private network

You’ve just arrived at the hotel after a delayed flight and a half-hour wrangle with the car-hire firm. And then you remember that you’ve forgotten to pay last month’s credit card bill, and there’ll be an....
07/07 500

Can I buy a phone that doesn’t use anything from Google or Apple?


Steve does not like firms slurping up his data, so wants a device that respects his privacy

I have concerns about the likes of Google and Apple slurping up as much info as they can about me from my phone. I’ve tried looking online for alternatives and found mentions of things like /e/, Lineage,....
07/04 378

It’s not that we’ve failed to rein in Facebook and Google. We’ve not even tried | Shoshana Zuboff


The tech giants use our data not only to predict our behaviour but to change it. But we can resist this attack on democracy

In a BBC interview last week, Facebook’s vice-president, Nick Clegg, surprised viewers by calling for new “rules of the road” on privacy, data collection and other company....
07/02 634

'We all suffer': why San Francisco techies hate the city they transformed


San Franciscans have long complained that tech workers ruined their city, driving up rents and homelessness and eliminating diversity. Now even the tech workers agree

Photographs by Jason Henry

It was a beautiful winter day in San Francisco, and Zoe was grooving to the soundtrack of the....
07/01 4418

Tired of Google following you? It is now easier to clear location data


New functionality automatically deletes history of places users have visited

It is now slightly easier to opt out of Google’s panopticon, with the introduction of new controls from the search engine to automatically clear your data after a set period of time.

By default, Google saves a permanent....
06/27 4620