How The New York Times is Visualizing the Smartphone Tracking Industry

The New York Times’ Privacy Project highlighted the alarmingly unregulated activity of location data companies collecting data from millions of smartphone users. As the coronavirus pandemic sheds further light on the uses and misuses of location tracking, here’s a deeper look at the project that visualized phones being tracked around the US, from the Pentagon and the White House to the streets of San Francisco.

The 20 Leading Digital Predators of Press Freedom Around the World

Reporters Sans Frontieres published, for the first time, a list of press freedom’s 20 worst digital predators in 2020. Whether state offshoots, private-sector companies, or informal entities, they reflect a reality of power at the end of the 21st century’s second decade, in which investigative reporters and other journalists who cause displeasure risk being the targets of predatory activity by often hidden actors.

GIJN’s Data Journalism Top 10: Coronavirus Outbreak, Misleading Graphs, Smartphone Tracking, Trash Can Banging, Mexico Murders

What’s the global data journalism community tweeting about this week? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from January 27 to February 2 finds The New York Times and Der Tagesspiegel tracking the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus, TED-Ed educating viewers about how graphs can be manipulated to mislead readers, and a baseball fan watching every Houston Astros home game in 2017 to log each time they banged a trash can as part of a sign-stealing scandal.

How Journalists Can Detect Electronic Surveillance

Journalists who work in authoritarian environments tend to be under electronic surveillance. Sometimes surveillance is being conducted at a mass scale — rather than directed at a specific target — and is intended to track what journalists in general are doing and what stories they are investigating. Here’s how to assess if surveillance is a potential or actual risk to privacy, personal safety, data security and the identities of sources.