What Happened to Digital Contact Tracing’s Summer of Potential?

I Saw the Challenges of Harnessing Digital Data for Public Health up Close During the Pandemic

In the summer of 2020, when most countries were cherishing the quiet before the second peak in COVID-19 cases, the non-profit I was volunteering at was bustling with activity. It had developed an open-source digital contact tracing system—one of those smartphone apps that tracks one’s whereabouts and sends notifications if the user had been exposed to COVID-19.

“Do you want to join one of our meetings?” was the offer of a volunteer I met at a (virtual) university event. He knew I was researching public use of highly contentious technology. I …

Does Cass Sunstein Regret Ruining Your Popcorn? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Does Cass Sunstein Regret Ruining Your Popcorn?

The Legal Scholar Who Put Nutrition Facts in Movie Theaters and Fast Food Joints Helps Us Figure Out What Information We Need

When Cass R. Sunstein was serving as administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under President Barack Obama, he oversaw major new legislation requiring chain restaurants …

When Numeracy Superseded Literacy—and Created the Modern World

The Renaissance’s Embrace of Numbers Revolutionized Commerce, Science, and Art

In 1025, two learned monks, Radolph of Liége and Ragimbold of Cologne, exchanged several letters on mathematical topics they had encountered while reading a manuscript of the sixth-century Roman philosopher, …

Forget Fake News. Social Media Is Making Democracy Less Democratic.

Hyperconnectivity Allows Demagogues to Micro-Target and Manipulate the Masses

Anxieties that new communications technologies and media formats would undermine democratic citizenship go back more than a century. In the late 19th century, critics worried about sensationalistic “yellow journalism”; a …

What Happens When Personal Information Gets Weaponized

The Government Needs Data to Protect Infrastructure, Without Imperiling Privacy

Michael Greenberger is a professor at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law and the founder and director of the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security. …