All Digital Societies Content

All Digital Societies Content

Smart cars, transparent citizens?

More safety, less congestion: Artificial intelligence could revolutionize our mobility. But networking vehicles and infrastructure poses new challenges for IT security and data protection.

By Sabine Muscat, Zora Siebert

How GDPR Is Driving the US Privacy Legislation Debate


While US companies might dominate the tech industry, the European Union is leading the way on digital rights. By regulating a key part of the global market, the EU has put data protection on the agenda around the world. In the United States, reeling from the realisation that the control of data affords Big Tech enormous economic and political power, politicians from both sides are now calling for reform.

By Sabine Muscat

Perspectives Asia: DigitalAsia

Over the last years, Asia has undergone an impressive digital transformation. Large parts of the continent have turned from the world’s factory into a creative industry.The different contributions across the continent highlight both the opportunities and risks of digitalization in Asia.

Start-Up Detroit: How the Tech Revitalization Deepens Inequalities

Tech start-ups across the country like to portray themselves as savvy social entrepreneurs – whiz kids who use simple, data-based technologies to make our cities “smart” and “open.” But in the rush to modernize, the new generation of tech enthusiasts often neglects the complexities of urban communities, the tangled histories of racial discrimination and deep-seated socioeconomic divides. 

By Shilpa Jindia

The Makers who dream about low-cost healthcare solutions

Based in Brooklyn, the Health Maker Lab uses 3D printing technology to produce low-cost prostheses and medical instruments, with the aim of radically shifting the "relationship between the 1% and 99% of the population.” Hbs Media Fellow Giorgio Ghiglione met with one of its founders. 

By Giorgio Ghiglione

The Repair Association

In the United States the “right to repair” electronic devices is highly contested. Big manufacturers only allow for repairs carried out by authorized technicians using original spare parts, and they have US copyright law on their side. Now, The Repair Association is taking on multinationals to try to change things.

By Giorgio Ghiglione

Participation is Just One Click Away

According to digital experts, political campaigning in the US is at a turning point. Could California, where Silicon Valley is driving global tech innovation, offer new tools to take democracy into the digital age? The search for answers led Hbs Media Fellow Lena Schnabl to the University of California, Berkeley.

By Lena Schnabl

The Rebel Networks of New York

Today, two million New Yorkers do not have access to the Internet. Mesh, a project designed for the unemployed living on the outskirts of Brooklyn could overthrow the power of the "super providers" by providing free connections or a solid emergency network, as it did in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. House by house, one balcony at a time, this revolution advances one router at a time. 

By Giorgio Ghiglione

"If I trust you, I'll give you my data"

In April 2016, the European Parliament passed the General Data Protection Regulation. Green MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht was the parliament’s Rapporteur for the new law and led the negotiations. Heinrich Boell Foundation Program Director Hannah Winnick spoke with Jan Philipp Albrecht following a screening of the documentary “Democracy” on May 17, 2016.

By Hannah Winnick

Selection of #Hbsdigital Fellows

This Spring, Hbs North America selected its second round of Transatlantic Media Fellows, this time for its Digital Societies program. After a competitive selection process open to both European and American journalists, four outstanding fellows were selected.

Remote Control at the Wheel

Nowadays, almost every new car has internet access. That makes it easy for hackers to take control of a car with only a laptop—a danger that the police seem powerless to prevent.

By Steve Przybilla

“We’re the Good Guys”

Chris Valasek can control cars remotely – without the drivers being able to do anything about it. He works together with his friend Charlie Miller, a hacker and former NSA employee, and together they’re the most famous car hackers in the world. Now both of them work for Uber, and insist: "we are definitely not hacking the taxi industry." 

By Steve Przybilla

Taking Stock After Snowden

Since Snowden’s disclosure of the NSA’s massive global surveillance programs, organizations like EFF and the ACLU have brought countless legal challenges to protect civil liberties, technologists have developed new tools to safeguard data privacy, and even policymakers have begun to rein in surveillance authorities. Andrew Crocker, staff attorney on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s civil liberties team, takes stock of what’s changed since Snowden first revealed a cache of classified NSA documents in June 2013. 

By Andrew Crocker

"Wrong Number"

In the United States, it's normal for cars to be connected to each other through data exchange. It's considered safe and practical--until hackers get involved. Today, even police cars aren't safe from outside interference.

By Steve Przybilla
Digital Societies Archive