Julia Angwin

Julia Angwin is an investigative journalist,[1] co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Markup. She was a senior reporter at ProPublica until April 2018[2] and staff reporter at the New York bureau of The Wall Street Journal from 2000 to 2013. Angwin is author of non-fiction books, Stealing MySpace: The Battle to Control the Most Popular Website in America (2009) and Dragnet Nation (2014).[3]

Julia Angwin
Julia Angwin
Alma materUniversity of Chicago (BA)
Columbia University (MBA Graduate School of Business)
OccupationInvestigative journalist, Senior reporter, Co-founder of The Markup

The Markup

In April 2018, Angwin and Jeff Larson left ProPublica to found The Markup, described on their website as a "nonpartisan, nonprofit newsroom" that will produce "data-centered journalism" to uncover "societal harms of technology".[4] They were joined by Sue Gardner, as a co-founder, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and several ProPublica staff members.[5][6] Harvard-University-based NiemanLab described Angwin and Larson as a "journalist-programmer team" at ProPublica who uncovered stories such as "how algorithms are biased".[7]

Wall Street Journal

Angwin was a Wall Street Journal staff reporter based at their New York bureau covering business and technology for thirteen years from 2000 to 2013, when she left for ProPublica.[8] In their review of Dragnet Nation, The Economist, wrote that Angwin, beginning in 2010, had overseen Wall Street Journal's "pioneering series" entitled "What They Know" which exposed how privacy was being eroded with most people completely unaware that it was happening.[9] While at the Wall Street Journal, in 2010, Angwin wrote about how Google's co-founders, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt disagreed on the development of Google Chrome with Schmidt opposing the idea because of potential "browser wars".[10] A November 23, 2009 article by Angwin and Geoffrey A. Fowler, entitled "Volunteers Log Off as Wikipedia Ages" on the "unprecedented numbers of the millions" of Wikipedia editors that were quitting, was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.[11] She shared the 2011 Gerald Loeb Award for Online Enterprise for the story "What They Know".[12]


Angwin was a senior reporter and investigative journalist at ProPublica, that was described as The New York Times as "big tech's scariest watchdog."[13] In 2016, Angwin was lead author of an article revealing machine bias against black people in criminal risk assessment that used machine learning systems.[7]

In a 2016 article entitled "Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking", Angwin revealed that Google had changed its privacy policy allowing Google to merge users' personally identifiable information. Following publication of her article, Google announced that this precluded advertisement targeting through Gmail keywords.[14]

She shared the 2018 Gerald Loeb Award for Beat Reporting for the story "Automating Hate".[15]


Angwin is the author of Stealing MySpace: The Battle to Control the Most Popular Website in America[16] and Dragnet Nation.[3] In his New York Times "Sunday Book Review" of Stealing MySpace, Michael Agger described Angwin's "meticulously" detailed description of Rupert Murdoch's purchase of MySpace in 2005 from Intermix Media despite competition from News Corp and Viacom, as "so granular that it passes through boring into surreal."[17] The Washington Post's Scott Rosenberg compared Stealing MySpace to Kara Swisher's There Must be a Pony in Here Somewhere: The AOL Time Warner debacle and the quest for the digital future.[18][19] The Economist,[9] Kirkus Reviews,[20] and the Los Angeles Times gave Dragnet Nation favorable reviews.[21]

In a 2014 interview with Bill Moyers about Dragnet Nation, Angwin described reporters as "prime targets for Internet snooping" and "the canary in the coal mine" of internet privacy - the first to feel the "impact of total surveillance". She said that as "watch dogs for democracy", journalists need to protect their sources.[8] In a 2014 interview with Kirkus Reviews's Neha Sharma, Angwin said that she had become aware of data scraping while researching Stealing MySpace. To protect her own digital content, she began using Tails.[1]

Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting

In 2003 Angwin was one of The Wall Street Journal's staff reporters whose stories on the history and impact of corporate scandals in the United States, were acknowledged with a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting.


  1. ^ a b Sharma, Neha (February 14, 2014). "Reclaiming Privacy in An Age of Hyper-Sharing". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  2. ^ "Julia Angwin". Profiles. ProPublica. nd. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Angwin, Julia (February 25, 2014). Dragnet Nation: A quest for privacy, security, and freedom in a world of relentless surveillance. Times Books. p. 304. ISBN 978-0805098075.
  4. ^ "Ethics Policy". The Markup. September 23, 2018. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  5. ^ Schmidt, Christine (September 24, 2018). "Watch out, algorithms: Julia Angwin and Jeff Larson unveil The Markup, their plan for investigating tech's societal impacts". Nieman Journalism Lab (NiemanLab) Nieman Foundation for Journalism Harvard University. Cambridge, Mass. Retrieved September 24, 2018. Journalists in every field need to have more skills to investigate those types of decision-making that are embedded in technology.
  6. ^ Bowles, Nellie (September 23, 2018). "News Site to Investigate Big Tech, Helped by Craigslist Founder". The New York Times. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Angwin, Julia; Larson, Jeff; Kirchner, Lauren; Mattu, Surya (May 23, 2016). "Machine Bias". ProPublica. Retrieved September 24, 2018. There's software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it's biased against blacks.
  8. ^ a b Bill Moyers (March 14, 2014). "No Escaping Dragnet Nation". Moyers & Company. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Online privacy: Watching the watchers". The Economist. March 1, 2014. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  10. ^ "Sun Valley: Schmidt Didn't Want to Build Chrome Initially, He Says". WSJ Digits Blog. July 9, 2009. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  11. ^ Angwin, Julia; Fowler, Geoffrey A. (November 23, 2009). "Volunteers Log Off as Wikipedia Ages". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  12. ^ "Loeb Award Winners". UCLA Anderson School of Management. June 28, 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  13. ^ Schwab, Katharine (February 16, 2018). "How ProPublica Became Big Tech's Scariest Watchdog". Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  14. ^ Angwin, Julia (October 21, 2016). "Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking: Google is the latest tech company to drop the longstanding wall between anonymous online ad tracking and user's names". ProPublica. Archived from the original on November 27, 2016. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  15. ^ "UCLA Anderson School of Management Announces 2018 Gerald Loeb Award Winners". PR Newswire. June 25, 2018. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  16. ^ Angwin, Julia (March 17, 2009). Stealing MySpace: The Battle to Control the Most Popular Website in America. Random House. p. 384. ISBN 1400066948.
  17. ^ Agger, Michael (April 16, 2009). "Dude, Murdoch Friended Us!". Sunday Book Review. The New York Times. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  18. ^ Swisher, Kara (October 2003). There Must be a Pony in Here Somewhere: The AOL Time Warner debacle and the quest for the digital future. Crown Business. p. 320. ISBN 1400049636. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  19. ^ Rosenberg, Scott (March 15, 2009). "Book Review: 'Stealing MySpace: The Battle To Control the Most Popular Website in America' by Julia Angwin". Washington Post. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  20. ^ "Dragnet Nation by Julia Angwin". Kirkus Reviews. February 25, 2014. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  21. ^ Silverman, Jacob (March 6, 2014). "'Dragnet Nation' looks at the hidden systems that are always looking at you". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles: Tribune Co. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
2017 Pulitzer Prize

The 2017 Pulitzer Prizes were awarded by the Pulitzer Prize Board for work during the 2016 calendar year. Prize winners and nominated finalists were announced by Mike Pride at 3:00 p.m. EST April 10, 2017.The New York Times won the most awards of any newspaper, with three, bringing its total to one hundred twelve Pulitzer Prizes. The McClatchy Company, Miami Herald, and International Consortium of Investigative Journalists won Investigative reporting, leaving them with a total of fifty-four, twenty-two, and one respectively. The New York Daily News and ProPublica won the prize in public service, bringing their totals to eleven and four respectively. The East Bay Times won Breaking News Reporting, bringing its total to three prizes. The Salt Lake Tribune won its second Pulitzer. The Charleston Gazette-Mail won its first prize for the combined newspaper.


Oracle Corporation operates AddThis.com, a social bookmarking service that can be integrated into a website with the use of a web widget. Once the widget is added, visitors to the website can bookmark or share an item using a variety of services, such as Facebook, MySpace, Google Bookmarks, Pinterest, and Twitter. The site reaches 2.1 billion unique visitors monthly and is used by more than 15 million web publishers. The service operated under companies including AddThis, Inc., AddThis, LLC, and Clearspring Technologies, Inc. until the company's acquisition by Oracle Corporation on January 5, 2016.

Advertising in video games

Advertising using games is a long-standing practice in the video game industry. Various methods have been used to integrate advertising into video games to advertise products, organizations or viewpoints.The advergames sector reached $207 million in 2007.Some companies and organizations expressly commission video games to promote a product or service. These games have been referred to as "advergames" (a portmanteau of "advertising" and "gaming") a term that was coined in January 2000 by Anthony Giallourakis, and later mentioned by Wired's "Jargon Watch" column in 2001. With the growth of the internet, advergames have proliferated, often becoming the most visited aspect of brand websites and becoming an integrated part of brand media planning in an increasingly fractured media environment. Advergames theoretically promote repeated traffic to websites and reinforce brands. Users choosing to register to be eligible for prizes can help marketers collect customer data. Gamers may also invite their friends to participate, which could assist promotion by word of mouth, or "viral marketing."

Games for advertising are sometimes classified as a type of serious game, as these games have a strong educational or training purpose other than pure entertainment.Other methods of advertising in video games include product placement being integrated into in-game environments and companies/organizations sponsoring commercial games or other game-related content.

Ashkan Soltani

Ashkan Soltani was the Chief Technologist of the Federal Trade Commission. He was previously an independent privacy and security researcher, based in Washington, DC.

Between 2010 and 2011, he worked for the US Federal Trade Commission as a staff technologist in the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, where he assisted with the investigations of Google and Facebook. He has also worked as the primary technical consultant to the Wall Street Journal's What They Know series investigating online privacy.

In 2011, he testified at two different hearings held by US Senate committees focused on privacy related matters. Julia Angwin, in her 2014 book Dragnet Nation, describes Soltani as 'the leading technical expert on ad tracking technology'. He was part of the team at The Washington Post that shared the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service with The Guardian US and earned the 2014 Gerald Loeb Award for Large Newspapers for their coverage of the disclosures about surveillance done by the US National Security Agency.

Dana DeArmond

Dana DeArmond (born June 16, 1979) is an American pornographic actress and director who entered the industry in 2004.

Do Not Track

Do Not Track (DNT) refers to a mechanism for communicating a user's preference regarding tracking on the World Wide Web. Tracking is the collection of data regarding a particular user's activity across multiple distinct contexts and the retention, use, or sharing of data derived from that activity outside the context in which it occurred.

The Do Not Track mechanism extends the Hypertext Transfer Protocol by generating a DNT request header field containing a value expressing the user's tracking preference.

The Do Not Track header was originally proposed in 2009 by researchers Christopher Soghoian, Sid Stamm, and Dan Kaminsky. Efforts to standardize Do Not Track by the W3C in the Tracking Preference Expression (DNT) Working Group did not make it past the Candidate Recommendation stage and ended in September 2018 due to insufficient deployment and support.

Mozilla's Firefox became the first browser to implement the feature, while Internet Explorer, Apple's Safari, Opera and Google Chrome all later added support.

The header field name is DNT and it currently accepts three values: 1 in case the user does not want to be tracked (opt out), 0 in case the user consents to being tracked (opt in), or null (no header sent) if the user has not expressed a preference. The default behavior required by the standard is not to send the header unless the user enables the setting via their browser or their choice is implied by use of that specific browser.

Dragnet Nation

Dragnet Nation: A quest for privacy, security, and freedom in a world of relentless surveillance is a 2014 book on Computer and network surveillance by Julia Angwin. The author said that she was motivated to write the book when she learned of data scraping.


DrinkExchange was a monthly social and business networking party started in San Francisco, California during the dot com bubble.The event was started in February, 1997 by Ali Partovi, co-founder of the Internet firm LinkExchange, and his roommate-coworkers Alan Shusterman and Mike Bayle, who were initially looking to find ways to improve their social life. The format was humorously based on LinkExchange's early ad exchange model (though not formally affiliated with the company), by which web publishers could trade two outgoing "clicks" on banner ads placed on their site for one visitor backlink from other publishers. At the events, participants were encouraged to buy two alcoholic drinks, and give one to a fellow guest.Invitations to the initial event, held at the local Gordon Biersch brewery, were in the form of a mock product announcement press release from LinkExchange, which ended up becoming a local viral email phenomenon and attracting seventy guests. Later events drew more than one thousand participants each, included corporate sponsorships, and eventually spread to Tokyo, Sydney, London, Hong Kong, San Diego, and Washington, DC. The parties continued until the "dot com crash" of 2001.

Gerald Loeb Award

The Gerald Loeb Award, also referred to as the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism, is a recognition of excellence in journalism, especially in the fields of business, finance and the economy. The award was established in 1957 by Gerald Loeb, a founding partner of E.F. Hutton & Co. Loeb's intention in creating the award was to encourage reporters to inform and protect private investors as well as the general public in the areas of business, finance and the economy.


Gmail is a free email service developed by Google. Users can access Gmail on the web and using third-party programs that synchronize email content through POP or IMAP protocols. Gmail started as a limited beta release on April 1, 2004 and ended its testing phase on July 7, 2009.

At launch, Gmail had an initial storage capacity offer of one gigabyte per user, a significantly higher amount than competitors offered at the time. Today, the service comes with 15 gigabytes of storage. Users can receive emails up to 50 megabytes in size, including attachments, while they can send emails up to 25 megabytes. In order to send larger files, users can insert files from Google Drive into the message. Gmail has a search-oriented interface and a "conversation view" similar to an Internet forum. The service is notable among website developers for its early adoption of Ajax.

Google's mail servers automatically scan emails for multiple purposes, including to filter spam and malware, and to add context-sensitive advertisements next to emails. This advertising practice has been significantly criticized by privacy advocates due to concerns over unlimited data retention, ease of monitoring by third parties, users of other email providers not having agreed to the policy upon sending emails to Gmail addresses, and the potential for Google to change its policies to further decrease privacy by combining information with other Google data usage. The company has been the subject of lawsuits concerning the issues. Google has stated that email users must "necessarily expect" their emails to be subject to automated processing and claims that the service refrains from displaying ads next to potentially sensitive messages, such as those mentioning race, religion, sexual orientation, health, or financial statements. In June 2017, Google announced the upcoming end to the use of contextual Gmail content for advertising purposes, relying instead on data gathered from the use of its other services.By February 2016, Gmail had one billion active users worldwide.

In-text advertising

In-text advertising is a form of contextual advertising where specific keywords within the text of a web-page are matched with advertising and/or related information units.

Inscape Data Services

Inscape is a provider of ACR services to Smart TV OEMs. The company was founded in 2009 as TV Interactive Systems later renamed Cognitive Media Networks Inc. On August 10, 2015, Vizio acquired Cognitive Media Networks and renamed it Inscape. On July 2016 Vizio announced Inscape will spin off and operate as a separate, privately owned company.


KFSF-DT, virtual channel 66 (UHF digital channel 34), is a UniMás owned-and-operated television station licensed to Vallejo, California, United States and serving the San Francisco Bay Area. The station is owned by the Univision Local Media subsidiary of Univision Communications, as part of a duopoly with San Francisco-licensed Univision owned-and-operated station KDTV-DT (channel 14). The two stations share studios on Zanker Road in San Jose; KFSF's transmitter is located at Sutro Tower in San Francisco.

Machine learning

Machine learning (ML) is the scientific study of algorithms and statistical models that computer systems use to effectively perform a specific task without using explicit instructions, relying on patterns and inference instead. It is seen as a subset of artificial intelligence. Machine learning algorithms build a mathematical model of sample data, known as "training data", in order to make predictions or decisions without being explicitly programmed to perform the task. Machine learning algorithms are used in a wide variety of applications, such as email filtering, and computer vision, where it is infeasible to develop an algorithm of specific instructions for performing the task. Machine learning is closely related to computational statistics, which focuses on making predictions using computers. The study of mathematical optimization delivers methods, theory and application domains to the field of machine learning. Data mining is a field of study within machine learning, and focuses on exploratory data analysis through unsupervised learning. In its application across business problems, machine learning is also referred to as predictive analytics.

Manoush Zomorodi

Manoush Zomorodi is a journalist, podcast host and author. She was the host of the WNYC podcast Note To Self, which explores humans' relationship with technology through conversations with listeners and experts. In 2018, Zomorodi quit WNYC to start a media company, Stable Genius Productions, with her colleague Jen Poyant. The process of starting their company is documented in the podcast ZigZag, which is also their first production.

Mass surveillance industry

The mass surveillance industry is a multibillion-dollar economic sector which has undergone phenomenal growth rates since 2001. According to data provided by The Wall Street Journal, the retail market for surveillance tools has grown from "nearly zero" in 2001 to about US$5 billion in 2011. The size of the video surveillance market rose to US$13.5 billion in 2012, and is expected to reach US$39 billion by 2020.

Sue Gardner

Sue Gardner (born May 11, 1967) is a Canadian journalist, not-for-profit executive and business executive. She was the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation from December 2007 until May 2014, and before that was the director of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's website and online news outlets.

In 2012, she was ranked as the 70th-most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine. In 2013, she joined the board of Global Voices. In May 2015, the Tor Project announced that Gardner would be assisting the project with the development of their long-term organizational strategy. In 2018, she was announced as executive director of The Markup, a news site to investigate "Big Tech".

The Markup

The Markup is an American nonprofit organization based in New York City that will focus on data driven journalism covering the ethics and impact of technology on society. Markup was co-founded by two former ProPublica journalists Julia Angwin and Jeff Larson. The idea was conceived in April 2018, and expects to launch in early 2019.Like ProPublica, all of their content will be licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Vehicle location data

Vehicle location data is the big data collection of vehicle locations, including automatic vehicle location data. This usually includes times and often photographs as well. Common methods of data collection include automatic number plate recognition of vehicle registration plates from images collected by cameras mounted on vehicles or fixtures along roads,

as well as radio-frequency identification (RFID) from dedicated short-range communications transponders (such as those used for electronic toll collection and parking lots). Databases of this information may be maintained by government or private entities. Private companies use vehicle location data for vehicle repossession and consumer profiling. Government databases have been subjected to legal orders for location data. Access may be restricted to use in criminal cases, but may also be available for civil cases, such as divorce.

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