Find anyone on the popular Russian social network VKontakte, simply by taking a picture of their face. Already the app has lead to problems with stalking and vigilantism. The city of Moscow wants to integrate it into all of their security cameras.
A lot of new security companies focus on 'insider threats'. RedOwl takes data from employees, including their emails and social media feed, and generates a list of the ones you should keep an eye on.. including those that might leak to the press.
This company proposes to store highly sensitive information on the blockchain - a technology that has no way to delete data on it, and works by spreading your data across thousands of computers.
This company aggregates your reputation from various online sources to create one single score. Just like the Chinese government is doing. These reputation systems amplify social pressure, leading to an increase in censorship and risk avoidance.
"If you don't pay for it, you are the product". Facebook creates detailed profiles on both its users and on people who don't have an account. It's a dream come true for any spy agency: the world's biggest people database, where people report on themselves and on each other. Their algorithmic newsfeed has a huge influence on how its users see the world, allowing companies and governments to manipulate their perception, and even their mood.
This company claims to do DNA Phenotyping - recreating what someone's face looks like from just their DNA. The question: could you convict someone of a crime based on this technology?
Their algorithms look at what you've posted online and deduce your psychological profile.
This company creates detailed psychological profiles from your data, and then uses that to influence elections. They know what messages you will be most susceptible to. They worked on the Trump campagne.
A credit scorer and databroker that has not only created intimate profiles on people, but had such poor security that in 2017 their databases were hacked. Sensitive data on millions of Americans is now out in the open.
This CIA-backed multi-billion dollar company that offers military grade data-analysis, surveillance and prediction to governments, police, cities and companies. The are considered to be as powerful as Google, but the creepy thing is: you're likely never heard of them.
Did you know Samsung also makes automated sentry guns? These guns are used at the Korean border, and can kill people autonomously. Photo by MarkBlackUltor
Find out if your child has the genes it takes to become a top soccer player. The data they gather about your DNA could end up in a lot of places, and severely affect their future chances in, for example, the job market.
Remember the classic board game "Guess who"? This is a Facebook version where they propose that you answer disturbing questions about mutual friends, like "are they in a healthy relationship" or "are they gay".
This company works for landlords. Renters are "...required to grant it full access to your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and/or Instagram profiles. From there, Tenant Assured scrapes your site activity, including entire conversation threads and private messages; runs it through natural language processing and other analytic software; and finally, spits out a report that catalogs everything from your personality to your 'financial stress level'."
A company that does "data onboarding": coupling online website visitors to their real life addresses. For example: people who visited webpages about foot diseases were surprised to get real mail with advertisements for treatment.
This company claims their algorithms only need a pictures of your face to detect if you're an academic, poker player or even a terrorist.
This face recognition company's software is used in public spaces like stadiums, and matches 20 million faces per second. It can track people as they move from store to store, and alert security personnel.
By placing highly sensitive microphones and cameras in your home, you allow Amazon to create more detailed profiles about your life. Having them in your house also has security implications. If you buy this device, you are also making a choice about the privacy of those around you - any voice Alexa picks up will be fingerprinted, allowing Amazon to track people as they visit other places where Alexa is installed.
By listening very closely to the wifi signals in a room, which your body subtly disturbs, this company can track your breathing patterns.
You get a better deal on insurance as long as you and your friends don't make any claims. This increases social pressure to not make claims, which could lead to bad situations. Secondly, a core idea behind insurance is solidarity with those less fortunate. Segmenting the market could mean higher premiums for the poor.
This is a ranking of the most creepy companies and startups that collect your data or use algorithms in a dubious way.