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Tarun Wadhwa

I am a researcher with the Hybrid Reality Institute, and Co-Founder and COO of AIC Chile. Identified, a book I've authored about the global rise of digital identification systems, will be out later this year. It analyzes the impact of the technologies that governments and companies use to see who we are. I track these systems over time to see how they are changing governments, institutions, social norms, and your daily life. Learn more, and sign-up for updates here. Follow me on Twitter — @twadhwa — or check out my website for more articles, talks, and updates.

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From This Author


Facial Recognition Tech Will Soon End Your Anonymity in Public

Nearly 250 million video surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the world, and chances are you’ve been seen by several of them today. Most people barely notice their presence anymore — on the streets,...

The Digitalization of Prosthetics Is Transforming How Wounded Service Members and Veterans Recover

Sitting on Dr. Peter Liacouras’s desk is a razor, a stick of deodorant, and a partially built prosthetic arm. Behind him, several 3D printers buzz away, creating contraptions in plastic, nylon, and titanium. Today...

Using Technology to Create Safe and Ethical Retail Supply Chains

On April 24, 2013, Rana Plaza, an eight-story commercial building on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, collapsed, killing 1,129 garment workers. The world watched in horror as thousands were pulled from the rubble. While...

Wells Fargo Wants to Let You Make Million-Dollar Wire Transactions With Your Face and Voice

“My voice gives me access to proceed, please verify me,” I announced to the phone in my hand. It scanned my face to see if my lips were moving.  I then read aloud series of numbers....

As Nations Hack Each Other, Protecting Personal Information Must Become National Security Priority

The nation with the most powerful military in the world suffered a major strategic loss — and for several months not a single person even noticed. That’s because that attackers didn’t use traditional weapons...

One State Wants To Let You Carry Your Driver’s License On Your Phone

There’s now a technology to replace almost everything in your wallet. Your cash, credit cards, and loyalty programs are all on their way to becoming obsolete. Money can now be sent via app, text,...

Under Armour, MyFitnessPal, And Why Brands Want To Know Everything About Your Body

It’s been said that when a technology is free to use, you are not the customer, you are the product. That remains true – but now with apparel company Under Armour’s acquisition of health tracking...

Will Lyft And Uber’s Shared-Ride Service Put Public Transit Out Of Business?

More than three-quarters of people commuting to work each day are driving by themselves. That’s a lot of empty seats on the road – and all that traffic and congestion has a large financial, environmental,...

Using 3D Printing and Design To Change the Way We Look at Disability

The technology involved in creating artificial limbs has come a long way in the last few decades. We have now witnessed a paralyzed man kick a soccer ball at the opening ceremonies of the World Cup, and a...

Do You Trust Internet-Connected Appliances Enough To Let Them Run Your Home?

The idea that household appliances need Internet-connected capabilities has always seemed over the top. Take the example of Samsung’s infamous “smart fridge.” Debuted at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show, its RF4289 model came...

NASA’s Next Frontier: Growing Plants On The Moon

A small team at NASA’s Ames Research Center has set out to “boldly grow where no man has grown before” – and they’re doing it with the help of thousands of children, a robot,...

Watching The Police: Will Two-Way Surveillance Reduce Crime And Increase Accountability?

Two years ago, Alvin, a teenager in Harlem, was walking down the street when he was approached by three NYPD officers. Without providing a valid reason for the stop, the officers proceeded to interrogate...

CrowdOptic To Put Augmented Reality Art Gallery in Toronto Cityscape

In two weeks, tens of thousands of people will fill the streets of Toronto for the seventh annual Luminato Festival to see beautiful works of art, hear great music, and enjoy the sights of...

SnapChat, Self-Destructing Message Service, Tries To Reverse Permanence Of Modern Digital Life

You would think that it would be a terrible idea for a company accused of helping teenagers send each other sexually explicit images to feature bikini-clad young girls in their marketing. Most would avoid...

Lessons From Crowdsourcing The Boston Bombing Investigation

What started as an atypical request by the FBI to gather evidence from the public quickly morphed into a much uglier digital witch hunt, one where the crowd’s fears, prejudices, and suspicions were given credence, while guilt and innocence were doled out based on shreds of circumstantial evidence. In the four days, three hours, and nine minutes between the detonation of the first bomb and the Boston Police Department tweeting that the final suspect had been captured, a new approach for conducting crowdsourced investigations was established.

Why Your Next Phone Will Include Fingerprint, Facial, And Voice Recognition

Though consumers have demanded a better way to secure their phones besides passwords, they may have had the answer all along without even knowing it: their body parts. Biometric identification will almost certainty become available within the next few years, and three options will become standard: a fingerprint scanner built into the screen, facial recognition powered by high-definition cameras, and voice recognition based off a large collection of user vocal samples.

Yes, You Can Hack a Pacemaker (and Other Medical Devices Too)

On Sunday’s episode of the Emmy award-winning show Homeland, the Vice President of the United States is assassinated by a group of terrorists that have hacked into the pacemaker controlling his heart. In an...

Nate Silver and Political Data: Every One of His State-level Presidential Predictions Proved True

For the last few months, the political pundit class has been at war with NYT/FiveThirtyEight blogger Nate Silver.  Joe Scarborough of MSNBC called him a “joke,” while an op-ed in the LA Times accused...

Billboards and TVs Detect Your Face: Advertisers Salivate

To a computer, your face is a set of points and measurements between your features, but to advertisers, these data sets mean lucrative profits and a new way to connect with customers. Facial detection...

India To Biometrically Identify All Of Its 1.2 Billion Citizens

When you think of cutting-edge innovation, a massive bureaucracy might be the last thing that comes to mind.   But in India, a massive experiment is underway to take a technology that was once...

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