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This article was published on May 10, 2019

Buzzfeed’s VP of AI: Surveillance is more than collecting data

Buzzfeed’s VP of AI: Surveillance is more than collecting data
Ivan Mehta
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Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

Companies all over the world gather a lot of data customers without thinking of the impact it might have on people in the future. Talking at TNW 2019 in Amsterdam, Gilad Lotan, Buzzfeed’s VP of data science, said that while it’s important for media companies to use machine learning, they should not collect data which can reveal personal details.

“Surveillance is not only about collecting data but the act of interpreting it. Often companies track location data of people using their products, and say that they’re using it just for analytics. But they don’t realize that the same data can be used for personal identification,” Lotan said.

He added that Buzzfeed has run several scenarios to gauge how location data can be used to target someone on the internet, and the site doesn’t track readers’ coordinates.

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