Predictive Policing and its affect on journalism

I am living in a generation that went from having some of the first basic computers in our households, to having various gadgets and applications at our fingertips. As the internet is a large, mostly free source of information, there are a lot of opportunities for privacy to be invaded.

As journalists, we look up questionable material. Material that may be seen as “alarming” triggers an analytical system that’s used to prevent crime. These kind of situations make it more difficult for sources to put trust in you and your stories. Are there ways to prevent this?

Alan Pearce wrote a book that goes into specific techniques to protect you and your sources. I, personally, have not yet read it. If anyone has, I’d love to hear your opinion. Some of the techniques include simply changing your privacy settings or not using WiFi on your phone if you’re in an area that offers it.

You can see a brief list of techniques that are also helpful. I never realized there was an actual issue to this until reading through some articles and other blog posts. This affects investigative journalism, especially political, greatly. In a professional world, we rely on emails for so much of our conversation, spreading information and having a, what we think, private conversation.

There have be numerous cases where emails have been hacked and forwarded the information sent to a third party email. One great tool to prevent this from happening is two-step verification.

To sum it up simply, you don’t only use a password to sign into your account, but you are asked to verify the account on a separate system. In most cases, a code will be sent to your phone.

These are just a few tools used to protect the privacy of you and your sources  research and information. More and more precautions must be taken as online media expands in order to avoid conflict and even legal situations that could harm your career.