In a data set recording more than one million users’ credit card transactions for three months, researchers were able to identify 91 per cent of people’s identities. Photograph: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files

In case you weren’t paranoid enough, this one will help: research conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has shown that just fou(...)

Smartphone checking: people’s growing overdependence on digital media is now being taken seriously by psychologists, but ironically it is technology itself which may help us to alleviate the ‘addiction’. Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Many people find themselves spending more time on their smartphone than they wish they did. However, most other afflicted people actually seem to be e(...)

Social media and the city: when accumulated and geo-localised, social media can be used by big data analysts in practical ways, such as improved urban planning and public sentiment analysis

“Lovin’ this sandwich.” “Aargh, can’t sleep!” “The toilets in this restaurant are filthy.” This is the kind of dull commentary frequently tweeted by p(...)

There are three kinds of people in this world: those with numerous unique passwords which they meticulously change periodically for security reasons; (...)

The American Farm Bureau is drawing up a code of conduct, but farmers are concerned the data on their individual farms might be misused, sold or leaked to rival farmers. Photograph: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Monsanto is facing public ire again. By recently acquiring a Silicon Valley start-up called Climate Corporation for $1 billion, Monsanto gained access(...)

There is no doubt that funding scientific research is costly. The Hubble Space Telescope cost US taxpayers a staggering $1.5 billion to build, maki(...)

From left: the Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Susan Denham and baroness Nuala O’Loan, former police ombudsman of Northern Ireland, who were enrolled as members of the Royal Irish Academy yesterday, with RIA president Luke Drury. Photograph: David Sleator

The short-term needs of the economy should not detract from the long-term goal of creating an “intellectually stimulating” third-level education syste(...)