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Private Bits: Privacy, Intimacy, & Consent

Additional Resources / Reading List

Algorithmic Matchmakers

Digital Lovers

Virtual Friends


Evaluate and protect your intimate privacy and configure (more) consentful tech!


For additional terms and definitions, refer to Electronic Frontier Foundation's Surveillance Self-Defense glossary or PCMag Encyclopedia.

Algorithmic bias - Describes systematic and repeatable errors in a computer system that create unfair outcomes, such as privileging one arbitrary group of users over others. (More info)

Algorithmic matchmakers - use artificial intelligence to connect us with others (More info)

Artificial intimacies - technologies that engage our human needs for connection, intimacy, & sexual satisfaction (More info)

Big data - the collection, storage, and analysis of large volumes of data in order to derive new insights, which originated in business intelligence. (More info)

Butchers - cybercriminals operating long cons spend months gaining online daters’ trust, using romance and the lure of fast crypto returns to swindle victims out of their savings and cause sometimes irreparable financial harm, on top of lasting emotional and psychological trauma (More info)

Catfish - someone who pretends on social media to be someone different, in order to trick or attract other people (More info)

Chat bot - Software that provides a text or verbal interaction with the user in their native language in order to provide help on a website. Also called a "chatterbot" and "virtual consultant," the chatbot is designed to emulate normal human responses. (More info)

Consentful technologies - applications & spaces in which consent underlies all aspects, from the way they are developed, to how data is stored and accessed, to the way interactions happen between users (More info)

Cyberstalking - a crime in which someone harasses or stalks a victim using electronic or digital means. Cyberstalkers take advantage of the anonymity afforded by the internet to stalk or harass their victims, sometimes without being caught, punished or even detected. (More info)

Data - Any kind of information, typically stored in a digital form. Data can include documents, pictures, keys, programs, messages, and other digital information or files. (More info)

Data broker - A company that collects and sells personal information about individuals in order to create ad campaigns that target people with products that match their specific tastes and preferences. Information brokers purchase data from telecom and tech companies as well as collect data from credit bureaus, government and other public records. (More info)

Data promiscuity - a condition where data are indiscriminate in the choice of partners: what is seen as data on a thing for one purpose can always become seen as data on another aspect of that thing and be used for another purpose and by another user (More info)

Deepfake - With the increasing advancements in computer performance and techniques, face swap software superimposes a face onto the face of someone else in a video. The result is that anybody can be made to look like they love or hate anything. (More info)

Digital bodies - made up of pieces of personal data - like physical bodies they're comprised of smaller bits, but instead of cells & organs, digital bodies have data & metadata (More info)

Digital lovers - technologies that emulate, simulate, or facilitate sex (More info)

Digital sexual identity fraud - the use of generative AI techniques to sexually depict non-consenting subjects. Also called deepfake porn. (More info)

Intimate privacy - the extent to which others have access to, and information about, our bodies; minds (thoughts, desires, and fantasies); health; sex, sexual orientation, and gender; and close relationships (More info)

Nonconsensual pornography - distribution of sexually graphic images of individuals without their consent. Also called nonconsensual intimate image abuse. (More info)

Revenge porn - nonconsensual pornography, where the perpetrator obtains nude images with consent, typically within the context of an intimate relationship, then distributes the images without consent. (More info)

Sextortion - extortion in which a perpetrator threatens to expose sexually compromising information (such as sexually explicit private images or videos of the victim) unless the victim meets certain demands (More info)

Stalkerware - tools – software programs, apps and devices – that enable someone to secretly spy on another person’s private life via their mobile device. The abuser can remotely monitor the whole device including web searches, geolocation, text messages, photos, voice calls and much more. (More info)

Teledildonics - technology which can be used remotely to control sex toys via the internet; facilitates virtual sex encounters using networked, electronic sex toys to mimic and extend human sexual interaction. (More info)

Virtual friends - can mimic how humans make friends, draw them near, & grow more intimate with them (More info)