David B. Auerbach

David B. Auerbach was a New America fellow. He worked on a book on the impact of algorithmic and computational methods on public policy and social life, to be published by Pantheon. He currently writes the weekly Bitwise column on technology for Slate, for which he was nominated for a National Magazine Award in Columns and Commentary in 2014 for a series of pieces on Healthcare.gov. Previously he was a software engineer at Google and Microsoft for ten years, working primarily on server and systems infrastructure. He has also written on technology, politics, philosophy, and literature for n+1, Reuters, The Nation, The Times Literary Supplement, Bookforum, The American Reader, and elsewhere. Auerbach is a graduate of Yale University.

All Work

FELLOWS
The Conflict Between Apple and the FBI Has a Long History - and Your Privacy Is at Stake

David Auerbach was quoted in the Los Angeles Times about the Apple and FBI dispute over the San Bernardino iPhone.


FELLOWS and NEW AMERICA
The Bernie Bubble

There’s an important variable in the Sanders campaign’s unlikely rise: how ideologies cluster on the social Web.


FUTURE TENSE
The Tyranny of Algorithms

Algorithms are learning more and more about us while we seem to understand them less and less.


FELLOWS and NEW AMERICA
Can We Trust the Hacker Philanthropists?

We now rely on tech billionaires to solve our most pressing problems. That’s a problem, too—and it’s our fault.


FELLOWS and NEW AMERICA
There Is No Good Argument for Encryption Backdoors

They won’t make us safer from terrorism. They might do the opposite.


FELLOWS and NEW AMERICA
Facilitated Communication Is a Cult That Won’t Die

David Auerbach writes in Slate that this discredited technique for communicating with profoundly disabled people is being pushed into public


FELLOWS and NEW AMERICA
Why Did Facebook Just Suggest I Friend My Ex?

David Auerbach answers your questions about creepy experiences with Internet companies.


FELLOWS and NEW AMERICA
How Prison Architect Could Liberate Gaming

Crowdfunding has failed to revolutionize video games. An oddball game about building penitentiaries just showed there’s still a way.


FELLOWS and NEW AMERICA
The Gun-Control Debate Won’t Be Won With Statistics

When horrific shootings happen, we trot out sobering facts. It’s not working.


FELLOWS and NEW AMERICA
Volkswagen’s Villains

David Auerbach says don’t blame rogue managers for the company’s emissions scandal. Blame a corrosive corporate culture and the dynasty that


FELLOWS and NEW AMERICA
The Programs That Become the Programmers

“Machine learning” is starting to reshape how we live. It’s time we understood it.


FELLOWS and NEW AMERICA
Why the U.S. Doesn’t Deserve a Back Door to Your Data

The U.S. intelligence apparatus still wants a key to your private data. Specifically, it wants “backdoor,” or “exceptional,” access to encry