Reporting by Kate Kaye

Before joining non-partisan public-interest research nonprofit World Privacy Forum as deputy director in 2023, I worked as a staff and freelance journalist from around 1999 through 2022, telling deeply-reported stories with words and sound.

The majority of my journalism work focused on data, emerging technology and the impact of tech on people and society. My reporting has been published in Protocol, MIT Technology Review, CityLab, OneZero, WSJ, Fast Company, and many other outlets, and it’s been heard on NPR, American Public Media’s Marketplace and other radio programs and podcasts. I’ve been interviewed about my work across the media spectrum from Fox’s Stossel show (get a load of my makeup and Fox do!) to Slate and NPR’s Weekend Edition.

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 3.01.49 PMI covered AI and data as senior reporter for Protocol until the publication suddenly shut down in November 2022. Check out an extensive overview and links to my best Protocol reporting, some of the most meaningful work of my 20+ year journalism career.

A groundbreaking series
china_series_redtail_art1200The U.S.-China “AI race” concept underpins some of the most important government policies and trade sanctions affecting foreign relations between two of the world’s largest economic powers and drives media coverage of national security, AI, data, chips and other tech. My multi-part series interrogating the so-called “AI race” narrative — produced with the help of an amazing team of people at Protocol — added much-needed nuance to a conversation plagued by hype, assumption and a lack of introspection.

This series won a FIRST PLACE Society of Professional Journalists 2022 NW Excellence in Journalism award for science and technology reporting. It was the second of my first place SPJ NW awards. 

Before joining Protocol, I covered data privacy and regulation for Digiday and created a beat covering the data industry for Ad Age

Other Stories, Podcasts, and Journalism Work

City Surveillance Watch

A Limited Series Podcast, 2021

citysurvwatchIn City Surveillance Watch, a scripted podcast series I reported and produced for Smart Cities Dive, I explore the inherent dichotomy of data-hungry technologies that – while promising to make cities safer and more efficient – can also be considered forms of surveillance tech. Listeners travel across the country, digging deep into stories that illuminate how and why cities are using surveillance tech. They hear from people who oppose its use, from others who support it, and from those affected by these technologies every day. City Surveillance Watch is on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Spreaker or wherever you get your podcasts.

Spilling Grain
silos_coverimageOral histories of life and work among Buffalo’s grain elevators
I was born and raised in Buffalo, NY, where the waterfront is dotted with iconic grain elevators that have lived on long past their use. When I returned briefly in 2019 to do some investigative reporting, I spent a lot of my free time chasing after people who could help me learn more about my hometown’s magnificent pyramids. I coaxed people who had worked down around the elevators to share their experiences, and I talked to others who are as fascinated by these “beautiful machines” as I am — by the shadows and spaces they carve and deep meaning they illuminate.

Listen to all Spilling Grain stories here.

Banned in PDX
A Limited Series Podcast, 2020BannedInPDX1400x1400
I reported, narrated and produced this series tracking Portland’s groundbreaking facial recognition ban. Banned in PDX is available in Apple Podcasts, Spotify and on

What Facial Recognition Pauses by Amazon, IBM and Microsoft Conveniently Left Out, Fast Company, June 2020

Amazon Is Fighting Against a Sweeping Facial Recognition Ban in Portland, OneZero, May 2020

Flawed Incomplete Smartphone Location Data Is Being Used to Fight COVID-19, Fast Company, April 2020

The Promise and Peril of Smart City Surveillance Tech in a Crisis, Fast Company, March 2020

Stalled in Portland, Replica Mobility Data Project Lacks Transparency, Fast Company, March 2020 (I won a Society of Professional Journalists First Place award for my reporting on Replica in Portland for Geekwire and here on RedTail.)

Cryptocurrency firm in Plattsburgh fights $1 million electric charge
North Country Public Radio, January 2020

Shuttered Factories Reborn as Data Centers
NPR’s Morning Edition, December 2019

New York Just Set a ‘Dangerous Precedent’ on Algorithms, Experts Warn
CityLab, December 2019

These Companies Claim to Provide “Fair Trade” Data Work. Do They?, MIT Technology Review, August 2019

Location Tracking and the Trouble with Opting In, Ad Age, October 2016

Does Tech Care about Portland Culture?,, September 2016

In DC, Cambridge Analytica not Exactly Toast of the Town, Ad Age, August 2016 (Read all my coverage of Cambridge Analytica throughout the 2016 election here.)

The $24 Billion Data Business that Telcos Don’t Want to Talk About, Ad Age, October 2015

A Data Lab Rat in the Big City: Why Trackers Couldn’t Trap This City Dweller, Ad Age, October 2014

More Reporting that Isn’t about Tech

Saving Oregon’s Rocky Coast
A Multimedia Series for Jefferson Public Radio, 2021

Oregon’s rocky intertidal ecosystem is home to mussels and sea stars, Black Oystercatchers and bull kelp, each playing an important role in sustaining the health of its ocean and shores. But they face threats from the effects of climate change, marine heat waves, a steady stream beachgoers, even mysterious disease. In this special audio, video, photo and article series for Jefferson Public Radio, I take listeners to Oregon’s rocky shores – visiting with volunteers monitoring Black Oystercatchers, researchers surveying Gray Whales and kelp, a south coast ecotour guide, a north coast crabber and more – to illuminate the challenges affecting rocky intertidal habitats, how these proposals seek to address them, and what they could mean for Oregonians.

My work was enabled through a generous grant from the Society of Environmental Journalists. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at my reporting process.

Oral histories of life and work among Buffalo’s grain elevators (an ongoing personal project) 

Sea Urchin Ranches Provide Uni While Protecting Kelp Forests, American Public Media’s Marketplace, October 2020

Amid Noose Investigation, Termination of Foremen “Should Be on the Table,”, July 2020

Only Some Businesses Must Keep Customer Registries for COVID-19 Contact Tracing,, June 2020

A Church’s Bold Move to Normalize Opioid Overdose Drug
Buffalo’s NPR station, February 2020

Meat Raffles Aren’t Just about Meat in this New York Community, NPR’s Morning Edition, November 2019

Fred Cole, Dead Moon and the DIY Ethos of Portland Punk ,, October 2017


campaign08Campaign ’08: A Turning Point for Digital Media
Coupling my extensive research with information gleaned from campaign insiders, this 2009 book told the story of the most advanced political digital marketing campaigns in history.

Select Media Appearances

Slate’s What Next: TBD podcast, 2022
MPR’s Marketplace Tech podcast, 2022
Oregon Public Radio’s Think Out Loud, 2019

Weekend Edition with Scott Simon, 2014

WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show, 2014
Fox’s Stossel show, 2014

On the Media, 2013

A Cookbook (Sort of)

The Punk Rock Kitchen Presents Cookie Chaos!
In 2004, I published a true labor of love (and kookiness). The Punk Rock Kitchen Presents Cookie Chaos! was my punk rock-themed cookie cook-booklet written under pseudonym Connie Sewer.
This mini cookbook featured six original cookie recipes, each with a punk rock theme and suggested listening tune. It came with a copper electric guitar cookie cutter. Amazingly, people liked this ridiculous idea and over 800 were sold across the globe (with much thanks to Bitch Magazine).