Steve Henn is NPR's technology correspondent based in Menlo Park, California, who is currently on assignment with Planet Money. An award winning journalist, he now covers the intersection of technology and modern life - exploring how digital innovations are changing the way we interact with people we love, the institutions we depend on and the world around us. In 2012 he came frighteningly close to crashing one of the first Tesla sedans ever made. He has taken a ride in a self-driving car, and flown a drone around Stanford's campus with a legal expert on privacy and robotics.
But Steve's favorite technology stories are the ones that explain how little-understood innovations can change the way millions of us behave. Why do people buy cows in Farmville? Why are video games so compelling and why do some people have such a hard time setting Twitter aside? He is fascinated by how digital companies attempt to mold our behavior and study our every move in a world where we are constantly interacting with connected devices.
Prior to moving to Silicon Valley in 2010, Steve covered a wide range of topics for the public radio show Marketplace. His reporting kicked off the congressional travel scandals in late 2004, and helped expose the role of private military contractors at Abu Ghraib.
At Marketplace, Henn helped establish collaborations with the Center for Public Integrity and the Medill's School of Journalism.
Steve spent his early life on a farm in Iowa where his parents, who are biochemists, hoped to raise all their own food and become energy self-sufficient. It didn't work. During college Steve hoped to drop out and support himself by working in the fishing industry in Alaska. That also didn't work. After college he biked around the country with his sweetheart, Emily Johnson. He then followed Emily to Africa, volunteering at Soweto Community Radio. That did work out. He and Emily are now happily married with three daughters.
Steve graduated from Wesleyan University's College of Social Studies with honors and Columbia University's Graduate school of Journalism.
Security officials say the Paris attacks are an example why law enforcement needs to access encrypted data. Privacy advocates and the tech industry say such "back doors" are not the best solution.
We've come to expect a steady stream of flashy new gadgets from the booming tech sector, but another area of innovation in Silicon Valley is how we work, mainly the structure of our offices and companies. Planet Money tells the story of a company that has no employees, doesn't pay any salaries, but has hundreds of extremely talented workers nonetheless.
Google has begun testing a new self-driving car this summer that is designed to work without a steering wheel. But as the Planet Money team reports, the company's biggest challenge may be convincing Americans to hop inside.
Collecting data about people has become $1 trillion industry, but keeping this information safe is proving near impossible. So, a small group of entrepreneurs and developers are building new technologies that don't rely on data as a digital currency.
If you bank online or sign into work remotely using a virtual private network, your data may not be safe. A flaw in the encryption program OpenSSL could expose much of the encrypted traffic.
The fallout from Apple's controversial decision to drop Google Maps from the iPhone 5 continues. Customers aren't giving Apple Maps any love, and analysts say Apple made an uncharacteristic blunder in dumping Google.
A federal court in Massachusetts has upheld a $675,000 penalty against a Boston University graduate student for downloading 31 pirated songs online as a teenager. The recording industry says Joel Tenebaum was downloading and distributing thousand of songs and wouldn't stop even after warnings from his father, his college and a cease and desist letter from Sony.