COULD GOOGLE INFLUENCE ELECTIONS?: Link placement in search engines could go a long way in swaying voters about which candidates to support, according to a new study. As the Washington Post reports, “Almost none of the voters caught onto how the results were being skewed. In fact, those who did notice the preferential treatment, the researchers said, felt even more validated that they’d made the right choice. The series of studies exploring the ‘search engine manipulation effect,’ to be published soon in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, highlights the vast and invisible influence that tech giants such as Google, which handles two-thirds of all U.S. searches, can wield on a national scale.”

HOW HACKERS COULD GET YOUR FINGERPRINTS: Smartphone maker HTC has not encrypted the file in which it stores users’ fingerprints, making the data highly vulnerable to hackers, according to a new paper by cybersecurity experts at FireEye. “The flaw affects the HTC One Max, an almost two-year-old device that relies on a fingerprint scanner to allow users to unlock the phone or authorize various payments or money transactions,” The Hill reports. “Essentially, hackers could place an app on your phone that scooped up the image of your fingerprint each time it’s used, creating a clearer picture in the process.”

UBER, YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU: Intelligence officials are pushing technology start-ups like Uber to consider how their products could help solve national security problems. “‘Maybe they’ve got scheduling algorithms that would help us with our logistics problems,’ David Honey, DNI director of science and technology, said during a recent interview with Nextgov. ‘If we can leverage those kinds of tools, maybe we gotta adapt them a little bit, but that certainly beats having to go and pay for those things from scratch.’ … Sometimes, uncleared execs create gadgets and services that have unintentional classified applications, Honey said. The spy community might look at, for instance, Twitter analytics to discern how a mass-civilian-casualty incident overseas is affecting foreign sentiment toward America.”