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Category Archives: Privacy

A dozen tech experts opine on what went wrong with Facebook and the answer is?

The Internet Apologizes…Even those who designed our digital world are aghast at what they created. A breakdown of what went wrong — from the architects who built it. By Noah Kulwin, New York Magazine.

“Something has gone wrong with the internet. Even Mark Zuckerberg knows it. Testifying before Congress, the Facebook CEO ticked off a list of everything his platform has screwed up, from fake news and foreign meddling in the 2016 election to hate speech and data privacy. “We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility,” he confessed. Then he added the words that everyone was waiting for: “I’m sorry.” There have always been outsiders who criticized the tech industry — even if their concerns have been drowned out by the oohs and aahs of consumers, investors, and journalists. But today, the most dire warnings are coming from the heart of Silicon Valley itself. The man who oversaw the creation of the original iPhone believes the device he helped build is too addictive. The inventor of the World Wide Web fears his creation is being “weaponized.” Even Sean Parker, Facebook’s first president, has blasted social media as a dangerous form of psychological manipulation. “God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains,” he lamented recently. To understand what went wrong — how the Silicon Valley dream of building a networked utopia turned into a globalized strip-mall casino overrun by pop-up ads and cyberbullies and Vladimir Putin — we spoke to more than a dozen architects of our digital present. If the tech industry likes to assume the trappings of a religion, complete with a quasi-messianic story of progress, the Church of Tech is now giving rise to a new sect of apostates, feverishly confessing their own sins. And the internet’s original sin, as these programmers and investors and CEOs make clear, was its business model…”

Verge reports Gmail’s new design will include a ‘Confidential Mode’

“Gmail on the web is getting a big update in the coming weeks with a new design and features, but Google is also introducing a new Confidential Mode. The Verge revealed the new design earlier this week, alongside features like quick reply to emails, the ability to snooze emails until later, and a new sidebar… Continue Reading

Protecting Email Privacy—A Battle We Need to Keep Fighting

EFF: “We filed an amicus brief in a federal appellate case called United States v. Ackerman Friday, arguing something most of us already thought was a given—that the Fourth Amendment protects the contents of your emails from warrantless government searches. Email and other electronic communications can contain highly personal, intimate details of our lives. As… Continue Reading

Google loses landmark ‘right to be forgotten’ case in UK

The Guardian: “A businessman has won his legal action to remove search results about a criminal conviction in a landmark “right to be forgotten” case that could have wide-ranging repercussions. The ruling was made by Mr Justice Warby in London on Friday. The judge rejected a similar claim brought by a second businessman who was… Continue Reading

The Right to Communications Confidentiality in Europe: Protecting Trust, Privacy, and Freedom of Expression

Borgesius and Steenbruggen on The Right to Communications Confidentiality in Europe: Protecting Trust, Privacy, and Freedom of Expression “In the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provides comprehensive rules for the processing of personal data. In addition, the EU lawmaker intends to adopt specific rules to protect confidentiality of communications, in a separate… Continue Reading

CRS – Data, Social Media, and Users: Can We All Get Along?

CRS INSIGHT – Data, Social Media, and Users: Can We All Get Along? April 4, 2018 (IN10879). “In March 2018, media reported that voter-profiling company Cambridge Analytica had exceeded Facebook’s data use policies by collecting data on millions of Facebook users. Cambridge Analytica did this by working with a researcher to gain access to the… Continue Reading

Facebook, This Is Not What “Complete User Control” Looks Like

EFF: “If you watched even a bit of Mark Zuckerberg’s ten hours of congressional testimony over the past two days, then you probably heard him proudly explain how users have “complete control” via “inline” privacy controls over everything they share on the platform. Zuckerberg’s language here misses the critical distinction between the information a person… Continue Reading

The Verge – 7 takeaways from Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance before the House

These members of Congress did their homework: “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made his second of two appearances before Congress on Wednesday, enduring a five-hour session of questions from members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In contrast to their amiably confused counterparts in the Senate, members of the House committee demonstrated a generally better… Continue Reading

Latest update to Privacy Badger brings a new onboarding process and other improvements

“The new onboarding process will make Privacy Badger easier to use and understand. These latest changes are just some of the many improvements EFF has made to the project, with more to come! Privacy Badger was created with the objective of protecting users from third-party tracking across the web—all users. To do this, Privacy Badger… Continue Reading

The Personality Traits That Put You At Risk For Smartphone Addiction

Washington Post: “When the Trump-affiliated firm Cambridge Analytica obtained data on tens of millions of Facebook users, it used the “Big 5” or “Five Factor Model” personality test to target them with ads designed to influence their votes in the 2016 election. The test scores people on five traits — openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and… Continue Reading

Zuckerberg denies knowledge of Facebook shadow profiles

TechCrunch: “The fact that Facebook probably has a profile of you whether you’re a Facebook user or not might come as a surprise to some users, though today even the company’s chief executive denied knowledge of the practice — or at least the term used to describe it. In the [April 11, 2018] hearing with… Continue Reading

5 facts about Americans and Facebook

“Facebook is in the national spotlight this week as its co-founder and chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, testifies before Congress. Zuckerberg is expected to face questions from lawmakers over the company’s recent disclosure that data on up to 87 million of its users may have been improperly shared with a political consulting firm during the 2016… Continue Reading