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Category Archives: Privacy

The Antitrust Case Against Facebook

Srinivasan, Dina, The Antitrust Case Against Facebook (September 10, 2018). Berkeley Business Law Journal Vol. 16, Issue 1, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3247362

“The Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”) social network, this era’s new communications service, plays an important role in the lives of 2+ billion people across the world. Though the market was highly competitive in the beginning, it has since consolidated in Facebook’s favor. Today, using Facebook means to accept a product linked to broad-scale commercial surveillance — a paradox in a democracy. This Paper argues that Facebook’s ability to extract this qualitative exchange from consumers is merely this titan’s form of monopoly rents. The history of early competition, Facebook’s market entry, and Facebook’s subsequent rise tells the story of Facebook’s monopoly power. However, the history which elucidates this firm’s dominance also presents a story of anticompetitive conduct. Facebook’s pattern of false statements and misleading conduct induced consumers to trust and choose Facebook, to the detriment of market competitors and consumers’ own welfare.”

Your car is watching you. Who owns the data?

Roll Call – Computers on wheels raise thorny questions about data privacy: “If you’re driving a late model car or truck, chances are that the vehicle is mostly computers on wheels, collecting and wirelessly transmitting vast quantities of data to the car manufacturer not just on vehicle performance but personal information, too, such as your… Continue Reading

Leaked docs expose how Facebook management leveraged user data for partners – against rivals

NBC News – “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg oversaw plans to consolidate the social network’s power and control competitors by treating its users’ data as a bargaining chip, while publicly proclaiming to be protecting that data, according to about 4,000 pages of leaked company documents largely spanning 2011 to 2015 and obtained by NBC News. The… Continue Reading

Hacker has dumped nearly 1B user records over past two months

ZDNet: “A hacker who spoke with ZDNet in February about wanting to put up for sale the data of over one billion users is getting dangerously close to his goal after releasing another 65.5 million records last week and reaching a grand total of 932 million records overall. The hacker’s name is Gnosticplayers, and he’s… Continue Reading

What e-books at the library mean for your privacy

cnet: “E-books and audiobooks, now standard at libraries, make protecting privacy harder. Titles are usually provided through private companies, which can access your data. And today’s software can create more comprehensive records about you than a simple list of the books you checked out. (You can also get many e-books and audiobooks online free and… Continue Reading

Law enforcement taps Google’s Sensorvault for location data

The New York Times – The tech giant records people’s locations worldwide. Now, investigators are using it to find suspects and witnesses near crimes, running the risk of snaring the innocent. “…The warrants, which draw on an enormous Google database employees call Sensorvault [Sensorvault, according to Google employees, includes detailed location records involving at least… Continue Reading

Transparency tool on FB inadvertently provides window into confusing maze of companies who have your data

BuzzFeedNews – “On Facebook under Settings, there’s a page in the Ads section where you can view your Ad Preferences. Most of this is fairly straightforward — choices about how you’ll allow ads and how advertisers target you based on things like what pages you’ve liked. But there’s one section there that will probably surprise… Continue Reading

To Purge Some of Social Media’s Ugliness, an Unlikely Lesson From Wall St.

The New York Times Deal Book – A simple rule that bolsters the banking system – “know your customer” — could help combat fake news and hate speech online if companies like Facebook and Twitter embraced it. “…The concept is “know your customer” — or KYC, as it’s called on Wall Street — and it’s… Continue Reading

The Market for Data Privacy

Ramadorai, Tarun and Uettwiller, Antoine and Walther, Ansgar, The Market for Data Privacy (March 13, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3352175 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3352175 “We scrape a comprehensive set of US firms’ privacy policies to facilitate research on the supply of data privacy. We analyze these data with the help of expert legal evaluations, and also acquire… Continue Reading