The surveillance state — ever on the rise since 9/11 — is making plans to grow even bigger and dig even deeper into the lives of American citizens. And in this recent push for growth, the federal behemoth has accomplices in state and local governments.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is being forced to face the music over his social media company’s treatment of users’ data. In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal — in which as many as 87 million Facebook users had their data harvested and used to manipulate the 2016 election — Zuckerberg had to face his shareholders Thursday. It wasn’t pretty.
Social media giant Facebook — still reeling from the Cambridge Analytica scandal — is losing ground among the most Internet-connected generation ever, according to a recent survey. The platform held the top spot with a 71 percent share among teens aged 13-17 in a 2014-2015 Pew survey but has slid to fourth place in that same age group in the most recent survey, holding a mere 51 percent share.
With the report that Amazon’s Echo recorded a family’s private conversation and sent the audio file to a person in the family’s contact list, privacy concerns about the Internet of Things (IoT) are in the news again.
Amazon has been shown to have a liberal bias. That being the case, can consumers trust Alexa to be objective while assisting to run your home?
The Cambridge Analytica data-breach scandal continues to haunt Facebook: The British Information Commissioner's Office ordered Cambridge Analytica's parent company to provide an American citizen all of the information it has on him.
Necessity is the mother of invention. It appears that scandal may be a mother of innovation. Scrambling in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal — in which at least 87 million users had their personal data harvested without their knowledge or consent — Facebook is considering offering an ad-free subscription plan. The subscription would allow users who value privacy to use the social media platform without having their data harvested and would provide an alternative revenue stream to the tech giant.
Some of those voices making the loudest calls for government intervention are coming from a few alt-tech sites that are very small in comparison to the “Big Tech” giants. One new social media platform, though, is taking the opposite position: Keep the government out of it and let the free market handle this. That CEO is Derek Peterson of Oneway.
The Backpage website — notorious for prostitution and human trafficking — was seized Friday by federal authorities. This action was taken “as part of an enforcement action by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, with analytical assistance from the Joint Regional Intelligence Center,” according to a notice appearing where the website used to display ads.
While Facebook has been in the headlines over the past few weeks as a result of its practice of harvesting and misusing users’ data, it is far from the only tech company guilty of “surveillance as a feature.” Google, Microsoft, and others routinely vacuum up large amounts of personal data about those who use their services.