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.
With all the reporting on the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data breach having been used to manipulate voters for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, the liberal media are silent about Barack Obama doing the same and more in 2012.
Following the news that a company called Cambridge Analytica managed to manipulate votes in favor of Donald Trump in the 2016 election by using leaked Facebook data of at least 50 million people, and coming just as there are new calls for legislation to regulate social media, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued a statement apologizing for the data breach. Sort of. Mostly, he blamed others.
As if the “surveillance as a feature” aspect of many (read: most) of the gadgets that make up the Internet of Things (IoT) wasn’t bad enough, Samsung has taken creepy to a whole new level. A website launched by the company in January promises to erase from your memory all of your favorite television shows so you can “re-experience [them] with the same thrilling feeling you had the first time you watched [them].”
With the focus over the past few years being on liberals using social media to manipulate elections, it appears that the same practices by those called conservatives has been overlooked. Until now. Recent revelations seem to show that Trump consultants were not one bit above harvesting the Facebook data of millions of voters — and using that data to manipulate those voters — to put “the Donald” in the White House.