"cambridge analytica"

Australia sues Facebook, says Cambridge Analytica scandal violated privacy of over 300,000 Australians

“Facebook’s default settings facilitated the disclosure of personal information, including sensitive information, at the expense of privacy.”

Facebook allows pro-Bloomberg posts from paid staffers, may change that now

Facebook is reportedly considering making it just a wee bit clearer that pro-Bloomberg political campaign posts come from paid staffers on Michael Bloomberg's political campaign. Yes, 2020 is bonkers. Read the rest

Facebook paid Teen Vogue to run a fake article praising Facebook for "helping ensure the integrity of the 2020 election"

Everyone knows Facebook is doing the opposite of helping ensure the integrity of the 2020 election, so it makes sense it would pay Teen Vogue to run a fake article titled “How Facebook Is Helping Ensure the Integrity of the 2020 Election.”

When the article ran on Wednesday, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s machiavellian chief operating officer posted on her Facebook page, "Great Teen Vogue piece about five incredible women protecting elections on Facebook. Since 2016, we've worked to stop the spread of misinformation, fight foreign interference and voter suppression, improve transparency, and encourage people to vote." Lol.

Shortly after the byline-free "article" ran, a notice appeared at the top, which said, “Editor’s note: This is sponsored editorial content.” A little while later, the piece disappeared entirely.

The curious piece, and its sudden disappearance, became a topic of online conversation, prompting Teen Vogue to issue a statement that read, “We made a series of errors labeling this piece, and we apologize for any confusion this may have caused. We don’t take our audience’s trust for granted, and ultimately decided that the piece should be taken down entirely to avoid further confusion."

The New York Times looked into it and got the story:

Facebook pitched the idea for the article last year, when the social media network and the online magazine were in talks about the Teen Vogue Summit, a three-day event that took place in Los Angeles in November, with speakers including the YouTube star Liza Koshy and the film director Greta Gerwig.

Read the rest

Massive Cambridge Analytica leak reveals global election manipulation: Malaysia, Kenya and Brazil

Since New Year's Day, @hindsightfiles has been tweeting a steady stream of links to leaked Cambridge Analytica documents revealing the company's work on election manipulation for candidates around the world, including Malaysia, Kenya and Brazil -- 100,000+ documents relating to 68 countries, which @hindsightfiles has pledged to release in the coming months. Read the rest

An exclusive interview with an AI neural network based on Mark Zuckerberg

Ever since the glorious disaster that was Cambridge Analytica and the entire political climate of 2016, Mark Zuckerberg has been making the rounds from press outlets to private meetings with Republican donors to Congressional testimonies to more private meetings with Republican donors, all with increasing frequency. But he has yet to grant an audience to the Guardian since they broke the initial story with whistleblower testimony.

So naturally, the Guardian enlisted the help of Botnick Studios to create a neural network trained on some 200,000+ words from Zuckerberg's interviews, speeches, and blogposts over the last three years. And they interviewed that instead.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this "Zuckerbot" sounds about as convincing as the real Zuckerberg — which is to say like an eerily fabricated alien simulacrum of a human being. For example, here's how it describes the purpose of Facebook:

First, I want to thank you all for being a part of my mission. The purpose of Facebook is to bring about internet for people in the digital room. It is about advertising dollars to people who pay to be able to pay. We believe in building $8bn of voice on the platform for dads who are hungry for coffee.

And on his secret meetings with Donald Trump:

Is anything ever secure? Is anything ever secret? Guess what? The answer is a clear maybe. Or maybe not. I am going to say quiet words in your face just like I did with him and Congress. You can’t expect me to tell you a secret that I didn’t share with him but I am confident that we are sharing the same infrastructure.

Read the rest

The New Yorker's profile of William Gibson: "Droll, chilled out, and scarily articulate"

I first met Bill Gibson in 1999 when I was profiling him for the Globe and Mail as part of a review of his book "All Tomorrow's Parties." Since then, we've become friends and colleagues, and I genuinely treasure every chance I get to sit down with him, because he's both fantastically clever and incredibly nice. Read the rest

A sweeping new tech bill from Silicon Valley Democrats promises privacy, interoperability, and protection from algorithmic discrimination and manipulation

Reps Anna Eshoo [D-CA] and Zoe Lofgren [D-CA] have introduced HR 4978, the "Online Privacy Act," which is a comprehensive set of federal rules for privacy, interoperability, and protection from algorithmic discrimination and manipulation. Read the rest

Apple poses a false dichotomy between "privacy" and "competition"

Back in September, a Congressional committee investigating anticompetitive conduct by America's tech giants sent a letter to Apple (among other Big Tech firms) asking it for details of business practices that seem nakedly anticompetitive; Apple's response seeks to justify much of that conduct by saying that it is essential to protecting its users' privacy. Read the rest

In Cambridge Analytica clean-up, Facebook says it killed 'Tens of Thousands' of apps

Of course they announced it at the end of the day on Friday, that's what you do with bad news. Read the rest

Interoperability and Privacy: Squaring the Circle

Last summer, we published a comprehensive look at the ways that Facebook could and should open up its data so that users could control their experience on the service, and to make it easier for competing services to thrive. Read the rest

Facebook must also pay SEC $100 million over misuse of user data

The $5 billion FTC fine isn't the only fine Facebook must pay.

Facebook finally cuts 3rd-party 'friend data' access for Microsoft and Sony, under $5B FTC deal

Oops! Facebook says allowing Sony and Microsoft access was “our mistake.”

FTC announces $5B fine against Facebook for repeated privacy violations

Settlement between FTC and Facebook ends 16-month probe that began Cambridge Analytica, Russia, and Trump.

Independent audit finds Facebook activity has fallen by 20% since Cambridge Analytica

The "business analytics" firm Mixpanel has released its figures estimating the total usage of Facebook (liking, sharing and posting) since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke; they showed usage falling off 10% in the first month following from the news of the scandal, and continuing to fall, with overall usage down by 20% since April 2018. Read the rest

Facebook execs are worried that Zuck's emails show he never took his FTC privacy obligations seriously

In 2012, Facebook settled an FTC privacy investigation by promising a host of privacy protections (that they never delivered on); now, the FTC is probing Facebook's noncompliance and they've demanded that the company let them look at Zuck's email, which prompted the company's legal team to have a look therein, and they really didn't like what they saw. Read the rest

68% of "ordinary Facebook investors" voted to fire Zuckerberg

Every year, activist investors try to get Mark Zuckerberg to resign for the good of the company, citing his incompetent handling of the company's endless string of privacy scandals and his inability to steer the business towards a scandal-free, sustainable future: in 2018, 51% of the company's "ordinary investors" (shareholders apart from Zuck, his board and his employees) voted to fire Zuckerberg; this year, the bloc calling for his resignation represented $3B in Facebook investments. Read the rest

FTC asks Congress to create national privacy law to regulate big tech's use of personal data

Members of the United States Federal Trade Commission (FCC) on Wednesday asked Congress to create a national privacy law that would regulate how technology giants like Facebook and Google gather, store, and share the personal data of users. Read the rest

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