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.”

Google spent ~$150 million on US lobbying over last decade, followed by Facebook at ~$81M, Amazon almost $80M: Federal filings

'Federal disclosures filed late Tuesday reveal Amazon and Facebook each spent roughly $17 million to battle back Washington in 2019'

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

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

Peter Thiel 'most scared' of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, accuses Google of treason. Trump agrees.

In a Fox & Friends newsbrief, Thiel spurred President Trump to promise to look into baseless claim that Google committed treason.

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 sends Nick Clegg to rebut co-founder Chris Hughes' call for breakup

No surprises here. Facebook does not support the co-founder Chris Hughes' proposal to split the world’s largest social media company into three parts. Read the rest

Facebook says it never sells your data but these internal documents show exactly how much they value your data in dollars

Mark Zuckerberg leveraged Facebook user data—maybe yours?—to crush rivals and aid allies, leaked documents show.

Secret emails show Facebook knew about Cambridge Analytica earlier than they've said, DC AG claims

“The general public itself has little or no interest in this Document that could warrant exposing Facebook to the risks that would inevitably accompany disclosure.” — Facebook

There is a federal criminal investigation into Facebook's data-sharing deals

The Eastern District of New York empaneled a Grand Jury into the dirty data dealings of Facebook.

Facebook and FTC negotiating multi-BILLION dollar fine over privacy violations

Facebook is expected to be slapped with the largest fine the FCC has ever imposed on a tech company, but the exact dollar amount is yet to be determined.

Cambridge Analytica pleads guilty, faces the first in a probable series of criminal convictions

EU privacy rules force European companies to surrender data they hold on anyone, anywhere; and that includes SCL Elections, which owned Cambridge Analytica, the notorious Facebook data-miner and election-manipulator that extravagantly claimed to have won the election for Donald Trump. Read the rest

British Member of Parliament publishes 250 pages of damning internal Facebook documents that had been sealed by a US court

Damian Collins chairs the UK Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee; it was he who ordered the Parliamentary Serjeant at Arms to drag a visiting US tech executive named Ted Kramer out of his hotel to surrender his laptop to Parliament so they could see the internal Facebook documents that a US federal judge had ordered sealed. Read the rest

British Parliament seizes internal Facebook documents by threatening to jail a rival exec

Ted Kramer is CEO and co-founder of Six4Three, a creepy US-based machine-learning startup whose debut product was a Facebook app called Pinkini that let you search your friends' photos for pictures of them in bikinis; when Facebook shut down the app after a terms-of-service change, Six4Three sued Facebook and obtained a key trove of internal Facebook documents through the discovery process. Read the rest

Facebook users demand their Cambridge Analytica data, as 'dirty data' firm dies in bankruptcy

A group of Facebook users who claim their personal data was misused, possibly to throw the 2016 U.S. Presidential election to Donald Trump, must wait until September to try and get more information from 'dark data' firm Cambridge Analytica. Read the rest

Portuguese translation of Zuck's Empire of Oily Rags

Brent Longborough did me the enormous favor of translating my latest Locus column, Zuck's Empire of Oily Rags, into Portuguese, and sent it to me to publish.

Read the rest

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