Facebook reportedly gets a $5 billion slap on the wrist from the FTC

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has reportedly agreed to end its latest probe into Facebook‘s privacy problems with a $5 billion payout. According to The Wall Street Journal, the 3-2, party-line vote by FTC commissioners was carried by the Republican majority and will be moved to the Justice Department’s civil division to be finalized. A $5 […]

Apple’s new ecosystem world order and the privacy economy

Apple’s splashy new product announcements at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose also ushered in new rules of the road for its ecosystem partners that force hard turns for app makers around data ownership and control. These changes could fundamentally shift how consumers perceive and value control over the data they generate in […]

Alexa, does the Echo Dot Kids protect children’s privacy?

A coalition of child protection and privacy groups has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging it to investigate a kid-focused edition of Amazon’s Echo smart speaker. The complaint against Amazon Echo Dot Kids, which has been lodged with the FTC by groups including the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, the Center […]

Facebook accused of blocking wider efforts to study its ad platform

Facebook has been accused of blocking the ability of independent researchers to effectively study how political disinformation flows across its ad platform. Adverts that the social network’s business is designed to monetize have — at the very least — the potential to influence people and push voters’ buttons, as the Cambridge Analytica Facebook data misuse […]

Meet the tech boss, same as the old boss

“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It seems darkly funny, now, that anyone ever dared to dream that tech would be different. But we did, once. We would build new companies in new ways, was the thinking, not like the amoral industrial behemoths of old. The corporate villains of 90s cyberpunk were fresh in […]

Facebook hit with three privacy investigations in a single day

Third time lucky — unless you’re Facebook . The social networking giant was hit Thursday by a trio of investigations over its privacy practices following a particularly tumultuous month of security lapses and privacy violations — the latest in a string of embarrassing and damaging breaches at the company, much of its own doing. First […]

Facebook broke Canadian privacy law, joint probe finds

The latest damning assessment of Facebook’s trampling of user privacy comes from the Canada and British Columbia privacy commissioners — which have just published the results of an investigation kicked off in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal last year. They found the social network company committed serious contraventions of local laws […]

Facebook agrees to clearer T&Cs in Europe

Facebook has agreed to amend its terms and conditions under pressure from EU lawmakers. The new terms will make it plain that free access to its service is contingent on users’ data being used to profile them to target with ads, the European Commission said today. “The new terms detail what services, Facebook sells to […]

Apple ad focuses on iPhone’s most marketable feature — privacy

Apple is airing a new ad spot focused on privacy today in primetime. The spot is visually cued, with no dialog and a simple tagline: Privacy. That’s iPhone. In a series of humorous vignettes, the message is driven home that sometimes you just want a little privacy. The spot has only one line of text […]

Don’t break up big tech — regulate data access, says EU antitrust chief

Breaking up tech giants should be a measure of last resort, the European Union’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, has suggested. “To break up a company, to break up private property would be very far reaching and you would need to have a very strong case that it would produce better results for consumers in the […]