EU gov’t and public health sites are lousy with adtech, study finds

A study of tracking cookies running on government and public sector health websites in the European Union has found commercial adtech to be operating pervasively even in what should be core not-for-profit corners of the Internet. The researchers used searches including queries related to HIV, mental health, pregnancy, alcoholism and cancer to examine how frequently […]

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 […]

Thailand passes controversial cybersecurity law that could enable government surveillance

Thailand’s government passed a controversial cybersecurity bill today that has been criticized for vagueness and the potential to enable sweeping access to internet user data. The bill (available in Thai) was amended late last year following criticism over potential data access, but it passed the country’s parliament with 133 positives votes and no rejections, although […]

On the strength of its Mixer partnership, streaming toolkit developer Lightstream raises $8 million

Lightstream, a Chicago-based company that develops tools to augment live streams, has raised $8 million in new funding as it looks to add monitoring, management and monetization services to its suite of editing technologies. Last year, the company inked a partnership with Microsoft‘s live-streaming Twitch competitor, Mixer, to let streamers on the platform add professional […]

eMarketer predicts digital ads will overtake traditional spending in 2019

This is the year when the money spent on digital advertising will finally overtake spending on traditional ads — at least according to the latest forecast from eMarketer. The research firm is predicting that U.S. digital ad spend will increase 19.1 percent this year, to $129.3 billion, while traditional advertising will fall 19 percent, to […]

Manipulating an Indian politician’s tweets is worryingly easy to do

Here’s a concerning story from India, where the upcoming election is putting the use of social media in the spotlight. While the Indian government is putting Facebook, Google and other companies under pressure to prevent their digital platforms from being used for election manipulation, a journalist has demonstrated just how easy it is to control […]

2018 really was more of a dumpster fire for online hate and harassment, ADL study finds

Around 37 percent of Americans were subjected to severe hate and harassment online in 2018, according to a new study by the Anti-Defamation League, up from about 18 percent in 2017. And more than half of all Americans experienced some form of harassment, according to the ADL study. Facebook users bore the brunt of online […]

Is Europe closing in on an antitrust fix for surveillance technologists?

The German Federal Cartel Office’s decision to order Facebook to change how it processes users’ personal data this week is a sign the antitrust tide could at last be turning against platform power. One European Commission source we spoke to, who was commenting in a personal capacity, described it as “clearly pioneering” and “a big deal”, […]

Tech platforms called to support public interest research into mental health impacts

The tech industry has been called on to share data with public sector researchers so the mental health and psychosocial impacts of their service on vulnerable users can be better understood, and also to contribute to funding the necessary independent research over the next ten years. The UK’s chief medical officers have made the call […]

Facebook removes hundreds of accounts linked to fake news group in Indonesia

Facebook said today it has removed hundreds of Facebook and Instagram counts with links to an organization that peddled fake news. The world’s fourth largest country with a population of over 260 million, Indonesia is in election year alongside Southeast Asia neighbors Thailand and the Philippines. Facebook said this week it has set up an ‘election […]