Reminder: Other people’s lives are not fodder for your feeds

#PlaneBae You should cringe when you read that hashtag. Because it’s a reminder that people are being socially engineered by technology platforms to objectify and spy on each other for voyeuristic pleasure and profit. The short version of the story attached to the cringeworthy hashtag is this: Earlier this month an individual, called Rosey Blair, […]

Facebook under fresh political pressure as UK watchdog calls for “ethical pause” of ad ops

The UK’s privacy watchdog revealed yesterday that it intends to fine Facebook the maximum possible (£500k) under the country’s 1998 data protection regime for breaches related to the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal. But that’s just the tip of the regulatory missiles now being directed at the platform and its ad-targeting methods — and indeed, at […]

UK’s Information Commissioner will fine Facebook the maximum £500K over Cambridge Analytica breach

Facebook continues to face fallout over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which revealed how user data was stealthily obtained by way of quizzes and then appropriated for other purposes, such as targeted political advertising. Today, the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announced that it would be issuing the social network with its maximum fine, £500,000 ($662,000) […]

AI spots legal problems with tech T&Cs in GDPR research project

Technology is the proverbial double-edged sword. And an experimental European research project is ensuring this axiom cuts very close to the industry’s bone indeed by applying machine learning technology to critically sift big tech’s privacy policies — to see whether AI can automatically identify violations of data protection law. The still-in-training privacy policy and contract […]

The FBI, FTC and SEC are joining the Justice Department’s inquiries into Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica disclosures

An alphabet soup of federal agencies are now poring over Facebook’s disclosures and the company’s statements about its response to the improper use of its user information by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission have joined the Justice Department in examining […]

Facebook bug temporarily unblocked people from 800,000+ block lists

If you block someone on Facebook, you probably want them to… you know, stay blocked. At least until you say otherwise. Facebook has just disclosed that around 800,000 users were impacted by a bug that silently unblocked “some” people they had blocked. The bug was live from May 29 until June 5, the company says. […]

Facebook gives US lawmakers the names of 52 firms it gave deep data access to

1. Accedo2. Acer3. Airtel4. Alcatel/TCL5. Alibaba**6. Amazon*7. Apple*8. AT&T9. Blackberry10. Dell11. DNP12. Docomo13. Garmin14. Gemalto*15. HP/Palm16. HTC17. Huawei18. INQ19. Kodak20. LG21. MediaTek/ Mstar22. Microsoft23. Miyowa /Hape Esia24. Motorola/Lenovo25. Mozilla**26. Myriad*27. Nexian28. Nokia*29. Nuance30. O231. Opentech ENG32. Opera Software**33. OPPO34. Orange35. Pantech36. PocketNet37. Qualcomm38. Samsung*39. Sony40. Sprint41. T-Mobile42. TIM43. Tobii*44. U2topia*45. Verisign46. Verizon47. Virgin Mobile48. Vodafone*49. […]

Yet another massive Facebook fail: Quiz app leaked data on ~120M users for years

Facebook knows the historical app audit it’s conducting in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal is going to result in a tsunami of skeletons tumbling out of its closet. It’s already suspended around 200 apps as a result of the audit — which remains ongoing, with no formal timeline announced for when the […]

Study calls out ‘dark patterns’ in Facebook and Google that push users towards less privacy

More scrutiny than ever is in place on the tech industry, and while high-profile cases like Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance in front of lawmakers garner headlines, there are subtler forces at work. This study from a Norway watchdog group eloquently and painstakingly describes the ways that companies like Facebook and Google push their users towards making […]

Digital campaigning vs democracy: UK election regulator calls for urgent law changes

A report by the UK’s Electoral Commission has called for urgent changes in the law to increase transparency about how digital tools are being used for political campaigning, warning that an atmosphere of mistrust is threatening the democratic process. The oversight body, which also regulates campaign spending, has spent the past year examining how digital campaigning […]