How Cambridge Analytica Sparked the Great Privacy Awakening

How Cambridge Analytica Sparked the Great Privacy Awakening

Two years later, in 2015, a Guardian writer named Harry Davies reported that Cambridge Analytica had collected data on millions of American Facebook users without their permission, and used their likes to create personality profiles for the 2016 US election.

Facebook’s Head of Product Leaves After Privacy Pivot

Facebook’s Head of Product Leaves After Privacy Pivot

Facebook’s Head of Product Leaves After Privacy Pivot Chris Cox announced his resignation one week after Mark Zuckerberg published his privacy manifesto. Last week, Mark Zuckerberg published a manifesto about privacy that offered up a new direction for the company, one based on encrypted messaging and the interoperability of all of the messaging platforms that Cox oversees.

Facebook's Sloppy Data-Sharing Deals Might Be Criminal

Facebook's Sloppy Data-Sharing Deals Might Be Criminal

In the past 24 hours, the company’s services, including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Oculus, froze for most of a day and a newspaper revealed that a new crop of prosecutors is investigating the company for criminal behavior related to a slew of data partnerships.

Internal Docs Show How ICE Gets Surveillance Help From Local Cops

Internal Docs Show How ICE Gets Surveillance Help From Local Cops

The internal documents show that through its Vigilant Solutions contract, which began in 2018 and runs to September 2020, ICE has access not only to five billion records gathered by private businesses, but also to 1.5 billion data points contributed by over 80 local law enforcement agencies from more than a dozen states.

Proposing a 'Declaration of Digital Independence'

Proposing a 'Declaration of Digital Independence'

There cannot be a decentralized social media network unless there are rules that are held in common among an arbitrarily large, open group of publishers and readers—for example, standards for types of content and protocols for transmitting and displaying it.

9 Questions for Facebook After Zuckerberg’s Privacy Manifesto

9 Questions for Facebook After Zuckerberg’s Privacy Manifesto

9 Questions for Facebook After Zuckerberg’s Privacy Manifesto Christophe Morin/Getty Images Yesterday afternoon, Mark Zuckerberg presented an entirely new philosophy. Facebook does have nascent efforts in commerce and cryptocurrency, but there’s no question that figuring out revenue on the new platform will be a hard problem for Dave Wehner, Facebook’s chief financial officer.

Facebook's Pivot to Privacy Is Missing Something Crucial

Facebook's Pivot to Privacy Is Missing Something Crucial

Alex Edelman/Alamy If there’s one choice that Facebook has made repeatedly over the past 15 years, it’s been to prioritize growth over privacy. The company’s loose policies on data collection over the years are also what allowed it to build one of the most successful advertising businesses in history.

An Alphabet Moonshot Wants to Store the Security Industry's Data

An Alphabet Moonshot Wants to Store the Security Industry's Data

The tool is a cloud platform on which companies can store their network intelligence data indefinitely, allowing them to use Google's search smarts to comb through logs and gain insight into emerging digital security threats.

FTC Hits TikTok With Record $5.7 Million Fine Over Children’s Privacy

FTC Hits TikTok With Record $5.7 Million Fine Over Children’s Privacy

TikTok subsequently announced on Wednesday that it was launching a separate portion of its app for children under 13, which “introduces additional safety and privacy protections designed specifically for this audience.” "Companies like TikTok have been all too eager to take advantage of child app users at every turn." Senator Ed Markey By essentially combining Vine with Spotify, Musical.ly captured the attention of around 100 million finicky Generation Z consumers.

Critics Are Wary of the FTC’s New Tech Antitrust Task Force

Critics Are Wary of the FTC’s New Tech Antitrust Task Force

In a call with reporters Tuesday, the FTC’s Bureau of Competition director Bruce Hoffman said the new 17-member task force will have the power to investigate both future mergers and finalized ones.

A Hidden Nest Secure Mic, Facebook's Dead VPN, and More Security News This Week

A Hidden Nest Secure Mic, Facebook's Dead VPN, and More Security News This Week

Security News This Week: Google Forgot To Mention the Nest Secure's Hidden Mic Nest The Mueller investigation has lasted so long, it's easy to forget that it'll end at some point.

Android Users: Check This Facebook Location Privacy Setting ASAP

Android Users: Check This Facebook Location Privacy Setting ASAP

(If you already had Location History turned off, nothing changes.) Facebook will also be inserting a notice into your News Feed to alert you to the change and offering a link to manage settings.

Don’t Get Your Valentine an Internet-Connected Sex Toy

Don’t Get Your Valentine an Internet-Connected Sex Toy

“Even simply opening the Bluetooth explorer on your phone will reveal nearby smart adult devices that are powered on.” When Bluetooth is used to hack into and take over a sex toy, it’s called “screwdriving”—a term coined by Pen Test Partners in 2017, when its researchers discovered that the Lovense Hush butt plug could be found and remotely controlled via Bluetooth.

Should Big Tech Own Our Personal Data?

Should Big Tech Own Our Personal Data?

Now, internet-based companies like Google and Facebook have added an entirely new wrinkle to this business model: instead of charging for their products, they give them away in exchange for vacuuming up our personal data and monetizing it in various ways.

Senators Grill Facebook, Google, and Apple Over Invasive Apps

Senators Grill Facebook, Google, and Apple Over Invasive Apps

Senators Grill Facebook, Google, and Apple Over Invasive Apps Senators Richard Blumenthal (pictured), Ed Markey, and Josh Hawley want more information about Facebook’s Project Atlas program.

Facebook’s Top PR Exec Is Leaving the Toughest Job in Tech

Facebook’s Top PR Exec Is Leaving the Toughest Job in Tech

Facebook’s Top PR Exec Is Leaving the Toughest Job in Tech Caryn Marooney is the latest in a series of high-profile departures from Facebook's communications department at a time when the company is perpetually under siege.

15 Moments That Defined Facebook's First 15 Years

15 Moments That Defined Facebook's First 15 Years

"Nothing you do is being broadcast; rather, it is being shared with people who care about what you do—your friends." Days later, Zuckerberg backtracked in an open letter, saying, "We really messed this one up," and announcing new controls users would have over what stories populated their News Feeds.

San Francisco Could Be First to Ban Facial Recognition Tech

San Francisco Could Be First to Ban Facial Recognition Tech

“This is the first piece of legislation that I’ve seen that really takes facial recognition technology as serious as it is warranted and treats it as uniquely dangerous.” Woodrow Hartzog, Northeastern University Privacy laws in Texas and Illinois require anyone recording biometric data, including face scans and fingerprints, to give people notice and obtain their consent.

Facebook Hires Up Three of Its Biggest Privacy Critics

Facebook Hires Up Three of Its Biggest Privacy Critics

Facebook Hires Up Three of Its Biggest Privacy Critics Nate Cardozo had been a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation before Facebook scooped him up, along with Access Now's Nathan White and OTI's Robyn Greene.

By Defying Apple’s Rules, Facebook Shows It Never Learns

By Defying Apple’s Rules, Facebook Shows It Never Learns

After the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica was accused of violating Facebook’s rules by harvesting and retaining data on tens of millions of users without their knowledge, Facebook banned nearly every app the company had ever touched, including some unaffiliated research apps that were associated with the University of Cambridge.

Privacy Groups Claim Online Ads Can Target Abuse Victims

Privacy Groups Claim Online Ads Can Target Abuse Victims

New documents filed Monday with regulators in Poland, the UK, and Ireland claim that the way personal data is handled during the process of matching advertisements to ad slots does not comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, a strict set of consumer privacy rules that went into effect in May. The documents focus on the categories that key players in the ad-tech industry have adopted to instantly match advertisers with appropriate users or content.

Private Messages Are the New (Old) Social Network

Private Messages Are the New (Old) Social Network

Morris, for example, sees posting something publicly to a Facebook feed as a yearning for interconnectedness, while a private messaging thread is a quest for what she calls attunement, a way to strengthen a bond between two people.

The Pitfalls of Facebook Merging Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp Chats

The Pitfalls of Facebook Merging Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp Chats

"If the goal is to allow cross-app traffic, and it’s not required to be encrypted, then what happens?" Matthew Green, Johns Hopkins University In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece on Thursday evening, Zuckerberg wrote that, "There’s no question that we collect some information for ads—but that information is generally important for security and operating our services as well." An indelible identity across Facebook's brands could have security benefits like enabling stronger anti-fraud protections.

We Need a Radical New Way to Understand Screen Use

We Need a Radical New Way to Understand Screen Use

Earlier this month, researchers from the Oxford Internet Institute published a study in the journal Nature Human Behavior that plainly illustrates how that happened: The gigantic surveys underlying many tech-use studies can be interpreted in such a variety of ways that two different researchers looking at the exact same data set can—and have!—reached opposite conclusions about the association between screen time and well-being.

How Tim Cook’s Data Broker Registry Might Actually Work

How Tim Cook’s Data Broker Registry Might Actually Work

But it has to cover the tech giants and brick and mortar stores, too." Even some data brokers have come around to the idea of a federal privacy law, as long as it levels the playing field for all industries in all states.

EU Privacy Law Snares Its First Tech Giant: Google

EU Privacy Law Snares Its First Tech Giant: Google

The French data privacy authority CNIL ruled that Google violated GDPR because the company hadn't properly gained consent from users to use their data to personalize advertising.

Most Users Still Don't Know How Facebook Advertising Works

Most Users Still Don't Know How Facebook Advertising Works

(Eleven percent of respondents reported that they weren’t assigned any categories and told instead “You have no behaviors.”) Pew also asked participants about whether Facebook assigned them a political category, such as “liberal” or “conservative,” and any “multicultural affinity”—which Facebook says are groups of people “whose likes and other activity on Facebook suggest they’re interested in content relating to particular ethnic communities — African American, Hispanic American and Asian American.” There is no affinity classification for whites.

How GPS Tracking Technology Can Curb Domestic Violence

How GPS Tracking Technology Can Curb Domestic Violence

How GPS Tracking Technology Can Curb Domestic Violence Cheryl Chenet/Corbis/Getty Images When the US government shut down on December 21st there was an overlooked victim: the Violence Against Women Act, which expired the same day.

California Could Soon Have Its Own Version of the Internet

California Could Soon Have Its Own Version of the Internet

Meanwhile, search results within the European Union can differ from those elsewhere due to its right to be forgotten law, and web publishers around the world are still grappling with the effect of the sweeping EU privacy regulations that took effect this year.A series of laws passed in California this year raise a new possibility: that individual US states will splinter off into their own versions of the internet.

We’re all Just Starting to Realize the Power of Personal Data

We’re all Just Starting to Realize the Power of Personal Data

Facebook, for its part, began emphasizing the word “control.” The company stressed that users have the power to see and adjust what information it can collect about them, but a series of reports this year suggest that’s not always the case.

More