Cable calls for ‘tech titans’ Google, Facebook and Amazon to be broken up

Liberal Democrat leader claims recent scandals have shown web companies have gone from ‘heroes to villains very quickly’

Vince Cable has compared Google, Amazon and Facebook to the US oil monopolies that exploited their market power more than a century ago – and called for them to be broken up.

In a speech in London, the Liberal Democrat leader said a series of recent scandals, including revelations about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, meant the “tech titans” had “progressed from heroes to villains very quickly”.

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Will Democrats be bold and pledge to break up tech monopolies? | Ross Barkan

Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple have accrued so much power, it has damaged American democracy

For those Democrats who dream of being president, it’s no longer safe to play it safe. We live in a dangerous, unstable time in a democracy that is far from healthy. Many of the forces corroding it precede Donald Trump, despite progressives who would tell you otherwise – this entire century, so far, has been a misery for many Americans.

Related: The web can be weaponised – and we can’t count on big tech to stop it | Tim Berners-Lee

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Facebook moves 1.5bn users out of reach of new European privacy law

Company moves responsibility for users from Ireland to the US where privacy laws are less strict

Facebook has moved more than 1.5 billion users out of reach of European privacy law, despite a promise from Mark Zuckerberg to apply the “spirit” of the legislation globally.

In a tweak to its terms and conditions, Facebook is shifting the responsibility for all users outside the US, Canada and the EU from its international HQ in Ireland to its main offices in California. It means that those users will now be on a site governed by US law rather than Irish law.

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How Europe’s ‘breakthrough’ privacy law takes on Facebook and Google

Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation is forcing big changes at tech’s biggest firms – even if the US isn’t likely to follow suit

Despite the political theatre of Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional interrogations last week, Facebook’s business model isn’t at any real risk from regulators in the US. In Europe, however, the looming General Data Protection Regulation will give people better privacy protections and force companies including Facebook to make sweeping changes to the way they collect data and consent from users – with huge fines for those who don’t comply.

“It’s changing the balance of power from the giant digital marketing companies to focus on the needs of individuals and democratic society,” said Jeffrey Chester, founder of the Center for Digital Democracy. “That’s an incredible breakthrough.”

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Tech firms including Facebook sign up to ‘digital Geneva convention’

Signatories including Microsoft, Arm and Trend Micro agree not to take part in cyber-attacks

More than 30 global technology firms have signed up to a “digital Geneva convention”, committing never to partake in cyber-attacks against individuals or businesses.

The signatories to the “cybersecurity tech accord”, which include Facebook, Microsoft, Arm and Trend Micro, are largely from the US and western Europe, and do not include any companies from the countries perceived to be most responsible for the recent flaring up of digital hostilities, such as Russia, North Korea and Iran.

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Facebook to start asking permission for facial recognition in GDPR push

Users will be asked to review information about targeted advertising but some say opting out is deliberately difficult

Facebook has started to seek explicit consent from users for targeted advertising, storage of sensitive information, and – for the first time in the EU – application of facial recognition technology as the European general data protection regulation is due to come into force in just over a month.

Although the company is only required to seek the new permissions in the European Union, it plans to roll them out to every Facebook user, no matter where they live. That follows chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s stated goal to apply the “spirit” of GDPR to worldwide.

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Facebook is a tyranny – and our government isn’t built to stop it

America’s founders didn’t envision the power of the corporation. We need a new structure for self-governance that can counter 21st-century monopolies

Last week, Senator Dick Durbin asked: “Mr Zuckerberg, would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?”

The Facebook CEO froze and then answered: “No.”

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The Guardian view on Facebook’s business: a danger to democracy | Editorial

Detta inlägg post publicerades ursprungligen på denna sida this site ; News from, The guardian The conceit of data mining firms is that they could win elections by moulding electorates based on new identities and value systems – a process accelerated by the echo chamber of social media Facebook sees itself as a commercial firm, Läs mer…

Ex-CEO of Cambridge Analytica Refuses to Testify in U.K.

Detta inlägg post publicerades ursprungligen på denna sida this site ; News from, Time (LONDON) — The chair of the British Parliament’s media committee says that Cambridge Analytica’s former CEO, Alexander Nix, says he will no longer testify at un upcoming session on fake news, citing an ongoing investigation by the information commissioner’s office. Nix Läs mer…

Number of Facebook users whose data was compromised ‘far more than 87m’, MPs told

Former Cambridge Analytica employee gives evidence before parliamentary committee

Far more than 87 million people may have had their Facebook data harvested by Cambridge Analytica, according to evidence from former employee Brittany Kaiser.

Speaking to the Commons digital, culture, media and sport select committee, Kaiser said Cambridge Analytica had a suite of personality quizzes designed to extract personal data from the social network, of which Aleksandr Kogan’s This Is Your Digital Life app was just one example.

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Facebook admits tracking users and non-users off-site

Statement comes as company faces US lawsuit over facial recognition feature launched in 2011 and planned to expand to EU

Facebook has released more information on the social media platform’s tracking of users off-site, after CEO Mark Zuckerberg failed to answer questions about the process from US politicians and as the company prepares to fight a lawsuit over facial recognition in California.

In a blog post, Facebook product management director David Baser wrote that the company tracks users and non-users across websites and apps for three main reasons: providing services directly, securing the company’s own site, and “improving our products and services”.

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I was one of the first people on Facebook. I shouldn’t have trusted Mark Zuckerberg

I remember when, at Harvard, my friends and I heard about a new website that promised to enhance our lives. Fourteen years later I see how wrong we were

Fourteen years, two months, and eight days ago, I made a mistake. Like a lot of mistakes made at the age of 20 inside a college dorm room, it involved trusting a man I shouldn’t have, and it still affects me to this day.

No, Mark Zuckerberg didn’t give me herpes. But in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica revelations, I have been thinking back to my decision to sign up for on the site’s fifth day in existence, and I am struck by the parallels between Zuckerberg’s creation and a pesky (if generally benign) virus. Facebook isn’t going to kill me, but it has wormed its way into all of my relationships, caused me to infect other people, and I will never, ever be fully rid of it.

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Facebook ad feature claims to predict user’s future behaviour

Social network criticised over feature that targets users who are likely to switch to an advertiser’s rival’s product

Facebook has been criticised for hiding an advertising product that claims to be able to predict users’ future behaviours and target messages at them in an attempt to alter those behaviours.

The product, named “loyalty prediction” by Facebook, is part of a suite of capabilities enabled by a machine learning-powered tool called FBLearner Flow. That tool was publicly introduced in 2016, but the advertising techniques it enables were only revealed in a pitch document leaked to the Intercept.

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‘Suspicious’ Groups Paid for Most of Facebook’s Politically Divisive Ads, Researchers Find

Detta inlägg post publicerades ursprungligen på denna sida this site ; News from, Time More than half of the sponsors of ads on Facebook that featured divisive political messages ahead of the 2016 presidential election have little or no public paper trails, according to a study from researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. One-sixth of Läs mer…

The People vs Tech by Jamie Bartlett review – once more into the digital apocalypse

The latest treatise on technology taking over our lives suggests democratic systems are incompatible with the digital age, but the theory lacks coherence

There is a clear, algorithmic formula for writing books about technology and society in 2018. Authors are generally required to be male, their documented personal journey must have been from that of techno-optimist to techno-sceptic to techno-panicker. There must be an urgent existential threat to either democracy or humanity lurking in the code base of Silicon Valley companies. The intractable crisis is not so profound, however, that it cannot be solved by a hail of partially thought-through remedies tacked on in the appendix.

This recipe is producing a growing body of what might be termed “techlash” literature: the backlash against Silicon Valley and its seemingly unstoppable accretion of wealth, data and cultural and political capital. Where once we might have read expansive works of science fiction creating vivid and ambiguous alternative realities to help us navigate the future, now we have worrisome documentaries of threats so present they have often played out by the time the galley hits the review pile. In the last year several notable techlash titles have appeared, including Franklin Foer’s World Without Mind, Tim Wu’s The Attention Merchants and Jonathan Taplin’s Move Fast and Break Things.

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