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

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.
A week later, during his hearings in front of the US Congress, Zuckerberg was again asked if he would promise that GDPR’s protections would apply to all Facebook users.
Worldwide, Facebook has rolled out a suite of tools to let users exercise their rights under GDPR, such as downloading and deleting data, and the company’s new consent-gathering controls are similarly universal.
Facebook told Reuters “We apply the same privacy protections everywhere, regardless of whether your agreement is with Facebook Inc or Facebook Ireland”.
It said the change was only carried out “Because EU law requires specific language” in mandated privacy notices, which US law does not.
“This is a major and unprecedented change in the data privacy landscape. The change will amount to the reduction of privacy guarantees and the rights of users, with a number of ramifications, notably for for consent requirements. Users will clearly lose some existing rights, as US standards are lower than those in Europe.”
“Data protection authorities from the countries of the affected users, such as New Zealand and Australia, may want to reassess this situation and analyse the situation. Even if their data privacy regulators are less rapid than those in Europe, this event is giving them a chance to act. Although it is unclear how active they will choose to be, the global privacy regulation landscape is changing, with countries in the world refining their approach. Europe is clearly on the forefront of this competition, but we should expect other countries to eventually catch up.”
That means users will exist in a state of legal superposition: for tax purposes, Facebook will continue to book their revenue through Facebook’s Irish office, but for privacy protections, they will deal with the company’s headquarters in California.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Palantir Knows Everything About You”

As Metropolis was installed and refined, JPMorgan made an equity investment in Palantir and inducted the company into its Hall of Innovation, while its executives raved about Palantir in the press.
Palantir said it has a strict policy against working on political issues, including campaigns, and showed Bloomberg emails in which it turned down Cambridge’s request to work with Palantir on multiple occasions.
It took years to coax customers away from the longtime leader in the intelligence analytics market, a software company called I2 Inc. In one adventure missing from the glowing accounts of Palantir’s early rise, I2 accused Palantir of misappropriating its intellectual property through a Florida shell company registered to the family of a Palantir executive.
Sankar, Palantir employee No. 13 and now one of the company’s top executives, also showed up in another Palantir scandal: the company’s 2010 proposal for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to run a secret sabotage campaign against the group’s liberal opponents.
Palantir’s high installation and maintenance costs repelled customers such as Hershey Co., which trumpeted a Palantir partnership in 2015 only to walk away two years later.
One frustrated investor, Marc Abramowitz, recently won a court order for Palantir to show him its books, as part of a lawsuit he filed alleging the company sabotaged his attempt to find a buyer for the Palantir shares he has owned for more than a decade.
Palantir says its Privacy and Civil Liberties Team watches out for inappropriate data demands, but it consists of just 10 people in a company of 2,000 engineers.
After several Sept. 11 postmortems called for more intelligence sharing at all levels of law enforcement, money started flowing to Palantir to help build data integration systems for so-called fusion centers, starting in L.A. There are now more than 1,300 trained Palantir users at more than a half-dozen law enforcement agencies in Southern California, including local police and sheriff’s departments and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Meet the Woman Who Leads NightWatch, Google’s Internal Privacy Strike Force”

Kissner’s responsibilities include making sure that Google’s infrastructure behaves the way it’s supposed to, transmitting user data securely and not leaving bits of data hanging around in the wrong spots.
Kissner leads a team of 90 employees called NightWatch, which reviews almost all of the products that Google launches for potential privacy flaws.
Products just need a bit of work to pass muster-to meet the standard of what a former colleague of Kissner’s, Yonatan Zunger, calls “Respectful computing.”
Getting a read on people and gauging their trustworthiness was a skill Kissner learned later in life, she says-an uncomfortable experience, but one she immediately applied back into her work.
“I am extremely aware that not everybody experiences the world the way I do. I’m actually surprised when I meet somebody who experiences the world the way I do,” Kissner says.
Kissner certainly isn’t the only woman working in cybersecurity who would probably prefer to be evaluated on the merits of her work.
Kissner will chair one of the conference tracks, Practical Privacy Protection.
Kissner has worked to make sure that diversity is reflected not just at OURSA but at NightWatch.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to save your privacy from the Internet’s clutches – TechCrunch”

There are some practical steps you can take to limit day-to-day online privacy risks by reducing third party access to your information and shielding more of your digital activity from prying eyes.
Every data misuse scandal shines a bit more light on some very murky practices – which will hopefully generate momentum for rule changes to disinfect data handling processes and strengthen individuals’ privacy by spotlighting trade-offs that have zero justification.
Tell me more: Keyboard apps are a potential privacy minefield given that, if you allow cloud-enabled features, they can be in a position to suck out all the information you’re typing into your device – from passwords to credit card numbers to the private contents of your messages.
Tell me more: Choosing friends based on their choice of messaging app isn’t a great option so real world network effects can often work against privacy.
Tell me more: No connected technology is 100% privacy safe but Apple’s hardware-focused business model means the company’s devices are not engineered to try to harvest user data by default.
Roid is a more open platform than iOS and it’s possible to configure it in many different ways – some of which can be more locked down as regards privacy than others.
Action: Say no to always-on voice assistantsWho is this for: Anyone who values privacy more than gimmickry.
So it’s a great time to write to your reps reminding them you’re far more interested in your privacy being protected than Facebook winning some kind of surveillance arms race with the Chinese.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why trying to be too efficient will make us less efficient in the long run”

It’s an appealing vision, but there’s a downside to all this efficiency, says scholar and writer Edward Tenner, author of The Efficiency Paradox: What Big Data Can’t Do. “Trying to be ultimately efficient at all times will succeed in the short run,” he says.
“But in the long run, you would be damaging your efficiency.” Tenner isn’t a Luddite, and his book doesn’t suggest renouncing efficiency and Big Data.
In the long run, you would be damaging your efficiency.
Then you talk about “Continuous-process efficiency” versus “Platform efficiency.” What’s the difference between these two?
People in the Elizabethan times and even in the Middle Ages didn’t have the concept of efficiency we do today.
Platform efficiency is wonderful, and I’m not at all condemning it, but one of the unfortunate consequences is that it has tended to attract investment capital away from much harder things.
One of the interesting things about American culture is that even the subcultures that pretended to disdain efficiency – like Southern planters – ran on the principle of trying to squeeze as much profit as possible from enslaved labor and from the soil.
By removing so much trial and error and productive mistakes, platform efficiency can lock us into existing patterns.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I Downloaded the Information That Facebook Has on Me. Yikes.”

Facebook Retains More Data Than We ThinkWhen you download a copy of your Facebook data, you will see a folder containing multiple subfolders and files.
In addition to recording the exact date I signed up for Facebook in 2004, there was a record of when I deactivated Facebook in October 2010, only to reactivate it four days later – something I barely remember doing.
The Ad Industry Has Eyes EverywhereWhat Facebook retained about me isn’t remotely as creepy as the sheer number of advertisers that have my information in their databases.
Brands can buy different types of customer data sets from a provider, like contact information for people who belong to a certain demographic, and take that information to Facebook to serve targeted ads, said Michael Priem, chief executive of Modern Impact, an advertising firm in Minneapolis.
Last month, Facebook announced that it was limiting its practice of allowing advertisers to target ads using information from third-party data brokers like Acxiom.
There are many different trackers on the web, and Facebook offers 10 different trackers to help brands harvest your information, according to Ghostery, which offers privacy tools that block ads and trackers.
Your credit card loyalty program, for example, could share your information with a hotel chain, and that hotel chain could serve you ads on Facebook.
The upshot? Even a Facebook lurker, like myself, who has barely clicked on any digital ads can have personal information exposed to an enormous number of advertisers.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Facebook’s surveillance is nothing compared to Comcast, AT&T and Verizon”

As of last year, Congress extended the same data-gathering practices of tech companies like Google and Facebook to internet providers like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon.
Your internet provider doesn’t just know what you do on Facebook – it sees all the sites you visit and how much time you spend there.
Internet providers don’t just pose a greater surveillance risk than Facebook -their surveillance is also far harder to avoid.
“Choosing” not to use an internet provider to avoid surveillance is not really a choice at all.
In rural areas, this number drops to just 13%. For these Americans, access to the internet means being subjected to whatever forms of surveillance their provider adopts.
Among the Obama administration’s last major policy reforms was implementing Federal Communications Commission rules limiting how internet providers use and sell customer data, and giving customers more control over how personal information like browsing habits, app usage history, location data and social security numbers may be used by service providers.
Last March, Republicans and President Trump overturned these rules, allowing providers like Verizon and Comcast to monitor their customers’ behaviour online and, without their permission, sell that data for targeted ads.
Unlike in the case of state efforts to restore net neutrality, privacy protections like Massachusetts’ senate bill 2062 are far more likely to withstand federal preemption challenges and provide enforceable state protections for internet users’ data.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Tech Thinks It Has a Fix for the Problems It Created: Blockchain”

In the first three months of 2018, venture capitalists put half a billion dollars into 75 blockchain projects, more than double what they raised in the last quarter of 2017, according to data from Pitchbook.
In the original Bitcoin blockchain, the data in the blocks is information about Bitcoin wallets and transactions.
The blocks of data in the Bitcoin blockchain – and most of its imitators – are kept by a peer-to-peer computer network.
Other critics say the rapid pace of blockchain development could lead to the same problem facing the broader tech industry: a willingness to disrupt and overthrow old systems before the replacement has been thoroughly tested.
“The blockchain industry is ready and waiting to say, ‘Yes, we are the solution,’ and they have every incentive to do so,” said Angela Walch, a research fellow at the Center for Blockchain Technologies at University College London.
Start-ups are using the blockchain in an attempt to pry control of all that data out of their hands.
The widely used Bitcoin blockchain allows certain data – details of the transactions between users – to be seen by anyone, even if other data – the users’ identities – remains obscured.
“We’re not saying that tomorrow you can flip the switch and a blockchain is going to solve these problems,” said Michael Casey, a co-author of “The Truth Machine,” a new book on the blockchain.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Beware the smart toaster: 18 tips for surviving the surveillance age”

The revelations sparked a #DeleteFacebook movement and some people downloaded their Facebook data before removing themselves from the social network.
If you use Facebook apps on Android, for example – and, even inadvertently, gave it permission – it seems the company has been collecting your call and text data for years.
You may well have downloaded your Facebook data already; it has become something of a trend in recent days.
Go to Google’s “Takeout” tool and download your data from the multiple Google products you probably use, such as Gmail, Maps, Search and Drive.
Try not to let your smart toaster take down the internet.
Your phone, your tweets, your Facebook account: all of these things are temporary.
If you wipe your Facebook account every year, you learn which friends you actually like and which are just hanging on to your social life like a barnacle.
Do what you want with your data, but guard your friends’ info with your life.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Europe’s new privacy rule is reshaping the internet”

The rule is called the General Data Protection Regulation, and it’s poised to reshape some of the messiest parts of the internet.
What is the GDPR? The General Data Protection Regulation is a rule passed by the European Union in 2016, setting new rules for how companies manage and share personal data.
In theory, the GDPR only applies to EU citizens’ data, but the global nature of the internet means that nearly every online service is affected, and the regulation has already resulted in significant changes for US users as companies scramble to adapt.
Much of the GDPR builds on rules set by earlier EU privacy measures like the Privacy Shield and Data Protection Directive, but it expands on those measures in two crucial ways.
It’s a lot stronger than existing requirements, and it explicitly extends to companies based outside the EU. For an industry that’s used to collecting and sharing data with little to no restriction, that means rewriting the rules of how ads are targeted online.
That’s a lot more than the fines allowed by the Data Protection Directive, and it signals how serious the EU is taking data privacy.
The GDPR also sets rules for how companies share data after it’s been collected, which means companies have to rethink how they approach analytics, logins, and, above all, advertising.
The GDPR adds complex new requirements for any company that gets user data second-hand, requiring a lot more transparency on what a company is doing with your data.

The orginal article.