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.

Summary of “Why the popular response to online privacy is so flawed”

When confronted with the issue of online privacy, one of the more popular answers is, “What’s the big deal? I have nothing to hide.” We’ve seen it around the web, hear it from friends and even from those involved in tech.
“The main problem with the ‘nothing to hide’ argument is assuming that privacy is important only if you have something to hide,” said Ignacio Cofone, a New York University research fellow and privacy expert.
“Privacy is not about hiding, it’s about which flow of information is socially appropriate and which isn’t. This argument also obscures the target person. Nothing to hide from whom? There are things that you would share with your partner but not with strangers on the street.”
The “Nothing to hide” argument starts to break down when you consider the different types of people we generally interact with.
“It’s important to acknowledge that privacy isn’t about hiding – it’s about having and exercising more agency over who sees our personal information,” said Rebecca Ricks, a Mozilla fellow and technologist, in an email exchange with Mic.
It’s clear why someone vouching for their rights may not want the government to know every word that they type, but what about those who aren’t protesting? In his TED Talk, journalist Glenn Greenwald revealed the hypocrisy of claiming you have nothing to hide.
The argument of “Nothing to hide” most often means “I’m not doing anything illegal.” You can still be within the bounds of the law but choose not to tweet your mom’s home address or go through the street yelling your passwords.
As he puts it, “Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Calls for Privacy May Upend Business for Facebook and Google”

This past week, Mozilla halted its ads on Facebook, saying the social network’s default privacy settings allowed access to too much data.
There will be hearings on Capitol Hill.The next chapter is also set to play out not in Washington but in Europe, where regulators have already cracked down on privacy violations and are examining the role of data in online advertising.
Some trade group executives also warned that any attempt to curb the use of consumer data would put the business model of the ad-supported internet at risk.
In May, the European Union is instituting a comprehensive new privacy law, called the General Data Protection Regulation.
The new rules treat personal data as proprietary, owned by an individual, and any use of that data must be accompanied by permission – opting in rather than opting out – after receiving a request written in clear language, not legalese.
The United States does not have a consumer privacy law like the General Data Protection Regulation.
Two years later, the Barack Obama administration introduced a blueprint for a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, intended to give Americans more control over what personal details companies collected from them and how the data was used.
The business practices of Facebook and Google were reinforced by the fact that no privacy flap lasted longer than a news cycle or two.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Facebook is losing control of the narrative”

The effectiveness of Cambridge Analytica’s psychographic targeting, which attempted to influence voters by mapping out their Facebook Likes, is highly suspect and likely overstated.
The eye-popping number of Facebook profiles said to be involved – 50 million – may turn out to be marketing hype for a company that excels at it.
Cambridge Analytica’s data misuse may ultimately have had little effect in influencing elections here or abroad. But the way Cambridge Analytica obtained its data, and reports that the company held on to the data, despite telling Facebook it had deleted it, have renewed concerns about data privacy on the world’s biggest social network.
While Cambridge Analytica is among the most prominent examples to date of how Facebook can be misused, it belongs to a long and growing list.
Facebook has typically been quick to apologize when confronted with misuse of the platform, promising it will do better in the future.
Before Facebook could complete its audit, the United Kingdom Information Commissioner’s Office ordered that they stop while the office pursues a warrant to mount its own investigation.
Yet the standoff also had an undeniable symbolism: Facebook, attempting to fix its mistakes by itself, found itself at last restrained by the government.
In the brutal months since the election, Facebook has typically been quick to apologize.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Find Out Everything Facebook Knows About You”

The company actually makes it pretty easy to find out how much data it’s collected from you, but the results might be a little scary.
When software developer Dylan McKay went and downloaded all of his data from Facebook, he was shocked to find that the social network had timestamps on every phone call and SMS message he made in the past few years, even though he says doesn’t use the app for calls or texts.
It even created a log of every call between McKay and his partner’s mom.
To get your own data dump, head to your Facebook Settings and click on “Download a copy of your data” at the bottom of the page.
Facebook needs a little time to compile all that information, but it should be ready in about 10 minutes based on my own experience.
The file downloads onto your computer as a ZIP. Once you extract it, open the new folder and click on the “Index.html” to view the data in your browser.
McKay also set up a script on Github to analyze the data for you, but even with the included instructions it’s not the most user-friendly tool if you aren’t already a competent coder.
You’re probably better off just sifting through the data yourself-a fun weekend project, no?

The orginal article.

Summary of “Cambridge Analytica and Our Lives Inside the Surveillance Machine”

For the past several days, the Internet has been enveloped in outrage over Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, the shadowy firm that supposedly helped Donald Trump win the White House.
Kogan has said that he was assured by Cambridge Analytica that the data collection was “Perfectly legal and within the limits of the terms of service.”
To them, the Cambridge Analytica story was another example of Facebook’s inability, or unwillingness, to control its platform, which allowed bad actors to exploit people on behalf of authoritarian populism.
As some have noted, the furor over Cambridge Analytica is complicated by the fact that what the firm did wasn’t unique or all that new.
These efforts, compared with those of Kogan and Cambridge Analytica, were relatively transparent, but users who never gave their consent had their information sucked up anyway.
My initial reaction to the Cambridge Analytica scandal was jaded; the feeling came from having seen how often, in the past, major public outcries about online privacy led nowhere.
On Monday, the U.K.’s Channel 4 published video footage of an undercover sting operation that it had conducted against Cambridge Analytica.
Cambridge Analytica is as much a symptom of democracy’s sickness as its cause.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Nobody Knows Anything About China – Foreign Policy”

As a foreigner in China, you get used to hearing the retort “You don’t know China!” spat at you by locals.
We don’t know China because, in ways that have generally not been acknowledged, virtually every piece of information issued from or about the country is unreliable, partial, or distorted.
The sheer scale of the country, mixed with a regime of ever-growing censorship and a pervasive paranoia about sharing information, has crippled our ability to know China.
We don’t know anything about high-level Chinese politics.
We don’t know whether the officials targeted in the “Anti-corruption” campaigns were really unusually corrupt, lascivious, or treacherous – or whether they were just political opponents of Xi. We don’t know the extent of factionalism within the Chinese Communist Party, though we do know how often its existence is condemned – by Xi and his faction.
We don’t know whether officials who lather slavish praise on Xi actually believe anything of what they say or are acting out purely out of fear and greed.
We don’t know how good Chinese schools really are because the much-quoted statistics provided by the Program for International Student Assessment that placed China first in the world were taken from the study of a small group of elite Shanghai schools.
As the government closes down any source of information outside its control, we can only wonder at how much it knows itself.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Paul Ford: Facebook Is Why We Need a Digital Protection Agency”

Then the Steve Bannon-affiliated, Robert Mercer-backed U.K. data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica used that data to target likely Trump voters.
Private data are spilling out of banks, credit-rating providers, email providers, and social networks and ending up everywhere.
Big companies can react nimbly when they fear regulation is actually on the horizon-for example, Google, Facebook, and Twitter have agreed to share data with researchers who are tracking disinformation, the result of a European Union commission on fake news.
So are we doomed to let them take our data or that of our loved ones and then to watch as that same data is used against us or shared by hackers? Yes, frankly.
The activist and internet entrepreneur Maciej Ceglowski once described big data as “a bunch of radioactive, toxic sludge that we don’t know how to handle.” Maybe we should think about Google and Facebook as the new polluters.
Its job would be to clean up toxic data spills, educate the public, and calibrate and levy fines.
You give it your email, and it tells you if you’ve been found in a data breach.
Let’s keep going! Imagine ranking banks and services by the number of data breaches they’ve experienced.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How AI and Data Analytics Are Transforming Healthcare Right Now”

More specifically, it’s your data: your individual biology, your health history and ever-fluctuating state of well-being, where you go, what you spend, how you sleep, what you put in your body and what comes out.
“It’s the analytics. Up until three-to-five years ago, all that data was just sitting there. Now it’s being analyzed and interpreted. It’s the most radical change happening in health care.”
The data it generates has actually helped Amos and Jacoby understand his diabetes and how to manage it.
The command center pulls in information from more than a dozen data streams in real time, including patient health records, emergency dispatch service updates, lab results, and tabs on how many hospital beds are available at any given time.
Even organizations which previously only had distant relationships with patients-pharmacy benefit managers, for instance-are, because of the vast kingdoms of data they oversee, well positioned to draw insights that might improve population health and lower costs.
The company has identified 300 different factors that can help determine the likelihood that a patient will not fill a prescription says Express Scripts’ chief data officer Tom Henry.
They range from that basic demographic data to behavioral data to less intuitive things like the genders of the prescriber and patient.
To many digital health evangelists, big data is the “Magic bullet” we’ve been waiting for.

The orginal article.