A withering verdict: MPs report on Zuckerberg, Russia and Cambridge Analytica

By Julian King, in The Guardian, 28 July 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/28/democracy-threatened-malicious-technology-eu-fighting-back Attacks on elections and electoral campaigns fall into two main categories: those based on systems and those based on behaviours. The first category includes cyber-attacks that manipulate the electoral process or voting technology to change the number of voters or the number of votes. But the second category of threat …

UK report: “Relentless targeting of hyper-partisan views play to the fears and prejudices of people, in order to influence their voting plans and their behavior” poses a greater threat to democracy than more familiar forms of so-called fake news

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jul/27/fake-news-inquiry-data-misuse-deomcracy-at-risk-mps-conclude …“relentless targeting of hyper-partisan views play to the fears and prejudices of people, in order to influence their voting plans and their behaviour” poses a greater threat to democracy than more familiar forms of so-called fake news, raising particular concerns about the way online data could be manipulated to impact elections. The DCMS committee has spent 18 months conducting …

Advice for ‘smart cities’ includes social equity, grid modernization and garbage

Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said any smart city plan needs to start with a modern electrical grid. Then the apps and gadgets can follow. By Benjamin Freed, 26 July 2018 on Statescoop.com Any local government that wants to become a “smart city” needs to ignore the buzzwords and identify the projects that actually improve its constituents’ lives. That was the advice …

Elizabeth Denham: ‘Data crimes are real crimes’

By Carole Cadwalladr in The Observer, UK, Sun 15 Jul 2018 02.00 EDT With the publication of an interim report on her investigation into the Brexit referendum, the information commissioner has issued a strong statement of intent against the tech giants  Elizabeth Denham: ‘We still rely on journalists, on civil society, on whistleblowers bringing evidence forward, but as a regulator we need to act on it.’ …

The emerging data economy

A new economy is emerging. And this new economy is powered by a new type of fuel: data. As the data economy becomes increasingly prominent, there are troubling signs that it is worsening existing power imbalances, and creating new problems of domination and lack of accountability. But it would be wrong simply to draw dystopian visions from our current situation. Technological …

Case argues Facebook operated a “malicious and fraudulent scheme” to exploit vast amounts of private data to earn Facebook billions and force rivals out of business.

Mark Zuckerberg faces allegations that he developed a “malicious and fraudulent scheme” to exploit vast amounts of private data to earn Facebook billions and force rivals out of business. A company suing Facebook in a California court claims the social network’s chief executive “weaponised” the ability to access data from any user’s network of friends – the feature at the heart …

The data Google has on us

The New York Times By Brian X. Chen May 16, 2018 Google has far more data about us than Facebook. Yet unlike Mark Zuckerberg’s social networking empire, which has been under fire for improperly leaking user data, Google has sidestepped controversy. You may wonder: Why is that? After all, we turn to Google for not only our internet searches but also for …

Cambridge University rejected Facebook study over ‘deceptive’ privacy standards: panel told researcher Aleksandr Kogan that Facebook’s approach fell ‘far below ethical expectations’

By Matthew Weaver Tue 24 Apr 2018, The Guardian  https://www.scribd.com/document/377241955/Letter-by-Cambridge-University-ethics-panel  One member of the panel said the Facebook users involved had not given sufficient consent to allow the research to be conducted. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters A Cambridge University ethics panel rejected research by the academic at the centre of the Facebook data harvesting scandal over the social network’s “deceptive” approach to its users privacy, newly released …

The Human Project, as the bioengineering of people, cities, streets and curbs converges, where do we locate the public sphere and data?

The Guardian, Smart cities need thick data, not big data, By Adrian Smith, Professor of Technology and Society at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, Wed 18 Apr 2018   Talking about noise in Plaça del Sol Photograph: Making Sense Residents living around Plaça del Sol joke that theirs is the only square where, despite the name, rain is preferable. …

Facebook will be better at privacy for Europeans, but Americans, Asians, Africans and the rest of FB users are out of luck

“Just as Standard Oil once cornered 85% of the refined oil market, today Google drives 89% of internet searches, 95% of young adults on the internet use a Facebook product, Amazon accounts for 75% of ebook sales, while Google and Apple combined provide 99% of mobile operating systems” Vince Cable calls for break-up of Google, Facebook and Amazon: Recent scandals have changed …