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 …

The story behind the cell phone industry and health effects research on cell phones, prior to WHO 2011 classification of cell-phone radiation as a “possible” human carcinogen and the governments of Great Britain, France, and Israel to issue strong warnings on cell-phone use by children

on the global industry behind cell phones—and the industry’s long campaign to make people believe that cell phones are safe. Carlo’s story underscores the need for caution, however, particularly since it evokes eerie parallels with two of the most notorious cases of corporate deception on record: the campaigns by the tobacco and fossil-fuel industries to obscure the dangers of smoking …

Another reason for local public internet provision

Very few of us are privileged enough to #DeleteTheInternet.  Thanks to Trump and the Republicans, providers are allowed to monitor customers’ behaviour and, without their permission, sell that data for targeted ads 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 …

Publicly provided internet among the top takeaways from Smart Cities Connect 2018

Using failure as a learning moment and building partnerships are among the lessons from the three-day conference in Kansas City, MO. By Chris Teale@chris_teale, 2 Apr 2018 The 2018 Smart Cities Connect conference in Kansas City, MO brought together officials from various levels of government as well as those in business and academia, all to discuss the evolution of smart cities …

An Internet of ownership: democratic design for the online economy

The following article was published in The Sociological Review 66, no. 2 (March 2018). Updated 2018.02.05. The disappointments of the online economy – for instance, user surveillance and systemic labor abuses – stem at least in part from its failures to meaningfully share ownership and governance with relevant stakeholders. Under the banner of ‘platform cooperativism’, an emerging network of cooperative developers, entrepreneurs, labor …

“It’s one thing to collect data, and it’s another thing to be able to target people and target people individually”

Meet the American Professor Suing Cambridge Analytica for His Psychographic Profile, 23 March 2018 David Carroll associate professor of media design at Parsons School of Design. He has filed a full disclosure claim against Cambridge Analytica in the U.K. We turn now to the burgeoning scandal around voter-profiling company Cambridge Analytica. Startling revelations show the company harvested the data of more …

The Risks and Rewards of Municipal Broadband: Broadband is the most important infrastructure investment a community can make, especially as a new generation of connection is upon us: ultra-broadband

A smart city is really about the application of data, the acquisition of data and how do we apply the data analytics to make better decisions. For me and the way I look at how we gauge smart cities, it’s about making better decisions with better data. In many cases, automating decisions that can be automated frees us up to …

How to fix Facebook before it fixes us

Excerpt from an article by Roger McNamee, Washington Monthly, Feb 2018 The scope of the problem requires a multi-pronged approach. First, we must address the resistance to facts created by filter bubbles. Polls suggest that about a third of Americans believe that Russian interference is fake news, despite unanimous agreement to the contrary by the country’s intelligence agencies. Helping those people …