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‘Facebook, Google face first GDPR complaints over ‘forced consent’’

“Schrems argues that the companies are using a strategy of “forced consent” to continue processing the individuals’ personal data — when in fact the law requires that users be given a free choice unless a consent is strictly necessary for provision of the service.”

Also on our radar:

‘Most GDPR emails unnecessary and some illegal, say experts’

Something timely for the Radar…

“if the business had consent to communicate with you before GDPR, that consent probably carries over, and even if it doesn’t carry over, there are five other reasons a company can cite for continuing to process data.”

Also on our radar:

‘When the business model *is* the privacy violation’

“In other situations, the intended use is the privacy violation. The most prominent example is the tracking of our online and offline habits for targeted advertising. This business model is exactly what people object to, for a litany of reasons: targeting is creepy, manipulative, discriminatory, and reinforces harmful stereotypes.”

Also on our radar:

‘GDPR will pop the adtech bubble’

“tracking people without their knowledge, approval or a court order is just flat-out wrong. The fact that it can be done is no excuse. Nor is the monstrous sum of money made by it.”

Also on our radar:

‘A Smart Doorbell Company Is Working With Cops to Report ‘Suspicious’ People and Activities’

“ill-conceived neighborhood-watch platforms can also be breeding grounds for racial profiling, giving people safe (and poorly moderated) spaces to discriminate”

(You’re installing a device that gives access to your family’s comings-and-goings to the corporation and any third parties with whom they choose to share that information.)

Also on our radar:

‘Cambridge Analytica Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg’

“We have the opportunity to help explain the situation as more of an environmental problem—privacy is about me… but surveillance is about other people, especially more vulnerable people, and the ways in which they can be exploited or manipulated through the use of vast collections of data and algorithmic governance.”—Siva Vaidhyanathan

‘The many deceptions of Mark Zuckerberg’

“With 2 billion users and counting, Facebook is unavoidable, and it’s growing more influential by the day. It’s vital that we understand what Zuck is actually up to, especially since he didn’t reveal it in his testimony. A number of media sources have helpfully corrected his inaccurate claims.”

Also on our radar:

‘Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach’

(From the video:) “we’d only need to touch a couple hundred thousand people to expand into their entire social network, which would scale to most of America”

For more links on the subject, and more context, see our radar at

‘Facebook Quietly Hid Webpages Bragging of Ability to Influence Elections’

“In the wake of a public reckoning with Facebook’s unparalleled ability to distribute information and global anxiety over election meddling, bragging about the company’s ability to run highly effective influence campaigns probably doesn’t look so great.”

Also on our radar:

‘Stephen Hawking’s final words to the internet: robots aren’t the problem, capitalism is’

“If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution.”

Also on our radar:

‘The tyranny of algorithms is part of our lives: soon they could rate everything we do’

“[Personal data and its endless uses] boils down to the relationship between the individual and power, whether exercised by government or private organisations.”

Also on our radar:

‘Be Wary of Silicon Valley’s Guilty Conscience: on The Center for Humane Technology’

“The CHT senses that there is anger in the air towards the big tech companies, and it pulls a clever bait and switch by acknowledging that there is a problem but then insisting that the people who caused the problem can be trusted to fix it.”


Also on our radar:

‘Google Is Quietly Providing AI Technology for Drone Strike Targeting Project’

“Google, which has made strides in applying its proprietary deep learning tools to improve language translation, and vision recognition, has a cross-team collaboration within the company to work on the AI drone project.”

Comment on our radar:

‘Good for Facebook, maybe, but not for the rest of us’

“Extending blanket protection to enterprises that act like Gilded Age plutocrats cannot help but stifle the innovators and startups of the future. All in all, that would be bad for people’s well-being, and for society.”

Also on our radar:

‘UK mass digital surveillance regime ruled unlawful’

“This judgement tells ministers in crystal clear terms that they are breaching the public’s human rights.”

Also on our radar:

‘How did the Internet lose its noble purpose and turn bad?’

“Instead of addressing the very real impact that the high-tech economy was having on middle-class jobs, communities of color, and unions, progressive leaders chose instead to organize big-dollar parties with tech firm money for thought leaders to project solidarity on the right causes, without making actual commitments on the real issues.”

Also on our radar:

‘Facebook And Google’s Surveillance Capitalism Model Is In Trouble’

“Most people associate Facebook with cute family photos and think of Google like a semi-reliable encyclopedia. But these services have only a tangential relationship to the way either company actually makes money. The twin Silicon Valley titans rely on two closely intertwined technologies, customer surveillance and advertising, to maximize shareholder profits.”

On our radar:

‘Facebook Knows How to Track You Using the Dust on Your Camera Lens’

“It might assume two people knew each other if the images they uploaded looked like they were titled in the same series of photos—IMG_4605739.jpg and IMG_4605742, for example—or if lens scratches or dust were detectable in the same spots on the photos, revealing the photos were taken by the same camera.”

Comment on our radar:

‘What’s Slack Doing With Your Data?’

““Slack could have built this system in a way that no one within the company had access into user data,” said Cardozo, referencing zero-knowledge encryption, an end-to-end encryption method. “What it comes down to is, ‘trust us,’” Cardozo said. “That’s the same thing that Uber said and then they were caught with their pants down with God mode…””

On our radar:

‘Apple’s privacy feature costs ad companies millions’

“Ad tracking technology has become so pervasive that it is possible for ad tracking companies to recreate the majority of a person’s web browsing history. This information is collected without permission and is used for ad re-targeting, which is how ads follow people around the internet.”

On our radar: