via Kate Cox, writing at Ars Technica, comes this superb reportage; in which, Ms. Cox details the highly troubling connections between California Assemblywoman Irwin, her husband Jon Irwin, COO of Ring (a subsidiary of Amazon LLC (NASDAQ: AMZN) (the corporate owner of Ring)) and several hundred police organizations.
More than simply a conflict of interest, California Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin's actions are borderline Fascist in nature. Read all about it, and weep for your country.
"The California legislature worked through the summer to finalize the text of the state's landmark data privacy law before time to make amendments ran out on Friday. In the Assembly (California's lower house), Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin has been a key voice and vote backing motions that would weaken the law, and a new report says her reasoning may be very, very close to home." "A review of state ethics documents conducted by Politico found that Ms. Irwin is married to Jon Irwin, the chief operating officer of Amazon's controversial Ring home surveillance business. That company stands to benefit if the California law is weakened in certain key ways before it can take effect." - via Kate Cox, writing at Ars Technica, with this superb piece
via Sam Biddle, writing at The Intercept, comes this astonishing story of manifest Facebookery firmly situated within the rarified telecom world of data sharing between and betwixt the telecom leviathans and that scourge of privacy Facebook, Inc. (Nasdaq:FB). h/t
“What they’re doing is filtering Facebook users on creditworthiness criteria and potentially escaping the application of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. … It’s no different from Equifax providing the data to Chase.” - via Sam Biddle, reporting for The Intercept, with this superb article
News of recently revealed and egregious tracking behaviors at Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG); specifically Google is using your Gmails account to track your purchases. Our suggestions is to immediately remove any financial transaction related messaging from your Gmail accounts without delay - unless of course, you trust Google...
"While Google told us that you can delete this information at any time, they did not mention how much of a pain it is to do so. Instead of having a single setting that allows you to control how this data is saved, you need to go into each and every purchase and click on the Remove Purchase button. This will bring you to the original email that the data was pulled from and once this email is trashed, the purchase will be removed from the Purchases page. " - via Lawrence Abrams, reporting at Bleeping COmputer
The Chairman has apparently decided it's OK to front load a consumer level commission with anti-consumer business 'leaders'... Pai's behavior as Chairman certainly crosses the line into the realm of corruption and, at the very least malfeasance. When will this clown's malign actions be investigated?
'Sprint and T-Mobile had quit ALEC in 2012 and 2015, respectively, "leav[ing] Comcast, Charter Communications, CenturyLink, and Cox Communications as the last major telecom companies sticking with the corporate bill mill," PR Watch reported in November 2018,..' via Jon Brodkin, writing at Ars Technica
News, via Jon Brodkin, writing at Ars Technica, that Airbnb initially took no steps to stop a property owner recording an Airbnb guest. What was Airbnb thinking? Apparently, they were not thinking at all...
'Airbnb's response was troubling, Nealie Barker said. Customer service reps "didn't seem to grasp the seriousness of the issue. They were treating it like a canceled booking," she told CNN. Airbnb temporarily suspended the listing and promised to investigate, CNN wrote. But when Barker contacted Airbnb again two weeks later, "the company told her that the host had been 'exonerated,' and the listing reinstated."' - news, via, Jon Brodkin, writing at Ars Technica
via Jon Brodkin, writing at Ars Technica, comes the story of a total of $35 million dollars paid by two sketchy retail corporations (Office Depot and it's partner in crime - Support.com) in the US, whom have fallen from grace most profoundly. Read it and rejoice for a US Federal Agency living up to it's mandate and doing the Rght Thing.
The FTC yesterday announced that Office Depot and its software supplier, Support.com, have agreed to pay a total of $35 million in settlements with the agency. Office Depot agreed to pay $25 million while Support.com will pay the other $10 million. The FTC said it intends to use the money to provide refunds to wronged consumers. - via Jon Brodkin, writing superb reportage at Ars Technica
You Can Successfully Bet The Chairman Will Be Implicated In This...
via Jon Brodkin, writing at Condé Nast media property Ars Technica, in which, Mr. Brodkin reports on bad news for Chairman Ajit Pai, as the FCC was forced to settle a suit (to the tune of 43K) brought by independent writer Jason Prechtel where the FCC refused to comply with a FOIA request for data related to the Commissions'repeal of net neutrality. Folks, that's $43,000 of US taxpayer money paid out (legitimately) to a suit plaintiff (and rightly so, to cover his attorney's fees and court costs), that would not have occurred if we had an honest FCC Chairman in place.
"The FCC didn't comply with the request and allegedly didn't even approve or deny the FoIA request within the legally allotted timeframe, so Prechtel sued the commission in September 2017. One year later, a US District Court judge presiding over the case ordered the FCC to stop withholding certain records sought by Prechtel, although the ruling didn't give Prechtel everything he asked for." via Jon Brodkin, writing at Ars Technica, in a report detailing a settlement forced on the FCC by Judge Christopher Cooper of US District Court for the District of Columbia (Ars Technica's PDF link).
Don't have an account at Foursquare - then why is the company tracking you? The answers' both simple and profound: You are their Product. The latest revelations are part of the sideshow at SXSW 2019 in Austin, Texas and a component of it's 'Hypertrending' construct. What are they thinking?
"You might think you don’t use Foursquare, but chances are you do. Foursquare’s technology powers the geofilters in Snapchat, tagged tweets on Twitter; it’s in Uber, Apple Maps, Airbnb, WeChat, and Samsung phones, to name a few. (Condé Nast Traveler, owned by the same parent company as WIRED, relies on Foursquare data.)" - via the erudite Paris Martineau, writing for Condé Nast-owned Wired.
Woo Hoo! December's Feet of Clay Award has been summarily bestowed upon those nearly perfect examples of corporate scumbaggery: Verizon/AOL! Congratulations (and a $4.95 Million Fine) are in order targeting the sellers of our children's innocence! Read It And Weep for Our Descendents.
"The Attorney General’s Office found that AOL conducted billions of auctions for ad space on hundreds of websites the company knew were directed to children under the age of 13. Through these auctions, AOL collected, used, and disclosed personal information from the websites’ users in violation of COPPA, enabling advertisers to track and serve targeted ads to young children. The company has agreed to adopt comprehensive reforms to protect children from improper tracking and pay a record $4.95 million in penalties, the largest penalty ever in a COPPA enforcement matter in U.S. history." - via the Office of New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood
Smart Move - Satya - Smart Move Now, what was it you were going to do about the October Creators Update for Windows 10 nagging problem of deleting user documents and other files en mass? Was this a redirection marketing tactic to deflect attention from the recent rash of Microsft Windows Update failures plaguing Redmond; or is it a Lack of Focus Mr. Nadella? (Update: News from Martin Brinkmann at GHacks that the file deletion issue is reportedly fixed). To be fair, an inability to service operating system updates robustly is not just a Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT) failure, this SNAFU is a hallmark of the so-called Android 'ecosystem' as well. Oh, and I'm a cricket fan as well. Enjoy.
Whilst Google Employees Protest Chinese Market Google Rentry Products, They Have No Problem With Other Users... Where's the Indignation About Privacy Invading Google Behaviors In The US, Canada, Méxicó and elsewhere? Just shameful.
via Cyrus Farivar, plying his trade at ArsTechnica, regales us with the sorry tale of Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) nearly continuous falsehoods surrounding the data it retains. In this case, your location data. This issue has triggered a lawsuit that may, very well affect thens of millions of users. Today's Must Read.
This situation - the failure of a highly touted Amazon Corporation (NasdaqGS: AMZN) machine learning/psuedo-artificial-intelligence API/Database construct known as 'Amazon Rekognition' - is a Prime example of large-scale, resilient corporate hubris. Highly disappointing, yet the stock is not suffering... And, then there's this.
via The Outline's author, Paris Martineau, comes this tale of opt-in/opt-out, GlaxoSmithKline 23andMe. and of course, The Goods - , your DNA. Of which, results in a nagging question: Why would I (or you for that matter), agree to hand over my uniquely identifying DNA data to a commercial enterprise (that only answers to it's shareholders, and only has it's best interests in mind) to use as they see fit? Oh, and a couple of other questions: Do you trust a big-pharma corporation with your own personal Map of Life? What about the future use of that data, once it's in the slipstream of artificially intelligent genetic-testing-reliant health insurance companies? Food for Thought or just Paranoia? You be the judge; after all, it's your DNA, right?
"In short, most — if not all — of the information 23andMe has on its users has probably been shared with someone that isn’t 23andMe itself, and money might have even changed hands. Which is all perfectly within the company’s rights to do, since they agreed to it (probably blindly) when they signed up." - via The Outline author Paris Martineau in the well crafted post 'How To Sign Away The Rights To Your DNA'
Examine - if you will - Nitasha Tiku's superlative piece on Google Convenience Services. I am astonished that in light of the Facebook SNAFU's of late, Sundar Pichai has intemperately determined that it's a great time to push Google Surveillance to consumers... Enjoy!
'All this free personalization comes at a price: these services count on users handing over even more data about themselves and their lives, and on Google mining that data, giving the search giant more influence and control over our daily choices.' - Nitasha Tiku, writing at Wired
Rebecca (Becca) Rick's has published a highly informative interactive graphic (along with the data source) detailing the Paypal data sharing efforts, in which, your data is published to a multitude of said entities. Astonishing.
Folks, the easiest method to explore this super-graphic is to click this post's title, or the "published" link above, and magically visit the interactive graphic on Ms. Rick's site. Rated Highly Entertaining by Infosecurity.US!
Thanks for the H/T!