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#15 Clearing Out The News Backlog
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It’s been a while since the last issue of Ad Hominem, but there have been several important news stories that I want to make sure everyone got a chance to see. I have a big backlog of bookmarks worth sharing, so a few of these stories might be old news for you, but I hope I can include something valuable and worth reading in each issue as I get caught back up. I’m not going to promise that future issues will arrive on any sort of regular schedule, but there’s a lot going on that I want to be sharing and discussing.
The Ad Market is Changing…
By now, most people have collectively realized that the “bargain” of giving up all our data in exchange for slightly more interesting ads and a few free social networks simply isn’t worth it. The traditional methods of ad-tracking in use today by companies like Google and Facebook have come under fire from governments (GDPR) and have even been dealt blows from private actors like Apple (Axios, NPR, CNBC). Humanity adapts and so does Capitalism in response. Google is putting forward its “FLOC” solution, but so far, privacy advocates like the EFF remain largely unimpressed [EFF]. Largely thanks to Andrew Yang, many in both public and private governance are now starting to wonder about “data dividends” (Oracle).
All Phones Considered Unsafe
Signal’s (the messaging app) excellent breakdown/takedown of Cellebrite’s toolkit for breaking into phones is an enticing read [Signal Blog]. Security is already a first-class topic at many companies, but watch for the world to continue to get weird as many other products fall prey to hackers. As a recent example, Pegasus malware has now infected the British government (Citizen Lab).
🧠 Neuroprivacy is being advocated for as a basic human right (Neo.life).
👮♂️ Civil rights groups have moved to block expansion of facial recognition in airports (The Verge). Minneapolis is poised to ban facial recognition for police use (The Guardian). More on this in The Bad.
🍎 Cloudflare and Apple have designed a new privacy-friendly internet protocol (TechCrunch).
💻 California is going after “Dark Design Patterns” (Gizmodo).
👶 Tech companies are now profiling us before we are born (MIT Press).
🛍 You’re being watched in retail stores (Wired).
👮♂️ In The Good, I pointed out some efforts to resist use of facial-recognition tech by police. However, the technology has already been used for arrests in Miami (NBC Miami). In more bad news out of Florida, the Pasco County sheriff created a pre-crime program and used it to harm citizens (TampaBay.com).
💼 The data of 500 million LinkedIn users is for sale online (Business Insider).
🔬 Alibaba offers Uyghur Recognition As A Service (IPVM).