Examining Facebook and the case for privacy

What happens when a major social media platform's business model abuses user trust?

  • Facebook has been in plenty of hot water lately with user data scandal.
  • Columbia Business School professor Rita Gunther McGrath says the early warning signs were there when considering the social media platform's business model and attitude toward user privacy.
  • When users don't understand the extent of content ownership, and the platform they're using is willing to abuse that trust, a lot can go wrong.
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Republicans aim to stop school shootings with mass surveillance

The Response Act calls on schools to increase monitoring of students' online activity.

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  • The Response Act was introduced by Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, and was co-sponsored by five other Republican senators.
  • Among other measures, the bill aims to "incentivize schools to enforce internet safety policies that detect online activities of minors."
  • However, there is no evidence showing that student surveillance technologies actually prevent violence.
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Andrew Yang: Our data should be a property right, new proposal says

"At this point our data is more valuable than oil," Yang said. "If anyone benefits from our data it should be us."

Tom Williams / Contributor
  • 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang published a policy proposal this week calling for personal data to be treated as a property right.
  • Currently, tech companies are able to collect, repackage and sell individuals' data with little oversight.
  • Yang wants individuals to have the option to sell their personal data, or opt out of the process.
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Why Germany is a blank spot on Google's Street View

There are good historical reasons why Germans are suspicious of surveillance — but is Google as bad as Gestapo or Stasi?

Image: Google Maps
  • Since its launch in 2007, Google Street View has mapped millions of miles of roads across the world – and even gone to space and into the ocean
  • Germany and Austria are a conspicuous gap in the mess of blue lines that covers the rest of Europe
  • It's to do with Germans' curious sense of privacy: they'd rather flaunt their private parts than their personal data
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The hackable technology that worries even a legendary con man

Before we release new technology into the ether, we need to make safeguards so that bad actors can't misuse them.

  • Right now cybercrime is basically a financial crime — it's a business of stealing people's money or stealing their data. Data has value.
  • We develop a lot of technology — we need to always ask the question how the new innovation can be misused and make safeguards so that it cannot be done.
  • Because we currently don't do these things, we have hackable vehicles, pacemakers, and laptops.
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