Tag Archive for ‘Privacy’
Facebook has long let users see all sorts of things the site knows about them, like whether they enjoy soccer, have recently moved, or like Melania Trump. But the tech giant gives users little indication that it buys far more sensitive data about them – detailed dossiers obtained from commercial data brokers – regarding their income, the types of restaurants they frequent and even how many credit cards are in their wallets.
Responding to a congressional query, nine data companies provided answers to a detailed set of questions about what kinds of information they collect about individual Americans, and where they get that data. Their responses show that some companies record – and then resell – your screen names, web site addresses, interests, hometown and professional history, and how many friends or followers you have.
It’s the largest civil penalty the Federal Trade Commission has ever imposed for violating one of its orders. But after the agency announced that Google will pay $22.5 million for overriding privacy settings in Apple’s Safari browser, skeptics quickly criticized the penalty as little more than symbolic for a company that had $2.8 billion in earnings last quarter.
An advisor on information and communications issues argues that the The Global Reporting Initiative seems to completely ignore two of the most significant human rights issues of our time—freedom of expression and privacy—and hasn’t kept pace with the explosion of the information and communications technology industry.
Microsoft and Yahoo are selling political campaigns the ability to target voters online with tailored ads using names, Zip codes and other registration information that users provide when they sign up for free email and other services. The Web giants provide users no notification that their information is being used for political targeting.
The Federal Communications Commission announced it is slapping a fine on Google for deliberately impeding an investigation of the collection of sensitive wireless network data as part of the search giant’s Street View mapping project. The amount of the fine: $25,000.
While daily news headlines can sometimes make it easy to assume that big business is incapable of doing good in the world, contributor Christine Bader argues that there exists a “global army” of Corporate Idealists hard at work on a host of environmental and social issues. She offers the beginnings of a Manifesto to help support that army – “an outline of the principles and actions that will help us better align the interests of business and society.”
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on a case between AT&T and the Federal Communications Commission, revisiting the legal concept of “corporate personhood” last strengthened under the court’s Citizen United ruling on corporate campaign spending. (That controversial ruling has its first anniversary this week.)