‘You Are the Product’: Targeted by Cambridge Analytica on Facebook

‘You Are the Product’: Targeted by Cambridge Analytica on Facebook Christopher Deason stumbled upon the psychological questionnaire on June 9, 2014. He was taking a lot of online surveys back then, each one earning him a few dollars to help pay the bills. Nothing about this one, which he saw on an online job platform, struck him as “creepy or weird,” he said later.
So at 6:37 that evening, Mr. Deason completed the first step of the survey: He granted access to his Facebook account.
Less than a second later, a Facebook app had harvested not only Mr. Deason’s profile data, but also data from the profiles of 205 of his Facebook friends. Their names, birth dates and location data, as well as lists of every Facebook page they had ever liked, were downloaded — without their knowledge or express consent — before Mr. Deason could even begin reading the first survey question.
The information was added to a massive database being compiled for Cambridge Analytica, the political data firm with lin..

Housing market: Number of buy-to-let landlords reaches record high despite tax hike

Government has introduced 3% Stamp Duty levy, new stress tests for home loans, and ended mortgage interest tax relief
The number of buy-to-let investors in the UK rose to a record high of 2.5 million in the latest tax year, new research shows.
The increase of 5 per cent on the previous year comes despite the introduction of a host of extra taxes and regulations on the sector.
In recent years, the government has brought in a 3 per cent Stamp Duty levy, new stress tests for home loans, and ended mortgage interest tax relief.
Read more Dropping UK house prices won’t dent our confidence in buy-to-let The number of landlords has increased 27 per cent in the past five years, up from 1.97 million in 2011-12, research by London-focused estate agent Ludlow Thompson found.
Landlords now own an average of 1.8 buy-to-let properties each – a figure that has risen for the fifth consecutive year.
The data suggests that landlords continue to see residential property, especially in London, as..

Brexit: UK economy will be worse than all other G7 advanced countries this year, City bosses warn

Senior executives at more than 100 banks, as well as asset managers, insurers and private equity firms express concerns about Britain’s prospects
UK economic growth will lag behind all other G7 advanced nations this year, the world’s biggest financial firms have warned.
Almost three-quarters of 100 senior executives surveyed said they worry that UK economic growth will be weaker this year than in any other advanced economy – a dramatic worsening of sentiment compared to a year ago when just 23 per cent held that view.
A majority of bosses at banks, as well as asset managers, insurers and private equity firms expressed concerns about the economy’s prospects for the coming year.
Read more India ‘not in a rush’ to sign trade deal with Britain after Brexit Half of the executives surveyed said they expect UK growth to stay at 2017 levels, while 29 per cent expect it to worsen and a fifth believe growth will improve.
Brexit was the most commonly cited risk dragging on the UK’s eco..

Amid Fears of Trade War, Trump Predicts China Will Relent

Amid Fears of Trade War, Trump Predicts China Will Relent Photo President Trump tweeted on Sunday morning that he and President Xi Jinping of China will “always be friends.” Credit Tom Brenner/The New York Times Amid fears of an escalating trade war between the United States and China, President Trump tweeted Sunday morning that he and President Xi Jinping of China will “always be friends, no matter what happens with our dispute on trade.”
“China will take down its Trade Barriers because it is the right thing to do,” he added. “Taxes will become Reciprocal & a deal will be made on Intellectual Property. Great future for both countries!”
A White House spokeswoman on Sunday said the reciprocal “taxes” mentioned in the tweet referred to “tariff levels and also to reciprocal trade more generally.”
It was unclear whether the president was suggesting that progress had been made in solving the trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies. Fears of an escalation intensified last wee..

The Shift: Facebook’s Other Critics: Its Viral Stars

Facebook’s Other Critics: Its Viral Stars Photo Credit Glenn Harvey For the past two years, Ryan Hamilton has been getting Facebook-famous. Mr. Hamilton, 28, manages a network of Facebook pages and makes viral videos for his “Hammy T.V.” channel — mostly lowbrow fare with titles like “Shocking Pit Bull Social Experiment” and “World’s Hottest Pepper on Girlfriend’s Thong” — that have earned him a level of popularity typically associated with Kardashians and BuzzFeed food clips.
But to hear Mr. Hamilton tell it, Facebook has failed him.
“It’s a complete mess,” he said. “No one trusts Facebook.”
Unlike the lawmakers who will grill Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, in congressional testimony this week, Facebook influencers generally aren’t bothered by data privacy issues or Russian propaganda campaigns. Their concerns are closer to home.
They say that the company’s recent decision to emphasize stories shared by friends and family as well as trusted news outlets — part of the com..