‘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..

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..

Zuckerberg Gets a Crash Course in Charm. Will Congress Care?

Zuckerberg Gets a Crash Course in Charm. Will Congress Care? Photo Facebook has been preparing its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, who is uncomfortable speaking in public, for a grilling by several congressional committees in the coming week. Credit Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press For Facebook, Tuesday is being seen as a kind of dreaded final exam.
That’s when Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, will swap out his trademark gray T-shirts for a suit and tie, and embark on a two-day marathon of testimony on Capitol Hill. His goal? To apologize for Facebook’s missteps, reassure Congress that Facebook intends to stop foreign powers from using its service to meddle in American elections and detail the company’s plans to better protect its users’ privacy.
In preparation for Mr. Zuckerberg’s testimony, his first such appearance, Facebook has spent the last couple of weeks trying to transform its public image from a defiant, secretive behemoth into a contrite paragon of ..

‘Big Brother’ in India Requires Fingerprint Scans for Food, Phones and Finances

‘Big Brother’ in India Requires Fingerprint Scans for Food, Phones and Finances
NEW DELHI — Seeking to build an identification system of unprecedented scope, India is scanning the fingerprints, eyes and faces of its 1.3 billion residents and connecting the data to everything from welfare benefits to mobile phones.
Civil libertarians are horrified, viewing the program, called Aadhaar, as Orwell’s Big Brother brought to life. To the government, it’s more like “big brother,” a term of endearment used by many Indians to address a stranger when asking for help.
For other countries, the technology could provide a model for how to track their residents. And for India’s top court, the ID system presents unique legal issues that will define what the constitutional right to privacy means in the digital age.
To Adita Jha, Aadhaar was simply a hassle. The 30-year-old environmental consultant in Delhi waited in line three times to sit in front of a computer that photographed her face, captured her..

Tech Tip: Moving Your E-Book Collection to One Device

Moving Your E-Book Collection to One Device Q. Is it possible to read Nook books on a Kindle? Is there an e-reader that handles books from multiple e-bookstores?
A. The Barnes & Noble Nook e-books and Amazon’s Kindle e-books use different formats, but dedicated users have shown it is possible to convert and read Nook books on an Amazon device. How you do it depends on the hardware you have — and can take some technical fiddling to copy over Nook books to a Kindle e-reader or Fire tablet.
Slinging e-books between two brands of e-readers is generally unsupported by all companies. It can also involve breaking the built-in copyright protections — so read all the fine print to fully understand what is allowed.
One approach is sideloading the Barnes & Noble Nook app (or even the Google Play store) for Android onto an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, which allows you to download and read your Nook books within their own app. You can find various book-moving tutorials for e-readers and Fire tablets..

Bits: Kevin’s Week in Tech: Extra! Extra! News Beyond Facebook!

Kevin’s Week in Tech: Extra! Extra! News Beyond Facebook! Photo Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google, where more than 3,000 engineers have signed a letter protesting the company’s involvement in an artificial intelligence program at the Defense Department. Credit Stephen Lam/Reuters Each week, Kevin Roose, technology columnist at The New York Times, discusses developments in the tech industry, offering analysis and maybe a joke or two. Want this newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here.

It’s hard to imagine now, but at one point, long ago, Facebook did not monopolize the entire tech news cycle — a heady and innocent era when you could read an entire day’s news without encountering the words “Cambridge Analytica” or “third-party developers.”
I confess that, like many of you, I have been obsessed with the fallout from Facebook’s latest privacy scandal, to the point that I had a stress dream that I overslept and missed covering Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony on Capitol Hill next week…

China Isn’t Happy About Its Newest Internet Stars: Teenage Moms

China Isn’t Happy About Its Newest Internet Stars: Teenage Moms Photo The Beijing headquarters of the company that operates Kuaishou, one of China’s most popular video platforms. Kuaishou was pulled from app stores this week after the state broadcaster CCTV accused it of promoting underage pregnancy. Credit Imagechina, via Associated Press BEIJING — It was not Yang Qingning’s millions of social media followers or her political beliefs that made the young woman the scorn of Chinese state media recently.
It was her tiny baby.
Two of China’s most popular video platforms disappeared from app stores this week after the state broadcaster CCTV accused them of promoting underage pregnancy. A segment last week on CCTV featured what it said were teenage women whose videos — chronicling the joys and tribulations of motherhood, complete with images of swollen bellies — had attracted millions of followers and viewers. A stern but unspecific rebuke from China’s top media regulator followed a few day..

Co-op: Roaring back and in the black but is it just a bit too busy?

The institution has delivered a punchy set of results and is once again doing what the Co-operative should do, but its bosses should be wary of overreaching themselves
The Co-op’s back.
The institution’s latest set of numbers paint a picture of a business that has at last shaken off a long tail of yuck left by disasters (banking snafus, awful executives, dodgy directors) that could have brought the thing crashing down.
At first glance the phrase ‘what's not to like’ springs to mind.
Read more Co-op group is back in the black as it reveals members got £74m reward Co-op's new app could mean no need for checkouts Disgraced ex-Co-op Bank chairman Paul Flowers banned from City A £132m loss turned into a £72m headline profit. At the underlying level, which strips out ‘one off’ nasties to focus on the performance of the core business, profits rolled in at £65m against £52m. Debt fell to £775m from £885m. Overall revenues were flat, but there were plenty of bright spots.
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