A reading list of articles and other links I use to inform my work at Small Technology Foundation, posted every weekday. Continued from the Ind.ie Radar, and Ind.ie’s Weekly Roundups. Subscribe to the Laura’s Lens RSS feed.
Written by Jennifer Valentino-DeVries on NYTimes.
“Technology companies have for years responded to court orders for specific users’ information. The new warrants go further, suggesting possible suspects and witnesses in the absence of other clues. Often, Google employees said, the company responds to a single warrant with location information on dozens or hundreds of devices.”
“The technique illustrates a phenomenon privacy advocates have long referred to as the “if you build it, they will come” principle — anytime a technology company creates a system that could be used in surveillance, law enforcement inevitably comes knocking. Sensorvault, according to Google employees, includes detailed location records involving at least hundreds of millions of devices worldwide and dating back nearly a decade.”
Written by Aaron Rieke and Corrine Yu on The Atlantic.
“A recent study led by researchers at Northeastern University and the University of Southern California shows that, given a large group of people who might be eligible to see an advertisement, Facebook will pick among them based on its own profit-maximizing calculations, sometimes serving ads to audiences that are skewed heavily by race and gender.”
“An ad system that is designed to maximize clicks, and to maximize profits for Facebook, will naturally reinforce these social inequities and so serve as a barrier to equal opportunity.”
Written by Privacy International staff on Privacy International.
“Facebook is seeking yet again to apportion blame for its failures elsewhere - this time on governments for failing to regulate. Yet Facebook continually obstructs regulatory reform with its powerful lobbying capabilities, appeals against regulatory judgments and then investigates its critics.”
Written by Chris Gilliard on Fast Company.
“Privacy for marginalized populations has never been, and will never be an abstract. Being surveilled, whether by private actors, or the state, is often the gateway to very tangible harms–violence in the form of police brutality, incarceration, or deportation. And there can be more subliminal, insidious impacts, too.”
“The idea that surveillance would be used as an assignment on those with no options for consent speaks to how broken our ideas about consent have become, trivializing what to many people is a life and death matter of their lived existence.”
Written by Karlin Lillington on Irish Times.
“Of ‘special concern’ is that, by cross-referencing such data to the vast trove of personally-identifying information Google also holds from services like Gmail, Android apps, and Search, Google can ‘easily associate web activity with the identities of real people’, the report warns.”
Written by Tatiana Mac on A List Apart.
“We, by way of our platforms, give agency and credence to these acts of violence, then pilfer profits from them. Tech is a money-making accomplice to these hate crimes.”
Written by Ciara Byrne on Fast Company.
“Personal data is used to deny low-income people access to resources or opportunities, but it’s also used to target them with predatory marketing for payday loans or even straight-up scams.”
“ Undocumented immigrants, day laborers, homeless people, and those with criminal convictions suffer from another data extreme: living beyond the reach of the data collection systems needed to thrive in society, they gain so much “privacy” that they become increasingly invisible. Living in this surveillance gap can be as damaging as living under constant surveillance, and is often a reaction to it.”
“the prospect of federal legislation brought ad players to the table. But when that legislation didn’t materialize, “the prolonged negotiations in fact proved useful to the industry to create the illusion of a voluntary self-regulatory process, seemingly preempting the need for regulation.”
“As for forcing the big companies to provide access to their customers’ data troves to other companies, we urge significant caution. Personal data is not just any other economic asset. Privacy and the protection of personal data are fundamental human rights.”
“as this burgeoning movement becomes an industry, some worry that the “wellness” approach and its emphasis on personal responsibility is whitewashing deeper structural issues within the tech industry.”