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‘Most Online ‘Terms of Service’ Are Incomprehensible to Adults, Study Finds’

“‘While consumers are legally expected or presumed to read their contracts, businesses are not required to write readable ones. This asymmetry—and its potential consequences—puzzled us,’ wrote co-author Samuel Becher, a law professor at Victoria University of Wellington”

Also on our forum: boosted

💙 New blocking rules! On 14th February 2019, Laura fixed four broken sites and blocked three new trackers.

To get the new rules, choose ‘Update rules’ or ‘Check again now’ from Better’s menu.

‘In healthcare, better data demands better privacy protections’

“How can we explain what is going on here? One possibility is that startup nation advocates pushed hard to ratify the plan as soon as possible, because of its contribution to innovation; these advocates view considerations of privacy as obstacles.”

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‘Is Europe closing in on an antitrust fix for surveillance technologists?’

“So there are now two lines of legal attack — antitrust and privacy law — threatening Facebook (and indeed other adtech companies’) surveillance-based business model across Europe.”

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‘German Regulators Just Outlawed Facebook's Whole Ad Business’

“Facebook will no longer be allowed to force its users to agree to the practically unrestricted collection and assigning of non-Facebook data to their Facebook user accounts…”

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‘Apple Is Removing ’Do Not Track’ From Safari’

“It’s been around for years, but… it doesn’t do anything because almost no websites actually honor the request not to be tracked because the government never forced them to comply with it.”

“…we asked all the browser-providing companies why they still had the option, given that it could mislead users into thinking it was actually protecting their privacy.”

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‘How Silicon Valley Puts the ‘Con’ in Consent’

“Data is powerful and can inform on us in unexpected ways. Companies learn all about you, but also all about your friends who haven’t signed up for these services.”

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💙 New blocking rules! On 2nd February 2019, Laura fixed one broken site, blocked a blocker blocker on another site, and adtech on a third site.

To get the new rules, choose ‘Update rules’ from Better’s menu. boosted

My talk “People might actually use this” will be live-streamed at Aracon this afternoon (~5pm CET.) I‘ll be talking about inclusivity and how decentralisation alone can’t guarantee ethical design. boosted

I’m on Al Jazeera Inside Story in a few minutes to talk about reining I’m surveillance capitalists like Google and Facebook in the context of the new French tax.

Watch the live stream at:

‘As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants’

“Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, the records show, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages.”

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Folks in Cologne/Germany: @aral and I (@laura) will be giving a rare keynote together for Think About! conference on 23rd-24th May 2019. It looks like a great event, and we’d love to meet you there.

‘To a man with an algorithm all things look like an advertising opportunity’

“When your engineers consist largely of twentysomething dudes, you will get situations like this. When you think about your users as data-points rather than thinking, feeling, complex human beings, you will get situations like this.”

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‘This early GDPR adtech strike puts the spotlight on consent’

“In Fidzup’s case, complying with GDPR has had a major impact on its business because offering a genuine choice means it’s not always able to obtain consent.”

Fascinating to see what is a genuinely GDPR-compliant consent flow. Hopefully the complexity of which will make businesses see the collection of people’s data as risky and expensive.

Also on our forum: boosted

What happens when you watch my BBC Ideas video on Surveillance Capitalism or if you embed it on your own site?

That’s right… you get tracked! And you expose your visitors to third-party tracking.

Isn’t #SurveillanceCapitalism fun?


‘Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret’

“At least 75 companies receive anonymous, precise location data from apps whose users enable location services to get local news and weather or other information, The Times found. Several of those businesses claim to track up to 200 million mobile devices in the United States”

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‘Seized cache of Facebook docs raise competition and consent questions’

“The files also spotlight several issues of concern relating to privacy and data protection law, with internal documents raising fresh questions over how or even whether (in the case of Facebook’s whitelisting agreements with certain developers) it obtained consent from users to process their personal data.”

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‘‘Good for the world’? Facebook emails reveal what really drives the site’

“The emails provide an uncommon window into the thinking of Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives… Executives considered charging developers fees to gain access to user data – something Facebook now claims it would never do – and discussed other schemes to leverage the company’s scale and vast troves of user data into revenue.”

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‘Google faces GDPR complaint over ‘deceptive’ location tracking’

‘“Google is processing incredibly detailed and extensive personal data without proper legal grounds, and the data has been acquired through manipulation techniques,” said Gro Mette Moen, acting head of the Norwegian Consumer Council’s digital services unit in a statement.’

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