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It's Time to Get Angry About Facebook

It's been a very busy couple of months, and I haven't really been able to weigh in on the seemingly daily deluge of privacy scandals swirling around Facebook lately. You'd have to be living under a really, really heavy rock not to have heard about any of this, and you'd have to have rocks inside your head not to wonder why so very little is actually being done.

Why aren't we more mad? Probably because the effects of privacy breaches ...

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FCC Considers Giving Telcos Even More 911 Location Data (To Sell)

Cynical former Verizon employee and FCC chairman Ajit Pai is proposing more detailed location data to be sent with 911 calls, and--brace yourself for a shocker--the proposal includes zero mentions of user privacy. The so-called "Z-axis" data that would be added to 911 calls would transmit vertical location to emergency services, potentially helping them know, for example, what floor of a building a caller is on.

Given the fact that U.S. cellular providers have recently been under (an insufficient amount of) scrutiny for selling ...

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Your Cellular Provider Is Selling Your Location (Again!)

Remember last year when that story came out about how all of the major US cell networks are reporting user location data to shady third parties? Remember how all of the telcos posted contrite messages about how they would never, ever share user location data with random third-party companies ever again? Well, surprise: they were lying.

Joseph Cox, for Motherboard:

Nervously, I gave a bounty hunter a phone number. He had offered to geolocate a phone for me, using a shady, overlooked service intended not ...

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Personal Data Privacy Legislation Introduced in U.S. Senate

The office of Hawaii senator Brian Schatz announced the introduction of a broad national data privacy bill in the U.S. Senate, following California's lead:

Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz [...] led a group of 15 senators in introducing new legislation to protect people's personal data online. The Data Care Act would require websites, apps, and other online providers to take responsible steps to safeguard personal information and stop the misuse of users' data.

I'll reserve judgment on the actual implementation of ...

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Apple CEO Calls for Sweeping U.S. Privacy Legislation

From Tim Cook's remarks at the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners this morning:

[...] We see vividly--painfully--how technology can harm rather than help. Platforms and algorithms that promised to improve our lives can actually magnify our worst human tendencies. Rogue actors and even governments have taken advantage of user trust to deepen divisions, incite violence, and even undermine our shared sense of what is true and what is false.

This crisis is real. It is not imagined, or exaggerated, or "crazy." And ...

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