News from the web

  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/morelweb/public_html/includes/file.inc on line 645.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/morelweb/public_html/includes/file.inc on line 645.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/morelweb/public_html/includes/file.inc on line 645.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/morelweb/public_html/includes/file.inc on line 645.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/morelweb/public_html/includes/file.inc on line 645.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/morelweb/public_html/includes/file.inc on line 645.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/morelweb/public_html/includes/file.inc on line 645.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/morelweb/public_html/includes/file.inc on line 645.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/morelweb/public_html/includes/file.inc on line 645.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/morelweb/public_html/includes/file.inc on line 645.

While Facebook Gets All The Hate, Verizon Continues To Show It's No Better, And Potentially Much Worse For Privacy

TechDirt - Wed, 2018-05-02 11:54

Facebook certainly deserves ample criticism for its lax privacy standards and its decision to threaten news outlets that exposed them. That said, we've noted a few times now that the uneven press fixation on Facebook obscures the fact that numerous industries routinely engage in much worse behavior. That's particularly true of broadband providers (and especially wireless carriers), who routinely treat consumer privacy as a distant afterthought, with only a fraction of the total volume of media hyperventilation we saw during the Facebook kerfuffle.

Facebook's casual treatment of your data isn't some errant tech industry exception, it's the norm, making #quitFacebook an arguably pointless gesture if you still own a stock mobile phone. In the telecom industry, a disdain for consumer privacy is a cornerstone of their entire business model(s). Companies like AT&T and Verizon aren't just bone grafted to our government's domestic surveillance apparatus, they collect and sell everything from browsing to location data to absolutely anyone and everyone--with little to no real oversight, and opt out tools that may or may not actually work.

Verizon has been particularly busy on the anti-privacy front. You'll recall that the company was fined by the FCC for modifying wireless user data packets to track users around the internet without telling them. The company was engaging in this behavior for two years before security researchers even discovered it, and it took another six months of media criticism for Verizon to offer a simple opt out. Despite the wrist slap, a more powerful variant of this technology is still very much in play at Oath (AOL & Yahoo), Verizon's effort to compete with Google and Facebook in the media advertising wars.

Not long after that, Verizon played a starring role in gutting modest FCC privacy rules protecting consumers (spurred in part by Verizon's tracking tech). Those rules, which Verizon lobbyists dismantled last year, simply required that ISPs be transparent with what data they're collecting and who they're selling it to. When California tried to mirror the FCC's discarded privacy policies, Verizon, Facebook and Comcast lied to lawmakers, falsely claiming that modest privacy protections would harm children, increase internet popups, and embolden extremism. None of it was true.

More recently, Verizon has been facing numerous lawsuits over Yahoo hacks that exposed the data of roughly three billion consumers. And while this was before Verizon's ownership (Verizon wasn't informed of the hacks during negotiations, netting it a $350 billion discount), the company has since been actively trying to prevent customers from suing Oath (Yahoo) or Verizon over future breaches by using fine print to mandate binding arbitration:

"The new Oath terms of service "contain a binding arbitration agreement and class action and jury trial waiver clauses..., which are applicable to all US users," the terms say.

Congress has considered legislation to ban many mandatory arbitration clauses, but it hasn't followed through yet and the practice remains legal.

The AOL terms already contained a binding arbitration clause and class-action waiver before Verizon bought that company. But the Yahoo terms didn't previously contain such clauses."

Thanks to AT&T's Supreme Court victory in 2011 using contract fine print to erode consumer legal rights is now something we view as the norm. And while everybody can agree that the class action system has numerous problems, the system of binding arbitration is a terrible solution. Under binding arbitration, the arbiter rules for the company they work for the vast majority of the time, leaving consumers shit out of luck. While class actions often only net lawyers a nice new boat, they at least occasionally result in substantive change. Arbitration, in turn, is often more like consumer theater than justice.

The reality is that informed and empowered consumers are more likely to opt out of efforts to monetize their online behavior. And however breathlessly companies like Verizon and Facebook pretend to be dedicated to consumer privacy or policy solutions, they're going to fight tooth and nail against any policies -- even reasonable ones -- that could potentially hamstring that revenue. But however bad Facebook is and has been on privacy, Verizon routinely offers a master class when it comes to undermining efforts at anything even vaguely resembling a solution.



Permalink | Comments | Email This Story
Categories: Tech News

Analysis: Two politicians just told the truth about taxes and health care

CNN Top Stories - Wed, 2018-05-02 11:52
There were two double-take moments involving current and former GOP policymakers this week that cast doubt on some of the party's major accomplishments of the Trump era -- tax cuts and ending the Obamacare individual mandate to have health insurance.
Categories: Headline News

Trump lawyer Ty Cobb exits Russia inquiry

BBC Front Page - Wed, 2018-05-02 11:50
Ty Cobb will be replaced by an attorney who defended Bill Clinton from impeachment 20 years ago.
Categories: World News

Analysis: 2 lawyers who opposed attacking Mueller are now gone

CNN Top Stories - Wed, 2018-05-02 11:49
On Wednesday at 12:16 p.m. ET, ABC News tweeted out this quote from Ty Cobb, one of the lead lawyers on President Donald Trump's legal team, about the possibility of the president sitting down for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller: "It's certainly not off the table and people are working hard to make decisions and work towards an interview."
Categories: Headline News

Facebook now ranks news organizations based on trustworthiness - CNET

Cnet - Wed, 2018-05-02 11:47
The company reportedly asked consumers about their familiarity with publications and whether they trust them.
Categories: Tech News

A day after Oculus Go, Facebook demos next-gen VR plans - CNET

Cnet - Wed, 2018-05-02 11:47
A prototype headset Half Dome takes on some of VR's big annoyances, like tunnel vision and difficulty focusing on stuff right in front of your face.
Categories: Tech News

Westworld season 2 images: New episode three photos - CNET

Cnet - Wed, 2018-05-02 11:46
The second season of the HBO series starts April 22. Until then, here's every image released and some ridiculous theories and speculation.
Categories: Tech News

Confirmed: LG V30S ThinQ costs $930 in the US - CNET

Cnet - Wed, 2018-05-02 11:44
Just as its successor, the LG G7 ThinQ, arrives, LG's earlier phone finally gets US pricing.
Categories: Tech News

The U.S. Says It Has a Tariff Deal With Brazil. Brazil Disagrees.

New York Times - Wed, 2018-05-02 11:43
Brazil accused the Trump administration of breaking off negotiations over the steel and aluminum tariffs last week, contradicting the White House version of events.
Categories: US News

The Point: Pelosi is a huge doubled-edged sword for Democrats

CNN Top Stories - Wed, 2018-05-02 11:40
Nancy Pelosi isn't going anywhere.
Categories: Headline News

#IfSlaveryWasAChoice marks bad week for Kanye West

CNN Top Stories - Wed, 2018-05-02 11:39
Kanye West once rapped "I miss the old Kanye" to acknowledge a frequent complaint from fans about his behavior.
Categories: Headline News

Cambridge Analytica is reportedly shutting down following Facebook data mining scandal - CNET

Cnet - Wed, 2018-05-02 11:39
The shutdown is effective Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Categories: Tech News

Cambridge Analytica is shutting down, says the 'siege of media coverage' drove away clients - CNBC

Google US - Wed, 2018-05-02 11:38

CNBC

Cambridge Analytica is shutting down, says the 'siege of media coverage' drove away clients
CNBC
Cambridge Analytica is shutting down, the company said Wednesday. The political research firm with ties to the Donald Trump campaign has been caught in a whirlwind of privacy and data collection allegations in recent months. The research firm was ...
Cambridge Analytica is shutting downBusiness Insider
Cambridge Analytica shutting down in wake of Facebook data crisisUSA TODAY
Cambridge Analytica Closing Operations Following Facebook Data ControversyWall Street Journal
BBC News -New York Daily News -Gizmodo -WIRED
all 379 news articles »
Categories: US News

Cambridge Analytica is shutting down, says the 'siege of media coverage' drove away clients - CNBC

Google Top Stories - Wed, 2018-05-02 11:38

CNBC

Cambridge Analytica is shutting down, says the 'siege of media coverage' drove away clients
CNBC
Cambridge Analytica is shutting down, the company said Wednesday. The political research firm with ties to the Donald Trump campaign has been caught in a whirlwind of privacy and data collection allegations in recent months. The research firm was ...
Cambridge Analytica is shutting downBusiness Insider
Cambridge Analytica shutting down in wake of Facebook data crisisUSA TODAY
Cambridge Analytica Closing Operations Following Facebook Data ControversyWall Street Journal
BBC News -Gizmodo -WIRED -Bloomberg
all 390 news articles »
Categories: Headline News

Armenia's pro-democracy leader tells his jubilant followers they can ease up - Washington Post

Google World News - Wed, 2018-05-02 11:38

Washington Post

Armenia's pro-democracy leader tells his jubilant followers they can ease up
Washington Post
MOSCOW — After weeks of nationwide protests, street parties and jubilant mayhem, on Wednesday the leader of Armenia's pro-democracy movement urged his flock to rest, confident victory is finally within sight. It followed a turbulent 24 hours: After ...
Armenia opposition leader secures support for PM bid after huge protestsYahoo News
Armenian Mass Protests Paralyze the Capital, Pressuring Ally RussiaWall Street Journal
Armenia Erupts in Strikes After Protest Leader's Rejection as PMBloomberg
BBC News -Minneapolis Star Tribune -U.S. News & World Report -CBC.ca
all 592 news articles »
Categories: World News

'Soul Of America' Makes Sense Of Nation's Present By Examining Its Past

NPR Headline News - Wed, 2018-05-02 11:37

Presidential historian Jon Meacham says looking back at times when the nation was divided by partisan fury and racial strife can help shed light on "the politics of the moment."

Categories: Headline News

Facebook brings high-speed wireless data links to Silicon Valley, Hungary - CNET

Cnet - Wed, 2018-05-02 11:36
As it tries to bring more people around the world online, Facebook is using AI to figure out the best places to install radio network links, it says at its F8 conference.
Categories: Tech News

Rockies send rookie on coffee run in uniform

ESPN Headlines - Wed, 2018-05-02 11:35
Rockies rookie Noel Cuevas made a coffee run for his teammates in full uniform outside Wrigley Field.
Categories: Sports

Proposal trying to make NFL kickoffs 'more of a punt play' - ESPN

Google Sports Headlines - Wed, 2018-05-02 11:34

ESPN

Proposal trying to make NFL kickoffs 'more of a punt play'
ESPN
NEW YORK -- The NFL is finalizing a proposal to make significant changes to the kickoff, intensifying the tweaks of recent years in what might be a final attempt to salvage the most dangerous play in football. The adjustments -- prompted largely by a ...
More changes to the kickoff apparently are comingNBCSports.com
Kickoff changes could include eliminating running startNFL.com
NFL will tweak rules for kickoffs, but changes are on a 'short leash' before it's eliminatedCBSSports.com
The Denver Post -USA TODAY -SB Nation -WEEI.com (blog)
all 71 news articles »
Categories: Sports
Syndicate content