Category Archives: Cambridge Analytica

The People vs Tech by Jamie Bartlett review – once more into the digital apocalypse

The latest treatise on technology taking over our lives suggests democratic systems are incompatible with the digital age, but the theory lacks coherence

There is a clear, algorithmic formula for writing books about technology and society in 2018. Authors are generally required to be male, their documented personal journey must have been from that of techno-optimist to techno-sceptic to techno-panicker. There must be an urgent existential threat to either democracy or humanity lurking in the code base of Silicon Valley companies. The intractable crisis is not so profound, however, that it cannot be solved by a hail of partially thought-through remedies tacked on in the appendix.

This recipe is producing a growing body of what might be termed “techlash” literature: the backlash against Silicon Valley and its seemingly unstoppable accretion of wealth, data and cultural and political capital. Where once we might have read expansive works of science fiction creating vivid and ambiguous alternative realities to help us navigate the future, now we have worrisome documentaries of threats so present they have often played out by the time the galley hits the review pile. In the last year several notable techlash titles have appeared, including Franklin Foer’s World Without Mind, Tim Wu’s The Attention Merchants and Jonathan Taplin’s Move Fast and Break Things.

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Source: gadt

How Mark Zuckerberg's testimony lurched from easy ride to headache

Facebook founder was lost for words as representatives asked questions about user tracking

As Mark Zuckerberg left Congress on Tuesday after testifying to the Senate, he may have felt relieved. The four-hour Q&A session had been largely dominated by mundane questions of fact about how Facebook works, requests for apologies and updates he had already given and was happy to repeat, and shameless begs for the social network’s cash pile to be used to expand broadband access in senators’ home states.

Less than 24 hours later, however, a very different pattern of questioning in front of 54 members of the House of Representatives suggested a much more worrying outcome for Facebook – that this could be the week its crisis moves from being about mistakes in the past to inherent problems in the present. Perhaps, the representatives implied, Facebook doesn’t just have a problem. What if it is the problem?

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Source: gadt

'Fiery, self-important': the No 10 adviser at centre of outing claim

Stephen Parkinson, close aide to Theresa May, had senior role in Vote Leave campaign

Stephen Parkinson, one of Theresa May’s closest advisers, has benefited more than most from the prime minister’s noted insistence on loyalty, having ascended with her from the Home Office to No 10.

Now a key figure in Downing Street, Parkinson has come to public attention after reporting in the Observer about the official Brexit campaign, Vote Leave, where he was a senior operative.

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Source: gad

Theresa May stands by adviser who 'outed' Brexit whistleblower

Shahmir Sanni says he was outed by Stephen Parkinson to distract attention from Vote Leave’s spending

The prime minister has “full confidence” in her political adviser Stephen Parkinson after he was accused of outing a whistleblower to distract attention from allegations he made about Vote Leave’s spending during the referendum campaign.

The whistleblower, Shahmir Sanni, says he has endured one of the “most awful weekends” of his life after telling the Observer how Vote Leave channelled money through BeLeave, a group linked to Cambridge Analytica, to get around electoral law.

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Source: gad

Pressure grows on PM over Brexit Cambridge Analytica scandal

Campaigners demand Theresa May investigates what Michael Gove and Boris Johnson knew

The Cambridge Analytica scandal engulfing the official Brexit campaign reached No 10 on Sunday, as campaigners wrote to Theresa May demanding an investigation into what members of her cabinet and her own staff knew.

The letter from the anti-Brexit group Best for Britain came after a whistleblower told the Observer that Vote Leave channelled money through another campaign to a firm linked to the controversial data company Cambridge Analytica in a potential breach of electoral law.

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Source: gad

Facebook logs texts and calls, users find as they delete accounts

Leaving the social network after Cambridge Analytica scandal, users discover extent of data held

As users continue to delete their Facebook accounts in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a number are discovering that the social network holds far more data about them than they expected, including complete logs of incoming and outgoing calls and SMS messages.

The #deletefacebook movement took off after the revelations that Facebook had shared with a Cambridge psychologist the personal information of 50 million users, without their explicit consent, which later ended up in the hands of the election consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

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Source: gadt

‘A grand illusion’: seven days that shattered Facebook’s facade

Revelations about the depths of Facebook’s failure to protect our data have finally pulled back the curtain, observers say

“Dumb fucks.” That’s how Mark Zuckerberg described users of Facebook for trusting him with their personal data back in 2004. If the last week is anything to go by, he was right.

Since the Observer reported that the personal data of about 50 million Americans had been harvested from Facebook and improperly shared with the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, it has become increasingly apparent that the social network has been far more lax with its data sharing practices than many users realised.

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Source: gadt

Rise of digital politics: why UK parties spend big on Facebook

Online advertising is an effective way to get messages across, but the strategy must be smart

Figures released this week by the Electoral Commission are the simplest way to demonstrate the growing influence of Facebook on British politics. Political parties nationally spent about £1.3m on Facebook during the 2015 general election campaign; two years later the figure soared to £3.2m.

In each election it was the Conservatives that spent the most, with decidedly mixed results. For David Cameron’s successful re-election in 2015, the party spent £1.2m; that rose to £2.1m in 2017, but it was far less help to Theresa May.

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Source: gadt

Elon Musk joins #DeleteFacebook effort as Tesla and SpaceX pages vanish

In a jab against the embattled social network, Musk joked ‘What’s Facebook?’ before deactivating his companies’ official pages

Elon Musk joined the #DeleteFacebook movement on Friday, taking down official pages for two of his companies, Tesla and SpaceX, after he learned – apparently for the first time – that the pages existed.

The billionaire chief executive engaged in some light-hearted Twitter trolling on Friday morning, responding to a tweet from the WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, which urged people to delete the social network with the query: “What’s Facebook?”

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Source: gadt

Mark Zuckerberg apologises for Facebook's 'mistakes' over Cambridge Analytica

Following days of silence, CEO announces Facebook will change how it shares data with third-party apps and admits ‘we made mistakes’

Facebook is changing the way it shares data with third-party applications, Mark Zuckerberg announced on Wednesday in his first public statement since the Observer reported that the personal data of about 50 million Americans had been harvested and improperly shared with a political consultancy.

The Facebook CEO broke his five-day silence on the scandal that has enveloped his company this week in a Facebook post acknowledging that the policies that allowed the misuse of data were “a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with us and expect us to protect it”.

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Source: gadt