February 28, 2020 NY Times article relaying that the FCC is finally imposing a fine since the first complaint about the practice of selling private information was filed two years ago. The agency is making the move after repeated public reports about data abuse — and after several companies continued to sell access to troves of personal information for months despite saying they were sharply limiting the practice. The information is valuable to marketers, police departments and even investment firms because it can provide revealing details about people’s daily lives, such as where they live, what shops they frequent and what doctors they visit.
Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive responsible for growing the social network’s user base, recently argued that Silicon Valley had “created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.” He cited the role of mobile messaging service WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) in the killings of seven innocent men in India after hoax messages about strangers abducting children were shared. “Imagine taking that to the extreme, where bad actors can now manipulate large swathes of people to do anything you want. It’s just a really, really bad state of affairs.” He said he tries to use Facebook as little as possible, and that his children “aren’t allowed to use that s---.”
Robert Spalding, the senior director for strategic planning at the National Security Council, relays that Ransomware, malware, crypto-jacking, identity theft, and data breaches have become so common that more Americans are afraid of cybercrime than they are of becoming a victim of violent crime. Adding more devices to the online universe is destined to create more opportunities for disruption. “5G is not just for refrigerators,” Spalding said. “It’s farm implements, it’s airplanes, it’s all kinds of different things that can actually kill people or that allow someone to reach into the network and direct those things to do what they want them to do. It’s a completely different threat that we’ve never experienced before.” , Spaulding's solution he told me, was to build the 5G network from scratch, incorporating cyber defenses into its design. Because this would be a massive undertaking, he initially suggested that one option would be for the federal government to pay for it and, essentially, rent it out to the telecom companies. But he had scrapped that idea.
Think your're not being manipulated? Think again! We are all being manipulated by the "Think Police" - Google, Facebook and other social media platforms who are using our information to teach them how to change our minds. Every time we "Like" respond or take a survey, we are giving up information and that doesn't include the information gleaned by the listening devices we bring into our homes.
An interview with Brittany Kaiser, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower featured in “The Great Hack” and author of “Targeted: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower’s Inside Story of How Big Data, Trump, and Facebook Broke Democracy and How It Can Happen Again”.