Corporate data abuse is being tempered by new European laws. Lobbying in the US prevented similar privacy protections.
Internet service providers like Comcast and AT&T and companies that use their connections, like Facebook and Google, lobbied members of Congress. Congress passed a law this year, signed by President Trump, that not only repealed the protections but also prohibited the F.C.C. from ever again imposing such safeguards. The same coalition of corporate interests succeeded in discouraging California from passing a state privacy law similar to the 2016 F.C.C. requirements.Can Europe Lead on Privacy?
The United States government has a lot of explaining to do. Why is it that American internet companies such as Facebook and Google are required to provide privacy protections when doing business with European consumers but are free to not provide such protections for Americans? Why is it that Americans’ best privacy hope is the secondary effect of interconnected networks rather than privacy protections designed for Americans? Why shouldn’t Americans also be given meaningful tools to protect their privacy?
Techmology ain’t your friend. We need more vigilance over what our lovely new tech toys are doing to us.
There must be better ways to design the tools we need and use. Perhaps the Center for Humane Technology has some ideas.
Silicon Valley is reckoning with having had a bad philosophical operating system. People in tech will say, “You told me, when I asked you what you wanted, that you wanted to go to the gym. That’s what you said. But then I handed you a box of doughnuts and you went for the doughnuts, so that must be what you really wanted.” The Facebook folks, that’s literally what they think. We offer people this other stuff, but then they always go for the outrage, or the autoplaying video, and that must be people’s most true preference.
I think the [traffic] metrics have created this whole illusion that what people are doing is what people want, when it’s really just what works in the moment, in that situation.
It’s time to rework our ideas about technology. Consumers should demand better security built in up front, governments should hold companies accountable for the problems their technologies create.
If we don’t fundamentally change how we build and secure tech our problems will get much worse.
Modern computing security is like a flimsy house that needs to be fundamentally rebuilt. In recent years, we have suffered small collapses here and there, and made superficial fixes in response. There has been no real accountability for the companies at fault, even when the failures were a foreseeable result of underinvestment in security or substandard practices rather than an outdated trade-off of performance for security.
There are better ways to make systems more secure. For example, you can build more isolation and separation into our systems, moving security functions to properly audited hardware and away from software (which is always more vulnerable). Things cannot be hacked if they cannot be reached. This may mean that we have to sacrifice some speed for security.
As things stand, we suffer through hack after hack, security failure after security failure. If commercial airplanes fell out of the sky regularly, we wouldn’t just shrug. We would invest in understanding flight dynamics, hold companies accountable that did not use established safety procedures, and dissect and learn from new incidents that caught us by surprise.
And indeed, with airplanes, we did all that. There is no reason we cannot do the same for safety and security of our digital systems.
The Looming Digital Meltdown https://nyti.ms/2Ef8fkf
Ted Chiang makes an impressive case for AI being an example of runaway capitalism which is the greater threat to humanity.
when Silicon Valley tries to imagine superintelligence, what it comes up with is no-holds-barred capitalism.
we are already surrounded by machines that demonstrate a complete lack of insight, we just call them corporations.
There’s a saying,popularized by Fredric Jameson, that it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism.
Tech culture is just corporate culture which had a shiny gloss for a minute. The media is pivoting from puff pieces and the real deal will now be shown.
It feels ugly and rotten. Facebook, the greatest startup success story of this era, isn’t a merry band of hackers building cutesy tools that allow you to digitally Poke your friends. It’s a powerful and potentially sinister collector of personal data, a propaganda partner to government censors, and an enabler of discriminatory advertising.
In 2008, it was Wall Street bankers. In 2017, tech workers are the world’s villain. “It’s the exact same story of too many people with too much money. That breeds arrogance, bad behavior, and jealousy, and society just loves to take it down,”
Dems may make trust busting a core part of their platform. Schumer and Pelosi leading this? Wait…what?
Long overdue this plan would strengthen regulations designed to protect the public from monopolies and market domination by big tech companies.
Placing new standards on the consolidation of corporate power, giving new tools to regulators to confirm and review mergers, and creating a new consumer competition advocate to tackle “anti-competitive behavior.”
Some of the potential dilemmas facing NobodyisDrivingtheCar.
The most interesting of which is can we really trust car companies to do a good job on the tech before they throw it out there? Keep in mind the same business model and caliber of people who brought us the VW diesel swindle will be flipping the switch on autopilot!
Would You Buy a Self-Driving Future From These Guys? https://nyti.ms/2z7MpNf