Mar 21, 2018 - Technology

Big Tech's massive private data spill

Lawyers representing Facebook, Google and Twitter testify before Congress. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

"It’s not just the Cambridge Analytica debacle. Ethics don’t scale," Paul Ford writes in Bloomberg Businessweek's cover story.

The big picture: "What’s been unfolding for a while now is a rolling catastrophe so obvious we forget it’s happening. Private data are spilling out of banks, credit-rating providers, email providers, and social networks and ending up everywhere."

  • "So this is an era of breaches and violations and stolen identities. Big companies can react nimbly when they fear regulation is actually on the horizon — for example, Google, Facebook, and Twitter have agreed to share data with researchers who are tracking disinformation, the result of a European Union commission on fake news."
  • "But for the most part we’re dealing with global entities that own the means whereby politicians garner votes, have vast access to capital to fund lobbying efforts, and are constitutionally certain of their own moral cause."

What's next

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Kobe Bryant on court for the Los Angeles Lakers during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday Night, part of 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend at American Airlines Center in Dallas in February 2010. Photo: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Sports stars, politicians and celebrities paid tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a California helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others on Saturday. He was 41.

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Bolton alleges in book that Trump tied Ukraine aid to investigations

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton alleges in his forthcoming book that the president explicitly told him "he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens," the New York Times first reported.

Why this matters: The revelations present a dramatic 11th hour turn in Trump's Senate impeachment trial. They directly contradict Trump's claim that he never tied the hold-up of Ukrainian aid to his demands for investigations into his political opponent Joe Biden.

Impeachment: Then & now

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We are living in a measurably different political and media landscape than when the Senate acquitted President Bill Clinton of impeachment charges in 1999.

The big picture: These dynamics are setting the pace as President Trump’s legal team speeds through arguments to seek a fast acquittal.