An Axios series on what information different companies have on you.Feb 3, 2020
Data that might once have gone unnoticed can now be detected, analyzed and logged in real time.Sep 7, 2019
A smart city can vacuum up details like your location or daily habits.Jun 29, 2019
Our lackadaisical approach to safeguarding data has made a handful of companies extremely powerful.Updated Mar 9, 2019
This is clearly Zoom's moment in the spotlight, as the public has embraced the videoconferencing provider's service during the coronavirus lockdown. However, security woes, privacy controversies, and trolling incidents have marred the company's star turn.
The big picture: When Zoom usage soared as Americans started working and studying from home, some worried whether it could handle the load. It did, but other problems cropped up as millions of consumers started using what had been an unsung piece of business software.
Facebook said Monday it's updating its data privacy tools to include additional information about what content users interact with on Facebook and the machine learning data created from their engagement, which the company uses to infer what else they may like.
Why it matters: Facebook wants to ensure it's getting ahead of any privacy regulations, with GDPR now long in effect, and before the new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which went into effect Jan. 1, starts being officially enforced on July 1.
Arweave, a London-based blockchain startup focused on permanent data storage, raised $8.3 million in tokenized funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase Ventures and Union Square Ventures.
Why it matters: The company's technology is designed to create permanent record of web content — a boon to fighting government censorship, but a possible nightmare for "right to be forgotten" advocates.
Facebook on Thursday sued OneAudience, a mobile data analytics company, for collecting data from its users beginning in September 2019.
Details: Facebook alleges that OneAudience plugged software development kits (SDK) — designed to scrape user data from its site as well as Google and Twitter — into shopping and gaming apps distributed through stores like Google Play.
Facebook is now offering users a feature that lets them see what data it has collected about their activities beyond Facebook, but a new report from Privacy International says that not all the advertisers that have uploaded individual user data to Facebook are included.
Why it matters: As the report notes, without more complete information, it is hard for users to fully exercise their rights under the EU's GDPR and other privacy laws.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said Sunday that it is banning employees from using the Chinese-owned app TikTok for social media outreach, after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent the agency a letter raising security concerns, AP reports.
The big picture: Schumer had previously requested that the U.S. government investigate whether TikTok poses any "national security risks. The app already has more than 110 million downloads in the U.S. alone, and it could become a Chinese vacuum for coveted American data as tensions between the countries continue to escalate.
Facebook is offering users up to $5 via PayPal to record themselves saying "Hey Portal" and then list the first names of no more than 10 Facebook friends, The Verge reports and Axios has confirmed.
The big picture: Facebook is pitching users a small amount of money in exchange for personal data to train its speech recognition tech after reports that it and other Big Tech companies — Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon — have listened to their users for that reason without consent.
New Mexico attorney general Hector Balderas accused Google in a lawsuit of illegally amassing schoolchildren's personal data through G Suite Education products that the tech giant lets kids in the state use for free.
The big picture: There are at least 80 million students and teachers using these products across the world, Google revealed in a blog post last January.
Nearly two years after it promised to do so, Facebook has made a huge chunk of data available for research use in partnership with a new not-for-profit organization, Social Science One.
Why it matters: One way to better understand the impact that Facebook is having on society is to have academic experts analyze the data. The company, though, has been slow to release promised data.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is introducing a bill that would create the Data Protection Agency, a new federal agency with the authority to ensure businesses are transparent about data collection and the power to enforce violations.
Why it matters: The U.S. has fallen behind Europe and some states in regulating data and privacy issues, with responsibility split among several agencies, including the FCC, FTC and DOJ.