The Grinches That Could Steal Our Christmas

Holiday sales this season are generally projected to increase by 5 to 5.6 percent, and e-commerce sales with smart phones, online shopping, and others to increase by 17 to 22 percent, to over $1.1 trillion. Many of these purchases will be digital devices, such as smart speakers that will be owned by the end of this holiday season by almost half of US consumers.

These results also promise personal data presents for Facebook, Google, and other corporations in the “data industrial complex,” as described by Apple CEO Tim Cook, to analyze and track. Cook claims that these corporations have weaponized personal data, which are being “carefully assembled, synthesized, traded and sold,” and he calls for data privacy laws based upon minimization, transparency, access, and security.  Continue reading “The Grinches That Could Steal Our Christmas”

Googling The Future

Anyone concerned about the digital future should welcome the recent record-setting fine of Google by EU antitrust officials.

Google had been accused of using its search engine, which reportedly has 90 percent of the market, to prioritize its own online shopping service. As a result, the use of the Google service increased dramatically — 45 percent in the UK, for example — while the use of its competitors’ services decreased — 85 percent in the UK, and these changes, according to the European Commission, cannot be explained by other factors. Continue reading “Googling The Future”