And the Most Underreported Story of the Week Award Goes To…

And the Most Underreported Story of the Week Award Goes To…

…Changes to Terms of Service. You might have noticed those notifications popping up all over when you open certain sites, et al: Oath/AOL/Yahoo, Twitter, Periscope (“On May 25 we’re updating our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. You can see our updated Terms here”). The list goes on. And Yes, The GDPR Will Affect Your U.S.-Based Business.

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation go into effect next month

No such thing as a coincidence. We wondered why the tech press didn’t take notice.

Reads the Updates to Periscope’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy: “We believe you should always know what data we collect from you and how we use it, and that you should have meaningful control over both. As part of our ongoing commitment to transparency, and in preparation for the new EU data protection laws that take effect next month, we’re updating Periscope’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and consolidating them into Twitter’s. We want to empower you to make the best decisions about the information that you share with us…

“Remember, you can use the controls we highlight in our updated policy to limit the information we collect about you or how we use it. You can also choose to deactivate your Periscope account. You have the final say about whether and how we process your personal data.”

In other words, if you don’t like it, leave and thanks for playing.

Nice try at warm and fuzzy, taking a page from Mark Zuckerberg’s Congressional testimony. As we reported last week, Facebook’s Terms have changed as well, Gizmodo pointed out, “It’s…doing its best to exhaust you with announcements that no one has the time to scrutinize. The leap from an almost 2,700-word data policy to a “friendlier” nearly 4,200-word policy will surely help with that latter goal.”

Surveillance-Free Internet?

Speaking of exhausted, the times are definitely changing. In case you missed it, Techcrunch reported that Orchid Labs is in the process of raising $125 million for its surveillance-free layer atop the internet.

“The stated goal of the Orchid is to provide anonymized internet access to people across the globe, particularly individuals who live in countries with excessive government oversight of their browsing and shopping. Part of the point also seems to be to insulate users from the many companies that now harvest and sell their data, including walled gardens like Facebook and other giants like AT&T.”

It required the EU legislation for the tech cartel and their uberlords to give at least the appearance of respecting the privacy of their users. We say ‘appearance,’ given Facebook’s move last week to put 1.5 billion users out of reach of new EU privacy law, according to Reuters.

If you’re interested in escaping Google’s constant surveillance, search engine Duck Duck Go will respect your privacy while offering a comparable search experience. If not better, in our humble opinion.

Enough Is Enough

There’s no doubt that there is a growing backlash against the tech oligarchs and their iron fisted control over our data, privacy, et al. Just this week, a Berlin court “issued a temporary restraining order against Facebook. Under the threat of a fine of 250,000 euros (roughly $300,000 USD) or a jail term, Facebook was obliged to restore a user’s comment that it had deleted. Moreover, the ruling prohibited the company from banning the user because of this comment.” Full story here.

The cartel may have their walled gardens, but it’s still our choice and alternatives are afoot. Once they seriously hit the zeitgeist, blockchain technologies will be coming at almost breakneck speeds. Important to remember that it’s still early days for the blockchain, and that cryptocurrencies are just one application.  Much, much more to come. We’re still basically at the internet circa 1994.

Exciting time to be alive: it’s a Second Internet Industrial Age in a very short span of time and we may well be witnessing the beginnings of the end of the Surveillance Economy. What we’ve been party to in terms of Social to date has been anything but a primrose path. Slowly but surely, those walls will come down. Onward and forward.

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