Just two weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg said that he would not oppose regulation while testifying before a Congressional committee. Last week, knowing that GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was about to be implemented in the EU, Facebook to put 1.5 billion users out of reach of new EU privacy law, Reuters reports. “If a new European law restricting what companies can do with people’s online data went into effect tomorrow, almost 1.9 billion Facebook Inc users around the world would be protected by it. The online social network is making changes that ensure the number will be much smaller…That removes a huge potential liability for Facebook, as the new EU law allows for fines of up to 4 percent of global annual revenue for infractions, which in Facebook’s case could mean billions of dollars.”
Facebook has no intention of respecting anyone’s privacy.
For the record, this exemption would affect more than 70 percent of Facebook users worldwide.
In fact, Facebook starts its facial recognition push to Europeans. According to Techcrunch, “Facebook users in Europe are reporting that the company has started giving them the option to turn on its controversial facial recognition technology. Facebook has previously said an opt-in option would be pushed out to all European users, and also globally, as part of changes to its T&Cs and consent flow…Users who choose not to switch on facial recognition still have to click through a ‘continue’ screen before they get to the off switch. On this screen Facebook attempts to convince them to turn it on — using manipulative examples of how the tech can “protect” them.”
Legal challenges are certain at this point, Techcrunch notes.
Note to self (and legislators:) Never a good idea to poke the bear who’s trying to protect its cub, unless you mean to completely disable it. Mark Zuckerberg has proven this yet again in the above example and in Facebook’s new Terms of Service. As the congressional committees pointed out, the TOS were basically unintelligible, if not contradictory. Not to worry: Facebook has released a New and Improved data policy, or as Gizmodo points out, “Facebook is doing a lot of shuffling around in order to give you the impression that it’s cleaning up its act, being more transparent, giving users more control, and generally not being a data privacy nightmare. It’s also 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.”
“I’m Sorry” memo to come, following yet another slap on the wrist, which is, no doubt, also forthcoming.
If you want to know where the puck is going, look at where it has been and in the case of Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg, look no further than Bill Gates.
The New Bill Gates?
Given its troubles with the Justice Department at the time over its monopolistic practices, then Microsoft chieftain Bill Gates stepped down as the company’s uberlord. “Gates’ surprise announcement (came) as Microsoft faces a possible move by the government to break the company up into two or more pieces as a result of a recent antitrust trial, which accused the company of using its monopoly on operating systems to control the market for desktop software. Microsoft Windows runs nine of every ten PCs in the world,” according to Forbes at the time.
Gates went on the found the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. But someone like Gates never gets over having had to step down from the company he founded and controlled. This just in: Bill Gates backs $1bn plan to cover Earth in ‘Big Brother’ satellites capable of streaming ‘live and unfiltered’ HD footage of the planet, according to the Daily Mail. Gates is investing in a company called EarthNow and according to founder Russel Hannigan ‘We believe the ability to see and understand the Earth live and unfiltered will help all of us better appreciate and ultimately care for our one and only home.’
Eerily similar to Mark Zuckerberg’s claim while testifying before Congress that “For most of our existence, we focused on all the good that connecting people can do.”
No wonder Facebook is attempting to push people so strongly into facial recognition.
At the time, Bill Gates/Microsoft controlled quite a bit of the tech landscape, as does the present day Facebook/Mark Zuckerberg.
With AI becoming more powerful, robotics/drones and satellite technology being more concentrated into the hands of the tech cartel/hands of the few, the stakes are rising exponentially, and with, for example, Bill Gates financing a company that’s planning on launching 500 satellites to monitor planet Earth and all of its inhabitants, globally, where does that leave world governments?
We debate whether or not companies need to be designated public utilities, concerned that government control will muck things up and monitoring the tech landscape in snapshots rather than looking at the big picture. We’ve warned before that the tech betas are not the alpha males captains of industry of yore, in either temperament or reach. Especially since they’re among the wealthiest 1% and this just in: The richest 1% are on track to control two-thirds of the world’s wealth by 2030. Again, beta uberlords have an axe to grind, whatever the particulars/reasons may be. Close and considered attention must be paid. When it comes to betas, their memories are long. And the current window of opportunity to contain them may be shorter than we know. Onward and forward.