Tech Titans Play Monopoly

Last week, a federal judge dismissed the Federal Trade Commission’s monopoly lawsuit against Facebook, concluding that the agency hadn’t made a sufficiently clear case that the social media giant controlled the market in a monopolistic way. At the same time, Amazon has demanded that FTC Chair Lina Khan recuse herself from any antitrust investigation into… Read More

We’re Missing the Point in the Trump-Facebook Ban Story

If there’s one thing that social media loves, it’s talking about social media. It’s no surprise, then, that this week’s internal review at Facebook about whether Donald Trump’s account should be reinstated has chewed up hashtags and trends around the world. If you recall, social networks like Twitter and Facebook banned The Donald in the… Read More

What the First Amendment Actually Means Online

Having a debate about the First Amendment in law school was never something that interested me. For some reason, everyone else was always energized by the idea of debating the contours of permissible expression, or what constituted the prior restraint on the press, but I always preferred structure and process-driven questions about federalism, the Administartive… Read More

The Biggest Crisis

We hear the word “crisis” a lot these days. A phenomenon of our age is that issues are transformed into crises, and many crises are transformed into existential threats. Think about the way we looked at online harms and screen time for children. Just a year or two ago, the rage was the claim that… Read More

Groundhog Day(s)

Any philosophy nerd will tell you that they’ve loved having The Good Place on TV the last few years.  It’s rare we’re able to find a safe space to talk about the Trolley Problem, or consider the Question of Evil, or hear Kierkegaard’s name pronounced (mostly) properly.  It’s a great show, and one that consistently… Read More

Facebook’s Privacy Game

Fads are a big part of January. Everyone wants to hashtag their efforts at keeping up their New Year’s Resolution (#NoCheeseMonth, #NoCarbMonth, #NoFunMonth), and our collective refusal to acknowledge that the holidays are over means we’re all still desperate for distractions. But nobody minds, because we all love fads — it’s why we get obsessed… Read More

What’s Five Billion Among (Facebook) Friends?

The Internet went into full “give me a Drudge Report siren” mode last week about Facebook’s announcement that it anticipates a fine of three to five billion dollars from the FTC in the coming months.  The fine, a result of Facebook’s violation of a 2011 consent decree with the Commission related to privacy practices, tracking,… Read More

The Joke’s On You

There are times when it’s difficult to pick a topic to write about for this blog, because data privacy and data partnerships are such broad subjects that it’s like selecting from an unlimited menu of issues.  We could discuss GDPR or CCPA or a data breach or technological trends or creating a mutually beneficial data… Read More

Super-Humans Nudging Us Through Surveillance Capitalism – a Bestseller Venn Diagram

This week I completed a book by Shoshana Zuboff that my brother, James, had pointed me toward. I had also recently completed two other books that have been on my list for quite some time. The timing of each of these books and their futurist warning, deep research, and outstanding storytelling caused a flurry of… Read More

Zuckerberg Breaks the Internet

Facebook is a paradox.  I don’t know of anyone, anymore, who says that they love the platform or that it delivers them meaningful connections to others.  Addicted?  Sure.  Attached to the convenience of a simple format for communication?  Yeah, that too.  But genuinely happy with what Facebook is and how it delivers its product?  Nope. … Read More

The Feds Are Coming (Or Not)

I think Facebook could probably characterize 2019 year-to-date as “less than fantastic.”  The ongoing fallout from Cambridge Analytica in the UK, massive consumer distrust, the internal strife between what appears to be Team Zuck versus Team Cheryl, and now the looming multibillion-dollar fine that FTC seems to be preparing. It’s enough to make you drink.… Read More

Data Quality, or “Garbage in, Garbage Out”

Another week, another series of massive data breaches.  Of the few we heard about in the last seven days, none are as concerning as Facebook’s breach involving more than 50 million user accounts.  Those are the kinds of numbers that, depending upon how the breach occurred, could incur a massive penalty at the hands of… Read More