Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Business News

23andMe Lays Off 100 Employees Because of both Recession Fears and Customers’ Privacy Concerns

According to an article by Christina Farr in the CNBC news web site at 23andMe is laying off 100 people, or 14% of its staff, mostly from its operations team, as consumer DNA tests are down. CEO Anne Wojcicki didn’t have a clear explanation for that, but cited a variety of factors, including both recession fears and privacy concerns. Wojcicki said she anticipated that DNA testing would explode when […]

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How 23andMe Will Mine its Giant DNA Database for Health and Wealth

Since the launch of DNA testing service 23andMe, around 10 million people have spit a half-teaspoon of saliva into a 23andMe plastic tube and mailed it in to get their ancestry or health-risk results. Nearly 5 million customers did so last year alone, generating an estimated $475 million in revenue for the company, which has yet to turn a profit. It’s also made CEO Anne Wojcicki (No. 33 on this […]

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Facebook Shareholders Vote Overwhelmingly to oust Mark Zuckerberg as Chairman

Lots of people think Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, should either resign or else be fired by the Board of Directors of the company. That includes the majority of stockholders of the corporation. However, Zuckerberg has not yet given any indication that he will do so. You can read about the stockholders’ revolt in an article by Jake Kanter in the Business Insider web site at:

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Political Pressure Builds for FTC to Punish Facebook with more than a ‘Bargain’ Fine

From the Washington Post: “Two top Senate lawmakers on Monday expressed frustration with a federal probe into Facebook’s privacy practices, urging the government to move more swiftly and consider imposing tough punishments that target the company’s top executives. “The message — delivered by Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.) — reflects the mounting political pressure on the Federal Trade Commission to deliver a strong rebuke […]

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Keep an Eye on BlockStack, It May be Revolutionary

I don’t get terribly excited about new companies appearing suddenly with claims of their new product(s) that will revolutionize the world. I’ve heard far too many such claims over the years. A few such predictions turned out to be accurate (Google, Apple, Uber, Netflix, and more). However, the majority of them simply faded away over time. One announcement I read recently looks very appealing to me: BlockStack. I really believe […]

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There are 15 Million Fewer Facebook Users in the U.S. Today than in 2017

Some people have seen the light. New numbers from Edison Research show an estimated 15 million fewer users in the United States compared to 2017. There are 15 million fewer Facebook users in the U.S. today than in 2017. The biggest drop is in the very desirable 12- to 34-year-old group. Marketplace Tech got a first look at Edison’s latest social media research. It revealed almost 80 percent of people […]

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FTC must probe Facebook for Violating Children’s Privacy with Unfair and Deceptive Business Practices, Groups Urge

Internal Facebook documents released in response to a Freedom of Information request by the Center for Investigative Reporting reportedly revealed the company was knowingly tricking children into making in-game purchases and made refunds almost impossible to receive with a complicated bureaucratic process. The details may be found at:

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Cisco Calls for Privacy to be Considered a Fundamental Human Right

The following announcement was written by Cisco: SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 7, 2019 — Cisco today issued a call to governments and citizens around the world to establish privacy as a fundamental human right in the digital economy. Today, connectivity and technology have become the foundation for peoples’ economic, social, and cultural opportunities. With IoT, 5G, and AI promising to soon reshape how we interact with technology, Cisco is urging […]

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Zucked: Waking up to the Facebook Catastrophe

Facebook is bad for democracy and its executives have put profits over their civic responsibilities, an early investor in the company charges in a new book. Tech investor Roger McNamee makes these claims in Zucked: Waking up to the Facebook catastrophe, due out on Tuesday. McNamee argues in the book that the business models of Facebook (FB) and other tech giants are bad for society due to their reliance on […]

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