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This week, Cambridge Analytica made headlines after whistleblower Christopher Wylie revealed that the company had used data from millions of Facebook profiles to psychologically profile U.S. citizens and target them with political messages, including during the 2016 presidential elections. Newly named national security adviser John Bolton’s PAC was among its users, records show.

Observers have pointed out many reasons to be concerned about all this: The way that the data was collected from Facebook arguably did not allow for informed consent. The researcher who collected the data was not authorized to pass it on to Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica itself may have broken U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

L’association entre Cambridge Analytica (CA) et Facebook a tous les attributs d’un polar d’Hollywood – un PDG méchant digne d’un film de James Bond, un milliardaire solitaire, un lanceur d’alerte à la fois naïf et conflictuel, un spécialiste des données tendance qui devient politicard, un professeur tordu et, bien sûr, un président triomphant et son influente famille.

La grande majorité des articles de presse de ces derniers jours s’est concentrée sur la manière dont Cambridge Analytica avait été en mesure d’obtenir des données portant sur plus de 50 millions d’utilisateurs Facebook ; puis, sur la façon dont elle fut incapable de supprimer ces données lorsqu’on lui a demandé de le faire.…  Seguir leyendo »

Le scandale Cambridge Analytica relance le débat juridique de la nécessité de renforcer la protection des données personnelles, à deux mois de l’application du règlement européen sur la protection des données (RGPD), le 25 mai 2018.

L’utilisation par l’élite politique du big data lors des campagnes électorales n’est pas nouvelle. Mais les données personnelles des utilisateurs Facebook ont été utilisées en flagrante violation du droit au respect de la vie privée et à la protection des données personnelles. Facebook et Cambridge Analytica font ainsi l’objet d’enquêtes de la part des autorités politiques et de contrôle, autant en Europe qu’aux Etats-Unis. La Federal Trade Commission (FTC) a ouvert une enquête le 20 mars.…  Seguir leyendo »

Facebook connaît une crise majeure, que des signaux faibles laissaient présager depuis longtemps. Le scandale Cambridge Analytica oblige le réseau tentaculaire à livrer aujourd’hui son vrai visage. Ce qui est présenté comme une fuite de données personnelles par son fondateur relève bien plus certainement du modèle économique de l’entreprise : l’exploitation de ces données à des fins commerciales.

Pour autant, l’enjeu est-il exclusivement économique ? C’est davantage sur le terrain politique qu’il faut agir, en développant des plates-formes européennes souveraines.

Nous autres, Européens, sommes condamnés à œuvrer tels les métayers des Etats-Unis. Les data que nous cédons nolens volens sont collectées sur les plates-formes des Gafam (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft), puis elles nous sont revendues comme par magie sous forme de propositions de biens ou de services personnalisés.…  Seguir leyendo »

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytica, addressing the Concordia Summit in New York, September 19, 2016

Apparently, the age of the old-fashioned spook is in decline. What is emerging instead is an obscure world of mysterious boutique companies specializing in data analysis and online influence that contract with government agencies. As they say about hedge funds, if the general public has heard their names that’s probably not a good sign. But there is now one data analysis company that anyone who pays attention to the US and UK press has heard of: Cambridge Analytica. Representatives have boasted that their list of past and current clients includes the British Ministry of Defense, the US Department of Defense, the US Department of State, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and NATO.…  Seguir leyendo »

No one company should have the power to manipulate the psychology of an entire country. We now know that Cambridge Analytica has done just that — not just in the United States, but also in the fragile political systems of the global south.

The company mined Kenyan voters’ data to help President Uhuru Kenyatta win disputed elections. Over two presidential election cycles, it presided over some of the darkest and most vicious campaigns Kenya has ever seen. Cambridge Analytica confirmed its involvement to an undercover reporter for Britain’s Channel 4, which released an exposé on Monday. Executives were taped saying that they ran “just about every element” of Kenyatta’s campaign in 2013 and 2017, including rebranding his party twice, and writing the campaign’s manifesto and speeches.…  Seguir leyendo »

“We just put information into the bloodstream of the internet, and then … give it a little push every now and again … like a remote control. It has to happen without anyone thinking, ‘that’s propaganda,’ because the moment you think ‘that’s propaganda,’ the next question is, ‘who’s put that out?’”

That’s how Mark Turnbull, managing director of Cambridge Analytica — the election consulting firm that worked for Donald Trump; the Brexit campaign and dozens of other clients; political parties in Kenya, Mexico and beyond — described the company’s tactics to a “customer” who was, in fact, a reporter for Britain’s Channel 4 News.…  Seguir leyendo »

An installation from the Big Bang Data exhibition at Somerset House in London in 2016. Photo: Getty Images.

Revelations that Cambridge Analytica may have enabled the Trump campaign to access the data of more than 50 million people during the US presidential election have caused concern. But a narrow focus on Cambridge Analytica alone masks the risks to democracy arising from internet platforms’ standard terms, business models and what they know about each and every user.

In a 60 Minutes interview in 2017, the head of social media for the Trump campaign, Brad Parscale, said he relied heavily on Facebook but downplayed the influence of Cambridge Analytica. It was a self-serving narrative that boosted Parscale’s own role in securing the Trump win.…  Seguir leyendo »

The photo of your child may look cute today but how will they feel when they’re all grown up? Shutterstock/Michal Staniewski

You might think it’s cute to snap a photo of your toddler running around in a playground or having a temper tantrum, and then posting it on social media. But did you ever think it might be a mistake, or even illegal?

The French government earlier this year warned parents to stop posting images of their children on social media networks.

Under France’s rigorous privacy laws, parents could face penalties of up to a year in prison and a fine of €45,000 (A$64,500) if convicted of publicising intimate details of their children without their consent.

This new legality is powerful food for thought for parenting in the Facebook era.…  Seguir leyendo »

La reinvención de lo privado

Dada la gran cantidad de datos que continuamente se recogen y analizan, apenas podemos hacernos una idea de cuánta esfera privada perdemos y hasta qué punto nos hemos convertido en algo público. El mundo de los big data parece amenazar nuestra autodeterminación informativa y nuestra privacidad o, al menos, nos obliga a pensar y defender lo privado de una manera diferente de como solíamos hacerlo.

Hasta ahora, no todo lo que se hacía público permanecía siempre como tal; lo visto, las acciones y las opiniones eran algo pasajero, que podía caer en el olvido, si no había una intención expresa de inmortalizarlo de alguna manera.…  Seguir leyendo »

Many people are outraged about the just-revealed psychological experiment Facebook performed in 2012 on 690,000 unwitting people, altering the mix of positive and negative posts in their feeds. Playing with people's emotions without their consent is a problem. But it would be even worse if we think -- after Facebook posts one of its all-too-common apologies -- that Facebook is done manipulating its users.

No. The experiment was only a more intrusive version of what the company does every time we visit our Facebook page.

Facebook's experiment was a version of so-called "A/B" testing, one of the most widely used and effective techniques large websites use to "provide a better customer experience" -- that is, to sell us more stuff.…  Seguir leyendo »

No vendamos nuestra auténtica humanidad

"Cómprame del todo!”, se lee en la tentadora oferta colgada en la página web del estudiante holandés Shawn Buckles. Buckles está subastando sus datos más íntimos —correos personales, chats en la Red, historial de navegación, datos de localización, entrenamientos, calendario— al mejor postor. La subasta se cierra el 12 de abril; el ganador obtiene todos los datos de Buckles para todo el año que viene.

Buckles no es un empresario: simplemente quiere hacernos más conscientes de la gran cantidad de datos que ya hemos revelado a Gobiernos y compañías. Pero esta chanza suscita también una cuestión filosófica más profunda: ¿se nos puede permitir vender nuestros datos más íntimos?…  Seguir leyendo »

When the first steam-powered vehicles arrived on the roads in Britain midway through the 19th century, parliament passed a law which stated that at least three people must be employed to drive them, one of whom should be walking in front carrying a red flag. It was not until 1896 that the Highways Act allowed vehicles to be driven without such restrictions.

Initial responses to new technology often have to be adapted as usage patterns become clearer. That was true on 19th-century British roads; it is true on the internet today. Media regulations to encourage the local production of content are becoming anachronistic with content available to all.…  Seguir leyendo »

Six years ago, we built Facebook around a few simple ideas. People want to share and stay connected with their friends and the people around them. If we give people control over what they share, they will want to share more. If people share more, the world will become more open and connected. And a world that's more open and connected is a better world. These are still our core principles today.

Facebook has been growing quickly. It has become a community of more than 400 million people in just a few years. It's a challenge to keep that many people satisfied over time, so we move quickly to serve that community with new ways to connect with the social Web and each other.…  Seguir leyendo »

So you've sworn off Scrabulous. You've given up on poking and SuperPoking. Never again shall you be newsfed, attacked by Zombies or be one of 1 million strong. You're done with seeing your friends' exhibitionism, and you're done with exhibiting yourself.

In other words, you've given up Facebook.

But as recent articles have pointed out, even if you "deactivate" your account, Facebook holds on to your profile data. This disclosure has gotten privacy groups and consumers up in arms. All the commotion about how Facebook hoards outgoing users' data got me wondering whether we're missing the more important privacy question: What happens to all the data we active members choose to delete, for privacy reasons or otherwise?…  Seguir leyendo »