The way digital advertising works today implies that myriads of companies share personal data on millions with shady actors every second.

A group of US senators asked major adtech firms who they share data with. Spoiler: It won't be easy to answer this.…
"we must understand the serious national security risks posed by the unrestricted sale of Americans’ data to foreign companies and governments”

I don't think the national security angle is the only relevant one, but it will certainly give the initiative the urgency it deserves.
"They also asked the companies to provide the names of all foreign clients who had access to user data through auctions over the past three years"

Affected adtech firms / data brokers include Google, AT&T/Xandr, Verizon, Index Exchange, Magnite, OpenX, PubMatic, Twitter/MoPub.

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More from @WolfieChristl

3 Apr
Update, FB received personal data on me from 1573 apps and websites over the last 6 months, up more than two-fold from January 2020 when it introduced its 'Off-Facebook Activity' tool. Image
Methodology: For a part of my daily web activity I use a browser without any tracking protection or ad blocker, which is also logged into FB. Like many others. Annoying and painful, but what has to be done has to be done.

Correction: The new number seems to cover >6 months.
Some sites sent data about my activities to FB hundreds of times. Media websites are among the worst offenders:

- Daily Mail: 297x
- The Independent: 280x
- The Guardian: 203x
- Vice: 158x
- Reuters: 91x
- The Atlantic: 87x
- Forbes: 72x
- The New Yorker: 53x
- Politico: 46x Image
Read 23 tweets
1 Apr
Come on, this pseudo-insightful PR piece carefully crafted by a team of unknown authors in the name of the former UK Deputy Prime Minister, now Facebook's "Vice President of Global Affairs" aka chief lobbyist, is horrible, and nobody should endorse it 😡…
Take a look at this chart. All the major optimization goals are simply missing - all the relevant KPIs, maximizing engagement, user retention etc. Pure misinformation.

It's a carefully crafted compilation of most of Facebook's PR spins, distractions and lies from recent years.
Sorry, I'm a bit annoyed, yes.
Read 4 tweets
1 Apr
"Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigrations Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials demanded location data from three companies who collectively track the movements of tens of millions of vehicles every day: GM OnStar, Geotab and Spireon"…
I told Forbes that as more and more devices collect extensive data on our behaviors, often for purposes that improve our everyday lives, we need to make sure that law enforcement agencies do not see the mere availability of data as a free pass to access it as they see fit.
Law enforcement agencies accessing detailed GPS location data collected for purposes such as navigation or emergency services is highly intrusive. The requirements for issuing warrants must make sure that such data can only be used to tackle the most serious crimes.
Read 4 tweets
31 Mar
Anomaly 6, another firm run by ex-military and location industry veterans, sold location data secretly sourced from ordinary smartphone apps to SOCOM/SOCAFRICA, a US military unit tasked with counterterrorism, counterinsurgency and special reconnaissance:…
SOCOM states the contract was about evaluating the "feasibility of using Anomaly 6 telemetry services in an overseas operating environment"

As the WSJ reported in August, Anomaly 6 tracks "the movements of hundreds of millions of mobile phones world-wide"…
Once again, the way our digital (app) economy currently works, built and optimized for uncontrolled marketing surveillance, treating personal data as just another mass commodity, is directly feeding into the most invasive forms of government surveillance.
Read 10 tweets
17 Mar
"A surveillance contractor that has previously sold services to the U.S. military is advertising a product that it says can locate the real-time locations of specific cars in nearly any country on Earth", based on data sent by cars+components themselves:…
"automakers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) often include sensors in vehicle parts that collect information such as their airbag and seatbelt status, engine temperature, and current location, and then transmit that information ... to the automaker or to third parties"
"Ulysses is a small surveillance contractor…that also claims to offer cellular interception and jamming technology [and] has worked with U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), a branch of the military tasked with counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, and special reconnaissance"
Read 4 tweets
13 Mar
Interesting. Google refers to Oracle's Datalogix, which sells consumer profiles based on purchase data from thousands of shops, as a "key external vendor".

From a job announcement for an "Insights Manager, Global Client & Agency Solution" at Google EMEA:… Image
It's interesting because I didn't often see Google naming Datalogix a partner/vendor in recent years.

In 2016, DoubleClick named Oracle Data Cloud an offline conversion partner:…

In 2018 it was named a "Google Measurement Partner":… ImageImage
In this list of "Ad Manager Certified External Vendors", Google names Datalogix a "data provider":…

In this newer list of "Ad technology providers", Google lists Oracle Data Cloud as a vendor who may serve and measure ads in EEA/UK:… ImageImage
Read 7 tweets

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