Interesting. Since I tweeted that I observed the mental health counseling platform BetterHelp sending personal data to FB, it updated its privacy policy & added a weird "you must consent to use our services" popup for EU users, including an extra checkbox. Image
I'm pretty sure it wasn't there when I visited the site in March, and when it shared data on me with FB according to 'Off-Facebook Activity':

Anyway, I guess the popup violates the GDPR because it makes the provision of the service conditional on consent. Image
After 'consenting', it still transmits 'PageView' data to FB, which is certainly not 'necessary' for the performance of the contract. Also, this is about sharing 'personal data' and not about 'anonymous' cookies.

If consent is not "freely given", it is not valid under the GDPR. Image
According to my browser, the BetterHelp site also transmits data to many Google hosts including DoubleClick, Quora, Snapchat, Bing, LinkedIn, Pinterest and even to Taboola.

In their privacy policy, they name an EU data protection officer based in Spain:
This could be a quick+easy GDPR case.

Beyond the legal implications, they may argue they want to reach out to people struggling with mental health, but I think it's completely irresponsible to disclose personal data about those who look for mental health help to data companies.

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More from @WolfieChristl

2 May
"You can easily monitor web and application usage, and watch what’s happening on your staff screens live or on-demand. Check what they type, search on the Web, what files they copy and much more … runs in stealth mode on a work computer"

"Controlio" employee surveillance system
Alert management when an employee just *types* the name of the boss.…
"Insider threats. Thanks to the continuous screen recording, you can now investigate any case"
Read 6 tweets
2 May
Scary thread. Financial analyst @lillianmli says Chinese consumer 'super apps' do not optimize their business for maximizing daily average users (DAU) or misc revenue KPIs but for maximizing the frequency of use per day, aiming to 'own' users and their attention.
I doubt that western tech firms do not at least try the same, especially FB.

And of course, maximizing the frequency of use has long been the focus in many separate areas e.g. gaming, gambling, news, classifieds, socialmedia, messaging, dating...

But it can always become worse.
One could say maximizing screen time was already a target KPI of linear TV. Apps brought it to the next level: control over interactive environments, data, testing, 'social'...

'Super apps' combine services, focusing on the mediation of economic transactions in everyday life.
Read 4 tweets
1 May
4% opt-in rate. Imagine so-called 'cookie banners' would have been *strictly* required to honestly ask users from the beginning, many years ago. Clear language that describes how personal data is linked and sold across many parties. Easy to decline.

They wouldn't exist anymore.
They wouldn't exist anymore, and the whole digital economy would have developed radically differently.

Unfortunately, society and political representatives did not intervene and let 'the market' (=adtech lobbyists, big tech and publishers) shape it.
Lawmakers, and also authorities and courts, must consider the economic and societal effects of 'consent' requirements, beyond the individual-level perspective.
Read 5 tweets
29 Apr
Update. It seems that Argyle, who claims to have access to records on employment and work activities of 40 million workers, has created sites named "Workers United" or "Wage Compete" to phish user credentials of Fortune 500 companies to gain access to their payroll/HR systems.
As this thread by Kevin Beaumont shows, a range of shady websites offered $100 to $500 to workers who provide their credentials:
"By proceeding you're agreeing to Argyle's Legal Terms"
Read 8 tweets
28 Apr
"FB is seeking 230 immunity ... to discriminate based on age/gender when deciding which financial ads to show users"

I guess, discrete targeting based on age and gender is just the tip of the iceberg as compared to Facebook's ML-based targeting/optimization stuff.

The best way to fix the latter is to ban FB (and G) from utilizing comprehensive real-time behavioral data for automated targeting.
In other news today:

"Facebook allowed ... to target children with ads on gambling, alcohol and extreme weight loss"…
Read 7 tweets
21 Apr
Final version of the European Commission's proposal for an AI regulation:…

Eventually, the three main EU bodies (council, parliament and commission) will have to agree on a common version of the text #lobbyingwar #kickoff
"Many of the most harmful uses are not prohibited - like predictive policing, uses of AI for migration control, biometric categorisation"

Thread by EDRi's @sarahchander and @ellajakubowska1 addressing problems from a civil/digital rights perspective:
Most "systems that could inflict serious economic harm are treated negligently. Strikingly the proposal ignores most economic harms", and "the ban of #DarkPatterns ... has largely disappeared".

Problems from a consumer protection perspective:
Read 4 tweets

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