"Ring is the largest civilian surveillance network the US has ever seen"

"One in 10 US police departments can now access videos from millions of ... home security cameras without a warrant ... extending the reach of law enforcement into private property" theguardian.com/commentisfree/…
"Because Ring cameras are owned by civilians, law enforcement are given a backdoor entry into private video recordings of people in residential and public space that would otherwise be protected"

"By partnering with Amazon, law enforcement circumvents these ... protections"
"Ring blurs the line between police work and civilian surveillance and turns your neighbor’s home security system into an informant"

"...since Amazon bought Ring in 2018, it has brokered more than 1,800 partnerships with local law enforcement agencies" in the US.
"An estimated 400,000 Ring devices were sold in December 2019 alone ... Amazon is cagey about how many Ring cameras are active at any one point in time"
IDC: "the worldwide video surveillance camera market will grow to $44bn by 2025, up from $23.6bn in 2019"
"consumer video surveillance cameras present 32% of the world total, largely as a result of the use of home security systems and mobile [car] cameras"
Next: "Amazon Sidewalk will create entire smart neighborhoods"

"Amazon Sidewalk doesn't require any new hardware ... Instead, it arrived as a free software update to the Echo speakers and Ring cameras people already have in their homes"

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More from @WolfieChristl

12 May
"there is no evidence …that would indicate that Google has any plans to favour its own over third-party apps"

"there is no evidence that Google plans …to lower prices below costs"

Things Google would never do.

The EU's full G/Fitbit decision is out:
"Google would neither have the ability nor the incentives to discriminate in favour of Fitbit in Google Search results"

Disclaimer, those are just random statements that caught my eye. Also:

"it remains purely speculative whether the merged entity will indeed be successful…"
The term "insurance" is mentioned only twice in the full text of the 254p decision, and four times in the footnotes.

The Commission identified (only) the following four markets in 'digital healthcare' and, as of today, the acquisition does not affect any of them.
Read 4 tweets
6 May
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.
betterhelp.com/privacy/ 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
Read 5 tweets
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

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