The German Research Foundation @dfg_public, who manages billions of research grants, published a paper on how data analytics, data harvesting and the reuse/resale of user data has become a relevant part of the business model of major academic publishers:…
The paper raises concerns about the integration of risk surveillance tech by ThreatMetrix/LexisNexis/RELX and third-party tracking by Google, FB, Oracle, Salesforce, Adobe, Neustar et al on academic publishers' platforms, as well as of publisher spyware in software for libraries.
This kind of research tracking can "fundamentally contradict academic freedom". Thus, the academic community should "reflect on the practice of tracking, its legality, the measures required for compliance with data protection and the consequences of the aggregation of usage data"
Original German version of the paper:…

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More from @WolfieChristl

31 May
"noyb developed a software that recognizes various types of unlawful cookie banners and automatically generates complaints ... noyb will give companies a one-month grace period to comply with EU laws before filing the formal complaint"

noyb doing the EU regulators' job, again:
"Instead of giving a simple yes or no option, companies use every trick in the book to manipulate users. We have identified more than fifteen common abuses. The most common issue is that there is simply no ‘reject’ button..."

EU regulators should have stopped this years ago.
"First 560 websites in 33 countries got a (free) draft complaint today. noyb started the new system today and delivered the first draft complaints to 560 websites from 33 countries ... Over the course of the year 2021, noyb plans to follow up with up to 10.000 further complaints"
Read 4 tweets
19 May
"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"…
"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.
Read 6 tweets
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. 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

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