Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: E-Commerce

Amazon’s AbeBooks backs down after booksellers stage global protest

The Guardian: “After almost 600 booksellers withdrew 3.5m books from the secondhand marketplace in support of countries dropped by the website, it apologises for a ‘bad decision’. An “extraordinary and unprecedented” global protest from antiquarian booksellers has forced the Amazon-owned secondhand marketplace AbeBooks to backtrack on its decision to pull out of several countries. AbeBooks… Continue Reading

Amazon Pushes ICE to Buy Its Face Recognition Surveillance Tech

POGO – Amazon employees are up in arms about possible collaborations with law enforcement. “That hasn’t stopped Amazon reps from pitching ICE on its face-scanning tech. “Officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement met with Amazon this summer and the corporate giant pitched the government agency on its controversial technology that can identify people in… Continue Reading

Study – Almost 9 in 10 Android Apps Are Able To Share Data With Google

Third Party Tracking in the Mobile Ecosystem. Reuben Binns, Ulrik Lyngs, Max Van Kleek, Jun Zhao, Timothy Libert, Nigel Shadbolt. 18 October 2018. “Third party tracking allows companies to identify users and track their behaviour across multiple digital services. This paper presents an empirical study of the prevalence of third-party trackers on 959,000 apps from… Continue Reading

FTC is Making Consumer Complaint Data More Accessible

“The Federal Trade Commission hears from millions of consumers each year about fraud, identity theft, and other problems, allowing us to warn other consumers about scams they should watch out for, while also providing the agency with an important source of information to support our enforcement actions. Starting today, the FTC will be making this… Continue Reading

A Future Where Everything Becomes a Computer Is as Creepy as You Feared

The New York Times: “…The [tech] industry’s new goal? Not a computer on every desk nor a connection between every person, but something grander: a computer inside everything, connecting everyone. Cars, door locks, contact lenses, clothes, toasters, refrigerators, industrial robots, fish tanks, sex toys, light bulbs, toothbrushes, motorcycle helmets — these and other everyday objects… Continue Reading

Alexa, Should We Trust You? The voice revolution has only just begun

The Atlantic: “…Cynics of every age suspect their virtual assistants of eavesdropping, and not without reason. Smart speakers are yet another way for companies to keep tabs on our searches and purchases. Their microphones listen even when you’re not interacting with them, because they have to be able to hear their “wake word,” the command… Continue Reading

Inventor of World Wide Web announces project to restore power and agency of individuals on the web

Tim Berners-Lee – via his company, inrupt: “I’ve always believed the web is for everyone. That’s why I and others fight fiercely to protect it. The changes we’ve managed to bring have created a better and more connected world. But for all the good we’ve achieved, the web has evolved into an engine of inequity… Continue Reading

Facebook Is Giving Advertisers Access to Your Shadow Contact Information

Gizmodo: “…One of the many ways that ads get in front of your eyeballs on Facebook and Instagram is that the social networking giant lets an advertiser upload a list of phone numbers or email addresses it has on file; it will then put an ad in front of accounts associated with that contact information.… Continue Reading

Digital Deceit II: A Policy Agenda to Fight Disinformation on the Internet

“Digital disinformation poses a grave threat to our democracy and demands a new social contract between consumers and internet companies that is rooted in transparency, privacy and competition, according to a new report co-published by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and New America, the Washington, D.C.-based… Continue Reading

HBR – Uninformed Consent

Harvard Business Review – Companies want access to more and more of your personal data — from where you are to what’s in your DNA. Can they unlock its value without triggering a privacy backlash? Leslie K. John – Marvin Bower associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School: “…Technology has advanced far beyond… Continue Reading

Google Says It Continues to Allow Apps to Scan Data From Gmail Accounts

WSJ [paywall] via MarketScreener [no paywall]: “Google Inc. told lawmakers it continues to allow other companies to scan and share data from Gmail accounts, responding to questions raised on Capitol Hill about privacy and potential misuse of the information contained in users’ emails.” “In a letter to senators, a top Google official said the company… Continue Reading

Study Shows the Best Times of Day to Post to Social Media

Harvard Business Review: “U.S. companies are expected to spend more than $37 billion dollars on social media promotion annually each year by 2020, representing 24% of the economy’s total digital advertising spend. It’s an astounding number, given that the vast majority of social media managers charged with getting customers to click on posts and through… Continue Reading