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Category Archives: E-Commerce

Who’s Watching Your Porch?

The New York Times – Ring offers a front-door view of a country where millions of Amazon customers use Amazon cameras to watch Amazon contractors deliver Amazon packages: “…The growth of easy-to-install home-surveillance equipment, and in particular doorbell cameras, has changed American life in ways obvious and subtle. Marketed in part as a solution to… Continue Reading

CMA lifts the lid on digital giants

“The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) interim report has found that: Last year, Google accounted for more than 90% of all revenues earned from search advertising in the UK, with revenues of around £6 billion In the same year, Facebook accounted for almost half of all display advertising revenues in the UK, reaching more… Continue Reading

Commentary – Google and Amazon make us worse people

CNET – “Let me show you a magic trick. Make a choice — any choice. You’re already online, so maybe you want to read the news, check your email, surf your newsfeed, buy some food or any other number of things. Now for the trick, I’m going to tell you the companies that facilitated whatever… Continue Reading

Google’s ads just look like search results

The Verge: “Last week, Google began rolling out a new look for its search results on desktop, which blurs the line between organic search results and the ads that sit above them. In what appears to be something of a purposeful dark pattern, the only thing differentiating ads and search results is a small black-and-white… Continue Reading

The browser wars are back but it’s different this time

The Verge – It’s about privacy, not marketshare: “…First: there are new browser technologies and limits coming that could radically change how ads work and could make it easier for you to protect your privacy no matter what browser you use. Since this is the web, it’ll take time, but everybody seems committed. Second: the… Continue Reading

Banning facial recognition – it is not enough to ensure privacy

The New York Times Opinion – We’re Banning Facial Recognition. We’re Missing the Point. The whole point of modern surveillance is to treat people differently, and facial recognition technologies are only a small part of that. “…These efforts are well intentioned, but facial recognition bans are the wrong way to fight against modern surveillance. Focusing… Continue Reading

It’s Time to Stop Making Excuses for Amazon’s Disposable Tech

IFixit: “Amazon doesn’t repair their own products for customers outside their return or warranty periods. The company doesn’t make parts available. Need a new battery for your old but still functional Kindle Paperwhite? That’s too bad, Amazon doesn’t sell them directly (though you can roll the dice on a number of third-party vendors). The same… Continue Reading

Google ends third-party cookies in ad-tracking

MyBroadBand: “Google is planning to “render obsolete” a key tool advertisers use to track people around the web, increasing user privacy but also disrupting the marketers and publishers who rely on the search giant’s ad products. Over the next two years the Alphabet Inc. unit intends to stop supporting third-party cookies in its Chrome browser,… Continue Reading

Verizon Media launches OneSearch a privacy-focused search engine

VentureBeat: “Verizon Media, the media and digital offshoot of telecommunications giant Verizon, has launched a “privacy-focused” search engine called OneSearch. The launch comes at a time when public trust in big technology companies has hit rock bottom following countless reports of breaches, lapses, and data harvesting escapades. Consequently, “privacy” is pretty much the buzzword of… Continue Reading

More than 600M users installed Android ‘fleeceware’ apps from the Play Store

ZDNet: A new set of 25 Android apps caught illegally charging users at the end of a trial period. “Security researchers from Sophos say they’ve discovered a new set of “fleeceware” apps that appear to have been downloaded and installed by more than 600 million Android users. Our editors hand-picked these products based on our… Continue Reading

The Evil List Which tech companies are really doing the most harm?

Slate – Here are the 30 most dangerous, ranked by the people who know: “…The tech industry doesn’t intoxicate us like it did just a few years ago. Keeping up with its problems—and its fixes, and its fixes that cause new problems—is dizzying. Separating out the meaningful threats from the noise is hard. Is Facebook… Continue Reading

Why do customers buy seemingly irrelevant products?

Amazon Science – “Product search algorithms, like the ones that help customers place orders through Alexa, aim at returning the products that are most relevant to users’ queries, where relevance is usually interpreted as “anything that satisfies the users’ need”. A common way to estimate customers’ satisfaction is to rely on the judgment of human… Continue Reading