It’s been a hot mess over at the company that makes the Big Blue app. Facebook has dominated current tech events ever since news broke about what we’ve known all along, Facebook’s data handling and sales of it is sloppy. This week we continue exploring this story with Mark Starling and https://twitter.com/newsradio570?lang=en. Listen LIVE every Thursday.
WYLIE: FACEBOOK LISTENING TO YOU WHEN YOU THINK IT ISN’T
Facebook continues to have a tough March. So much, that they’ve postponed the launch of a new smart speaker because of the data scandal. I’d like to blame all of this on Mercury being in retrograde, but I can’t be for sure. This week, Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, testified before the UK parliament about CA’s data handling policies and he dropped a treasure trove of data dirt on how Analytica influence the US election as well as Brexit. One of the not-so-surprising revelations he dropped was the possibility that the Facebook app is using microphones to spy on users seeking additional data to mine. The app performs micro-samples of audio to pick out small tidbits you might be saying. Anecdotally, I’ve had friends say that they’ve said something about needing to go to Home Depot only to find an ad for Home Depot in their timeline. We all knew that this was happening, it didn’t scare us then, and it shouldn’t surprise us now. Me. I no longer have the Facebook app on my phone, I only access it via webpage.
FOXCONN BRIDGES THE DIVIDE, IT’LL BE MAKING ITS OWN STUFF
This week, Chinese contract manufacturer and maker of iPhones has branched into ownership territory. Foxconn purchased Belkin products, the company who makes, um sells, Linksys routers and Wemo home security systems. The company bought Belkin for $866 million and gives them a foothold in the American home internetworking market. The US has been sensitive to foreign purchases of technology companies and Foxconn will have to seek approval from the US Committee on Foreign Investment before the deal is allowed to go through. For its part, Foxconn has pledged to build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin.
YOU CAN NO LONGER READ THE ARTICLES: ON FACEBOOK
Playboy magazine has joined the ranks of companies leaving the platform this week. Playboy may not be what it used to be, but more than 25 million users have interacted with its products. Playboy states that they do not want to expose its customers to reported eavesdropping on the platform.
UBER CAN’T OPERATE SELF-DRIVING TESTS IN ARIZONA AFTER ACCIDENT
Uber had already stopped its self-driving tests in the state after one of its cars stuck and killed a pedestrian. Part of the blame lies with the car’s operator who had looked down 5 seconds before the incident occurred. Uber began testing in the state after failing to obtain a permit to operate in San Francisco. Thing is, autonomous vehicles are probably safer to operate than human drivers, but only when not accounting for other humans on the road. People can behave unpredictably and do things the machine wouldn’t.