Trump put TikTok’s potential sale to Microsoft in a new light, and it is an exceedingly ugly one.
First, Do No Harm
As regulators look closer at acquisitions they should be extremely wary of unintended consequences. The current system works well for everyone, most of the time.
iCloud Backups and Encryption; Facts, Principles, and Concerns; Determining Defaults
More encryption news, this time about how Apple holds the keys to iCloud backups. I think this approach strikes the right balance: privacy exists, particularly if you work for it, while acknowledging legitimate societal concerns.
Clearview AI, The Problem with Scraping, Tradeoffs
Clearview AI is billed as a story about facial recognition, but the most important questions it raises is about scraping. And, by doing so, it reveals how many trade-offs we have yet to confront.
SBNation and AB5, Understanding SB Nation, AB 5 and the Internet
SB Nation is a publishing company that was only ever possible because of the Internet. That it has to change its model because of AB 5 shows why AB 5 is fundamentally flawed.
Regulating Demand, Ad Targeting and Unintended Consequences, Expedia CEO Out
Google’s continued dominance may not be intransigence, but rather the difficulty of regulating demand. Then, how Apple helps Google and Facebook, and Barry Diller isn’t blaming Google.
Tech and Liberty
The First Amendment is not about a law, but rather a culture — specifically a culture of liberty. It is essential to tech, and in this context, Facebook is mostly right about political ads (but can still do better).
Libra Launches, Loses Members; A Note on Facebook v Warren; The Office of Emerging Technologies
Libra launches, but may be dead before it begins. Then, Facebook v Warren is a reminder of the value of the U.S. approach — and an indirect way to explain how silly San Francisco is.
Child Sexual Abuse Material Online, The Problem With Community, Towards More Friction
A horrifying article on Child Sexual Abuse Material online is actually a sign that Facebook is doing the right thing, at least for now. Encrypting private communications, though, may make things worse.
The current privacy debate is making things worse by not considering trade-offs, the inherent nature of digital, or the far bigger problems that come with digitizing the offline world.