There is growing debate about the extent to which content platforms are responsible for the content third parties create and distribute. As I write this, the US Congress is holding a hearing about whether Facebook, Twitter and Google should be held liable for the unsavory posts and other controversial content they distribute.
News-wise, it’s almost as if 2021 told 2020 to ‘hold my beer’. In 15 days, this new year hasn’t offered any respite from the drama and anxiety that pervaded 2020, especially in the United States. I will not be rehashing or opining on any of the events that engulfed Washington DC last week, but it’s becoming clearer now that the aftershocks of the DC Riots will be far-reaching and will have a major impact on technology and free speech.
Vigilance is the operative term these days, and we can’t stop hearing about having to wear masks, maintain social distance and keep ourselves muted on Zoom calls when not speaking. With so much of our energy put into maintaining new norms of behavior, some things are bound to slip. Changes as fast and dramatic as the ones we’ve experienced this year haven’t given us enough time to build the necessary habits so that we can be as vigilant as we need to be.
The ‘results’ from the Iowa caucuses provided a teachable moment for anyone who uses technology, which is to say everyone who reads this article.
City Hall Can Now Control Your Location.
The Snowden revelations opened the general public’s eyes to the (alleged) eavesdropping by the NSA and other government organizations. The Hong Kong protests showed the world how today’s mass video surveillance uses facial recognition to identify the location of people (for example, who is protesting what and when). City traffic light cameras send you nice pictures of yourself in the intersection just as the yellow light turns red, along with a hefty fine.
Wow! What a beautiful vacation that friend of a friend posted in their Facebook account. It looks like the perfect family vacation; all smiles, all sun, some commentary about the perfect spot…
The DHS is using Congress’ “Real ID” Act of 2005 to require all US states to issue new, more robust IDs for air travel originating in the United States.
Why all of the hype around Facebook privacy revelations? After all, the purpose of Facebook is to share your information (albeit, among your closest friends).
Today’s NFL coaches are concerned that the new players being drafted are millennials and they will need to be treated differently – they report that football playmaking classroom training sessions need to be limited to 30 minutes, with breaks for the athletes to check their phones, text messages, and social media feeds.
As Tech Essentials readers hunker down for holiday online shopping, it’s a good time to remind you what to consider before you make that final click to purchase.