Last month, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes laid into CEO Mark Zuckerberg with a nearly 6,000-word New York Times op-ed that sounded the alarm on the social network's alleged monopoly."Mark's power is unprecedented and un-American," wrote Hughes, who left Facebook in 2007 and sold all his Facebook stock in 2012. "It is time to break up Facebook."Hughes is far from alone in reevaluating the tech world. Just five years ago, millions of consumers looked at tech as a benefit, and US regulators took a mostly hands-off approach to the fast-growing industry. Now both groups are far more suspicious of these giant corporations and much more interested in what they do with your data. This sudden turnaround was brought on especially by Facebook's lax privacy practices, which resulted in Russia interfering with the 2016 US presidential election, as well the data company Cambridge Analytica gobbling up millions of Facebook users' information and using it for targeted political ads.Now, the Federal … [Read more...] about Calls to break up Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple get louder
Computers aren't just getting smarter, they're studying us more closely too. Whether it's in the name of public safety, fraud protection or simple convenience, we're feeding AI systems details that identify us and track our comings and goings.Equipped with electronic ears, eyes and brains, a sea of devices now monitor human activity and characteristics. The list includes everything from smart speakers, laptops and phones, to even doorbells and locks. You may not have noticed this trend, but it's real, and growing. CNET has spent the last two weeks documenting the current state of facial recognition technology, but that's just one method of gathering data directly from your person. Here are a few examples of how other biometric technologies have seeped into the fabric of daily life, and where things could go next. Fingerprint readers everywhere Devices that can read, capture and match fingerprints to specific individuals have been with us for decades. In 1969, the FBI … [Read more...] about Amazon, Google, AI and us: Are we too close for comfort?
Facial recognition is a blossoming field of technology that is at once exciting and problematic. If you've ever unlocked your iPhone by looking at it, or asked Facebook or Google to go through an unsorted album and show you pictures of your kids, you've seen facial recognition in action. Whether you want it to or not, facial recognition (sometimes called simply "face recognition") is poised to play an ever-growing role in your life. Your face could be scanned at airports or concerts with or without your knowledge. You could be targeted by personalized ads thanks to cameras at shopping malls. Facial recognition has plenty of upside. The tech could help smart home gadgets get smarter, sending you notifications based on who it sees and offering more convenient access to friends and family. But at the very least, facial recognition raises questions of privacy. Experts have concerns ranging from the overreach of law enforcement, to systems with hidden racial biases, to hackers gaining … [Read more...] about Facial recognition: Apple, Amazon, Google and the race for your face
A presidential candidate is making a move on big tech. Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Friday called for "big, structural changes" to break up tech giants like Amazon, Google and Facebook."Today's big tech companies have [too much power over] our economy, our society, and our democracy," wrote Warren in a blog post. "They've bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation."Warren wants to restore competition in the tech industry with stronger antitrust regulations and laws that prevent tech companies to get too big. … [Read more...] about Sen. Elizabeth Warren calls to break up Amazon, Google, Facebook
Tech execs are urging lawmakers to protect Dreamers. More than 100 business leaders -- including tech heavyweights like Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Google's Sundar Pichai, Apple's Tim Cook and Twitter's Jack Dorsey -- signed a letter demanding Congress work on a legislative solution to protect people who have grown up in the US after coming here illegally with their parents. The letter, which was organized by The Coalition for the American Dream, was published Monday in full-page ads in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal."Studies by economists across the ideological spectrum have determined that if Congress falls to act, our economy could lose $350 billion in GDP, and the federal government could lose $90 billion in tax revenue," said the letter. "Now is the time for Congress to pass a law to provide Dreamers the certainty they need."The letter comes as President Donald Trump on Jan. 25 agreed to reopen the government after a 35-day shutdown … [Read more...] about Apple, Amazon, Google join industry leaders in push to protect Dreamers