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  • All credits to WIRED

    Posted on January 11th, 2022 cwmoore No comments
    WIRED Special Edition: Letter from the Editor


    Facebook is regularly pummeled for its lax data privacy, creepy algorithmic manipulation, and inability to curb disinformation and hate speech. Last fall, WIRED was just one among many media outlets that published excerpts from the Facebook Papers, a stash of leaked internal documents showing that the company knew full well that its automated content moderation systems performed far worse than it publicly claimed. By comparison, Amazon has kept its public image relatively unscathed, despite its history of exploiting its workers. But in fact, the company has been not unlike Facebook in its careless handling of your data. As Will Evans’ recent story for WIRED and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting shows, Amazon neglected its security division for years, and as a result its control over how customers’ data was stored and accessed was hopelessly weak. In 2018, around the time it emerged that tens of millions of Facebook users’ data had been leaked to the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, Amazon learned that it had suffered a similar kind of breach, in which an outside company siphoned off millions of people’s personal records. That this news didn’t leak out at the time seems to have been mostly blind luck—that, and the fact that Amazon’s data breaches mostly only hurt sellers on the Amazon platform, while Facebook’s seemed to threaten democracy itself. Massive data leaks have sadly become utterly commonplace. But even when companies aren’t losing your data, they’re using it in all sorts of ways you might not expect, as we’ve explained in our reporting on how TikTok sniffs out your friends without your knowing, or the tricks shopping sites use to get you to spend more. (For more like that, see our “Dark Patterns” series.) I’m curious how you think about these issues as they relate to your life. Have you largely given up on trying to limit how your data is used, or have you been doing anything recently to bring it more under control? And do you have any requests for things WIRED could write to help you with those decisions? Let us know by hitting reply or sending an email to hello@WIRED.com. And meanwhile, here are eight other stories we’ve published in the past few weeks that I think you might enjoy. Gideon Lichfield | Global Director, WIRED

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