Quick Bytes – April 13th: Proposed Facebook Regulations & Pandora’s Box of Data
A look at the most interesting startup and business-related news stories of the week.
Proposed Facebook Regulations
Two Senators will introduce legislation to protect the privacy of user’s data. It remains to be seen whether there is an appetite in Congress for this. If the law goes ahead, some of the key points include giving the consumers the right to opt out and disable data tracking and collection, ensuring users can already see what information has been collected and shared, and mandating that users be notified if a breach occurs within 72 hours.
The Full Story
Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Kennedy (R-LA) will introduce legislation to protect the privacy of users’ online data, the pair said today in a joint statement. Though a bill has not been drafted yet, the legislation would, among other things, give users recourse options if their data is breached, and the right to opt out of data tracking and collection.
The proposed legislation will address seven key points, the senators said:
- Give consumers the right to opt out and keep their information private by disabling data tracking and collection.
- Give users greater access to and control over their data.
- Require terms of service agreements to be written in “plain language.”
- Ensure users can see what information about them has already been collected and shared,
- Mandate that users be notified of a breach of their information within 72 hours.
- Offer remedies for users when a breach occurs,
- Require online platforms to have a privacy program in place.
Pandora’s Box of Data
What the Zuckerberg Congress saga is bringing to light, yet again, is the big question about data and regulations. A NYT reporter recently downloaded his Facebook and Google files of personal data they have collected. His 650MB Facebook file looked small in comparison to his whopping 8GB Google file. In a folder labeled Ads, Google kept a record of read news articles. Ads hadn’t been clicked on but, because Google ads had been served on the page, they had been logged and recorded..
The Full Story
When I downloaded a copy of my Facebook data last week, I didn’t expect to see much. My profile is sparse, I rarely post anything on the site, and I seldom click on ads. (I’m what some call a Facebook “lurker.”)
But when I opened my file, it was like opening Pandora’s box.
With a few clicks, I learned that about 500 advertisers — many that I had never heard of, like Bad Dad, a motorcycle parts store, and Space Jesus, an electronica band — had my contact information, which could include my email address, phone number and full name. Facebook also had my entire phone book, including the number to ring my apartment buzzer. The social network had even kept a permanent record of the roughly 100 people I had deleted from my friends list over the last 14 years, including my exes. Read the Full Article Here
What Voice Do We Want?
As communications technology moves more into the voice-activated sphere, this is a pertinenet question for startups these days. It’s not just the gender of the smart voice that developers have to consider, but also it’s resonance and the ‘chord’ that is pleasing to different cultures. In 2013, Siri, for instance, had a pitch that was 21% lower than the average woman’s to account for ‘masculine’ qualities but also sound acoustically pleasing. iOS 11 in 2017, on the other hand, embraced a much more feminine, ‘optimistic’, lighter sound.
The Full Story
The virtual personal assistant is romanticized in utopian portrayals of the future from The Jetsons to Star Trek. It’s the cultured, disembodied voice at humanity’s beck and call, eager and willing to do any number of menial tasks.
In its early real-world implementations, a virtual receptionist directed customers (‘To hear more menu options, press 9’). Voice-typing software transcribed audio recordings. It wasn’t until 2011 that Apple released Siri and the public had its first interactions with a commercially viable, dynamic personal assistant. Since Siri’s debut with the release of the iPhone 4S, Apple’s massive customer base has only gotten larger; the company estimates that more than 700 million iPhones are currently in use worldwide. Read the Full Article Here
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