The digital wars around us

Two stories about our digital lives ought to have your attention:

Facebook is a main cyberwarfare battleground : The company says it " removed 783 pages, groups, and accounts " that were being used in a coordinated disinformation campaign "directed from Iran". And here's why Iran would do such a thing: Asymmetry of results. The Facebook report says they found "Less than $30,000 in spending for ads", but the pages reached more than 2 million users.

Apple and Facebook go to digital war : Apple is seeking to punish Facebook in a visible way for violating Apple's terms for applications. Facebook was using the "Facebook Research" app (according to impressive reporting by TechCrunch) to gather data on everything users did with their phones. It paid those users to give up their privacy -- apparently to the tune of $20 a month -- which is an interesting market price signal. (The number seems terribly low, given the amount of intrusion. But in reality, users routinely give up a lot of privacy for free without even acknowledging or realizing it.) But the PR nightmare here is that the users Facebook solicited were ages 13 to 35, and that means the headline becomes "Facebook paid teens $20 a month to give up their privacy". It's worth repeating: Facebook isn't your friend.

The moral of the story: Trust nobody online. There are plenty of liars and they're proliferating, at home and abroad. If anyone wants your info, that's twice the reason to keep it private. And if it's content worth saving, save it for yourself.

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Brian Gongol

Brian Gongol

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