Saturday, March 24, 2018

Riders and overriders…
U.S. Authorities Get Access to Data Stored on Overseas Cloud Servers
A $1.3 trillion spending deal that President Donald Trump signed Friday includes a measure that gives U.S. investigators access to data stored on overseas cloud servers, resolving a long-running legal battle between law enforcement and big tech companies.
But the measure drew widespread criticism from privacy and human-rights activists, who suggested U.S. tech companies—under pressure in Washington—had retreated on the issue. They also suggested the bill could leave data stored in the U.S. vulnerable to demands...

Every change has a downside? Probably not total doom, but some impact among informed users.
Facebook Fallout Could Deal Blow to Legitimate Academic Research
… The data at the center of the scandal was supposedly collected for research purposes through an online personality quiz app in 2014. Created by Cambridge University psychologist Aleksandr Kogan, the app required that users grant access to parts of their profiles, and in turn allow it to draw information about their friends as well. Kogan then turned that information — collected from tens of millions of users — over to Cambridge Analytica. Facebook claims that when it found out about the violation of its terms in 2015, it was assured the data had been deleted. (It hadn’t.)
… Although Facebook has cut back on the amount and types of data it shares with third-party companies since then, drawing information through apps like the one created by Cambridge Analytica is fairly routine. With tighter controls on this and other methods of data collection in the pipeline, however, researchers may soon encounter more red tape. Moreover, those who require audience engagement in their work may find it harder to recruit participants.
“People who consented thought it was for science,” Casey Fiesler, an assistant professor in the Department of Information Science at the University of Colorado Boulder, told The Guardian of Kogan’s quiz. “Will people stop wanting to participate in studies?”

(Related) Oh the horror, the horror. Ah… Wait. Maybe not.
Why Nothing Is Going To Happen To Facebook Or Mark Zuckerberg
As Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal spiraled into chaos this week, a frantic hail of notes from Wall Street analysts reached investor inboxes with a clear and definitive directive: Buy.
… Analysts told investors to buy the dip. Advertisers kept spending. Legislators continued to sit on their hands while a basic ad transparency bill rotted in Congress. And though users posted #DeleteFacebook en masse, Facebook actually rose to 8th place from 12th in the iOS mobile App Store since the day before the Cambridge Analytica news broke. It’s holding steady on Android, too.
… Amid a weeklong reaming from legislators, press, and public, Facebook relied on a playbook that’s worked effectively during its past crises, be it in failing to rein in fake news, or subversive foreign activity, or discriminatory ad targeting: The company first downplays the problem, then hunkers down as outrage builds. When it can no longer ignore the outrage, it speaks up and apologizes, rolls out some fixes, and returns to normal. Facebook has had practice at this sort of thing, and it’s gotten good at it.

Something for mu Architecture students to ponder.
An announcement on January 24 didn’t get the large amount of attention it deserved: Apple and 13 prominent health systems, including prestigious centers like Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania, disclosed an agreement that would allow Apple to download onto its various devices the electronic health data of those systems’ patients — with patients’ permission, of course.
It could herald truly disruptive change in the U.S. health care system. The reason: It could liberate health care data for game-changing new uses, including empowering patients as never before.
… Frustration has increased interest in a very different approach to data sharing: Give patients their data, and let them control its destiny. Let them share it with whomever they wish in the course of their own health care journey.
Several technology companies — including Google and Microsoft — tried this in the early 2000s, but their efforts failed.
… A world in which patients have ready access to their own electronic data with the help of facilitators like Apple creates almost unfathomable opportunities to improve health care and health. First, participating patients would no longer be dependent on the bureaucracies of big health systems or on understaffed physician offices to make their own data available for further care. This could improve the quality of services and reduce cost through avoiding duplicative and unnecessary testing.
Second, the liberation of patients’ data makes it possible for consumer-oriented third parties to use that data (with patients’ permission) to provide new and useful services that help patients manage their own health and make better health care choices. Such consumer-facing applications — if they are designed to be intuitive, useable, and accurate — have the potential to revolutionize patient-provider interactions and empower consumers in ways never before imagined in the history of medicine. Imagine Alexa- or Siri-style digital health advisors that can respond to consumer questions based on users’ unique health care data and informed by artificial intelligence. Health care could start to function much more like traditional economic markets.

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