by Brianna Auffray and Hillary Haden
The collection and processing of personal data is what makes many of our digital interactions possible. It’s what allows you to search your Gmail inbox or get personalized recommendations for movies. But the practice has also brought us what Harvard business professor Shoshana Zuboff has termed “surveillance capitalism.” An entire industry now exists to collect and sell your data to companies, which in turn use it to learn more about you and determine how you’re likely to behave in the future.
Continue reading OPINION: Tech Companies Want to Write Their Own Rules on Data Privacy. Don’t Let Them.
by Megan Wildhood
(This article originally appeared in Real Change News and has been reprinted with permission.)
Amazon owes the U.S. government $1.5 billion in taxes. Instead of paying that bill, it got a $129-million tax rebate in 2018 and continues to bully the cities that house its ever-growing number of warehouses for tax breaks, secret deals, and immunity from regulations that protect residents (such as the more than 50,000 Seattleites who work for it). A large percentage of its revenue, which totaled $11.5 billion in 2018, comes from government contracts. It skirts safety and seems to think humans are robots who exist to do nothing but gobble up more and more jobs, which of course pay so little that those “robots” (the majority of whom are contractors, not employees) qualify for food stamps. Workers sustain major injuries and even die violently on the job — but many of them “don’t blame the company.”
After reading Alec MacGillis’ Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America, I wondered what it would take for people to start blaming the company. While there is mounting dislike of Amazon in what MacGillis calls Seattle 3.0 (after first discussing the original two iterations of the city), efforts to curb, regulate, or at least mitigate the damage done by Amazon have been insufficient.
Continue reading Book Review: ‘Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America’