March 27, 2018

Are you starting to feel more and more queasy about your privacy these days? Do you have a sense that technology’s tentacles have reached into all aspects of your life and you don’t have a clue about how to get rid of them?

You’re not alone.

As we moved around the web Monday in search of media stories, we found a growing collection of articles that are exposing some of the harder truths about tech companies and technology. We also found plenty of news and fallout from the Facebook data scandal.

Here are some stories and links that we think will make you smarter (or maybe even more worried, if that’s possible) about technology and data.

  • First, if you haven’t done this yet, it’s time to see what Facebook has on you. You can download your archive here.

  • Prepare yourself, though. Google has just as much date from you, if not more, as this 33-message Twitter thread makes clear. (Don’t worry, we’ve used the Thread Reader app, to make it easier to scroll.)

  • Facebook had to acknowledge late Sunday that it was keeping records of Android users’ calls and texts.

  • Mashable points out that every user of the platform is working for Facebook — generating data for advertisers and content for the advertisers to build around. Shouldn’t you get paid?

  • What’s the link between the Facebook data breach and the crash of a self-driving Uber car? It’s this: We made the decision long ago to let Facebook govern itself and look what happened. Will the same thing happen with Uber?

  • Fast Company surveyed hundreds of parents about how much screen time their kids use. The answers were “candid, scary – and sometimes hopeful.”

  • Axios has this helpful roundup of all the ways tech has screwed up this past week.

RELATED: Catching you up on the latest Facebook news:

  • Pep Boys is the latest company to suspend Facebook ads after the data breach.

  • Facebook’s stock slid after it was announced the FTC was investigating the scandal.

  • Congress wants to grill Facebook, Google and Twitter about their privacy practices.

  • Facebook’s popularity has plummeted, according to an Axios poll.

  • And the New Yorker chimes in with How To Fix Facebook.

Quick hits

LATE-BREAKER: Tanzina Vega, former CNN and New York Times correspondent, has been named host of "The Takeaway," the syndicated public radio news affairs show. Vega replaces John Hockenberry, who resigned last year before reports of misconduct surfaced. The announcement was made by WNYC and PRI, which co-produce the program. Vega also is the author of the forthcoming “Uppity," about American women of color and the barriers they face both professionally and socially, which will be published in 2019. "The Takeaway’s" Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, will serve as interim host until May 4.

BIGGER THAN THE GRAMMYS: Nielsen says 22 million people watched the Stormy Daniels interview Sunday on “60 Minutes,” the CBS news show’s highest ratings since a 2008 interview with Barack and Michelle Obama. The interview, in which the porn star detailed an alleged sexual encounter with President Trump and threats to her to remain silent, brought more viewers than the highly promoted Grammy and Golden Globe awards.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE: Trump has not been able to silence Summer Zervos, who unlike Daniels and ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal, says Trump assaulted her sexually against her will. Now Zervos, a former "Apprentice" cast member, is clear to press forward in New York state courts on her assault and defamation charges. The real danger to Trump could come with discovery motions and a real possibility to depose Trump, Vox reports. A lie under deposition is what allowed impeachment efforts to go forward against Bill Clinton.

ROY MOORE PROBE IS PRIZE-WINNER: The Washington Post won the Toner Award for a coverage of the Alabama Senate race and uncovering a pattern of sexual misconduct by candidate Roy Moore. The Post team included Stephanie McCrummen, Beth Reinhard and Shawn Boburg; researcher Alice Crites; senior video producer Tom LeGro; and video reporter Dalton Bennett. The prize honors the life and work of Robin Toner, who became the first woman to serve as national political correspondent for The New York Times.

BULKING UP: NPR is increasing the size of its investigative team from 9 to 11 — adding a dedicated reporter and opening space for one reporter from existing staff to serve stints on the team, it announced. The team’s recent work includes Renee Montagne’s Goldsmith Prize-winning work with ProPublica on maternal mortality in the U.S.

Linda Brown at 9.

MILESTONE: Linda Brown, behind the momentous 1954 Supreme Court decision on school segregation, has died. She was a third-grader when her father filed suit to let her attend the all-white school four blocks away, and not be bused to the black school two miles away. Here’s what she told the public television series “Eyes on the Prize” on the moment she learned that the high court ruled that “separate but equal” education violated the U.S. Constitution: "My mother was very overjoyed at something, and then when she shared the news with me, I felt a joy too, because I felt that my sisters wouldn't have to walk so far to school the next fall."

‘A DESTROYER OF NEWSPAPERS’: That’s what Bloomberg’s Joe Nocera calls the Boston Herald’s new owner. A 37-year-old hedge fund guy, Heath Freeman, now owns 97 newspapers, including the Denver Post, the San Jose Mercury News and the Salt Lake City Tribune. Freeman, who did not comment in this article, doesn’t focus on informing the public or holding officials to account, Nocera says. Instead, it is “to supply cash for Freeman to use elsewhere. His layoffs aren’t just painful. They are savage.” (Hat-tip: Bill Grueskin.)

LOCALIZE THIS: Newer residents may not know what books have as their setting their community, county or state. A list, with a summary description — with or without a map, with or without the help of the local library — could be evergreen. Here’s a 2015 effort from the New York Public Library with the neighborhoods of the city. (Via Nina Bernstein.)

FIGHT FOR THEIR LIVES: The #NeverAgain protesters aren’t kidding about the stakes of their cause. HuffPost reports 73 students have been killed in the first 37 days after the Parkland massacre. Here are six of them:

Handout photo

WHAT DO YOU MEAN, RETIRED? Legendary Miami Herald and AP writer Marty Merzer moved to Tallahassee, but he hasn’t stopped doing big take-outs. These days, the main beneficiaries are Merzer’s Facebook friends, who get to read stories such as this from a Saturday March for Our Lives protest. “It evoked the past and it had everything to do with the present,” he wrote, ”and maybe – maybe – it resonated with promise for the future.” (Hat-tip: Rex Seline)

What we're reading

GETTING MIGHTY CROWDED: So many members of Congress are retiring you may need a scorecard. Here you go, via The Atlantic’s Russell Berman. The exits on one side of the aisle are getting particularly clogged, he says — often an early sign of a big shift in the next election.

THE TEXAS CHALLENGE: Census teams are preparing two years ahead of the 2020 count in Texas. Here’s why: The state is “home to millions of residents who fall into the categories of people who pose the biggest challenges for the headcount — immigrants, college students, and children younger than 5 years old, to name a few,” writes Alexa Ura and Chris Essig of the Texas Tribune.

WHO GETS TO DECIDE WHAT’S FAKE?: That’s a question being asked in Malaysia, where a scandal-ridden administration, facing election, is proposing 10-year prison terms and hefty fines for news items considered fake. (Hat-tip: Mei Fong.)

MEANWHILE, IN TURKEY: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government is widening the powers of its aggressive radio and television censor to include the internet. It could block YouTube and Netflix. The moves come as allies of Erdogan, in power for 15 years, prepare to purchase independent CNN’s Turkish affiliate and the country’s leading daily, Hurriyet, and tabloid, Posta.

TAKE THAT, ISIS: For more than 1,000 years, the commanding statues — winged bulls with human faces — stood before the Biblical town of Ninevah. In 2015, ISIS drilled off one of the faces. This week, a “rescued” version rises on London’s Trafalgar Square.

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