Women's rights are still under attack, Amazon buys Roomba maker, Climate bill passed

Women's rights are still under attack, Amazon buys Roomba maker, Climate bill passed by Democrats

Women's rights are still under attack, Amazon buys Roomba maker, Climate bill passed
Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng / Unsplash

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Quick Bits

  • Apple tells suppliers to use 'Taiwan, China' or 'Chinese Taipei' to appease Beijing (The Register)
    Apple bent the knee to China and is not recognizing Taiwan as an independent nation. Taiwan is home to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which is very important to the United State's chip supply chain as some of the biggest, U.S.-based, chip manufacturers use TSMC, like AMD, Nvidia, and Apple.
  • Twitter slams Elon Musk's response to its lawsuit (Axios)
    The Elon Musk Twitter saga continues. This time, Twitter responds to Musk submitting documents under seal. Twitter was allowed to request redactions to protect private information but decided not to file any redactions, which led to some interesting information. The full filing is in the article linked.
  • North Korea-backed hackers have a clever way to read your Gmail (ArsTechnica)
    North Korea-sponsored hacker group SharpTongue created malware that can read and download email and attachments from user's Gmail and AOL accounts. They do this by using a browser extension in Chrome that the email services can not detect. The malware has been used for over a year, but unless you work for the government or on nuclear weapons, you probably don't have to worry about it.

The iRobot Deal Would Give Amazon Maps Inside Millions of Homes

Roomba maker iRobot agreed on a $1.7 billion deal to be acquired by Amazon.

Amazon has been on a buying spree to gain as much data as possible about people and their personal lives. They acquired Ring, the video doorbell company, in 2018, and Ero, a company that makes routers, in 2019. Amazon recently announced they are also acquiring One Medical, a healthcare provider in the U.S. And let's not forget they also bought MGM for $8.5 billion earlier this year.

On top of that, a huge chunk of websites on the internet is run on Amazon Web Services(AWS). They still run their storefront, have Alexa devices, and own Whole Foods.

To summarize all that was mentioned above, Amazon has access to maps of your home from iRobot, medical records from One Medical, samples of your voice from Alexa, videos of your house and passerbyers from Ring, home network activity from Ero routers, consumer data from the Amazon storefront and internet trends and activity from AWS.

Why should one company hold so much data and control in so many sectors of the economy? And it's not like Amazon has the best ethics and morals to be trusted with it...


Data brokers resist pressure to stop collecting info on pregnant people

With the destruction of Roe v. Wade, lawmakers want to crack down on data brokers selling and collecting data on pregnant people.

If, at first thought, you are wondering why this matters, states upholding abortion bans will do anything to keep women's rights from reaching parity with men, even if that means weaponizing abortion data to prosecute them.

Data brokers are known to have dubious morality and will do anything they can to make a buck off of someone's data. As mentioned in the article linked, data broker NextMark saw no risk in keeping and selling a list of 23,000 expecting mothers, including names, emails, and mailing addresses.

The potential risk for expecting mothers on those lists is that it can be monitored to see if anyone on there gets an abortion in a state where it is outlawed. Law enforcement can then use that as evidence and prosecute the women. This is already happening with texts and web searchers, so why would the police stop there?

As mentioned in this newsletter many times before, we need real accountability and protection for consumers who may unwillingly be a part of a data collection scheme that can cause harm to them, for no reason at all.


Equifax Sent Lenders Inaccurate Credit Scores on Millions of Consumers

Equifax provided inaccurate credit scores on millions of Americans seeking a loan in a three-week period in March and April.

While this seems like a small period of time, more than 2.5 million Americans' credit scores were obtained by mortgage lenders in that short time. And with interest rates rising significantly since then, people missed out on potentially having a lower interest rate, saving them money over time.

Credit scores are as close to a Social Credit System used by China, the U.S. has and can almost control your life. A difference of even 1 point in your credit score can get you denied from a lower interest rate on a vehicle or home loan, or denied altogether.

Equifax does not have the best track record with data. They leaked the private information of 150 million people, about 53% of all Americans at the time, in 2017.

In response to the wrong credit scores, Equifax provided, CEO Mark Begor said, "The impact is going to be quite small, not something that's meaningful to Equifax".

Great, so the consumers who you gather data from to create the credit score in which you sell to make money don't matter to you?

One word: Accountability.


In Other News


Interesting Find

After The Tone - A website that archives old tape answering machine messages throughout the years. It is entertaining to listen and guess the backstory to the random messages left or create your own story from them.


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