Tech Bytes: 10.03.2017October 3rd, 2017
Russian Operatives Used Corporate America’s Playbook to Target Voters
New evidence shows that Russian operatives used the Facebook Custom Audiences program to target specific voters most likely to be receptive to disinformation about the 2016 presidential campaign. The tool is heavily used by corporate America to target specific customers similarly evaluated to be receptive to their ads. The tactic shows how easy it is to both manipulate consumers and voters using targeted messages and digital marketing techniques. And the campaign was massive in scale – reaching 10 million Facebook users leading up to the election.
The challenges at Facebook aren’t unique to the social media giant. Twitter also experienced similar use by Russian operatives designed to influence voters. The bigger question is one of platform responsibility. Platform business models are exploding in Silicon Valley because of the huge potential for revenue growth and impact. But what responsibility do the creators of these platforms have to serve society? Where is/should the line be drawn when it comes to revenue vs. society impact? That’s a question that is suddenly up for debate and should be considered by all firms looking to “make a platform play” going forward.
Read More: Russians Took a Page From Corporate America by Using Facebook Tool to ID and Influence Voters
Read More: Facebook Estimates 10 Million Users Saw Russian-Backed Ads
Read More: Facebook Will Hire 1,000 and Make Ads Visible to Fight Election Interference
Read More: Facebook’s Russia-Linked Ads Came in Many Disguises
Google About to Put Project Loon to the Test in Puerto Rico
Google is considering filling an infrastructure gap using its high-altitude helium balloons that provide internet access as Puerto Rico reels from Hurricane Maria. The balloons were successfully deployed earlier this year after flooding in Peru, but the deployment was preceded by adequate testing to ensure they worked with local telecom providers’ networks. No such testing has been done in Puerto Rico, so any deployment could be delayed. That said, if Google can both connect people in need and learn for future use of the technology, that seems like a win-win situation.
Read More: Alphabet’s Project Loon May Deliver Internet to Puerto Rico with Wi-Fi Balloons
Read More: Google’s Massive Internet-beaming Balloons Meet Challenges in Puerto Rico
Read More: Alphabet Eyes Project Loon to Connect Puerto Rico
Security Continues to Dominate the IT News Cycle
With the eyes of the world on Russian hacking of the 2016 election, the rest of the info sec world is looking elsewhere. News this week revealed that a massive data breach at professional services/accounting firm Deloitte was much larger and more invasive than previously believed. Hackers were able to gain administrator access to email systems and gain access to email content, including client information.
To combat this, tech firms are increasingly looking to AI and automation to detect and remediate breaches. Oracle launched its new automated cybersecurity system and database, 18c, which is designed to remove the weak link in most systems – people. Look for more cybersecurity efforts that remove human management going forward.
Read More: Deloitte Breach Affected All Company Email, Admin Accounts
Read More: Security News This Week: The Deloitte Breach Was Worse Than We Thought
Read More: Oracle Launches 18c, Its Autonomous Database and Automated Cybersecurity System
Google Ends “1st Click Free” Paywall Bypass
Paywalls have never been well-liked by Google. Both technically and philosophically they have never been seen as a good thing by the search company. Historically, Google has both demoted paywalled sites in its algorithms and simultaneously granted free access to articles behind a paywall if accessed through Google. All that ends this week as the firm reversed course on both policies. The Wall Street Journal opted out of the “first click free” policy at Google earlier this year and saw both an increase in paid subscribers and a decrease in search traffic. Expect similar results for other sites using a paywall.
Read More: Google Scraps Controversial Policy that Gave Free Access to Paywalled Articles Through Search
Read More: The ‘Google Trick’ to Get Around Paywalls Is Getting Shut Down
Read More: Google Ends Search-result Punishment for News Behind Paywalls
Read More: Google CEO Appeases Publishers With Subscriptions
Featured CXOTalk Video of the Week: Fraud Prevention: Data and Analytics in Law Enforcement
How does law enforcement use data to prevent fraud? Kelly Tshibaka, Chief Data Officer of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, and Caryl Brzymialkiewicz, Assistant Inspector General & Chief Data Officer at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, speak with CXOTalk about how different agencies at the Office of Inspector General use data analytics
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