Issue 1615 - Thursday 26th May, 2022

In Today's Issue

The News

Twitter fined for using phone numbers provided for 2FA to target ads

Straight from the DoJ & FTC's press release: "Twitter obtained data from users on the pretext of harnessing it for security purposes but then ended up also using the data to target users with ads. This practice affected more than 140 million Twitter users, while boosting Twitter’s primary source of revenue". For this sin, they were fined US$150m and now must "allow users to use other multi-factor authentication methods such as mobile authentication apps or security keys that do not require users to provide their telephone numbers" (which they already do, but I guess now they won't ask for a phone number either). Facebook pulled this shit too, fucking shady bastards, the lot of em.

ISPs ask ACCC to hurry up and make NBN come up with an access agreement

Things are getting so drawn out with the NBN's new special access undertaking that Australia's biggest ISPs are begging the ACCC to set pricing instead. In a joint letter, Aussie Broadband, Optus, Telstra, TPG and Vocus ask the ACCC to "urgently develop an access determination that will establish a regulatory regime which promotes the interests of end users" and if it can't be done by November 30, "consider issuing an interim access determination to ensure end users do not suffer from the effects of NBN Co's proposal to significantly increase wholesale prices". NBN wants to recoup the $60b+ spent so the government isn't left out of pocket as promised back in 2007, but customers don't want to pay the exorbitant access fees required for that to happen, so here we are.

DuckDuckGo web browser caught not blocking Microsoft 3rd party trackers

DuckDuckGo's web browser has been busted allowing Microsoft tracking code on third-party sites (i.e: allowing Linked In and Bing to track you when you visit another website), but blocking Google and Facebook. DuckDuckGo's CEO has explained that this is part of their agreement with Microsoft, which forbids them from blocking Microsoft's scripts on other websites, but it's ok, as you're not tracked when doing DuckDuckGo searches or clicking ads on DuckDuckGo. It's a bit of a cop-out IMHO as you'd expect DuckDuckGo to block all tracking scripts, everywhere, all the time - that's the point of using their browser! Disappointing that even a company with privacy as their mission is still beholden to Big Tech's data hoarding interests.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Interest rate increases are smashing the big valuations of low profit tech companies

Since November, Airbnb and Tesla are down 48%, Uber is down 55%, Block and Lyft are down a whopping 70%. Much of the drop is simply the insane frothing for these stocks melting away (which were never realistic in the first place IMHO), but as Full Stack Economics explains, the rise of interest rates in the US is playing a big part too. Higher interest rates mean profits predicted for the future are worth less now than they were when interest rates were close to zero, so companies promising profits later rather than now (Tesla, Block, etc) are sold off in favour of companies making money now. It also means startups will have a harder time finding investment if their pitch is to spend heaps now and wait 10-20 years to generate serious profits. I'm probably sucking at explaining this, just go read the article already.


The End

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