There’s so much going on in the world and it can be difficult to understand it all at times — by reading this newsletter, you’re getting a digest of the biggest news this week, what it means and why it matters. If you like what you see, send it to a friend or ask them to sign up here. Better yet, share it on Facebook, Twitter or another social network and we’ll be forever grateful.
Google knows who you are — even when you’re logged out and in private mode
The amount of personalisation Google is able to provide is astronomical, based on everything from search history and links clicked, where you live and work, when you purchase something with your credit card and in certain circumstances, when you last turned on your bedroom light.
In a new study from DuckDuckGo, a Google competitor, they found that it’s impossible to avoid being tracked when using the search engine, even when logging out and using a private window — but you should’ve known that already. Google is able to track what ads you see on the web and then check your credit card statement to see if you actually purchased the product — there’s not much that the company isn’t tracking and to think you’re somehow “safe” on the web is plain dumb.
The study was conducted across 76 desktop and 11 mobile devices, where the company searched various terms which “could not be explained by changes in location, time, by being logged in to Google, or by Google testing algorithm changes to a small subset of users,” the company claimed. Results found that there’s virtually no difference between what is seen when logged out, versus what is seen when logged in — probably because they performed the logged out searches and then seconds later performed ones logged in.
Really all the study proves is that there’s no way to use Google without being tracked, which isn’t a bad thing; companies throughout the world have to make money somehow and ads are a good way to do so. Businesses like Google have built an empire around providing people with actually useful things and to make them more personal, faster and smarter, it needs the information on users to do this.
In 2012, Facebook bought photo-sharing startup Instagram for more than $1 billion and then did something not many companies do when they make a purchase that big: nothing.
Instagram was growing quickly and becoming bigger everyday, threatening Snapchat’s audience and taking over some of Facebook’s own usage — but Facebook didn’t care, because it saw the potential in the company. It gave the founders essentially free reign to do whatever they wanted at the time, knowing that the company would grow no matter what.
That was a smart move and though Facebook has been experiencing breaches and hacks, creating a PR crisis like no other. In all the chaos, however, stands Instagram — a company that is owned by Facebook, but that hasn’t been mentioned in the wake of Facebook’s issues and most people don’t even realise they’re one and the same.
Facebook is being portrayed as a villain here and Instagram is just tagging along for the fun. We know this can’t last forever, but it’s just a matter of time before Instagram goes down with Facebook.
Our newest obsession is the #InfluenceofChina — as the world’s second-biggest economy, it holds a lot of power. Throughout the world the effects and power that China holds can be seen, from domestic citizen surveillance, debt traps and playing dirty to get what it wants, the country has a far reach.
In Case You Missed It
🖥️ Spending too much time on Facebook can make you depressed, according to a new study from the University of Pennsylvania which focused on 143 undergrad’s sense of mood and wellbeing.
🇨🇳 Trump boasted this week that he reached a trade agreement with China — though state media in China tells a different story than Trump — claiming that he convinced them to cut tariffs on US-built cars. That’s not true and the White House won’t even back up their boss on it, but now Trump is taking back what he said too.
🚕 The NYC Taxi and Limo Commission approved a $17.22 minimum wage (post-expenses) for people working on Uber, Lyft, Via and Juno. These new rules are based on a formula using mileage, time and utilisation rate with drivers who take passengers outside the city getting more.
👩⚕️ Nebula Genomics is challenging 23andMe by allowing people to earn a free genome sequence that’s more detailed than its competitors, or pay $99 for the process. Then, they can sell their information to pharmaceutical companies, who are willing to pay for sequencing to do product research and to study abnormalities.
Our best wishes for a productive and peaceful evening. Feel free to direct any more Facebook PR drama, Uber promo codes or genome buyers info to our email.
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