How Google Influences the Conversation in Washington

A few days after last year’s midterm election, a Google policy manager and lobbyist sent an email to a congressional staffer with a link to a blog post on the right-wing news site Red State, written under the name The Real DC. In the post, the author accuses Google’s competitor Yelp of prodding President Trump to tweet a “professionally designed” video about Google’s alleged bias, which The Real DC calls “fake news” because it “bears many similarities” to content produced by Yelp. In the email, a copy of which was viewed by WIRED, Ed An, the Google lobbyist, said he does not typically share articles from Red State but thought the staffer would find this one interesting. Neither Red State, …

Dont break up big tech regulate data access, says EU antitrust chief

Breaking up tech giants should be a measure of last resort, the European Union’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, has suggested. “To break up a company, to break up private property would be very far reaching and you would need to have a very strong case that it would produce better results for consumers in the marketplace than what you could do with more mainstream tools,” she warned this weekend, speaking in a SXSW interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher. “We’re dealing with private property. Businesses that are built and invested in and become successful because of their innovation.” Vestager has built a reputation for being feared by tech giants, thanks to a number of major (and often expensive) interventions since she …

Facebook adds new background location privacy controls to its Android app

Facebook is updating its privacy settings on Android to make it easier for users to control what location data is sent to and stored by the company. In its announcement, Facebook acknowledged that Android users have expressed concern over the app’s ability to continuously log location data in the background. Due to Android’s all-or-nothing system of location permissions relative to iOS, the Facebook app has historically had the green light for collecting location data whether a user is actively in the app or not.

What business leaders can learn from Jeff Bezos leaked texts

Joel Wallenstrom The ‘below the belt selfie’ media circus surrounding Jeff Bezos has made encrypted communications top of mind among nervous executive handlers. Their assumption is that a product with serious cryptography like Wickr – where I work – or Signal could have helped help Mr. Bezos and Amazon avoid this drama. I worry that moments like these will drag serious cryptography down to the level of the National Enquirer. I’m concerned that this media cycle may lead people to view privacy and cryptography as a safety net for billionaires rather than a transformative solution for data minimization and privacy. We cannot let this media cycle pass without recognizing that when corporate executives take a laissez-faire approach to digital privacy, …