Best Of The Web
“When you see an ad for online gambling, it is never a matter of chance. Take, for example, the story of Sportsbet, an Australian company owned by the global gambling-industry behemoth Paddy Power. A recent investigation found that the company spent hundreds of millions of dollars on highly integrated promotional activities. Traditional advertising and celebrity ambassador programs were complemented by a web presence on major platforms, informed by data collected from a wide range of sources. Banks, for instance, are a provider of data to analytics firms that gambling companies rely on to ensure advertising dollars are well spent. The data may be de-identified, but in the grand scheme of things, this is irrelevant. As we move around the web, leaving a trail of data, it gets swept up and sold in all sorts of covert and unexpected ways.
And it’s not just gambling. The digital age has allowed a host of businesses—from online lending to for-profit education—to access detailed information about potential customers, the platforms that can target them, and the money to put it all together.
Often when we think about the right to privacy, we think of the right to be let alone, unmolested by the state. But the digital age has given rise to industrialized data mining, content curation, and automated decision-making, all of which undermine democracy and intensify social divisions. It calls for a more sophisticated understanding of privacy—one that can appreciate both the collective and individual nature of this right.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"When Mark Twain observed that rumors of his death had been “greatly exaggerated,” he left out the fact that those words would become true eventually, as they did in 1910 when the great American author died. Similarly, given the huge resources..."
"No one is going to confuse President Trump’s remarks Tuesday at the Economic Club of New York with anything approaching eloquence. He is at his worst when he stiffly reads the teleprompter or flies widely off script with gratuitous remarks about..."
"Everything we think we know about the shape of the universe could be wrong. Instead of being flat like a bedsheet, our universe may be curved, like a massive, inflated balloon, according to a new study. That’s the upshot of a new paper published..."
"Being lonely hurts — it can even negatively impact your health. But the mere act of being alone with oneself doesn’t have to be bad, and experts say it can even benefit your social relationships, improve your creativity and confidence, and help..."
"Sen. Elizabeth Warren is campaigning for a 2% surtax on anyone’s net worth over $50 million and 6% on more than $1 billion. Most discussion of the wealth tax has focused on whether it could generate sufficient revenue to fund Ms. Warren’s..."
"TV depression looks fabulous. I’d love to have that kind of depression. And it’s not just TV depression; any mental illness on-screen looks rather thrilling. Either it’s dark and dramatic — unlike day-to-day depression, which is at best super..."
"Hebrew remained, to Oz, Zionism’s greatest achievement. Certainly, it was the one he was least ambivalent about. “I have said many times that I’m a chauvinist only in respect of the language,” he told the Paris Review. “I feel for the language..."
"Talk about missed connections. Earlier this week, hundreds of people received seemingly random text messages, out of context and out of the blue, addressed from friends, family, and loved ones. The first part of the mystery was solved pretty..."