WeeklyTech #14

Kids and Privacy

Kids are the latest trend in internet celebrities. From Ryan Kaji of Ryan ToysReview, which has millions of subscribers, to Greta Thunberg, the teenage environmental activist who recently commanded the public’s attention at the U.N., today’s kids are digital natives and are increasingly putting their lives on display online. While your kids might not be Instagram influencers or YouTube stars (yet), the public, including many companies, know more about your kids than you might think. 

As parents, we tend to share things online about our children without much thought. And the cute, intimate moments of childhood and adolescence are shown to thousands of “followers” and “friends” online without their knowledge or consent. Yet, have we stopped to think about what effects this will have on our children as they grow older? Do we think about what could be done with the data that has been captured, processed, and distilled? Could it affect how their teachers view them in the classroom, how their future employers evaluate their job performance, or determine if they are accepted to their dream schools or technical programs? 

Interesting technology stories

Facebook says it won’t remove politicians’ posts for breaking its rules – The Verge

Facebook says politicians don’t have to follow its normal posting guidelines, unless they’re running an ad. The company clarified the rules around politicians’ content today, saying that “it is not our role to intervene when politicians speak.”

China Scores Businesses, and Low Grades Could Be a Trade-War Weapon – The New York Times

Beijing is increasingly amassing information now divided among various government agencies and industry associations — including court decisions, payroll data, environmental records, copyright violations, even how many employees are members of the Communist Party — and using it to grade businesses and the people who run them, according to state media, government documents and experts

Digital Bibles Help Men Read More But Retain Less – Christianity Today

Men are more likely than women to finish Bible reading plans on an app, but they don’t glean as much as when using a good, old-fashioned paper book, according a recent study in the Journal of Religion, Media, and Digital Culture.

All the new features coming to Alexa, including a new voice, frustration mode, and Samuel L. Jackson – The Verge

Coming is a new “frustration detection” feature that’s designed to detect when you’re getting frustrated with Alexa getting your requests wrong, after which it’ll try to apologize. The feature is rolling out next year starting with music requests, and will make its way to other Alexa interactions over time.