A solid foundation for navigating the ethics of big tech

There isn’t much that Americans seem to agree on these days. Even as COVID-19 brought some national unity, we are beginning to see the fraying of American society once again. Political, social, economic, and religious issues have sorted us into tribes and tribes of tribes. It is difficult to keep up to date on the number of differing viewpoints and interest groups. But there is one concern that seems to bring the fraying parties and proported enemies together: the power and influence of technology on our lives.

Last fall, Pew Research Center released a report that for the first time in their research, Americans now have less faith in technology companies than in churches. This is striking based on the secularization of society and many popular claims that religion only divides us. This study proves what most of us already know—technology is ubiquitous in our society. The power that these tools have over our lives is beginning to be revealed. 

The Rundown

Amazon Scooped Up Data From Its Own Sellers to Launch Competing ProductsThe Wall Street Journal

Amazon.com Inc. employees have used data about independent sellers on the company’s platform to develop competing products, a practice at odds with the company’s stated policies.

Zoom users top 300M during coronavirus pandemic despite security concernsFox Business

The app grew from just 10 million users to 300 million in a matter of months as people turn to video conferencing to work and connect with family and friends from home during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Instagram Is Rushing To Roll Out A Memorial Account Feature Because Of COVID-19 DeathsBuzzfeed News

Instagram is speeding up plans for a new account memorialization feature, adding a “Remembering” banner under a username to signal that a person has died. 

Mark Zuckerberg: How data can aid the fight against covid-19The Washington Post

Better data can help governments determine where to send resources such as ventilators and personal protective equipment — and eventually which areas are safe to start opening up again.

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Digital Public Square Podcast with Jason Thacker

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