A new catch-up that’s a little dark (we’re still feeling the #bluemonday effect) … Let’s go!
And that’s the way the cookie crumbles
The CNIL (French data protection authority) just hit Google with a record fine of 50 million euros! Reasons cited for the fine included lack of transparency, unclear, scattered and hard-to-access info for users (sometimes needing up to 5 clicks to find), and even violation of consent rules.
The CNIL has punished Google for an insufficiently clear consent agreement for users. The causes? Pre-ticked boxes for displaying personalised ads, and overly vague T&Cs requiring everything to be accepted in bulk. This penalty is still quite far from 4% of Google’s turnover. La Quadrature du Net, the group behind the collective complaints against Google, believes that this is just the tip of the iceberg, and has urged the CNIL to follow up by imposing, this time, a sanction of proportionate size to this company.
Mountain View’s reaction: bringing an appeal before the Council of State (France’s highest administrative court). And not without a few insidious threats: “We’re also concerned about the impact of this ruling on publishers, original content creators and tech companies in Europe and beyond.” #ohthenerve
The ultimate symbol of disruption, Uber is still at the center of debates about workers and the labour market. In Uberland, researcher Alex Rosenblat analyses the strange effects of a system labeled as authoritarian and cynical. It’s far from the utopia of sharing extolled in the beginning. The result of several years of study alongside Uber drivers has revealed compulsive and subservient behavior with respect to the app. The author also suggests that the app’s gamified universe serves to have drivers consent to their own exploitation. This analysis (complete and documented) by InternetActu also makes reference to the book Manufacturing Consent (1979) by Michael Burawoy: Offering a sense of autonomy and relative control, gamification encourages workers to subscribe to the company’s objectives. Its conclusion is that Uber is happy to glorify its technological achievements as the benefactor of the transport industry, allowing it to better deflect attention from its social impact.
What if everything on the Internet was just fakery, lies and illusions? New York Magazine deconstructs a system that has no reality (with many examples): bot traffic, inaccurate Facebook metrics, Chinese click farms, fraudsters on Amazon, misuse of content for electoral purposes… all enabled by regulations which are too little too late, or downright non-existent. This poses the question of another digital world… one where reliability, authenticity and finally (good) quality would be the values of a new Internet counterculture. The ball is in our court, and we are doing our part with an independent and trustworthy analytics tool.
While they tend to be forgotten amongst other priorities, adblockers continue to hurt publishers. In addition to their efforts to get users to disable ad blockers, companies are now increasingly concerned by data loss, especially as rates of ad blocker usage is increasing on mobile phones. Pierre Buffet, head of analytics at Le Monde newspaper, believes the figures are short of reality. He points to ad blockers’ harmful effects, and above all cites the rise of ghost traffic. Le Monde’s strategy: rely on its digital analytics partner (that’s us!) to retrieve between 5% and 15% of page views that had gone under the radar due to ad blockers. We’ll keep you posted.
Ever wondered what really happens to you after a big night of partying? A podcast (in French) is dedicated to this very topic. (As is this English alternative from NPR.) So what is the exact scientific definition of a hangover? How does it impact your brain and your cognitive functioning? There are more than 800 studies and a meta-analysis on the subject! Even after all that, we think hangovers are here to stay… cheers!
See you next time on the Internets!