All posts by Midnightschildren

S.F. Supes Again Condemn Zuckerberg’s Name on City General Hospital

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by Michael Cabanatuan. Originally published in SF Chronicle

A committee of San Francisco supervisors on Thursday condemned the naming of San Francisco General Hospital for Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, citing a long list of grievances against the social media giant and claiming its practices endanger public health.

The three-member Government Audit and Oversight Committee voted to condemn the hospital’s name and to develop a better policy for future naming of public facilities. The resolution, which carries no legal mandates, was mostly a statement of opinion by the board — and a chance to bash Facebook. The board is constrained in its contract with Zuckerberg in removing his name from the hospital.

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Good Riddance: Tech Worker’s Flight From SF is a Relief to Some Advocates

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by David Ingram. Originally published on nbcnews.com.

SAN FRANCISCO — When Chirag Bhakta saw a headline recently that said tech workers were fleeing San Francisco, he had a quick reaction: “Good riddance.”

Bhakta, a San Francisco native and tenant organizer for affordable housing nonprofit Mission Housing, is well-versed in the seismic impact that the growth of the tech industry has had on the city. As software companies expanded over the past decade, they drew thousands of well-off newcomers who bid up rents and remade the city’s economy and culture.

He said the sudden departure of many tech workers and executives — often to less expensive, rural areas where they can telecommute during the coronavirus pandemic — reveals that their relationship with San Francisco was “transactional” all along.

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Ringing Alarm Bells

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A study of implicit bias in consumer surveillance device use in San Francisco

Noting the rapid spread of Ring/Law Enforcement collaborative agreements in Northern California, Oakland Privacy embarked on a study of the content that device owners in San Francisco post to the Ring smartphone application “Neighbors”.

Working with a sample set of 131 videos drawn from the city of San Francisco and scraped by researchers at MIT, our volunteers reviewed the videos (several times) and accompanying post content.

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The Robber Barons of Big Tech

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by Veronica Irwin. Published in SF Weekly.

Remember when we thought we were going to make the world a better place?

In the city where Jello Biafra once ran for mayor on a platform that would have required businessmen to wear clown suits, recently graduated engineers arrived wearing jeans and pocket-tees. Like the countercultural icons who came before them, they thumbed their collective noses at the stuffy protocols that had come to dominate the white collar workforce. While New York’s business elite had members-only clubs, local tech CEOs kept a kegerator in the office — right next to the ping-pong table and bean bag chair lounge. The Silicon Valley “campus,” complete with outdoor shopping centers and arcades, replaced the corporate headquarters, and open floor plans dismantled the sterile grid of cubicles.

This was the Left Coast. On this side of the country, the son of a teen mom and a cuban immigrant could rise to become the world’s first trillionaire and a couple of bearded, shaggy college dropouts could build a world-conquering personal computer company while pledging to Think Different.

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Open Vallejo Podcast: Tiny Constables

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This Open Vallejo podcast focuses on the City of Vallejo’s purchase of a cell site simulator or stingray, a dangerous and expensive piece of surveillance equipment used to track the location of a cell phone by impersonating a cell phone tower.

Oakland Privacy, the Bay Area’s ant-surveillance coalition, sued the City of Vallejo to enforce state law and require the City to allow public comment and a City Council vote on the device’s usage policy.

MA ED Tracy Rosenberg is a contributor to this edition of the Open Vallejo podcast entitled “Tiny Constables.

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Protest Facebook – Protect The Results November 4

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The Protest Facebook coalition organized a Protect the Results demonstration in front of Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters on the afternoon of November 4th.

ABC press coverage: Protesters Demand Twitter and Facebook Take More Action Against Election Disinformation

KTVU press coverage: San Francisco Bay Area Protestors Push Back on Trump’s Election Interference

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California to Vote on Privacy Proposal in Midst of Heated Debate

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by Ken Silva with Global Data Review

Californians are set to vote on a new privacy law that would make sweeping changes to the CCPA regime. GDR has interviewed members from the campaigns supporting and opposing the proposal.

The California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), which will appear as “Prop 24” on the state’s ballot on Tuesday, has made strange bedfellows, with both industry groups and some privacy advocates opposing the initiative. The former say more regulations will further burden the private sector, while the latter claim that the CPRA creates loopholes that will lead to further data exploitation.

But other privacy advocates, policy experts and lawyers support the measure. They are confident that Prop 24 will pass, and that it will make meaningful privacy enhancements – while also clarifying some existing ambiguities with the CCPA.

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