The tolerant left? I'm the intolerant left.
- Jan 22, 2017
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
- Libertarian - Left
John Oliver Blackmails Congress With Their Own Digital Data
The ‘Last Week Tonight’ host paid shady brokers for lawmakers’ digital histories — promising not to release the info so long as Congress passes legislation protecting all consumer…
"The ‘Last Week Tonight’ host paid shady brokers for lawmakers’ digital histories — promising not to release the info so long as Congress passes legislation protecting all consumers’ data"
I've posted about this many times on this forum, but mass data collection really is a huge threat to society. Ads and selling the data to scammers are maybe the least worrying uses. We have already seen advertising profiles sold to influence elections and voting patterns like in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Making the mass collection and profiling of consumers illegal is one of the most necessary pieces of legislation that needs to be passed our democracy and society.The show’s main segment concerned data brokers, the companies that collect your digital data, package it, and sell it to anyone who’s interested — sometimes in bundles based on shared characteristics. Real names of these bundles include “Ambitious Singles,” “Couples With Clout,” and “Kids and Cabernet.” Oliver pointed out that the names also sound like “immediately green-lit shows on TLC.”
Thing is, brokers group people in far less fanciful ways — according to their medical ailments, for instance. Or as “Suffering Seniors” and “Help Needed—I Am 90 Days Behind With Bills.” Last year, Epsilon, one of these ghoulish companies, was forced to pay $150 million in penalties because they’d knowingly sold the data of 30 million people to scammers targeting seniors.
Hilarious. Honestly I'm almost hope they don't pass anything because I want to see the data they got a hold of. John Oliver yet again putting his platform to incredible civic use.He and his staff paid for the data of a subset of individuals with traits that a lot of Congressmen have, and who were online within five miles of the Capitol building. Though Oliver was cagey about what they found, he indicated they were able to identify several specific lawmakers and their potentially problematic search histories. But he didn’t reveal anything more than that. Instead, he indicated that his preferred solution was for lawmakers to pass laws making the release of that kind of personal info illegal.