FaceLexa, Can You Give My Personal Data to the Wikileaks Institute?

This photo illustration taken on March 23, 2018 shows Facebook logos on a computer screen in Beijing. / AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS ASFOURI (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)

I’ve been publicly critical of Google and Amazon for their monopolistic and often (especially in Amazon’s case) predatory business practices. But neither seems to have a corporate culture with the same level of sleaze and ‘if we can code it, we should totally do it’ ethos as Facebook. They deserve all the reputational damage they’re now incurring. But this is especially rich.

Amazon is way out in front of the pack with its digital personal assistant Alexa. Google and now Apple have now also introduced their own versions. Facebook was apparently just about to debut its own offering at its big May developer conference. But according to Bloomberg, Facebook has decided that now might not be the best time to ask the public to invite a Facebook microphone and video camera into their homes given Facebook’s demonstrated indifference to safeguarding the mountains of personal information it collects about users.

From Bloomberg

The company’s new hardware products, connected speakers with digital-assistant and video-chat capabilities, are undergoing a deeper review to ensure that they make the right trade-offs regarding user data, the people said. While the hardware wasn’t expected to be available until the fall, the company had hoped to preview the devices at the largest annual gathering of Facebook developers, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing internal plans.

I freely admit my glee at Facebook’s much deserved reckoning.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Edblog
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: