ANALYSIS: An emotional manipulation experiment Facebook conducted on 689,003 unknowing users has drawn scrutiny from Washington in a formal letter to the FTC.
Violet Blue unapologetically covers the intersection of tech trends and media stories about corruption, hypocrisy and redemption from tech's fault line, San Francisco.
Violet Blue is the author of The Smart Girl's Guide to Privacy. She contributes to ZDNet, CNET, CBS News, and SF Appeal.
News of Facebook experimenting on its users' emotional states has rattled everyone. Worse, the tool used to perform the experiments is so flawed there's no way of knowing if users were harmed.
'Quora's misogyny problem' is a tempest out of the teapot, and its current trolls-gone-wild state is a perfect example of why user-based websites need to change the way they think about targeted users.
OPINION: One month after creator and leader of Google+, Vic Gundotra, quietly quit, Google chief Sergey Brin told a conference audience last week that involvement in Google+ was "a mistake." He made the exact opposite statement in 2011.
Adult "tube" site PornHub examined its enormous user data stores with an eye on browser types, but the results reveal that phones and tablets are now 50-50 with desktop porn consumption.
The number one medical app on iTunes, Ovia, uses big data to help women get pregnant. Parent company Ovuline just released a user data sex map showing conservative states lead in "getting it on" to win the baby race.
After his family was stalked and abused using commercially available data, a ZDNet reader emailed Violet Blue to ask what he can do to fight the problem.
An alleged ex AdSense employee claimed Google robbed its AdSense clients and Google issued a fast denial. Now the anonymous accuser is back with more information.
Someone claiming to be a former employee of Google claims the internet giant has systematically robbed its AdSense clients -- an allegation Google has quickly denied.
With Facebook and Google cited by consumers as "worst abusers" of private data, is this week's White House report on big data and privacy -- and its discrimination concerns -- too little, too late?