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Tech news, HAT-slanted 
Issue 159
The Good Fight

Shoshana Zuboff's latest opinion piece in The New York Times is a blistering view of how our lives have been 'rendered as data flows', and how surveillance capitalism and epistemic inequality impacts on democracy and our lives. Nothing we don't already know by now, especially if you've read her illuminating if chilling The Age of Surveillance Capitalism
 
What stands out though, is her point about innovation. How, despite having built some of the world's largest computer networks, data centres and the most advanced microchips and machine intelligence, surveillance capital has not driven innovation to solve the world's most urgent problems.
 
Big tech companies often talk about innovation, but usually in terms of how it would be stifled if they are over-regulated or broken up. We don't see them channelling this so-called innovation to fighting global warming, eliminating hunger or finding a cure for the coronavirus. If anything, some do the opposite, like stifling staff dissent over their corporate carbon footprint and engagement with fossil fuel industries. If big tech can't channel their 'vast capital and computational power' to doing some good, instead of just being 'furiously dedicated' to profiting from 'the lucrative science and economics of human prediction', then what is the point of them?!
 
The good news: there's increasing pushback to make big tech more responsible with global challenges. From fed-up staff's refusal to stay silent about their employers' climate change and human rights policies, to backlash over token philanthropy by one of tech's stingiest billionaires. As Zuboff writes, surveillance capitalists may be rich and powerful, but they fear lawmakers who do not fear them, and citizens who 'demand a new road forward'. 
 
Gotta keep the good fight going. 

Yours in HAT,

Leila Trilby, Editor-in-chief

The Present

Facial recognition tech goes live in London, amid more calls for their ban elsewhere. Time to get some anti-surveillance fashion.
 
Strong data protection rules are a necessity, not a luxury, says Europe to mark Data Protection Day. 
 
How writing less emails—and generating less data—can help save the world

The Future 

Effective 2021: UK's new 'age appropriate' rules to protect children's online privacy. Till then, still lots to iron out
 
We know things are pretty bad. But the Doomsday Clock's just confirmed it
 
What's ahead for journalism, media and tech for 2020, according to Reuters Institute's new-format report. 

The Doghouse

Antivirus software's meant to protect us, not secretly sell our web browsing data.  
 
Is that actually an ad? Google's new search-results design has users up in arms
 
Data disasters could have jeopardised Britain's post-Brexit data flows with Europe. 

Downtime                        

It's US National News Literacy Week – find out how literate you really are.  
 
Video gaming's alright, from high school leagues and scholarships to exclusive streaming rights for mega esport leagues.

HAT News 

Book now. To pitch for £1,000 research grant funding at this Thursday's HAT Ecosystem Meetup. Get your tickets here
 
ETA keeps growing. Welcome to ISDOP, Socialode, Hooli, Elmo EV Subscriptions, Redeem Recycling Program and Diversity Dashboard as the Ethical Tech Alliance's newest members. 
 
Y'all say hi now. To Shawn Yeager, who's just joined Dataswift as VP of Enterprise Sales. Good to have you onboard!
 
Still available. Opportunities to work with Dataswift as Head of Engineering and Product Associate. Check out the AngelList job ads.

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