Tag Archives: privacy

Pandemic Privacy and Discrimination

New Orleans      Businesses are madly lobbying Congress for liability protection from lawsuits by their workers.  They are clear that they want their staff to return to work, but they do not want to have to vouch for their health on the job.  Business must be worried that if their boy doesn’t make it back to the White House, then there might be a real Occupational Health and Safety Administration and hell to pay.  Face it, for business all workers are essential.  The economy doesn’t run without workers.  It is an interesting irony that in a pandemic, all capitalists become Marxists when they are forced to remember that nothing works without workers.  It is not paradoxical that the same business capitalists want to turn to the politicians they own in donor servitude to save them from their workers now that they are reminded, they are all critical.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) must not be equally under the grip of the White House.  They issued an order recently forbidding businesses to discriminate in recalling and employing older workers over 65-years of age, fearing that these workers might be more susceptible to Covid-19, and that they would be liable.  It is easy to predict that in the magical mystery tour of layoff and recall now, that few seniors may get this message and many more may be lost in the EEOC filing bureaucracy forever as they seek a callback.

Local 100 United Labor Unions represents many state employees in Arkansas.  As the state determinedly tried to reopen, regardless of the spiking numbers of cases and deaths from this coronavirus, they were desperate to curtail remote workers and have them back in state offices.   Toney Orr, 100 field director and Arkansas state director, shared with me the survey questions sent to state workers.  The state wanted to know how they obtained groceries or prescriptions.  They wanted to know when and where they went outside of their home.  Where they traveled and why?  You get the message.  The state wanted to investigate and essentially regulate their nonwork and at home activity to build its own case for compelling them to come to the office using the information to establish that they were not quarantined in their own homes.  Tell me that’s not an invasion of privacy.  Where’s the ACLU?  Workers with underlying conditions are facing return to office demands. What do conservative Republicans call state intervention in the personal lives of people?  Overreach, right?  Bad news, guys, workers have rights to privacy, too.  I guess I mean, don’t they?

Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM have all agreed to stop selling police facial recognition software until there are rules and regulations that govern surveillance.  We need the same protection for workers now on remote work, key stroke monitoring, boss drive-bys, and especially requirements to come back to offices until they are guaranteed to meet health and safety standards.

No workers are safe in a pandemic.  Neither are their bosses who must be both responsible and accountable.


Facebook Fables

Milwaukee       It has finally come to the point where it is impossible to believe anything that Facebook says.  Yes, I know the goalpost keeps moving, but this is ridiculous!

Take today for example.

An analysis in the New York Times compared the number of fake accounts that Facebook claims to have closed in the last 12-months is over 2 billion accounts at the clip of 7 million per day. The Times was doing simple addition from the regular transparency reports that Facebook has been posting recently as their credibility crashed faster than a website.  They also claim that they have a couple of billion “active” users.  Something is wrong with the math here, brothers and sisters.

They also reported that Facebook was telling its investors that there was no appreciable difference in the number of fake accounts that it was deep sixing.  How could that jibe with the reports of having closed billions of accounts?  They also claimed that they can catch these fakers within seconds of their establishing a new account, but on the other hand they want to not move too fast, they claim, because it might be a real person.  See what I mean about fables?  You can’t talk out of both sides of your mouth and have any credibility.

A former classmate of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, is also reportedly monitoring them closely.  He might have a bit of a chip on his shoulder since he was behind an early iteration of the Face, before Zuckerberg took it all and ran.  Regardless, he argues that the number of duplicate accounts may be at the same level as fake accounts, casting even more shade over Facebook’s claims of billions of active users.  Yes, the rules say no double-dipping of accounts, but who among us doesn’t know folks with more than one account?  He may be wrong on his speculation about the scale of the problem, but he’s definitely right that there’s a lot of dupes out there.

Meanwhile, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s #2 honcho, was claiming at the same time to investors that despite all of their troubles, they were making goo-gobs of money still.  She also claimed that they could make significant investments in security, and it would not curtail profits. If so, why haven’t they done so before this?   Is this another Facebook fable?

Zuckerberg also recently claimed that Facebook users really and truly wanted ads on their Facebook pages.  Researchers writing in the op-ed section of the Times also called that balderdash, and you know in your heart that they are right.  There’s no one anywhere who is just dying to see an ad anywhere, including on Facebook.  Let’s list this as another big Facebook whooper!

Who can believe anything that any of these Facebook folks say anymore?  Come forward and identify yourself if you do.  There’s a bridge in Brooklyn for sale that’s just waiting for your name on it.


Please enjoy Vicky Emerson’s The Reckoning. Thanks to KABF.

And Fine Mess by Interpol