By Ishaan Bhattacharya
Welcome to the latest edition of the Giannini Politics Update. Today, the topics of discussion are Facebook’s undignified decision to share the data of over 2 billion users with some of the world’s biggest tech firms and the recent government shutdown.
The federal government declared a partial government shutdown in December of 2018 due to President Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion in taxpayer money to proceed with construction of the southern border wall. This decision impacts the lives of 800,000 federal workers many of whom will not receive paychecks. Despite his numerous claims of Mexico paying for it, Donald Trump’s wall still remains without funding. Controversy over what stands in the way of a resolution, a divided Congress, has been expressed a multitude of times. Negotiations between congressional leaders and the White House are at a virtual impasse, despite multiple tense meetings. This sparks possibility of an economic recession, because of the shutdown’s effects on the economy.
According to a recent report by the New York Times, Facebook has exposed more users’ data than previously thought. In a deal that caused them to gain more users, Facebook shared data with over 150 companies from Amazon to Netflix. This abrupt report on Facebook’s state of public trust changes everything because of the fact that Facebook previously admitted to having shared the data of less users than what has been discovered. Participants in the deal were able to add new features to their products while effectively avoiding Facebook's usual privacy rules. Although many of the partnerships ended years ago, the perks of this deal were an interference with users’ privacy, such as the ability to read their private messages. This information was revealed a short time after data firm Cambridge Analytica obtained the data of over 87 million users without their awareness. This discovery was soon followed by 30 million users’ email addresses and phone numbers. This sudden revelation brings up a questionable future for Facebook.
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