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Facebook is a Victim of Text and Data Mining European Law

CNN Used “Dataminr” to Scan Twitter, Benefited from Privacy Act Gap


Text and Data Mining (TDM) is not covered under US Laws


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was right when he said government should regulate Facebook, and social media in general. What he meant by that is to modify the 1974 Privacy Act, which has been updated by the Department of Homeland Security in 2015. That required update would add regulation of Text and Data Mining under Copyright. TDM refers to a research technique to collect information from large amounts of digital data through automated software tools.

The Cambridge Analytica personal data scandal put Facebook under EU Law because it is initially published in London, England, which still until now a part of the European Union. According to the EU Copyright Law, Text and Data Mining (TDM) is licensed, with exception of researchers. Cambridge Analytica has an office in London, but registered in US.

In USA, Text and Data Mining (TDM) is not cover by any law. Some organizations, especially in the education and the library fields, just provide guidelines on how TDM is used. 

DTM American Companies make Billions of Dollars by scanning and mining data from all types of websites, with focus on social media, selling data analysis and reports to whoever pay more. Big TDM companies in America are: TOPCY, LITHIUM, DATASIFT, GNIP, DATAMINR, and of course the famous now CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA.

In 2016 Twitter announced it did not authorize Dataminr to harvest its site and provide CNN and government law enforcement data and reports. CNN started its partnership with Dataminr to get live analysis of twits. Until today Dataminr still providing Twitter and other social media data analysis to its clients.

IRS used text and data mining to track and audit tax payers, though the 2010 U.S. v. Warshak ruling, which reaffirmed citizens have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their emails, and the government needs a warrant to obtain them. The IRS agreed in a Senate hearing to cease reviewing emails but said nothing about texts and social media.

There are many sites out there that teach, and provide free software and codes, how to hack to social media and mine its data. Sites, such as Beautiful Soup,  is a Python library designed for quick turnaround projects like screen-scraping. Other sites, like Knight Lab, provides step-by-step manuals for hacking and data mining and web scraping.

How European Union solved TDM Issue?

First, EU specified what TDM is, and how It works:

1. Identifying input materials to be analyzed, such as works, or data individually collected or organized in a pre-existing database.

2. copying substantial quantities of materials—which encompasses a. pre-processing materials by turning them into machine-readable format compatible with the technology to be deployed for the TDM so that structured data can be extracted, and possibly, but not necessarily, uploading the pre-processed materials on a platform, depending on the TDM technique to be deployed.

3. Extracting the data.

4. Recombining it to identify patterns into the final output.

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Why libraries don't care about Ranking?

Libraries spend millions of dollars on buildings, books, resources, staff, and on website. Most of libraries have a webmaster, or a developer, or a programmer. Some rich libraries have teams of staff working on the website. Despite all that, analysts discover that most of library sites do not pass the ranking, lack basic SEO (Search Engines Optimization,) not improving backlinks, and not applying open graph meta tags, Twitter Cards, image alt tags, or using GZIP Compression.

Some libraries webmasters seem to focus on securing the sites against malware, ignoring enhancing site popularity, site speed, while making their web server technology is visible, and keep Cross-site scripting (XSS) in their web applications. XSS enables attackers to inject client-side script into webpages viewed by other users. 

Using open source, and other available tools on the web, to scan and evaluate some of the most famous libraries in America, found interesting facts:

1- Alexa ranking of Library of Congress (http://loc.org) site is 10,419,171. Site has 18 warnings and 2 error. Its SEO score is 59 out of 100, site speed is 61 out of 100.

2- Clinton Presidential Library (http://www.clintonlibrary.gov) scores 63 out of 100 for SEO, has 16 warnings and 3 errors. Alexa ranking for that site is 2,946,376 most popular website in the world. Again site has no XSS protection.

3- DC Public Library (dclibrary.org) is doing much better in Alexa ranking, 104,403th most popular website. No XSS protection was detected, but site speed is 87 out of 100.

4- Indian Trails Public Library, IL, (http://indiantrailslibrary.org) scored a weak SEO of 49, and poor speed of 52 out of 100. Its site is the 1,907,818th most popular, and it has 20 warnings and 4 errors, site does not use Twitter card, or Open Graph, and its server does not allow caching of any type. 

5- Brooklyn Public Library (http://.bklynlibrary.org) is a little famous than the above sites with 62,524. Its site has 14 warnings and 3 error related to its "canonical" links, and it huge content size, which put its speed at 71 out of 100. 

Cloud in Prison Libraries

American Prison Libraries Lack Internet

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While most of European prison libraries implement Internet service for inmates, US law and codes still behind on this front. A new software called PrisonCloud is used in many prison libraries in Europe.  PrisonCloud allows the inmate to be more responsible for his own life in prison, helps him to become an active and responsible actor during the whole detention process and guides the inmate to a successful reintegration, based on a more individual and positive approach. 

When new technologies fail, who pays?

Customers bleed money, while tech giants cash pile

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My wife complained her iPhone was very slow. My sons wanted VR 360. I wanted to upgrade my phablet to Moto phone with projector. All of us, and millions more, were subject to new technology tricks, shortcomings, and in Apple iPhone case: Manipulation. As you all know, no one needed to upgrade iPhone because it was slow, but Apple kept silent just to pile up money. My wife bough two VR 360 for the boys, thinking they will have cool stuff of latest technology. two days later, both VR were put on shelf. Boys had no fun using them. As for me, I read a misleading review that Moto z2 phone with projector is cool stuff with latest technology. I ended up having all types of problems with that expensive phone. I remember my IT boss advising not to rush for buying new technologies. "Let others, customers and vendors, bleed for a while, until the good version of the products appear, then buy"

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