March Media Digest: Technology and Society 

The debate about technology companies and their effects on society has come to a head. Facebook is under scrutiny for their data and privacy policies. Russian meddling in the United States’ elections through all major social media platforms is now more of a certainty than a vague speculation. And Amazon is feeling the heat because the United States President Trump is voicing criticisms about the company and CEO Jeff Bezos (using Twitter, of course).

While some see this as a crisis, we believe it’s an opportunity for both established technology companies as well as newcomers like ourselves. This moment is a chance to redefine the role technology should play in our lives, and how corporations can be responsible members of society and turn a profit.

At Kai our mission is to close the digital divide by making internet access affordable and ubiquitous, so that everyone can participate in the digital revolution. We strive to become an example of how a technology company can be both mission-driven and a sound business at the same time.

For this media digest, we’ve selected articles that can contribute to this debate by presenting a variety of perspectives on the influence of technology has on our lives and societies.

Mark Zuckerberg Talks to WIRED About Facebook’s Privacy Problem

Facing fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data breach, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, speaks to WIRED about the policy gaps that allowed it to happen, what they’ve done to resolve the problem, and what steps Facebook will take to secure user data moving forward.

https://www.wired.com/story/mark-zuckerberg-talks-to-wired-about-facebooks-privacy-problem/


‘Time well spent’ is shaping up to be tech’s next big debate

Members of the Time Well Spent movement outline how our tech products could be leveraged in a way that leads to more fulfilling outcomes for users, ultimately helping us to improve our lives rather than waste time and experience feelings of frustration.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/17/16903844/time-well-spent-facebook-tristan-harris-mark-zuckerberg


The web can be weaponised – and we can’t count on big tech to stop it

Tim Berners-Lee, the original inventor of the World Wide Web, makes a compelling case for his vision of the future of the internet. He outlines the work that still needs to be done to close the digital divide, and how we can ensure tech companies don’t become too big.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/12/tim-berners-lee-web-weapon-regulation-open-letter


Estonia, the Digital Republic

While everyone else is talking about the future of the internet, Estonia is building a digital society of the future, known as e-Estonia.

Estonian citizens can live anywhere, while their data is protected and belongs to them. At the same time, all government institutions and other companies can reference the relevant data to improve their services, if a citizen gives permission. It’s a great example of what a society driven by data and technology can look like when a government reinvents itself and takes the lead in technical innovation.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/12/18/estonia-the-digital-republic


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