Ex-CIA agent bashes Facebook

A look inside Facebook

Former CIA employee Yael Eisenstat spent 6 months as an employee of Facebook, and doesn’t have much good to say. On the business model of ad engagement, Eisenstat says, “Their tools are doing what they can to keep us engaged, which is taking us down more and more extreme rabbit holes, which is polarizing us more and more…” On the corporate culture, “Every single solution we were trying to come up with was (a) the bare minimum for the company to be able to check that box.” On Facebook’s role of providing relevant information, “but there’s a complete asymmetry of power, because they actually have so much information on you that at this point they can evenĀ predict your behavior.” Wired

dis-rup-shun: Facebook is everyone’s favorite tech company to bash, but the vitriol may be based on people’s increasing consciousness that they are being acted on by these companies. While advertisers are pumping more into social media platforms, consumers are feeling more manipulated, meaning that a more fulfilling substitute could quickly disrupt the platform.

Controversial facial recognition technology deployed by City of Boise

Boise City Hall is spending $52,000 on facial recognition cameras and software to alert security of the presence of banned individuals. Currently no one is banned from the City Hall, but lawmakers believe they will be better prepared. A number of cities have banned the use of facial recognition technologies. AvantGuard Monitoring

dis-rup-shun: This technology is in its early stages, with noted problems including inaccuracy, especially among black females. Nonetheless, the price of doing nothing is rising, as public shootings have become an almost weekly affair. Expect all levels of government to invest in security technologies, even those that are less proven.

A look at CNBC’s Disruptor 50 companies

This list of CNBC’s most influential disruptive tech companies offer some diversity to the stereotypical tech startup. First, seven of the fifty have female CEOs, and the majority are based outside of California. At the top of the list is Indigo Ag, a company focused on the social mission of changing the food industry. Technologies most prominent on the list are machine learning (36 companies), AI (29) and cloud computing (14), with drone delivery critical to one. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: The speed of technology offers hope for companies that seek to disrupt the status quo, a status that is increasingly owned and secured by GAAFA. The now common startup exit strategy, given Big Tech’s impenetrable fortress, is to demonstrate to Big Tech that a new company is cheaper to acquire than copy. If the Justice Department ups the pressure on the big boys, the pace of acquisition may slow, lest they appear to be reducing competition by aggregation of the innovators.