/2019

  • Bolivia Crisis Shows the Blurry Line Between Coup and Uprising
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/12/world/americas/bolivia-evo-morales-coup.html
    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/11/12/world/12int-bolivia1/merlin_164255727_798f62ff-14d0-4374-b3f7-616285f53ef5-facebookJumbo.jpg

    Often, they are one and the same: mass public uprisings alongside military defections that compel the resignation or removal of a country’s leader.

    But the overlapping terms often carry moral connotations that could not be more divergent: Coups, in today’s understanding, are to be condemned; revolts are to be championed.

    “People who get hung up on whether or not something is a coup or a revolution are missing the point,” said Naunihal Singh, a leading scholar of power transitions and coups. “The question is what happens next.”

    That has opened space for a kind of linguistic warfare, in which a political takeover can be portrayed as legitimate by labeling it a revolt, or illegitimate by terming it a coup.

    The narrative-building “has consequences” for what kind of government comes next, Mr. Singh said. Transitions like Bolivia’s tend to be fluid and unpredictable. The perception of legitimacy, or a lack thereof, can be decisive.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/811343 via tbn


  • All Your Data Is Health Data
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/13/opinion/health-data.html

    And Big Tech has it all. Here’s a terrifying sentence : Hackers are “becoming increasingly interested in the susceptibility of health data.” At least that’s the takeaway from researchers at the University of Southern California’s Center for Body Computing. They were at the Blackhat hacker conference in Las Vegas recently, where programmers set up a fake hospital environment and invited medical tech companies to bring their devices for a live stress test. “There was a lot of talk about the ease (...)

    #hacking #santé

    ##santé
    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/08/13/opinion/13warzel-privacy1/13warzel-privacy1-facebookJumbo.jpg

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  • California Sues Facebook for Documents in Privacy Investigation
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/06/technology/facebook-california-investigation.html

    The state said Facebook had resisted or ignored dozens of requests for documents and internal correspondence about the company’s handling of personal data. California’s attorney general on Wednesday said he was investigating Facebook’s privacy practices and accused the company of failing to cooperate with his inquiry, in the social network’s latest fight over how it treats user information. In a lawsuit filed by the attorney general, Xavier Becerra, the state said that over an 18-month (...)

    #Facebook #domination #data #procès

    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/11/06/business/06facebook/merlin_163177128_845ddd63-2979-406a-a8de-247eff9ee0a4-facebookJumbo.jpg

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  • Personalization Has Failed Us
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/05/opinion/personalization-privacy.html

    Curation by algorithm hasn’t lived up to expectations. Do you remember the moment you first tried a streaming service like Pandora ? It felt like magic. You could type in a band name — nearly any band name — and Pandora created a radio station of similar artists. It was a new era of machine curation, where you could skip the dusty record stores and have new media funneled straight into your brain. Now everything is so curated that it’s difficult to find content that’s truly surprising. (...)

    #Apple #Amazon #Spotify #algorithme #prédiction #prédiction #BigData #profiling #publicité #surveillance (...)

    ##publicité ##consommation
    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/11/05/opinion/05privacy-newsletter-photo/oakImage-1572981198857-facebookJumbo.jpg

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  • China’s Cryptocurrency Plan Has a Powerful Partner: Big Brother - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/18/technology/china-cryptocurrency-facebook-libra.html

    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/10/16/business/16Chinacrypto-illo/00Chinacrypto-illo-facebookJumbo.jpg

    BEIJING — When Facebook announced plans this year for a cryptocurrency called Libra, it said its goal was to reinvent money for the internet age. What the company probably didn’t imagine was that its efforts might spur China to get there first.

    China wants to start replacing the cash that people carry with a digital currency soon, a long-discussed project that went into overdrive after Libra was unveiled in June. Facebook has been fighting to defend its initiative against skeptical regulators, and key corporate partners have pulled out of the project. But Beijing’s ambitions appear to be moving ahead at full speed.

    The system emerging in China looks very different from Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that enthusiasts have championed as tools of emancipation from big banks and governments.

    A state-issued e-currency would help China’s government know more — much, much more — about how its citizens spend their money, giving it sweeping new powers to fight crime and manage the economy while also raising privacy concerns.
    Interested in All Things Tech?

    The Bits newsletter will keep you updated on the latest from Silicon Valley and the technology industry.

    “It’s extraordinary power and visibility into the financial system, more than any central bank has today,” said Martin Chorzempa, a research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

    Not even half a year has passed since Facebook unveiled Libra, but the tech giant’s foray into finance has been met with a steady stream of doubts and questions.

    The Federal Reserve says it has “serious concerns.” European officials have threatened to block the project from moving ahead on the Continent. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, is set to appear on Capitol Hill next week to discuss the plans.

    For Beijing, Libra has provided another urgent motive for digitizing the currency. China blocks Facebook’s platforms within its borders, but Chinese leaders see in Libra the potential start of a new world financial system, one that could bulldoze the traditional authority of governments and central banks — China’s included.

    “If Libra is accepted by everyone and becomes a widely used payment tool, then after some time, it is entirely possible that it will develop into a global, super-sovereign currency,” Mu Changchun, a top official at China’s central bank, said in a recent online lecture. “We need to plan ahead to protect our monetary sovereignty.”

    Facebook says Calibra, its digital wallet for holding and spending Libra, will require ID verification, and the company is vowing to use your financial data responsibly. It says it will not, for instance, take note of your pain reliever purchases to push Instagram ads for clinics.

    China has suggested that it, too, will keep spending information away from marketers — but not from the authorities. The banks and electronic payment companies that will distribute the new digital currency already require users to authenticate their names and identities. And officials have made clear that the central bank will be able to view data on transactions.

    Chinese consumers have for years paid for everything with their phones, and the country’s two dominant mobile payment services, Alipay and WeChat Pay, have become pillars of the Chinese economy. Alipay says it has processed as many as 256,000 payments per second. By comparison, Visa says it can handle 65,000. Libra is promising to do 1,000, at least at the start.

    But many transactions on the Chinese platforms move exclusively between digital wallets, never making contact with the state-dominated banking system. That means the Chinese government has to go through the platforms’ privately owned parent companies, Ant Financial and Tencent, if it wants to track and scrutinize those movements.

    Not so with the new e-currency.

    #Monnaie_numérique #Libra #Chine #Surveillance

    https://seenthis.net/messages/806986 via Articles repérés par Hervé Le Crosnier


  • Trump Is Tracking Your Phone
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/22/opinion/trump-privacy-2020.html?action=click&module=privacy%20belt%20recirc%20modul

    Privacy is a 2020 issue, even if the campaigns won’t address it. Privacy may not be a policy issue for most of the 2020 presidential candidates, but their campaigns will depend on intrusive tracking. Last week, my Opinion colleague Thomas Edsall laid out how “Trump is winning the online war,” and it got me thinking about the ways in which all the data invasions the Privacy Project has chronicled this year are continually refined as a campaign weapon. One bit from the piece that stuck with me (...)

    #algorithme #smartphone #élections #BigData #marketing #profiling #géolocalisation

    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/10/22/opinion/22warzelWeb/22warzelWeb-facebookJumbo.jpg

    https://seenthis.net/messages/809131 via etraces


  • Facial Recognition Tech Is Growing Stronger, Thanks to Your Face - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/13/technology/databases-faces-facial-recognition-technology.html
    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/07/11/business/00facedatabase2/00facedatabase2-facebookJumbo.jpg

    Dozens of databases of people’s faces are being compiled without their knowledge by companies and researchers, with many of the images then being shared around the world, in what has become a vast ecosystem fueling the spread of facial recognition technology.

    #reconnaissance_faciale #Google #Stanford #Microsoft #facebook #données

    https://seenthis.net/messages/792550 via odilon


  • Pierre Delecto, QAnon and the Paradox of Anonymity
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/29/opinion/pierre-delecto-qanon-anonymous-anonymity.html

    In 2019, it’s somehow both easier and harder than ever to be anonymous. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about Pierre Delecto. Pierre isn’t a real person — he’s the fake persona made up by Senator Mitt Romney for his secret Twitter account, which was recently uncovered after some expert forensic work by Slate’s Ashley Feinberg. Anonymity online is nothing new — arguably it’s a newer concept to browse the internet and comment under your real name, rather than use a screen name or pseudonymous (...)

    #bot #anonymat #surveillance

    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/10/29/opinion/29warzelnewsletter-2/29warzelnewsletter-2-facebookJumbo.jpg

    https://seenthis.net/messages/808601 via etraces


  • 1.5 Million Packages a Day : The Internet Brings Chaos to N.Y. Streets - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/27/nyregion/nyc-amazon-delivery.html
    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/10/27/nyregion/27NYTECH-p1/00NYTECH1-facebookJumbo.jpg

    The push for convenience is having a stark impact on gridlock, roadway safety and pollution in New York City and urban areas around the world.

    As the delivery armada has ballooned, so, too, have the complaints.

    Four delivery companies — FedEx, FreshDirect, Peapod and UPS — accumulated just over 515,000 summonses for parking violations in 2018, totaling $27 million in fines, according to the city. In 2013, those same companies received roughly 372,000 summonses and paid $21.8 million.

    Images and videos of delivery trucks blocking bike lanes, sidewalks and crosswalks are easy to find on social media. In some neighborhoods, Amazon’s ubiquitous boxes are stacked and sorted on the sidewalk, sometimes on top of coverings spread out like picnic blankets.

    “They are using public space as their private warehouse,” said Christine Berthet, who lives in Midtown Manhattan. “That is not acceptable. That is not what the sidewalk is for.”

    The total number of trucks on tolled crossings into New York City and within the five boroughs rose about 9.4 percent in 2018, to an estimated 35.7 million, from 32.6 million in 2013, according to transit data.

    “There is just not enough room for all the trucks that need to make deliveries, the cars that need to get past them and the people who live here,” Mr. Kallos said.

    Trucks are also contributing to greenhouse gas emissions at a time when New York City is rushing to significantly reduce the release of heat-trapping gases.

    From 1990 to 2017, carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles and trucks in the New York City area grew by 27 percent, making the region the largest contributor of driving-related carbon dioxide emissions in the country.

    As the internet economy grows, so, too, does the importance of what is known as last-mile package delivery — the final step in the increasingly competitive and costly process of moving items to customers’ homes as quickly as possible.

    In New York, at least five warehouses, are in the works. Over the summer, Amazon opened a last-mile warehouse in the Bronx and another in Queens. It has also looked at leasing additional facilities for last-mile deliveries in Brooklyn.

    Another multistory warehouse, planned on 18 acres in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, is expected to be the country’s largest last-mile warehouse, Mr. Hertz said.

    Their warehouses in Red Hook, as well as a multistory warehouse to be built in the South Bronx, are going up in Opportunity Zones, which were created as part of the 2017 tax law and offer significant tax benefits to projects in economically distressed areas.

    The program has been criticized for giving tax breaks to wealthy people who invest in the zones, while not significantly helping struggling neighborhoods.

    Developers of these warehouses have pledged to create thousands of jobs and reduce the wave of delivery trucks entering New York City.

    These days, buildings have been forced to become mini logistical centers.

    At one Midtown Manhattan condominium, the first wave of about 100 packages a day arrives by 9 a.m. and the deliveries do not let up until night. Each one is checked in and placed in a storage room, and an email alert is sent to the resident. Another email confirms when the package is picked up.

    A large complex in Manhattan had to turn a nearby retail storefront into a satellite package center. Stickers are left on building mailboxes notifying residents of a package, but some residents complain that the stickers fall off or get pulled off and packages go missing.

    Other buildings without storage space resort to piling boxes in their lobbies.

    About 15 percent of New York City households receive a package every day, according to the Sustainable Urban Freight Systems center at Rensselaer. That means a complex with 800 apartments would get roughly 120 packages daily.

    “What percent of your deliveries are truly urgent — 5 percent or 2 percent?” said Mr. Holguín-Veras, the Rensselaer professor. “We as customers are driving the process and to some extent creating these complications.”

    Last year, a study comparing online shopping habits in Manhattan and Paris — two large metropolises grappling with the consequences of the e-commerce boom — found that New Yorkers out-ordered Parisians. Nearly three-quarters of the Manhattan residents surveyed had shopped for groceries online compared with just over half of Parisians.

    More New Yorkers were also willing to pay extra to get their items faster.

    “It’s now cheaper and easier to order anything online than it is to go to the store,” said Sarah Kaufman, associate director of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University, who worked on the study.

    C’est la faute aux consommateurs, on vous dit ! Ils ont inventé le truc, fait la pub, demandé des sub aux pouvoirs publics !

    New York has sought to shift more truck deliveries to nights and weekends, when streets are emptier. About 500 companies, including pharmacies and grocery stores, deliver goods from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., under a voluntary city program.

    On s’en fout, de leur qualité de vie, c’est des ouvriers.

    “We’ve entered an entirely new way of buying goods and services, but our infrastructure is only adapting incrementally,” Ms. Kaufman said. “We need to completely rethink how we use our streets if we want to maintain our current shopping and delivery habits.”

    Et arrêter cette merde, non ?

    La logistique, c’est le gros secteur d’emploi masculin. Un copain cycliste m’a expliqué que 15 % du trafic en ville (si j’ai bonne mémoire) était dû désormais à des livraisons (un camion pour deux colis, beaucoup sont à vide parce que ce n’est pas optimisé mais just in time)... et que les gens qui se font livrer des trucs sur Amazon sont en grande partie des gentil·les cyclistes-usager·es des transports en commun de bonne volonté écologique !

    Liens vers
    https://truckingresearch.org/2019/02/06/atri-2019-truck-bottlenecks

    #matérialité_du_web #logistique

    https://seenthis.net/messages/808362 via Antonin


  • Read the Letter Facebook Employees Sent to Mark Zuckerberg About Political Ads
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/28/technology/facebook-mark-zuckerberg-letter.html

    Hundreds of Facebook employees recently signed a letter to Mr. Zuckerberg and other leaders of the social network, decrying the company’s decision to let politicians post any claims they wanted — even false ones — in ads on the site. Here’s what the letter says : We are proud to work here. Facebook stands for people expressing their voice. Creating a place where we can debate, share different opinions, and express our views is what makes our app and technologies meaningful for people all (...)

    #Facebook #manipulation #élections #publicité #travailleurs

    ##publicité
    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/10/28/business/28facebook-letter2/28facebook-letter2-facebookJumbo.jpg

    https://seenthis.net/messages/808434 via etraces


  • Data for the Public Good
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/24/opinion/data-privacy-research.html

    Data tells important stories about our country. We should treat it with more respect. These days, the very word “data” elicits fear and suspicion in many of us — and with good reason. DNA-testing companies are sharing genetic information with the government. A firm hired by the Trump campaign gained access to the private information of 50 million Facebook users. Hotels, hospitals, and a consumer credit reporting agency have admitted to major breaches. But while many of us are rightfully (...)

    #algorithme #BigData #discrimination #écologie #santé

    ##santé
    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/10/24/opinion/24shihipar-privacy/24shihipar-privacy-facebookJumbo.jpg

    https://seenthis.net/messages/808153 via etraces


  • What Happens When Employers Can Read Your Facial Expressions ?
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/17/opinion/facial-recognition-ban.html

    The benefits do not come close to outweighing the risks. Facial recognition technology, once a darling of Silicon Valley with applications for policing, spying and authenticating identities, is suddenly under fire. Conservative Republicans like Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio and liberal Democrats like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York have strongly criticized the technology. San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Somerville, Mass., have barred all of their government (...)

    #algorithme #CCTV #automobilistes #biométrie #vidéo-surveillance #facial #travail #surveillance (...)

    ##travailleurs
    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/10/07/opinion/sunday/07selinger/07selinger-facebookJumbo.jpg

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  • You’re in a Police Lineup, Right Now
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/15/opinion/facial-recognition-police.html

    Face-recognition technology is the new norm. You may think, “I’ve got nothing to hide,” but we all should be concerned. Face recognition technology is being used to unlock phones, clear customs, identify immigrants and solve crimes. In the Video Op-Ed above, Clare Garvie demands the United States government hit pause on face recognition. She argues that while this convenient technology may seem benign to those who feel they have nothing to hide, face recognition is something we should all (...)

    #algorithme #biométrie #vidéo-surveillance #facial #surveillance #reconnaissance

    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/08/29/autossell/09op-facial-recognition/09op-facial-recognition-facebookJumbo.jpg

    https://seenthis.net/messages/808145 via etraces


  • They Know What You Watched Last Night
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/25/business/media/streaming-data-collection-privacy.html

    A spate of streaming services are on their way from major tech and entertainment companies, promising viewers a trove of binge-worthy new shows and movies. There’s something for advertisers, too : your personal data. Recent deals involving the media conglomerate AT&T, the streaming device seller Roku, the advertising giant Publicis and other companies have expanded the surveillance infrastructure that operates in the background of streaming services. While viewers focus on the action (...)

    #Disney #Apple #Google #Publicis #AT&T #Amazon #Facebook #Netflix #streaming #algorithme #marketing #profiling #publicité #CenterforDigitalDemocracy #Roku #Xandr #Verizon #NBCUniversal #BigData #données #Clypd #Vizio (...)

    ##AT&T ##publicité ##SambaTV
    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/10/26/business/25STREAMINGADS1-print/25STREAMINGADS1-print-facebookJumbo-v2.jpg

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  • Are We Ready for Satellites That See Our Every Move ?
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/15/opinion/satellite-image-surveillance-that-could-see-you-and-your-coffee-mug.html?rr

    We should consider the ethical implications of satellites that can identify us, and our license plates, from space. When President Trump tweeted an image of Iran’s Imam Khomeini Space Center in August, amateur satellite trackers were shocked by the image’s high resolution. After some sleuthing, they concluded it came from USA 224, a highly classified satellite launched in 2011 by the National Reconnaissance Office and believed to be part of the multibillion-dollar KH-11 program. Not only did (...)

    #satellite #drone #aérien #vidéo-surveillance #surveillance #immatriculation

    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/10/15/opinion/15parcak-privacy/15parcak-privacy-facebookJumbo.jpg

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  • Amazon Wants to Surveil Your Dog
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/01/opinion/amazon-privacy.html?rref=collection%2Fspotlightcollection%2Fprivacy-project

    “Amazon is building the infrastructure to monitor us all,” a privacy advocate says. We’re in the middle of a digital privacy reckoning. Even the tech companies are taking notice. Facebook is reportedly pivoting its social network inward to private groups. Google is tightening privacy restrictions on its Chrome browser and its voice assistants. Apple has started putting privacy front and center in its advertising campaigns. And then there’s Amazon, which is, uh, trying to strap the surveillance (...)

    #Amazon #algorithme #capteur #domotique #InternetOfThings #surveillance

    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/10/07/opinion/01warzelWeb/01warzelWeb-facebookJumbo.jpg

    https://seenthis.net/messages/807555 via etraces


  • Addicted to Screens? That’s Really a You Problem - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/06/technology/phone-screen-addiction-tech-nir-eyal.html

    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/10/02/business/00eyal-promo/00eyal-promo-facebookJumbo.jpg

    Nir Eyal does not for a second regret writing Silicon Valley’s tech engagement how-to, “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products,” even as he now has a new book out on how to free ourselves of that same addiction.

    In his original manual for building enthralling smartphone apps, Mr. Eyal laid out the tricks “to subtly encourage customer behavior” and “bring users back again and again.” He toured tech companies speaking about the Hook Model, his four-step plan to grab and keep people with enticements like variable rewards, or pleasures that come at unpredictable intervals.

    “Slot machines provide a classic example of variable rewards,” Mr. Eyal wrote.

    Silicon Valley’s technorati hailed “Hooked.” Dave McClure, the founder of 500 Startups, a prolific incubator, called it “an essential crib sheet for any start-up looking to understand user psychology.”

    But that was 2014. That was when making a slot-machinelike app was a good and exciting thing. When “seductive interaction design” and “design for behavior change” were aspirational phrases.

    “Nir Eyal’s trying to flip,” said Richard Freed, a child psychologist who supports less screen time. “These people who’ve done this are all trying to come back selling the cure. But they’re the ones who’ve been selling the drugs in the first place.”

    “I’m sure the cigarette industry said there’s just a certain number of people with a propensity for lung disease,” he added.

    Mr. Eyal said he was not reversing himself. His Hook Model was useful, certainly, and he believed in the tactics. But it was not addicting people. It’s our fault, he said, not Instagram’s or Facebook’s or Apple’s.

    “It’s disrespectful for people who have the pathology of addiction to say, ‘Oh, we all have this disease,’” he said. “No, we don’t.”

    #Médias_sociaux #Addiction #Dopamine #Mir_Eyal

    https://seenthis.net/messages/805348 via Articles repérés par Hervé Le Crosnier


  • Lebanon’s Prime Minister Gave $16 Million to South African Model
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/30/world/middleeast/lebanon-hariri-model.html

    The prime minister of Lebanon gave more than $16 million to a South African bikini model who said they had a romantic relationship after they met at a luxury resort in the Seychelles, according to South African court documents obtained by The New York Times.

    The prime minister, Saad Hariri, was not in office when he sent the money starting in 2013, and the transfer does not appear to have violated any Lebanese or South African laws.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/804950 via Nidal


  • They Grow the Nation’s Food, but They Can’t Drink the Water
    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/05/13/us/00toxicfarmwater-02alt/00toxicfarmwater-02alt-superJumbo.jpg?quality=90&auto=webp#.jpg

    Water is a currency in California, and the low-income farmworkers who pick the Central Valley’s crops know it better than anyone. They labor in the region’s endless orchards, made possible by sophisticated irrigation systems, but at home their faucets spew toxic water tainted by arsenic and fertilizer chemicals.

    “Clean water flows toward power and money,” said Susana De Anda, a longtime water-rights organizer in the region. She is the daughter of lechugueros who worked in lettuce fields and helped make California one of the agricultural capitals of the world. “Homes, schools and clinics are supposed to be the safest places to go. But not in our world.”

    As she spoke, Ms. De Anda drove through several towns where tainted water is a fact of life, here in the state’s agricultural center. In the foreground, along State Route 201, were miles of lush orange groves and dairy farms. Spotted out the passenger window of her silver Toyota was Stone Corral Elementary in the town of Seville, where century-old pipes contaminate the tap water with soil and bacteria. The school depends on grant money to pay for bottled water for students.

    Today, more than 300 public water systems in California serve unsafe drinking water, according to public compliance data compiled by the California State Water Resources Control Board. It is a slow-motion public health crisis that leaves more than one million Californians exposed to unsafe water each year, according to public health officials.
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    Though water contamination is a problem up and down the state, the failing systems are most heavily concentrated in small towns and unincorporated communities in the Central and Salinas Valleys, the key centers of California agriculture. About half of all failing water systems are in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley, in the southern section of the broader Central Valley, said Ellen Hanak, the director of the Water Policy Center at the Public Policy Institute of California.

    Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed a tax of about $140 million on urban water districts and the agriculture industry to pay for redevelopment in districts serving unsafe water. That money would come in addition to $168 million he has allocated toward water infrastructure improvements from a bond proposition passed last year.

    Some have bristled at the proposed tax, given already high tax rates in the state and a budget surplus of more than $21 billion. The Association of California Water Agencies — whose members provide an estimated 90 percent of water distributed in the state — has spoken out against the governor’s proposed solution, arguing it would affect the cost of living in already-expensive California.

    “There’s agreement with everyone involved in policy that there is a problem and it needs to be solved,” said Cindy Tuck, the group’s deputy executive director for government relations. But, “we think it doesn’t make sense to tax a resource that is essential.”

    State Senator Melissa Hurtado, a Democrat representing the Fresno area, whose district is severely affected by tainted water, said she would like to see more money allocated for infrastructure spending, but believes a tax on water is a nonstarter. Last week, the Democratic-controlled State Senate budget subcommittee voted against the governor’s proposed water tax, in favor of recommending funding from the state’s general fund. The Legislature is expected to work out the details as part of broader budget negotiations, which will come for a vote in June.
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    But the debate in Sacramento feels far away in East Orosi, a farmworker community of about 500 nestled along the foot of the Sierra Nevada that is surrounded by fields of oranges. There, residents complain of conditions that resemble the developing world, not the richest state in the nation. Fears of nitrate exposure in the tap water — which numerous studies have linked to an increased risk of infant death, and at high levels, an elevated risk of cancer in adults — compound other difficult realities like faraway grocery stores and doctors, grueling work conditions, and a lack of political clout.

    Veronica Corrales, the president of the East Orosi water board, wonders why more people are not outraged that, in 2019, people living in a state as wealthy as California lack such a fundamental necessity.

    “Everyone is saying ‘America First,’ but what about us?” she said.

    Many factors have led to the groundwater contamination reflected in the state’s data, but public health experts say the region’s agriculture industry has played an outsize role. Chemical fertilizers and dairy manure seep into the ground and cause nitrate contamination, like the kind plaguing East Orosi. Such contamination, which is common throughout the valley, takes years to materialize and even longer to clear up.

    Arsenic is naturally occurring in some areas but can become worse with exhaustive groundwater pumping, which has been a longstanding problem in the valley and accelerated during the drought between 2012 and 2016.

    It is exceedingly difficult to say with certainty whether any illness is directly tied to specific environmental factors, including contaminated water. But an article published last month in Environmental Health, an academic journal, estimated that 15,500 cases of cancer in California could occur within 70 years because of unsafe drinking water.

    For years, Martha Sanchez and her husband, Jose — who live in East Orosi and make their living filling crates with oranges or picking cherries — have received notices from the local water system that their taps are unsafe to drink from because of contamination. The family spends at least $60 a month for tap water they can’t use, Ms. Sanchez estimates, which is factored into the rent. To cook and wash dishes, Ms. Sanchez ladles bottled water into pots and pans from heavy blue jugs kept in the kitchen. She and her children shower using the water from the pipes, but she says it makes their skin itch.

    “Some people around here drink it,” Ms. Sanchez said. “Here at home, I don’t use it at all for cooking, not even for beans.”

    Ms. Sanchez’s family is given five free five-gallon jugs of water every two weeks, funded by a grant from the State Water Resources Control Board that was secured by Self-Help Enterprises, a community organization. But, Ms. Sanchez says, it is never enough to hold the family over, and they buy an additional four gallons.

    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/05/13/us/00toxicfarmwater-02/merlin_154758030_a0911f0d-9f32-41e2-aae7-aa620d728e65-superJumbo.jpg?quality=90&auto=webp#.jpg
    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/05/13/us/00toxicfarmwater-01alt/00toxicfarmwater-01alt-superJumbo.jpg?quality=90&auto=webp#.jpg

    Her husband, who is a supervisor in the fields, pays for clean water out of pocket for the employees he manages, because the farm does not provide it. Sometimes he brings in about $80 for a full day of work.

    These problems are not new. The failing infrastructure at the heart of the potable water crisis in these communities is tinged with the legacy of rural redlining, said Camille Pannu, the director of the Aoki Water Justice Clinic at the University of California, Davis, who likened the situation in the valley to the one in Flint, Mich. “Flint is everywhere here,” she said.

    “The fact that more than a million Californians in 2019 have been left behind is really appalling,” said Jared Blumenfeld, the secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency. “I’ll never forget talking to people in Imperial and Coachella Valley who are like, ‘You know what, it’s amazing when we go back to Mexico, the water is better.’”

    Mr. Blumenfeld said the “vast majority” of water systems with unsafe water are in small communities where there are too few customers to cover the cost of water treatment and maintenance. Laying even short distances of pipe can cost millions of dollars, which is sometimes feasible when costs are spread out among many people but not so for individual families, or when towns are especially remote.

    “I’ve never seen as many small drinking water systems in any other state. California is unique in that way,” Mr. Blumenfeld said.

    Many families who live in those areas use water from private wells because their homes are not connected to public water systems. The number of people exposed to dangerous water statewide could be even higher than the data shows: The state does not regulate private wells and does not monitor systems with fewer than 15 connections.

    One solution for expanding potable water access could be for larger systems to absorb smaller systems, which would allow them to spread infrastructure costs across more customers. In the San Joaquin Valley, nearly 80 percent of disadvantaged communities without potable water are less than one mile away from other communities with safe drinking water, according to a 2018 report by the U.C. Davis Center for Regional Change.

    But larger water systems are often wary of absorbing the smaller systems. In part, they do not want to absorb the costs that come with overhauling dilapidated infrastructure, said Ms. Hanak, the Water Policy Center director.

    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/05/13/us/00toxicfarmwater-01/00toxicfarmwater-01-superJumbo.jpg?quality=90&auto=webp#.jpg

    Often, community members also worry that adding lower-income customers from neighboring communities will leave them to foot the bill. And the poorer customers worry they will have to pay rates they cannot afford.

    The East Orosi water district has teetered from one consolidation effort to another over the last decade, with little success. The state recently signaled that it would order nearby Orosi, which has clean water, to consolidate its system with East Orosi to expand clean-water access. Compelled by the state, the two communities have sought to negotiate a consolidation, but disagreements have left them at a stalemate.

    “Because Orosi has clean water, they don’t want to take on rate payers from East Orosi who they think are so poor they’ll skip out on their bills,” Ms. Pannu said. “Unfortunately, you have poor people versus poorer people.”

    E. Joaquin Esquivel, the chairman of the State Water Resources Control Board, said the gaps in potable water access were unacceptable, and promised that the state would continue using its consolidation authority to ease disparities. But he added that sustained funding for infrastructure and maintenance projects would be crucial for long-term solutions.

    Ms. Corrales, a nurse, stepped in as the president of the East Orosi water board several months ago. There was no one else who wanted the job, she said, and she was voted in at a community meeting almost without realizing it.

    Sometimes she is not sure whom she should be fighting: the state, the farm owners, the skeptics in Orosi. She just wants clean water.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/21/us/california-central-valley-tainted-water.html

    #eau #eau_potable #pollution #agriculture #industrie_agro-alimentaire #dépendance #technologie #Californie #USA #Etats-Unis #arsénic #fertilisants #contamination

    #atelier_collapsologie

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  • ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Privacy Rule Is Limited by Europe’s Top Court
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/24/technology/europe-google-right-to-be-forgotten.html

    The European Court of Justice said the landmark privacy law cannot be enforced beyond the European Union. Europe’s highest court limited the reach of the landmark online privacy law known as “right to be forgotten” on Tuesday, restricting people’s ability to control what information is available about them on the internet. In a decision with broad implications for the regulation of the internet, the European Court of Justice ruled that the privacy rule cannot be applied outside the European (...)

    #Google #GoogleSearch #géolocalisation #procès #oubli #CJUE #CNIL

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