The Water Coolest is a free daily business news and professional advice email newsletter created for weekday warriors that is delivered fresh daily at 7 AM EST. You can subscribe at thewatercoolest.com.
Estimated Read Time: 3 minutes and 19 seconds
NOT, NOT A BREACH
Call it what you want you want, just don’t call it a data breach. Or at least that’s what Facebook is demanding.
The New York Times and The Guardian published scathing reports claiming that up to 50M Facebook accounts were compromised in 2016. So how were 50M accounts hacked?
A straight-shooting professor set up a personality quiz app (presumably, “which Hogwarts House are you?”) for “academic purposes.” Seems innocent enough, right? Over 270k users opted-in to the quiz using their Facebook credentials, allowing access to their data and friend lists. That accounts for over 50M users.
And then as easily as he gained access to the accounts this nutty professor gave all the data to Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics company hired by the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. The company creates psychographic profiles to help predict how individuals will vote.
Now before you start a Change.org petition, keep in mind there’s no proof that Cambridge Analytica did anything nefarious with the data. But the question remains: shouldn’t Facebook be controlling user data when it’s in the hands of third parties?
The US and UK governments sure think so. Over the weekend they called for Zuck’s head.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “Forget about the political implications of this breach for a second, and keep in mind that pretty much every website ever allows you to “sign in using Facebook.” Now it appears that Facebook has no way of protecting this data other than a handshake agreement with those 3rd parties. And you thought you were going to have a bad Monday …”
NO LOVE LOST
Match, the parent company of Tinder, plans to sue Bumble for ripping off its proprietary swiping technology.
This is the first time that Tinder will defend its swipe patent. As part of the suit, Tinder also accuses Bumble of stealing its “undo” button and photo messaging capabilities.
Central to the lawsuit are two former Tinder designers who jumped ship for Bumble … and promise that the similar functionality they created was merely a coincidence.
Of course, if Tinder and Bumble were Facebook official it would be “Complicated.” The founder of Bumble, Whitney Wolfe Herd, was an early employee of Tinder who left the company in 2014 after alleging sexual harassment and discrimination.
And Match has tried courting Bumble multiple times to no avail.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “The real losers here are the users. Tinder and Bumble will be pouring countless dollars into winning this lawsuit instead of creating new features that satiate millennial’s limitless thirst for casual encounters. And for that reason, I’m long Coffee Meets Bagel.”
Meredith Corp., the largest U.S magazine publisher, announced it will be laying off 200 to 300 corporate employees. Editorial staffers appear to be safe … for now. This comes on the heels of their purchase of Time Inc. in January 2018.
The cuts are part of the company’s goal to trim $400M to $500M in costs. It has nothing to do with the fact that these companies are in the magazine business. Nothing. Most of the reductions will be handed down to the Time Inc. rank-and-file, which undoubtedly will be great for morale.
Meredith also plans to change its sales plan going forward with larger print and digital offerings that they hope will appeal to advertisers. One can only hope that Snoop and Martha Stewart will get their own magazine.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “If you want to cut costs I’d start by not shipping unpaid Sports Illustrated subscriptions. I signed up with a kid going door-to-door and paid for one year with a check. That was five years ago …”
IN OTHER NEWS
- Apparently, it’s not “in the game” anymore. EA will scrap controversial in-game loot boxes as part of its play to keep Star Wars: Battlefront 2 fans from unleashing the force. The paywall has been a contentious issue for both gamers and lawmakers pre-dating the game’s release.
- Lyft plans to test monthly subscriptions for power users as part of the company’s strategy to become the “Netflix of transportation.” No word on if they plan to condone “Lyft and chill” as part of this vision of the future.
- The accounting firm PwC will launch a blockchain auditing product. Leave it to auditors to do what they do best: make cool sh*t unsexy.
- The small town of Plattsburgh, NY has put a moratorium on bitcoin mining citing a spike in power use. The ban is the first of its kind in the US, but will surely spread to other economically barren wastelands who aim to shoot themselves in the foot.
- CACI has made a $7.2B bid for CSRA, in an attempt to block CSRA’s sales to General Dynamics.
- US indices were up Friday:
- DOW: +0.29%
- S&P 500: +0.17%
- NASDAQ: +0.00%
Professional motivation, tips, tricks, hacks & resources carefully-curated by yours truly. Something you’d like to see featured? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
RE: THE BEST PAID MBA GRADUATES
Another day, another “Top 20” list making the rounds on social media. Because nothing says “bow to me peasants, I am in the top 15% of earners in this country” like sharing a Top 20 Paid MBA Graduates list.