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Jonathan Obar

Jonathan Obar

Associate Professor, Department of Communication and Media Studies, York University, Canada
Jonathan Obar, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication & Media Studies at York University. His research focuses on information policy and the relationship between digital technologies, civil liberties and the inclusiveness of public cultures. Academic publications address big data and privacy, online consent processes, data privacy transparency, internet routing and NSA surveillance, network neutrality, and digital activism. With funding from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, he recently launched www.biggestlieonline.com, a knowledge mobilization site to engage stakeholders in meaningful online consent research.

Dr. Obar previously worked as a Research Fellow with the media reform group Free Press, the public policy think tank the New America Foundation, and as a Senior Advisor to the Wikimedia Foundation’s Wikipedia Education Program.

Consumer Privacy Protection Act could lead to fines for deceptive designs in apps and websites

Mar 15, 2023 15:44 pm UTC| Law

Canadas proposed Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA) prohibits online consent processes that are deceptive or misleading. Companies may face fines for breaking the acts rules. This could be trouble for social media...

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Economy

Latest inflation figures are good news

The U.S. economy is slowing, but not crashing. In the dismal science, this is what counts as good news. Thats the message I took away from the latest inflation data, released May 15, 2024, which showed U.S. consumer...

The budget is full of good news, but good news isn’t the same as good management

This years budget has something for everyone, with very little in the way of cuts and no new taxes. Its a classic good news pre-election budget. Whether it is too good to be true hinges on whether this budget...

Interest rates: the ugly dilemma facing Europe’s central banks – and why it’s a mistake to cut too soon

Central banks in Europe are discovering an old dilemma: when they lower interest rates because inflation is slowing down, its likely to weaken their currencies. This in turn may delay the fall in inflation towards their...

Europe is still in short-term crisis mode over Ukraine and lacks a vision for its post-war identity

Some believe that the war in Ukraine has fundamentally changed Europe, giving birth to a different kind of European order. That is, it appears to be driving structural shifts in the way Europe is run and organised that...

Mortgage prisoners: regulatory changes and low credit scores have left thousands trapped in a cycle of high payments

There are 8.5 million households in the UK who own a home with a residential mortgage, often with fixed interest rates from two to five years. Usually, when that mortgage deal ends, the borrower will move to another deal...

Politics

Why is the government proposing caps on international students and how did we get here?

The federal government is due to introduce legislation on Thursday to enable new caps on the number of international student places at educational institutions in Australia. These include universities, TAFEs and private...

Britain is not as broken as everyone seems to think

According to many politicians and commentators, the UK is in a very sorry state. Ahead of the general election expected this year, Labour leader Keir Starmer has pledged to fix broken Britain. He has spoken of his vow...

Belief in democracy is on the decline in Africa

Democracy in Africa has not had a good year. Military juntas from Mali to Niger appear to have cemented their grip on power. Sudans democratic dreams were dashed when the countrys two most powerful strongmen opted for war....

Term limits aren’t the answer

Theres no denying that the current Congress has been one of the most chaotic in recent memory. The paralysis in 2023 and 2024 over the selection of the speaker of the House helped lead to one of Congress most unproductive...

An obscure provision of Ohio law could keep Biden off the ballot there in November

President Joe Biden might not appear on the November 2024 presidential ballot in Ohio. Ohio law requires that presidential candidates be certified that is, the state must be notified that presidential candidates have been...

Science

Black holes are mysterious, yet also deceptively simple − a new space mission may help physicists answer hairy questions about these astronomical objects

Physicists consider black holes one of the most mysterious objects that exist. Ironically, theyre also considered one of the simplest. For years, physicists like me have been looking to prove that black holes are more...

Is dark matter’s main rival theory dead? There’s bad news from the Cassini spacecraft and other recent tests

One of the biggest mysteries in astrophysics today is that the forces in galaxies do not seem to add up. Galaxies rotate much faster than predicted by applying Newtons law of gravity to their visible matter, despite those...

Why are algorithms called algorithms? A brief history of the Persian polymath you’ve likely never heard of

Algorithms have become integral to our lives. From social media apps to Netflix, algorithms learn your preferences and prioritise the content you are shown. Google Maps and artificial intelligence are nothing without...

IceCube researchers detect a rare type of energetic neutrino sent from powerful astronomical objects

About a trillion tiny particles called neutrinos pass through you every second. Created during the Big Bang, these relic neutrinos exist throughout the entire universe, but they cant harm you. In fact, only one of them is...

The Mars Sample Return mission has a shaky future, and NASA is calling on private companies for backup

A critical NASA mission in the search for life beyond Earth, Mars Sample Return, is in trouble. Its budget has ballooned from US$5 billion to over $11 billion, and the sample return date may slip from the end of this...

Technology

Spot Ethereum ETF Approval May Boost Bitcoin, Says Michael Saylor

According to MicroStrategy founder Michael Saylor, the incorporation of spot Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) provides an additional line of defense for Bitcoin. Michael Saylor Sees Bitcoin Gaining From Ether ETF...

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Flips Stance on China Tariffs: ‘Distort the Market’

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has reversed his stance on China tariffs, criticizing them for distorting the market and advocating for free trade during the Viva Technology Conference. Elon Musk Criticizes Bidens Tariff Program,...

Adidas Originals and 100 Thieves Debut Collaborative Collection Blending Gaming and Fashion

Adidas Originals and 100 Thieves have launched their first collaborative collection, combining gaming culture with fashion innovation. The collection includes garments, footwear, and accessories, featuring the standout...

Samsung to Increase Outsourcing Smartphone Production in China to 25% of 2024 Output

Samsung plans to significantly boost its smartphone production by outsourcing to Chinese manufacturers, increasing output from 44 million to 67 million units. Samsungs Outsourcing Strategy Targets Cost...
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