Google, privacy, D.C., lawsuits, location tracking, transparency
Photo credit: Jo Zimny Photos / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to

DC, 3 States Sue Google, Saying It Invades Users’ Privacy (Maria)

The author writes, “The District of Columbia and three states are suing Google for allegedly deceiving consumers and invading their privacy by making it nearly impossible for them to stop their location from being tracked. In the lawsuit filed Monday in a District of Columbia court, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine alleges Google has ‘systematically’ deceived consumers about how their locations are tracked and used. He also says the internet search giant has misled users into believing they can control the information the company collects about them. ‘In reality, consumers who use Google products cannot prevent Google from collecting, storing and profiting from their location,’ the lawsuit says.”

Is Ginni Thomas a Threat to the Supreme Court? (DonkeyHotey)

From The New Yorker: “The claim that the Justices’ opinions are politically neutral is becoming increasingly hard to accept, especially from [Clarence] Thomas, whose wife, Virginia (Ginni) Thomas, is a vocal right-wing activist. She has declared that America is in existential danger because of the ‘deep state’ and the ‘fascist left,’ which includes ‘transsexual fascists.’ Thomas, a lawyer who runs a small political-lobbying firm, Liberty Consulting, has become a prominent member of various hard-line groups. Her political activism has caused controversy for years. For the most part, it has been dismissed as the harmless action of an independent spouse. But now the Court appears likely to secure victories for her allies in a number of highly polarizing cases — on abortion, affirmative action, and gun rights.”

Ethics Office Says Reps. Newman, Lamborn May Have Broken Law (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A congressional ethics watchdog has concluded that U.S. Reps. Marie Newman of Illinois and Doug Lamborn of Colorado may have violated federal law, prompting reviews from the House Ethics Committee. Separate investigative reports from the Office of Congressional Ethics released Monday detailed a ‘substantial reason to believe’ that Newman, a Democrat, promised federal employment to a political opponent and that Lamborn, a Republican, misused official resources for personal purposes.”

Lawmakers Ramp Up Bills That Would Affect LGBTQ+ Students (Dana)

From the South Florida Sun Sentinel: “As lawmakers in Florida take aim at prohibiting instruction around racial equality in classrooms, some are now also trying to limit conversation about gender and sexual orientation in schools with a bill that will be voted upon later this spring. The bill’s sponsors, including Sen. Dennis Baxley, a Republican from Central Florida, present it as a mechanism to preserve parents’ rights in education, but critics say it would ultimately police what students and teachers can discuss in classrooms regarding gender and sexuality. It was one of five bills filed during the first week of Florida’s 2022 legislative session that would affect LGBTQ+ students in school, and those seeking medical care.”

Why Pay TV Operators Are Dropping Trump-Loving Cable Networks (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Before One America News Network host Dan Ball finished an interview with guest Jim Jordan last week, he asked the Ohio Republican congressman for a favor. ‘Please put some pressure on AT&T and DirecTV for us,’ said Ball, whose nightly program Real America airs nightly on the right-wing cable channel. ‘OAN would love to continue broadcasting on that platform and we know for a fact it is all political behind the scenes on why they’re doing that to us.’ … The desperate calls for help — which would be considered unseemly on a traditional cable news outlet — follow DirecTV’s Jan. 15 announcement that it will drop the San Diego-based OAN from its service in April.”

What Is the ‘Lunar Effect,’ and What Does It Have to Do With Shark Attacks? (Mili)

The author writes, “When the full Moon rises, strange things can happen here on Earth. Oysters snap close. Corals spawn. Zooplankton dive deeper. Seabirds stick to the shore. And lions hunt less. Several of these behaviors are tied to moonlight; others, to tides. But some have no clear explanation at all. More than 50 years’ worth of shark attack data, for instance, has now found that sharks bite humans more when the Moon is fuller.”

I Spent Hundreds of Hours Working in VR. Here’s What I Learned (Sean)

The author writes, “Hello from low-earth orbit! I have spent hundreds of hours working here in virtual reality. Even as I write this to you, I have Facebook’s Oculus strapped to my face and am in an aptly named app called Immersed. It puts me in this orbiting spaceship where there’s just me, the computer screen in front of me, and — let me look out the window — Ecuador. I’m not sure where Facebook’s Metaverse begins or ends; perhaps I am in it right now. But I am primarily a writer of English text and computer code, a solitary profession that rarely requires real-time meetings like those in the Metaverse demos. When I was a kid, I wrote homework essays on a manual typewriter. What I do now is not much different, except I don’t need to use that white correction tape stuff to erase typos — and I’m in space.”

Comments are closed.