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Advocacy Amazon Apple iPhone Digital Citizenship Digital Literacy Digital Policy Facebook Google IoT Microsoft Tech Companies

Big Tech Silo Advocacy

GAMY Security Acronym

As a digital literacy instructor, I commonly get students that don’t understand the big-tech silos and the applications or apps that are associated with each of them, so I’ve authored a new acronym GAMY which could be expanded to GAAFMY:

  • Google (Alphabet)
  • Apple
  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • Microsoft
  • Yahoo / Verizon

The primary significance is that each big-tech silos needs a security-key to get into their silo. A security-key is a unique combination of an email, username, password, phone number, location, and possibly other multifactor authentications. If you are a Google Business listing, you would also receive a snail-mail post card sent to your physical address; which is yet another piece of security-key data.

Device Security

Each laptop, desktop, smartphone, tablet, IoT, smart TV, smart car or other computer device; individually requires device sign-in security. This device is yet another unique identifier to our profile. When individuals need to change a password, email, or device for an GAMY app; each device must be changed. Ouch!

BTS – Big Tech Silo

These security identifiers are data points held and managed by each big-tech silo (BTS). Is it safe to say, BTS know more about us than our own government? Our government most commonly knows us with only a combination of a name, address, email, phone, social security number.

BTS are the highly profitable growth superstars. Do they keep the best interest of all users when it comes to digital policy making?

Government vs BTS

As users, we really have little recourse to most BTS applications, but to accept their user license agreement or ULA. As individuals, we grant a lot of permission to the will of the BTS. So, who is our advocate of the software and hardware that uses broadband to transport digital information?

So if the Amazon superstar silo says they want new laws, who becomes the effective consumer advocate?

Perhaps we should hold the tech superstars to an even higher standard because of their power over our lives and their influence on policymakers and public perception.

Emily Stewart, writing for Vox’s Recode

WNC Broadband project is your advocate for high-speed internet to use these big tech services.

Who is your big tech silo advocate as a consumer? Especially when is comes to GAMY policy and procedures?

Is our advocate the United States government?

Can policy makers be influenced BTS, including big tech Amazon; without the best interest of the consumer?


.Amazon Wants a Lot of New Laws. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/03/technology/amazon-laws.html. Published 2021. Accessed June 6, 2021.

Categories
Apple iPhone Free WiFi iOS Mobile Data Wireless

Broadband and Mobility

Asheville is Sunny and 58 degrees

Marc Czarnecki – AB Tech Continuing Education Technology Instructor

As an instructor at Asheville-Buncombe Community College Continuing Education, I see students mostly in the 50+ demographic who don’t have technology support readily available to them. During this week’s Apple iPhone class at the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Ferguson Workforce Building; students shared stories and I answered several questions related to broadband.

Asheville Cell Tower

iPhone is Cellular-Data Dependent

The smallest computer that most of us own is a smartphone. It depends on broadband to connect to cloud-based services; including location-sharing features such as weather forecasts and timing information. Our mobility with the smartphone requires data from cellular towers, as pictured.

These cell towers require infrastructure including electricity and fiber optic cables to connect to internet servers. Although cellular data provides internet connectivity, usually at slower speeds than a home or business wired terrestrial broadband connections; with the topography of Western North Carolina, can wireless services provide more digital inclusion?

WiFi Smartphone Connections

With mobility comes the awareness that a user’s cellular data plan is expensive and can have data caps. Additionally, ‘unlimited data plans’ usually have data-throttle thresholds where cellular connectivity speeds are lowered. Thus a mobile device user is attracted to ‘free WiFi.’ Speed testing a ‘free WiFi’ location will also give you a indicator of how fast data is exchanged at the location, thus making a pleasant or not-so pleasant experience.

Free WiFi Pros / Cons

Security and privacy become pro & con considerations where ‘free WiFi’ is located.

  • Is the available network valid? Don’t trust just the name of the network. Ask an employee.
  • Public networks may provide opportunities for data details to be captured. As a general rule DO NOT use ‘free WiFi’ for financial or other personally sensitive information. Consider using a Virtual Private Network or VPN.
  • How reliable is the network? Is there trusted Information Technology staff maintaining the network?
  • Advertisements may be presented to you in exchange for the free service.
  • Generally lower broadband speeds can be expected.

Advocating Broadband for WNC

The Western Carolina Broadband leadership team is here to advocate for ‘future-proof’ broadband investments.

Please email the WNCBP team with questions or comments.