Healthcare Fraud, ESPN Layoffs, Webroot And Facebook Targets Youth

On Episode 352 of The Waves of Tech, we are discussing a wide range of topics including healthcare fraud, ESPN layoffs, Webroot problems, and Facebook targeting youth.  To kickoff th show, we share recent and personal experiences in dealing with questionable statements from healthcare providers and the steps we can all take to keep ourselves, our finances, and our personal information safe.  ESPN laid off hundreds of workers again, bringing into questions the path the sports media giant has chosen to take both in traditional and digital media.  We dissect how cord cutting, high cable subscription fees, and TV rights factor into the equation.  Webroot, the popular antivirus program, rolled out an update that identified Windows programs and files as threats and quarantined many of them!  The issue lasted only 13 minutes, but that’s enough time to hit social media.  And finally, Facebook and a hired research firm are being questioned about collecting emotional data from young users and then engineering that data for marketing purposes.  Thanks for tuning in!  Enjoy the podcast and continue to ride…The Waves of Tech.

HealthCare Fraud

If it looks like fraud, smells like fraud…it’s probably fraud.  That’s the old adage right?  Dave recently received an invoice via the mail which appeared on the surface to be fraudulent.  After some digging, everything was legitimate.  Here is the story.

  • A mailer had two different addresses and names of providers which looked unfamiliar
  • After 30 minutes of chatting with 4 people, the charge was accurate and paid
  • Dave’s coworker received a questionable insurance bill and paid it, no questions asked
  • Trust your intuition, make the phone calls, protect yourself and your finances from fraud

Major ESPN layoffs

News hit Twitter like a hail storm last week, as ESPN announced another major round a layoffs.  Reporters and journalists from all sports were let go.  What role has technology, cord cutting, and cable subscription fees play in the layoffs?

  • Cable users pay ESPN $7 a month for their cable subscription fee
  • ESPN has lost over 12 million viewers over the past 10 years, a substantial loss
  • ESPN neglected to focus on a digital strategy, yet paid billions for TV broadcast rights
  • The once giant of sports media must reevaluate their programming and digital strategy

A Victim of Our Own Protection

To say that Webroot had a bad week is an understatement.  Webroot, a popular antivirus program used by many, mistakenly identified Windows and associated files as a virus!  It caused 13 minutes of damage and social media ranting and raving.

  • Webroot’s rollout treated Windows files and programs as threats and quarantined them
  • Of course, these programs and files were inaccessible for a few minutes
  • It incorrectly classified a common folder that is often targeted for malware as “bad”
  • This affected hotels, advertising companies, tech firms, IT solutions, and more

Facebook Targets Insecure Kids

We know Facebook collects user data, sells it to ad companies, which in turn includes ads in our Facebook feed.  Well, what if the data of teenagers that are in a vulnerable emotional state is being collected and then being socially engineered?  Sounds disturbing right.

  • Facebook teamed with a researcher in Australian to gather data from 6.4M teenagers
  • Information being captured were emotions – stress, defeat, anger, failure, nervousness
  • Data was used to place helpful ads in the feeds of emotionally vulnerable youth
  • Facebook pushed back saying the research firm didn’t follow established processes
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