You can enable subtitles (captions) in the video player
The feud between America's richest person and the country's president has now hit the courts. Donald Trump has long made clear his antipathy towards Jeff Bezos not so much because Mr Bezos founded Amazon, but because he also owns the Washington Post newspaper. This is just one sample tweet from the president, who said, when it emerged in the pages of the National Enquirer that Mr Bezos had been having an extramarital affair, the following. "So sorry," he said, "to hear the news about Jeff Bozo being taken down by a competitor whose reporting, I understand, is far more accurate than the reporting in his lobbyist newspaper, the Amazon Washington Post."
Well, now Amazon is suing the US government over the Pentagon's decision to award a $10bn cloud computing contract to its rival, Microsoft. The details contained in Amazon's complaint are eye-catching. They accuse the president of personally involving himself in the bidding process, and they say this: that he made repeated public and behind-the-scenes attacks to steer the so-called Jedi contract away from Amazon to harm his perceived political enemy.
I wondered whether Amazon might try and keep its head down and stay away from the limelight in the wake of losing this contract. Perhaps I thought the company might decide it better to stay quiet and hope to win further government contracts in the future, but not so. It seems the company has decided that attack is the best form of defence.
Now, last week, I blogged about the latest tool in online political campaigning. This is known as relational organising, and it involves campaigns scraping the context details of its activists so that it can target their family and friends. Now, in response, one commenter, FirstGruen, asked, what is the difference between this kind of tactic and what Cambridge Analytica did at the 2016 election?
And the difference is this. It is consent. Campaigns are being much more careful this time around following the Cambridge Analytica scandal about who they get permission from before using big data. Cambridge Analytica, of course, bought a ton of Facebook user data without those users realising what was going on. But to use their activist contact data, campaigns do need to secure explicit permission first.
And why I think this is going to be a major theme of the 2020 election, at least as far as tech goes? Campaigns are going to seek to be as aggressive in collecting and using our data as last time, but they're going to have to be much more careful about seeking permission before doing so. If you have a comment or a question for next week's blog, please leave it in the comments below.