John Naughton: Like fossil fuel in the ground, customer data may soon be a liability, not an asset | John Naughton

The massive fines imposed on companies such as BA and the Marriott group are a warning to big data hoarders

A hedge, says Wikipedia, is “an investment position intended to offset potential losses or gains that may be incurred by a companion investment”. Most stock market investors (and pension funds) buy shares in the hope that they will go up in value, and are distressed if they don’t. In the 1940s a genius called Arthur Winslow Jones invented an investment fund that could place bets on both rising and falling share prices and therefore make money no matter what happened. Thus was born the hedge fund, the defining characteristic of which is that it eschews optimism and profits from well-informed pessimism. Hedge funds are thus the predators of the capitalist jungle, constantly on the lookout for prey.

A few years ago some hedge-fund guys, pondering the threat of climate change, came on a campaign conceived and orchestrated by the Guardian, Keep it in the Ground. As the then editor, Alan Rusbridger, described it: “There are trillions of dollars’ worth of fossil fuels currently underground which, for our safety, simply cannot be extracted and burned. All else is up for debate: that much is not. We need to keep it in the ground”.

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John Naughton: Money’s no object for Facebook, so hit it where it hurts | John Naughton

When a £4bn fine can be shrugged off with a share price rise, normal rules no longer apply

If you want a measure of the problem society will have in controlling the tech giants, then ponder this: as it has become clear that the US Federal Trade Commission is about to impose a fine of $5bn (£4bn) on Facebook for violating a decree governing privacy breaches, the company’s share price went up!

This is a landmark moment. It’s the biggest ever fine imposed by the FTC, the body set up to police American capitalism. And $5bn is a lot of money in anybody’s language. Anybody’s but Facebook’s. It represents just a month of revenues and the stock market knew it. Facebook’s capitalisation went up $6bn with the news. This was a fine that actually increased Mark Zuckerberg’s personal wealth.

Related: Facebook to be fined $5bn for Cambridge Analytica privacy violations – reports

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Ruining a country near you soon: the beta males who think they’re alphas | Marina Hyde

What could be more insecure than a 55-year-old bragging about Latin, or a literal president tweeting his enemies on the bog?

If the Tory leadership election unfolds as widely expected, the UK will basically be ruled by a Fathers4Injustice activist. Boris Johnson is the kind of guy who’d don Spider-Man pyjamas and scale a building in order to see less of his kids. Sorry, fewer. Even so, he remains a remarkably typical hero of our political times. “There are two kinds of women,” Harry explains at one point in When Harry Met Sally. “High maintenance and low maintenance.” “Which one am I?” Sally asks. “You’re the worst kind,” he says. “You’re high maintenance, but you think you’re low maintenance.”

Related: We’d be better off picking someone at random and giving them keys to No 10 | John Crace

In many ways, there can be no greater therapist’s case study than Trump

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