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Facebook Comes Under Fire Again For Use of Access to User Data

     
11:59 am on Dec 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Once again, Facebook is under fire for its sharing of user data, and a NYT piece doesn't hold back. It's worth reading whether you are a Facebook user or not.
The special arrangements are detailed in hundreds of pages of Facebook documents obtained by The New York Times. The records, generated in 2017 by the company’s internal system for tracking partnerships, provide the most complete picture yet of the social network’s data-sharing practices. They also underscore how personal data has become the most prized commodity of the digital age, traded on a vast scale by some of the most powerful companies in Silicon Valley and beyond.

[nytimes.com...]

Facebook reacts quite quickly.

To put it simply, this work was about helping people do two things. First, people could access their Facebook accounts or specific Facebook features on devices and platforms built by other companies like Apple, Amazon, Blackberry and Yahoo. These are known as integration partners. Second, people could have more social experiences – like seeing recommendations from their Facebook friends – on other popular apps and websites, like Netflix, The New York Times, Pandora and Spotify.

To be clear: none of these partnerships or features gave companies access to information without people’s permission, nor did they violate our 2012 settlement with the FTC.

[newsroom.fb.com...]
3:33 pm on Dec 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Logging in cross-platform is a bad idea in IMO -- We treat every platform as a completely separate entity around here with each having it's own separate and unique login identity. I don't need to know what our friends are watching on Netflix because it's mostly none of our business in the first place.

I wish more people understood what the word "Privacy" actually meant.
1:30 am on Dec 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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fb is under fire for growing their biz by giving away user data (what the "login thing" actually did via the back room deals with others.

Only reason it worked is most folks (90%) are takers and gimme and getalong, not doers, workers, or planners. Nature of the beast.

However, the fast and loose is coming home to roost and fb owns what they did. The real question is if they will actually be held accountable and regulations are put n place (usa ... eu has already commenced).

Time will tell.
1:52 am on Dec 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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There's data breaches and there's company policy. To be fair, many privacy aware folks had them pegged from the start.

A few years back Hotmail/Outlook would show Twitter/FB profiles of people who'd sent you emails. Turns out due to their lax spam checking you could forge the from address and data mine 10's of thousands of email<>social accounts using one knocked up hotmail account. I remember there was no opt out for this 'feature'
10:17 am on Dec 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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More defensive messages from Facebook as it confirms had access to data.

People could message their friends about what they were listening to on Spotify or watching on Netflix, share folders on Dropbox, or get receipts from money transfers through the Royal Bank of Canada app. These experiences were publicly discussed. And they were clear to users and only available when people logged into these services with Facebook. However, they were experimental and have now been shut down for nearly three years.


All this only adds weight to the privacy awareness movement.
[newsroom.fb.com...]

Additionally, Facebook is now facing a lawsuit in the U.S. filed by the attourney general of the District of Columbia.
The lawsuit from Karl Racine on Wednesday targeted Facebook mainly for its entanglement with Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that harvested names, “likes” and other data from the social site without users’ permission.

[washingtonpost.com...]
4:39 am on Dec 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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No one is talking about the elephant in the room. Until that happens (and it will take Congress getting on board) most of this is moot. Laws already exist, privacy is already addressed, but until it is enforced nothing will be done. Even the current lawsuits are merely nipping at the heels and do not address the broad scope of what needs be done.

Meanwhile, dumped fb months ago, after being with the service for 12+ years. All I can say, from the outside looking in, is advise those who are still on the service to bail as fast as they can (and clear off all their DATA and POSTS and OH MY!) (which fb will never do.)
8:24 am on Dec 31, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Congress is unlikely to do anything, in part due to the amount of political contributions made by Facebook.

This was regarding the Congressional investigation earlier in 2018:

[theverge.com...]
12:48 am on Jan 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Anything USA legislation will likely be on hold since the HOUSE changed hands (starting in January). In the meantime things will get ugly(ier?) between now and 2020. 2019 will be an interesting year!