Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Datapocalypse: Why Facebook's crisis is a turning point for privacy

by Ian R Thorpe

The strangest thing about the tidal wave of public revulsion about violations of privacy that have hit Facebook this week in the wake of revelations throughout this month of improper commercial exploitation of users data is the story of how an academic built an app to harvest the private data of people who took his 'personality test', and then sold his database to a public relations consultancty should have surprised nobody. I have been complaining in articles and blogs about abuses of privacy, not just by Facebook but a host of other tech firms for a decade.

It was, however, not Facebooks crashing share price, or the surge of people signing up to the “delete Facebook” campaign (itself quite possible a scam to capture users data), that came with it. Nor was it the five days that it took Mark Zuckerberg to personally respond to the crisis, strange as the chief executive’s silence seemed given his usual voluble style when talking about how Faceook makes our lives better.

No, what shuld have us all aking WTF is that the allegations levelled at the social networking giant express concerns at activities Facebook's business model is built on. There have been concerns about Facebook's privacy piracy had strayed from creepy to illegal as long ago as 2011 (when I wrote the linked article). In 2015 Facebook first faced accusations that it was failing to protect users’ data when newspaper reports emerged that a shadowy British data firm called Cambridge Analytica had harvested information from millions of profiles without their knowledge.

Back then the company, which uses not-particularly-clever caputre and analyse (C&A) techniques to build user profiles which facilitate targeted advertising or political campaigns, and which had been tasked with boosting Ted Cruz’s ultimately unsuccessful presidential campaign, was virtually unknown. The claims then were as serious as many of those made last week. But the story failed to reverberate around the world, nor did it cost the social network almost $60bn (£42bn).

The crucial difference is that while the facts have not changed, the world has. There are two important new factors. The first is that Cambridge Analytica struck up a relationship with Donald Trump's capaign team after he secured the Republican nomination. Trump's eventual victory in the 2016 presidential election has invited near-constant allegations of impropriety and vote rigging with the most serious allegations, of collusion with Russia, having been thoroughly discredited. There remain, however, a rump of Hillary Clinton supporters who simply cannot accept their candidate lost according to the rules as they applied in 2016.

It is these people who, having once idolised Mark Zuckerberg for his professed liberal principles (which it turns out are overridden by his lust for wealth and power, have now turned on moonface and his company, although in te whole scandal, neith Facebook not its clients has done anything that was not done in 2008 and 2012 by the Obama campaign and was hailed as genius by the same people who are calling it criminal because it helped Trump.

If any good is to come out of this latest Facebook scandal it will be that mho have been prepaany users wred to put large chunks of their life online and reveal in depth personal date to social media and other "free" online services will now be prompted to develop a much better understanding of technology they were prepared to trust simply because it was 'cool'. We must all be aware also of the economics involved in providing the 'free stuff' that is thrown at us on the web. It costs fortunes to run server farms and rent commuincations network capacity and that must all be paid for somehow, and to now that somehow has usually meant advertising. If the service is presented as free, then users are not the customers, users and the personal data reveal and the habits and choices shown as they browse or shop online become the products being sold (to marketing/advertising companies). These companies don't collect data about users and their interests for academic research purposes, they collect it so that they can sell it. It is OK to use such services as long as one remembers that the services are not free, your profile is being sold to people whose business is to serve targeted ads to the pages pulled up on your screen.

It is also sensible for users to consider in which countries their data is held and under what legal jurisdiction(s) it is held - it should be in the Ts and Cs, but let's be honest, most people (me included) don't read them.

The downfall of Facebook should also be a turning point for publishing. Social media networks should be treated as publishers, with some responsibility for what appears on their pages. This would help to rein in the Wild West elements and also divert revenue to the traditional publishers who are being slowly destroyed by new media, because even well established newspapers, magazines and broadcasters find it hard to sell subscriptions when their products are hidden among so much worthless drek. A free press is an essential part of democracy. Facebook, Google and the rest should be paying the publishers for the content they scrape from real content publishers.

US-EU Privacy Shield Data-Sharing Agreement Blasted as Inadequate

The issue arises from the strict EU laws — enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union — to the privacy of citizens personal data. As we all know thanks to the material leaked by Ed Snowden and others the United States National Security Agency (NSA) does not regard anything as private,

Facebook begins Europe-wide censorship campaign against free speech.

Facebook Inc (FB.O) has commenced the Europe-wide censoring of posts and comments the ruling elite do not like, thus making good the promise given to Hausfrau – Volksfuhrer Merkel by the social media and data theft site’s founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Philanthropic" Mark Zuckerberg Will Place Facebook Shares In A For-Profit LLC

Sorry to seem the The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, but somebody has to blow the whistle on the latest self serving stunt of the self server in chief, Mark Zuckerbugger but the great act of philanthropy with which the Inyaface Datatheft Book chief celebrated the birth of his child is, like everything else billionaire philanthropists do, not quite as straightforward as it has been presented in mainstream media.

How Google Destroyed the Internet

The idea of the internet was that it would be a communications tool that freed information by making all public domain documents, libraries and archives accessible for everyone. Unfortunately the corporate monopoly men of Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Facebook and political control freaks had other ideas. They also understood the technolgy while the hippies and liberals ignored professionals warnings that internet systems would become a perfect toool of censorship.

Corporate plundering of the UK purse has to stop – Facebook pays zero tax again

Our finance expert looks at the latest tax avoidance scandal and wonders why the governments financial agencies are always to eager to go after small time tax and benefit fraud and yet year after year turn a blind eye to the blatant criminality of global corporations in their tax evasion techniques.

Has Zuckerbugger Been Messing With Your Mind?

It has been revealed that Facebook has been collaborating with the US government and creepier fringes of the academic community in carrying out experiments to manipulate users emotions. "Facebook users have reacted angrily to a "creepy" experiment carried out by the social network and two American universities to manipulate their emotions."

Facebook boss Zukerberg Wants To Own The Internet

Facebook's latest acquisition Whatsapp cost $19bn, that's $40 per user. Whatsapp charge their users $1 per year. That means it will take Facebook 40 years to recover their outlay. And people are buying shares in this company? Insane.

Facebook Are Nazis - We Told You So

All the Greenteeth Labyrinth pages have consistently warned that the most successful internet companies, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Twitter etc. are led by people with authoritarian, even fascistic tendencies and a world domination complex which manifests itself as a desire to establish a monopoly position in their field. Facebook are at the forefront of this fascist cartel.

Facebook's Stockmarket Launch Fizzles Out

Facebook's much hyped stock market launch fell flat. We examine the folly of trying to pass off a social networking fad as a real, monrey making business.

Google's New Privacy Policy: 'All Your Base Belong Us'.Google has defended its decision to change the way it handles users' personal data as its new policy comes into force today. The internet search giant will now be able to use information about what people are entering into its search engine to target adverts according to users' interests under the changes.

Google Evil Empire In New Privacy ViolationOnce again the neo-Nazi nerds at Google are in trouble for playing fast and loose with our privacy. Google have bypassed browser privacy setting to track our movements on the web, the bettrer to target us with ads for poxy shite no sane person would buy. What is it these arseholes find difficult to understand about the idea that in the real world or cyberspace same rules apply ...

Facebooks Latest Violation Of Users PrivacyThe Daily Stirrer looks at Facebooks latest embarrassing climbdown after initially denying a new data mining scheme covertly violates users privacy ...

Google's Schmidt Tells US Senators "We're Not MocrosoftGoogle executive chairman Eric Schmidt, giving his testimony to the Senate Judiciary subcommittee that focuses on antitrust began by recalling a ghost of the committee's past: Microsoft. Schmidt never actually mentioned its arch enemy but it is clear ...