#Facebook admits they support age and gender discrimination in advertising

  • “Like other major ad platforms, we enable targeting based on age and gender”

Because, you know, everyone discriminates based on age and gender so we do it too!

They also have features to target ads based on race and ethnicity. Which also means they enable advertisers to discriminate by race and ethnicity for say, things like housing or jobs. Facebook mostly hems and haws and says its a hard problem to solve.

Facebook can not prohibit racial, ethnic and gender discrimination automatically so they have instead created policies telling advertisers that discrimination is naughty so do not do that.

Source: US Congress

 

Google Reads All of Your Email and Stores Detailed Notes About Your Correspondence

If you go to your Google Dashboard and poke around, you’ll find that Google actively and automatically reads all your emails.

No – not scans your emails – Google uses artificial intelligence software systems to read, analyze and interpret your private email correspondence and then stores detailed records about you. For example, I used to use Gmail. Here is some of the information that Google logged (permanently) in their archive based on reading my email.

Google’s spying software recognized each time I booked a flight and interpreted and stored this in their archive. This data is not bulk delete-able – you have to select each order, individually and go through some options to delete each item, one at a time. Which is impractical for an account that has been used for any length of time. It may be possible to bulk delete this data by deleting all of your emails on your GMail account (I’ve deleted most of them already).

Google also read emailed confirmations of purchases and logged this information in their database:

Because I used to be a user of GMail, and all of my Amazon purchases were confirmed with an email sent to my GMail account, Google has a detailed record of every purchase I ever made on Amazon and EBay.

Google claims that as of 2017, they have stopped reading emails for the purpose of ad targeting. Then why are they assembling this database of purchases? What is it being used for? I have been unable to find an explanation of why this information is collected.

They do note in the pages of “privacy” stuff that they scan emails. Note the bullet point “Order receipts or confirmations received in GMail” – which confirms their machine intelligence reads all of your emails, makes notes, and logs their interpretation. We do not know what Google does with this information.

Without question, Google is reading your financial related emails and bills/invoices from services such as your utility company.

Presumably Google is also reading personal information such as emails that may contain medical and financial information. Including emails you have sent to and from your spouse.

I RECOMMEND EVERYONE AVOID USING GOOGLE SERVICES. VERIZON/YAHOO ACKNOWLEDGES THEIR SYSTEMS READ YOUR BANKING AND FINANCIAL RECORDS SENT TO YOU IN EMAIL.[1]

This is not a matter of whether or not their database of private information is secure (it’s questionable). Because my email address at Gmail was a <common-first-name common-last-name> form, numerous people send me their own private email too! Google reads all of that and draws erroneous conclusions.

Every week I receive email destined for other people, on my account.

  • I have received private correspondence about a divorce proceeding (alleging law violations) that was intended for a lawyer with a name similar to mine.
  • I recently received announcement of someone going to hospice (has since passed away as I received that too) – for someone that was allegedly my father! (My Dad passed away a long time ago – this email was sent to me incorrectly.)
  • I received a full draft copy of the final comprehensive exam of a Paris, France European business school, seeking last minute comments. I could have posted this comprehensive exam online in advance of the exam date.
  • I received an advanced copy of a well known newspaper’s story exposing corruption – the story was intended for the contract graphic artist’s pre-publication review. His name is similar to mine and the item was mis-addressed to me. I could have posted it on my blog in advance of their publication.
  • Every week I receive announcements of bills not being paid or accounts being cut off (not mine but of other people who entered the wrong address).
  • There’s a new Paypal-like service called Venmo where someone entered the wrong email address. I receive all of their purchase info.  If I want, I have full access to their Venmo financial account (all I need to do is say I forgot my password).

Meanwhile, Google is looking over my shoulder and reading emails that have nothing to do with me – and compiling a dossier of all my purchases.

Because of this, I avoid using Google services where possible. Because I have an Android phone, there are some things I cannot readily opt out of. However, I have moved 99% of my email elsewhere. I keep location services turned off when I can. I routinely log in and delete my Google records – of those that I can access.

As we learned by downloading our Facebook and Twitter dossiers, these online services are amassing databases containing large quantities of garbage. This is the dark secret of online surveillance companies – first they don’t want you to know what they collect, but second, much and sometimes most of what they collect is crap. Yet they are selling this crap to third parties to use for advertising and propaganda campaigns.

Facebook and Google are both acting evil and not being honest with us about what they collect (in detailed terms), specifics of what they use the data for and how they use it and who else has access to it (in any form). Most of us now know – vaguely – that these companies collect data. But we do not know why they collect what they do, how it is interpreted, who has access to the information and when, or if, it is disposed of. In the case of Facebook, the public has received about a hundred different explanations and a hundred apologies for oops, we did it again!

Note

[1] Apple and Microsoft say their business models do not depend upon collecting voluminous data about you and selling it to other people. Both companies sell products and services directly, rather than selling access to dossiers. Microsoft says they only collect personal information when it is used specifically to improve your experience and then only for that purpose. It is not used for advertising, they say. This suggests email provided by Apple or Microsoft has less spying going on than those of the ad-based companies. A former Microsoft information security manager, and a former senior vice president told me that Microsoft is far less invasive than Google or Facebook and both said they have chosen not use to certain social media services because they had read their privacy policies and found them to be, effectively, antii-piracy policies.

#Facebook ad sales team told politicians that FB can “hand them the election” #DeleteFacebook

Until literally a few days before, this entire ad sales team at Facebook was literally telling every politician with any budget that Facebook can actually hand them the election. It is incredibly disingenuous and strange for an exec to get up and say that there’s no way Facebook could have potentially impacted the election.

Source: Antonio Garcia Martinez, former Facebook Employee Interview

One of many Zuckerberg lies. It blew my mind when when the CEO of an advertising company (FB) said they had no influence on the election. In other words, advertising on the Facebook network does not work?

#Facebook Uses AI to predict your future thoughts and actions, in order to control you #DeleteFacebook #Zuckerberg

Facebook is all about mind control, using what it knows about you – or what its algorithms think they know about you – to manipulate your actions:

Instead of merely offering advertisers the ability to target people based on demographics and consumer preferences, Facebook instead offers the ability to target them based on how they will behave, what they will buy, and what they will think. These capabilities are the fruits of a self-improving, artificial intelligence-powered prediction engine, first unveiled by Facebook in 2016 and dubbed “FBLearner Flow.”

Source: Facebook Uses Artificial Intelligence to Predict Your Future Actions for Advertisers, Says Confidential Document

Facebook is dangerous for everyone to be using.

#Facebook is a platform for mind control #DeleteFacebook #Zuckerberg

Perhaps at some point in the past few years you’ve told Facebook that you like, say, Kim Kardashian West.

….

What you probably missed is that researchers had figured out how to tie your interest in Ms. Kardashian West to certain personality traits, such as how extroverted you are (very), how conscientious (more than most) and how open-minded (only somewhat). And when your fondness for Ms. Kardashian West is combined with other interests you’ve indicated on Facebook, researchers believe their algorithms can predict the nuances of your political views with better accuracy than your loved ones.

Facebook creates a detailed psychological profile of you, to determine your weaknesses, vulnerabilities and key times to “see you something” via advertising or propaganda messaging. “Something” may be a product, a service or someone’s ideology.

More on this in the next post.

What data does a third party data aggregator collect – and from whom? #Facebook #DeleteFacebook #privacy

I found out what they have on me!

Long before Facebook existed there were companies that assembled data about consumers. Some of these companies include Acxiom, Epsilon, Datalogix and many others. They collect data about everyone and store this in databases, ostensibly for the purpose of re-selling their dossier to advertising and marketing businesses. Businesses like to direct their advertising to consumers who are more likely to purchase their product or service.

Facebook was trading data with these third party data aggregators. Facebook buries this in their Ad Preferences section and likely mentions, vaguely, somewhere in their privacy policy that they work with third parties. Most of us would have no idea what this means.

Facebook lists the data aggregators they work with so I contacted one of them to find out what they have on me. The aggregator provided a generic summary of the information – with hints that they have much more detailed information that leads to their high level category descriptions. Presumably they are selling the high level category and not the specifics (“you bought 50 pounds of dry brand-name dog food on April 1, 2010”).

There is nothing embarrassing in the list of information they provided (yay! LOL) but the list reveals indirectly who is selling our data.

For example, the list I received said that we “donate to medical research causes”. Since we know exactly who we donated too, we now know who sold our donation information. This marks us a a “target” for other groups to pester us about a donation.

Personal data like this can also be a gold mine to targeted propaganda efforts-especially when combined with Facebook’s pyschographic profiling of your behavior and emotional state.

Some of the data is surprisingly wrong – age, income, type of vehicle we own, length of time in residence – all wrong.

The database also identifies someone in the household as an avid walker and another as a jogger.

My wife is an avid walker and for a time, logged her walks, privately, in an online run/walk/hike web site to track her mileage. The only way a data aggregator knows this is someone sold them this information – and obviously the web site she was using sold the data. There is no other way, short of watching her walk to make this judgement.

She is also classified as interested in “sewing/needlework/knitting”. While not exactly correct, she does have a related hobby – and buys her supplies from a specific arts and crafts retail store – which sold her purchase information.

Similarly, I am a jogger and for a time, I used an online web site to measure my route distances They too sold that information.

It also looks like a well known, global online e-commerce site is selling generic information about items we have purchased. Some of the identified “Interests” related to items we have only purchased from this global e-commerce retailer.

As the dossier identified “Home Improvement, DIY and wood working”, it is likely that big box home improvement stores have sold information about our purchases.

We knew that much of what we do was being tracked. What we did not know was who is collecting and selling our data. By seeing the data that was logged we can identify the source and this might be the most useful bit of information you can extract from the information provided by third party data aggregators.

#Facebook admits: Most of its 2 billion users have had their data scraped #DeleteFacebook

Facebook said Wednesday that most of its 2 billion users likely have had their public profiles scraped by outsiders without the users’ explicit permission, dramatically raising the stakes in a privacy controversy that has dogged the company for weeks, spurred investigations in the United States and Europe, and sent the company’s stock price tumbling.

It seems likely that more than just “public” data was taken. Facebook is not telling anyone what was taken (why the secrecy?)

It seems highly likely that the vast amount of private data, detailed in my other post, was also taken, through the “Apps Others Use” data theft system built by Facebook. Effectively, everything everyone ever posted, Liked, plus Facebook’s assessment of each of us – was lifted by potentially hundreds of thousands of apps.

Apps were also able to scrape the posts and profiles of private groups.

Source: Facebook said the personal data of most of its 2 billion users has been collected and shared with outsiders – The Washington Post

Their privacy violations have been vast. It is difficult to see how Facebook remains a sustainable business.

Mark Zuckerbeg is a lying scoundrel.

 

Computer algorithms that analyze #Facebook “Likes” understand your thinking better than your spouse #DeleteFacebook #Privacy

Facebook (and Youtube and Twitter) have conducted a global experiment on human populations without consent of the guinea pigs by analyzing our “Likes”.

Facebook’s digital model of us is more accurate than our own understanding of ourselves.

Computers need evaluate as few as 100 Likes to make a judgement more effective than a human. Analyzing just 300 Likes enables the model to know more about the subject than does the subject’s spouse. Computer models achieve “peak” accuracy when more than 500 Likes are observed.

We show that (i) computer predictions based on a generic digital footprint (Facebook Likes) are more accurate (r = 0.56) than those made by the participants’ Facebook friends using a personality questionnaire (r = 0.49); (ii) computer models show higher interjudge agreement; and (iii) computer personality judgments have higher external validity when predicting life outcomes such as substance use, political attitudes, and physical health; for some outcomes, they even outperform the self-rated personality scores. Computers outpacing humans in personality judgment presents significant opportunities and challenges in the areas of psychological assessment, marketing, and privacy.

Given the variety of objects, subjects, brands, and people that can be liked and the number of Facebook users (>1.3 billion), Likes represent one of the most generic kinds of digital footprint. For instance, liking a brand or a product offers a proxy for consumer preferences and purchasing behavior; music-related Likes reveal music taste; and liked websites allow for approximating web browsing behavior. Consequently, Like-based models offer a good proxy of what could be achieved based on a wide range of other digital footprints such as web browsing logs, web search queries, or purchase records

Reference

Youyou, W., Kosinski, M., Stillwell, D. (2015). “Computer-based personality judgements are more accurate than those made by humans”. PNAS. January 27, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1418680112 Retrieved from: http://www.pnas.org/content/112/4/1036 on April 3, 2018.

Likes are the Secret Sauce of Social Media Surveillance

“Likes” are the secret sauce. We give Likes out of kindness and believing we may have been thoughtful towards a “Friend”. We give Likes, sometimes as a form of “bookmark” so we can find something later, by reviewing our Likes. The entire process was conceived as a form of mind control, to cause us to reveal our thought processes and patterns.

We now know – never, ever click Like on Facebook or Youtube or Twitter and never click +1 on Google platforms. It is unclear what is collected by Instagram and how Likes are evaluated on that platform but it is presumed that Instagram (aka Facebook) ties photo Likes to the image tags used in photo descriptions.

These platforms have created a psychological profile of every user. The analysis includes not only our Likes, but our Group memberships, our self selected Interests (Page Likes, especially), our self provided background such as education or religious interests, an analysis of our text, analysis of our online web site visits (Facebook and Google both track our web site visits across the web), and may include text analysis of posts we have made on other web sites or web sites that we operate ourselves, such as blogs like this one.

While Facebook let’s us download “our data”, Facebook does not provide us with the psychological model they have created about each of us. We do not know what it contains nor do we have any way to correct errors in that model.

#Facebook’s massive propaganda platform exposed, could lead to totalitarianism #DeleteFacebook

Perhaps a bit of hyperbole but perhaps not:

For the sake of a Procter and Gamble being able to save money on selling soap powder, we have created the means for monitoring and controlling the behaviors of billions of people and laying them open to political and ideological manipulations.

Selling ideas uses the same data as selling shoes. Consumerism enables the technologies of totalitarianism. My fear is that we could paint ourselves into a very unpleasant corner — a N. Korea, but with far more powerful systems for oppression and suppression of dissent.

Source: Facebook fallout: Big Brands’ adversarial ad strategies exposed | ZDNet

Feeling relieved to now see everyone pointing out that Facebook’s propaganda platform is dangerous and reckless. This, obviously, has been an underlying theme of this blog since 2014.

Architectural propaganda – how stores are designed to trap you

  1. Costco stores, like many stores, are designed to trap you inside longer and to walk further to be exposed to more buying temptations.
  2. Food and toilet paper are placed in the back so you will have to walk past more tempting items to buy.
  3. Costco tends to move products around inside the store so that you will walk more to find them on your next visit.

Costco is not alone. Grocery stores put milk and eggs in the back of the store, often diagonally opposite (the longest path) to force you to walk through more of the store.

From your perspective, you would like to get in and out as quickly as possible, but your efficiency is not their goal.

This is what I call “architectural propaganda” – where the building and layout are designed to influence you.

Source: Costco infuriates customers by constantly moving things around the store — and employees say it’s a brilliant strategy – SFGate