Facebook to end their ad discrimination practices, sort of-they still support age discrimination in job ads

Facebook will be legally required to end its practice of allowing businesses to block certain groups like blacks, gays and immigrants from viewing ads under an agreement reached with the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.

Source: Facebook makes deal with Washington AG to halt discriminatory ads | The Columbian

The agreement DOES NOT address the use of FB to target job ads based on age, thereby legally discriminating against older workers by ensuring older workers never see job ads. Major employers have been using this feature for quite a while.

Just one month ago, Facebook defended these practices:

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

Now, their VP says:

“Discriminatory advertising has no place on our platform, and we’ll continue to improve our ad products so they’re relevant, effective, and safe for everyone.”

What a lie. They will continue to permit discrimination in job advertising on the basis of age. (A little more on this topic added in a follow up post).

Can email scanners steal medical records? Yes

This week, one of the largest health care providers in the State of California emailed to me the entire 101 page medical records of one of their patients. I have no relationship with this health care provider and do not live in California.

  • In 2018, how is it possible that a major health care provider would send protected patient information (PHI) over unsecured email? This boggles the mind.
  • In 2018, how is it possible that a major health care provider is sending PHI to an unverified email address? Mind blown.

By sending someone’s medical records to a random stranger on the Internet (me), this health care provider lost all control of their patient’s medical records.

I informed the provider and I also filed a HIPAA violation complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights, which enforces the HIPAA privacy requirements. (If you know of health care PHI privacy violations, you can file a complaint with the information provided here.)

Because this medical record landed in my GMail Inbox, we know that Google’s artificial intelligence software scanned, analyzed, interpreted and took notes about what was contained in the record.

This health care record has nothing to do with me but what ever is in that record has now likely been incorporated into Google’s dossier on me. The result is that the Google database of what they think they know about each of us becomes more and more inaccurate over time. Since I receive a large quantity of misdirected email, the Google dossier is likely messed up.

Google claims their dossier is not for sale and is used only by the Google Ad network for ad placements. Presumably the ads shown will be shaped by the incorrect information they have collected.

This has interesting implications for privacy.

By design: BBC-“Social media apps are ‘deliberately’ addictive to users”

Source: Social media apps are ‘deliberately’ addictive to users – BBC News

Their primary purpose is mind control, creating platforms for the dissemination of propaganda intended to persuade you to adopt someone else’s agenda (including buying products, services and ideologies).

There is not much mystery here – it’s their business model!

Study: Higher testosterone level increases men’s desire for high-status goods

Researchers say that higher testosterone levels lead to men wanting “higher status” luxury goods. Marketing propaganda figured this out long ago – hence the image of men lounging in a high status beach resort or on the deck of a fancy yacht, or a $200,000 recreational vehicle, surrounded by attractive women.

By focusing on “conspicuous consumption as an avenue to status,” the new research shows what “value to others” means in a society where scarcity itself has become scarce, Von Ruedon said. These goods put others on notice that “you’re wealthy, and you must have some skills or some valuable something that’s allowed you to amass wealth,” he said. “It’s an advertisement that you’re of value as a mate or friend or leader.”

Trumble said he’s not surprised that marketers would use evolutionary anthropology to help them sell products. And if Wharton professors want to know how testosterone affects male consumers, that’s fine with him.

Source: An extra dose of testosterone increases men’s preference for high-status luxury goods, study says

Remember that advertising and marketing messaging are subsets of the propaganda field. This study highlights how marketing is crafted to “hook” men into acquiring high status luxury goods based on hypothesized evolutionary aspects of males. A corollary finding is that men and women admire men who have been influenced to acquire luxury goods.

From the study itself

Men experience situational elevation in T during and following sporting events, in the presence of attractive mates, and following meaningful life events such as graduation and divorce29,48,49. Our results suggest that in such contexts, male consumers might be more likely to engage in positional consumption, and might find status-related brand communications more appealing.

This is why marketeers place attractive people in advertising – or at trade shows. It also suggests that attractive people have an “attractive privilege”.

Further hypothesis might include:

  1. Do women who acquire luxury goods achieve the same results (status) as men who acquire luxury goods?
  2. Would men with lower testosterone levels be wise to acquire more high status luxury goods to attract mates?
  3. How can these findings be used in propaganda messaging to persuade others to adopt someone’s agenda?

I’ve categorized this under Appeal to Authority (an other categories) as a potential match to the idea that people with high status luxury goods are alleged to be better or superior (i.e. authorities). Which is a kind of scary thought.

More examples: Facebook’s dossier for advertising is bogus

Facebook’s advertising interests thinks I’m interested in the California Democratic Party *AND* Republicans for the Rule of Law.

Seriously? I have no relation with either political party or group.

Only one of these ads involves someone we’ve interacted with (Sarita Dua, and outstanding real estate broker in the Portland area).

Paging down through their list, may be 1 in 20 or 30 ads has any relevancy. That’s lame for a targeted advertising network that supposedly knows so much about us.

News: Being overly dramatic

The Intercept published an article about likely locations of NSA voice and data intercept equipment located in AT&T “central office” network switching locations. They’ve promoted the article on Twitter with this poster:

  1. Electronic equipment does not need a windowed office with a view. Duh.
  2. They are kept in “fortress-like concrete structures” because they are designed as critical infrastructure keeping our voice and data systems running in the event of natural disasters.
  3. “and behind their fortified walls” … because we actually don’t want just anyone or various disaster scenarios to take down our communications infrastructure.

The statement they’ve written is basically true but is written using numerous emotional click bait words to exaggerate. Each of those attributes are features that make perfect sense and have nothing to do with their likely co-location of NSA surveillance gear.

The intent in the above wording is engage your System 1 “emotional thinking” to cause you to read the article. This is typical of advertising – don’t think! Just feel!

Much propaganda messaging appeals specifically to your emotions, to engage your gut level feelings. This is why it is so hard to correct factually incorrect propaganda – processing a correction takes more effort than the easy emotional response.

#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.