#Facebook is designed to “reward content that elicits emotion” #DeleteFacebook

Because emotionally roused viewers are more susceptible to advertising messages:

The service’s algorithm, designed to reward content that elicits emotion, made it a perfect tool for Russian propagandists to spread disinformation during the 2016 election.

Source: Instagram Looks Like Facebook’s Best Hope – Bloomberg

Nice to see others recognizing that Facebook emotionally manipulates people.

#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 Pages are basically dead #deletefacebook

Facebook “Pages” provide content to those who “Like” or “Follow” your page on Facebook. Facebook’s filtering algorithm has mostly discontinued showing Page updates to your readers. Facebook Pages are dead.

Actual Numbers

I had 4 Pages, with the smallest one having 100 followers and the largest having 2,000 followers.  Each post on the 2,000 follower page is seen by 12% of followers. Each post I wrote on a 400+ follower page was seen by 1-2% of followers.

So why bother to keep Facebook Pages?

I just deleted 2 of the 4 and may deleted a third.

Pages have often been used to increase the readership of blog-like web sites by sharing blog content with the Facebook Page. This capability is essentially dead now. Facebook has long de-ranked posts made by automatic tools. The “blog feed” is dead.

Page content is no longer of use for announcements or posting of analysis and stories. Instead, you need to post items, by hand, that “start a conversation”. Only by having comments, likes and shares will such posts occasionally be shown in news feeds.

Is there any value to Facebook Pages now?

The only value is to provide a landing spot for people who search Facebook for information related to your topic. That can translate in to “Follows” on your Page. But unless those are translated into regular visits to your non-FB web site, the value is not high since your “new followers” will see very few future updates from you.

Consequently, the only value for having a Page is if you intend to spend time interacting with people. If interaction is not the goal, then Facebook Pages no longer make sense.

Source: Is This the Death of Organic Reach for Facebook Pages?

#Facebook says EU compliant privacy policies will roll out globally

Contrary to a recent Reuters report, he said, new controls for privacy settings required by European law will roll out globally.

Source: Mark Zuckerberg: Actually, We Are Going to Roll Out Fancy EU Privacy Controls Everywhere

He’s said a lot of things over the years that never happened. The reporter on this story points out that Zuckerberg’s comments were mostly platitudes.

#Google #Android phones tracked your Location even when Location was off, no SIM Card #Facebook #DeleteFacebook

During 2017, you could not disable Google tracking of your smart phone.

During most of 2017, Android devices were collecting the cell tower identification code and sending that to Google, even when Location services were turned off.

Google collected this data even when devices had no SIM card. If connected to WiFi, the devices sent the data over WiFi instead.

Devices with a cellular data or WiFi connection appear to send the data to Google each time they come within range of a new cell tower. When Android devices are connected to a WiFi network, they will send the tower addresses to Google even if they don’t have SIM cards installed.

Google says after being notified of this in late 2017, they disabled the feature (or bug … ever notice that 100% of privacy bugs err on the side of collecting your data, rather than preserving your privacy?)

Google Collects Android Users Locations Even when Location Services are Disabled

 

#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.

 

Likely that every #Facebook user’s private data was scraped into third-party databases – everything #DeleteFacebook #Zuckerberg

Prior to 2014, applications using the Facebook platform could download nearly everything posted by users, including photos, Likes, Interests, Groups and more – including from the friends of the person running the app – even items restricted to “Friends only” – and did so without permission of the Friends.

Everything ever posted on Facebook was “Public” to applications that requested access to “Friends” data.

An estimated 10+% of Facebook applications requested permission to access the data of Friends. Presumably most collected a limited set of personal data, but with 9 million applications in existence today, that would be 900,000 applications.

What could they get?

  • Every post you ever made on your Timeline (including those that were to Friends and not Public)
  • Every photo you posted online,
  • A list of every Like you ever made on Facebook
  • Every group you belonged to
  • The Facebook determined list of “Interests” (determined by Group membership, Pages you Liked/Followed, and possibly text analysis)
  • Your family relationships
  • Your religion and politics

Here is Table 5 from a 2015 paper, cited below, capturing the Facebook API permissions in effect at the time. Applications could scrape any of the data listed in the “Friends Data” column, which is essentially everything as “friend.status” refers to timeline posts.

In 2014, Facebook rewrote this programming interface to restrict access to Friend’s data. Apps approved after that point were restricted – however, apps approved prior to that point could continue to run and continue to collect data.

Until last weekend, Facebook had a hidden privacy setting for Apps Others Use.The default settings for this page  had almost every item as share-able. I took this snapshot after I had cleared the settings; Facebook deleted this the next day.

When most every item was checked (and the default was checked) Apps run by your friends had access to all of your personal activity. This included everything you “Liked” on Facebook, plus all Interest and Group memberships – even apparently posts on your Timeline intended for Friends-only.

Consumer Reports noted that applications were sharing data for Friends – back in a 2012 online column (https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/06/facebook-your-privacy/index.htm).

An estimated 10% of Facebook applications requested access to your “Friends”. Thus, it is highly likely everything we shared with Facebook, including items to “Friends” only was scraped, including Timeline posts, Photos, Likes and more and are now stored in non-Facebook, private, third-party databases.

It is likely that if applications could this, then major intelligence agencies also scraped this data.

Most apps would not have collected all of the possible data but just a limited subset. However, a combination of several apps, each collecting a subset, could merge their data together to ultimately collect everything about everyone.

News reports about the Cambridge Analytica beach now affecting 87 million (mostly) Americans are missing the story. It is likely that nearly all 2 billion Facebook users have had their data scraped, including what they thought was private information.

Why are you still using Facebook? Facebook is a dangerous platform that has operated for 14 years in a reckless manner.

Reference

Symeondiis, I., Tsormpatzoudi, P., and Preneel, B. (2015). Collateral damage of Facebook Apps: an enhanced privacy scoring model