- “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
In a document provided to Congress by Facebook we learn that Facebook is a massive spying operation recording everything about you, including the names of files on your device, data about other devices on your network or near to you (including from people who never gave Facebook permission), and records things you buy from other web sites (meaning, not on Facebook – see note)... literally, everything. Mark Zuckerberg repeatedly lies about the massive spy operation conducted by Facebook.
1. information from “computers, phones, connected TVs, and other web-connected devices,” as well as your “internet service provider or mobile operator”
2. “mouse movements” on your computer
3. “app and file names” (and the types of files) on your devices
6. information “about other devices that are nearby or on their network”
11. “purchases [users] make” on off-Facebook websites
12. contact information “such as an address book” and, for Android users, “call log or SMS log history” if synced, for finding “people they may know”
14. “location of a photo or the date a file was created” through the file’s metadata
15. information through your device’s settings, such as “GPS location, camera, or photos”
16. information about your “online and offline actions” and purchases from third-party data providers
17. “device IDs, and other identifiers, such as from games, apps or accounts users use“
When I visit Amazon.com, a total of 25 “trackers” are invoked, including from DoubleClick, Yahoo, Advertising.com, Taboola, Adobe and many, many more. A visit to Walmart indicates Facebook Custom Audiences are tracking us. Target shows Bing advertising tracking, Google tracking and many more in use.
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.
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!
 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.
As this humorous news item notes, Facebook spends an inordinate amount of time apologizing for its repeated screw ups regarding storing massive amounts of personal data on everyone and constantly leaking it to partners.
This is separate from the apps that had access to friends of friends data such as those affiliated with Cambridge Analytica, and many others.
This is separate from the 60 hardware partners like Chinese phone maker Huawei, that were given access to private data on Facebook.
This is new – Facebook gave secret access to many additional partners too:
Facebook Inc. FB 0.49% struck customized data-sharing deals with a select group of companies, some of which had special access to user records well after the point in 2015 that the social-media giant has said it cut off all developers from that information, according to court documents, company officials and people familiar with the matter.
Facebook did announce this week that it has cut off Huawei’s data sharing agreement as of this week. But that is not relevant to anyone who has owned a Huawei product the past year or two or three. What happened to our data? Is the data sharing burned into the existing phone’s firmware – hence, ending the agreement is irrelevant?
Facebook has been reckless in its disregard for privacy and continues to steadily obfuscate its tall tales about how they have shared our private data with everyone on the planet – and presumably well beyond the planet, at this point.
Zuckerberg and Sandberg are liars.
Seriously. They had no idea Facebook was a propaganda platform because there was “so much in the good” of Facebook. Their naivety is stunning.
She says she will work harder to address the problems. But her naivety continues as she does not acknowledge that few trust Facebook executives.
As I posted yesterday, it appears that Facebook executives have been routinely lying to everyone about their massive surveillance network and data sharing systems. Congress takes notice:
“This needs to be investigated and the people responsible need to be held accountable.”
The New York Times (see earlier post) found that Facebook had signed private agreements with 60 companies who made use of Facebook data. The New York Times demonstrated this by using a 2013 Blackberry device, and starting with a FB account having 550 friends, was able to gather personal data on 295,000 Facebook users.
Facebook has reached data-sharing partnerships with at least 60 device makers — including Apple, Amazon, BlackBerry, Microsoft and Samsung — over the last decade, starting before Facebook apps were widely available on smartphones, company officials said.
…. Facebook allowed the device companies access to the data of users’ friends without their explicit consent, even after declaring that it would no longer share such information with outsiders. Some device makers could retrieve personal information even from users’ friends who believed they had barred any sharing, The New York Times found.
If true, will Facebook executives be going to jail?
It looks like Zuckerberg and Sandberg have been telling some large fibs to consumers and Congress.
A long time ago, in a generation far away from the present, there was a TV show called “The Outer Limits” famous for its opening sequence narration:
There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to – The Outer Limits.
Little did they know then, they were describing the future Facebook and Instagram services which use algorithms to determine what you see in your news feed. Both services control the content you see – imagine the possibilities for propaganda when all you see is what a giant corporation’s secret algorithms choose to show you.
Instagram says it uses three main factors, based on your past actions and behaviors, to determine how to build your feed: Interest: How much Instagram predicts you’ll care about a post, with higher ranking for what matters to you, determined by past behavior on similar content and potentially machine vision analyzing the actual content of the post. Recency: How recently the post was shared, with prioritization for timely posts over weeks-old ones. Relationship: How close you are to the person who shared it, with higher ranking for people you’ve interacted with a lot in the past on Instagram, such as by commenting on their posts or being tagged together in photos.Instagram adds that it also considers the frequency with which you open Instagram, the number of people you follow, and how long you generally spend in the app during each session.
George Orwell’s 1984 was not intended as operating instructions for the future, but as a warning.
Sadly, Mark Zuckerberg adopted 1984 as the operating guidelines for Facebook and Instagram.