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July 17, 2019 10:22

Share or not share, the decision is not yours anymore!

The latest Facebook terms change back in January allow now FB and third parties to collect information from your computer, phones and other devices where you use Facebook. This is not limited to your Facebook page and shared information. It’s just everything that is stored on your computer or mobile phone.


Here is a short list:

All your contact data
All your pictures
All your locations
All software and apps you use
All files names on your hard drive
All personal communication like chats & mail
All search history
All your web history
• Even they can turn on your microphone
• Etc…, etc…, etc…

And you can do nothing about it, except eliminating the FB app on your phone, or deleting your FB account. (Remember Messenger and WhatsApp is the same company). Even if you have nothing to hide, you have to worry about the opposite, what Facebook chooses to hide and what to be shared. They filter you !

The issue here isn’t what we have to hide, it’s about the right for freedom, which is the right to privacy, and the right to have to choose how information about us is used.

We’ve given up those rights forever by using Facebook since January 2015.

There’s no need to talk hypothetically about surveillance here. One of the first Facebook investors has connections to a CIA investment firm called In-Q-Tel who “identifies cutting-edge technologies to help the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the broader US Intelligence Community to further their missions”. And if you haven’t heard – it was revealed that Facebook data is delivered directly to the NSA-PRISM programme.

A conspiracy theory?

The thing is that you don’t need a conspiracy theory to be concerned. Mark Zuckerburg himself has been public and consistent to his investors about his intentions:

“To be the middle-man in all personal communication”

That’s why they made Messenger and bought WhatsApp. Worse, when they made Facebook email, they took advantage of users who were syncing their Facebook contacts. They made it so everyone’s address would be the default. Why? So that your friends would email you at your address, and they’d be able to read your emails too.

“To make all personal communication public over time”

That’s why they slowly changed the default privacy settings to public, made privacy settings harder and harder to use, and now are pretending that their privacy helper will change this.
In reality, there are loads of privacy breaches you can’t turn off, like allowing advertisers to use your endorsement to your friends, turning off how Facebook tracks what you read on the internet, or disallowing Facebook from collecting other information about you. You can’t turn it off!

And what if I am not on Facebook? – Yes you are !

If you’ve ever used Facebook contact sync, or used Facebook on your mobile phone, Facebook took your complete contact list. Real names, phone numbers, addresses, emails, everything. They then use that to create non-public “shadow profiles” of the people you know who aren’t on Facebook. Non Facebook users often see this in action, in the form of emails to them from Facebook, containing their personal information. Facebook users can see this when they upload a picture of a non-Facebook user, and they’re automatically tagged.

Your friends who are not on Facebook, but since you and a few friends used Facebook on our phones, Facebook has their name and contact information, plus knows who their friends are because it sees them in their address book and calling records. A couple of pictures uploaded with his face, and done – they can identify your non FB user friends in pictures! Adding location data from the pictures to his shadow profile they know where non Facebook users are. On top of all this, they can very accurately infer a lot about him based on statistical similarities to his friends.

So basically, you are ratting on our friends who wanted to remain private. Facebook tricked you.

“Privacy” doesn’t apply to what Facebook digs up

Like shadow profiles of people, Facebook can “infer a like” based on other information it has about you, like what you read all over the internet or what you do in apps where you log in with Facebook. Call it a “shadow like.” This allows them to sell more accurate information about you to advertisers or other third parties.
It’s already well-documented that Facebook collects this information. The “shadow profile “ & “shadow like” technique is simply the standard use of statistical techniques in database marketing.

And you thought those Farmville requests were annoying. Every time you saw one, that friend was revealing your information to “third parties.”

So effectively, all that stuff you marked as “friends only” doesn’t matter so much. By being on Facebook, there’s way more information about you that’s collected, combined, shared, and used than you may think of.
On top of this, they allow all the 3rd party Facebook apps full access to your complete information. And even if you never use any apps on Facebook, your friends do. When they use apps, your friends share all your information for you.

And what about permissions, and the big promise of 2009 ?

Some things do have “off” buttons, but keep in mind they are temporary, and as Facebook has done in the past, it will switch them back on without letting you know.
When Facebook started (and probably when you joined) it was clearly a safe place to share with your friends only. That was their big promise. Over time, they switched the default privacy setting to public so that if you still wanted to keep Facebook for friends only, you had to manually find over 100 settings on multiple hidden settings pages. Then, they started dropping those settings and forced information to be public anyway.

Selling your endorsement without your consent

You might have noticed Facebook ads with your friends endorsement under it. Facebook gives advertisers the right to use you as an endorser, but you have no control over it. It’s not limited to when you’ve actually clicked a like button. There have been cases of vegetarians endorsing McDonalds, a long- and happily-married woman endorsing dating sites, and even a young boy endorsing a sex club to his own mother!
People assume them to be true. That’s even scarier because Facebook is used heavily for political advertising, and product endorsements.

From FB terms of service:

“You give us permission to use your name, profile picture, content and information in connection with commercial, sponsored or related content (such as a brand you like), served or enhanced by us.”

“By “information” we mean facts and other information about you, including actions taken by users and non-users who interact with Facebook.”

Abusing your friends’ trust in you

We can have no idea if our endorsement has been used to sell flakey crap in our name. I don’t want to think about my mom wasting her money on something she thought I was endorsing, or my clients seeing adverts for useless products with my face or logo under them.

Using Facebook means this happens all the time. Advertisers can buy your endorsement on Facebook and your information from third-party data brokers. You never get to know about it, and you can’t turn it off.

The latest privacy change

Finally, this latest privacy change makes things way worse, and way more out of your control if you stay on Facebook.

Facebook is demanding to track what you buy, and your financial information like bank account and credit card numbers. It’s already started sharing data with MasterCard. They’ll use the fact that you stayed on Facebook as “permission” to make deals with all kinds of banks and financial institutions to get your data from them. They’ll call it anonymous, but like they trick your friends to reveal your data to the third-parties with apps, they’ll create the loopholes.

Facebook is also insisting to track your location via your phone’s GPS, everywhere and all the time. It’ll know exactly who you spend your time with. They’ll know your habits, they’ll know when you call in sick at work, but are really out bowling. They’ll know if you join an addict support group, or go to a psychiatrist, or a psychic, or a mistress. They’ll know how many times you’ve been to the doctor or hospital, and be able to share that with prospective insurers or employers. They’ll know when you’re secretly job hunting, and will sell your endorsement for job sites to your friends and colleagues — you’ll be revealed.
They’ll know everything that can be revealed by your location, and they’ll use it however they want to make a buck.

It is all be done retrospectively

If you stay on Facebook past January 30th, there’s nothing stopping all of your past location and financial data to get used. They’ll get your past location data from when your friends checked-in with you, and the GPS data stored in photos of you. They’ll pull your old financial records – that embarrassing medicine you bought with your credit card 5 years ago will be added to your profile to be used as Facebook chooses. It will be freely available from loads of “third-party” companies who do nothing but sell personal data, and irreversibly eliminate your privacy. This is irreversible now!
Location and financial data are not just really sensitive, they allow the “third-parties” de-anonymise information about you. This massively empowers these third-parties to collect all available information about you, including calculated information that you never revealed.
This is unprecedented, and just like you’d never have guessed that Facebook would sell your endorsements when you signed up in 2009, it’s too hard to predict what Facebook and those third-party data sellers will do with this new power.
This is simply a consequence of their business model. Facebook sells you out, because that’s how they make money. And they’re under heavy pressure from their investors to make more.

What can you do about this?

Facebook gives you two options: accept all of this, or get off the Facebook bus & apps.
This bus is getting loud, annoying and bit smelly, and the ticket is way too expensive.

How to get out of this mess?

According to the FTC settlement from a few years ago, after Facebook was sued by the US government for its privacy practices, Facebook is “required to prevent anyone from accessing a user’s material more than 30 days after the user has deleted his or her account;”
But watch out, FB will trick you to deactivating your account it instead of deleting.

There’s nothing we can do ?

There is. The Internet was decentralised for 50 years, and is full of options, by design, that allow us to maintain privacy. We have a say in the world we want to live in — if we take action ourselves. Plus, we can help everyone understand, and help them make their own choices more informed.

Please share this with people who are important to you.


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