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posted by Fnord666 on Thursday December 20 2018, @01:03PM   Printer-friendly
from the I'm-shocked-I-say dept.

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow1984

Source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/12/19/facebook-data-privacy-access-tech-companies/

Just about 24 hours ago, we published a story recapping Facebook's terrible 2018. But the year isn't over, and it looks like the drama is going to continue until the bitter end. According to an investigation by The New York Times that cites interviews with more than 60 people, including former Facebook employees, the company gave Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify and other tech firms far greater access to user data than previously disclosed. Earlier this month, the paper reported how some of these companies were receiving favored access to people's information, but we didn't know it was allegedly giving certain ones the ability to read, write and delete private messages.

The data sharing was so deep that even Facebook's business partners were surprised by it: Spotify said it was unaware of this special access while Netflix claims it never checked people's private messages on Facebook nor did it ever "ask for the ability to do so." Apple, meanwhile, was white-listed to view users' phone numbers and calendar entries, but it said it was not aware of this special access.

[...] The biggest issue with Facebook, which hasn't responded to our request for comment, is that it always waits until after a bombshell to clarify its policies -- that's how it got into this mess to begin with.

Meanwhile takyon notes that:

After a year from hell, Facebook parties like it's 2017

Last weekend, Facebook hosted a lavish two-day Christmas party for employees. The event, held this year at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, had a winter village theme. It looked like a lovely time for all!

The party was documented by attendees who naturally posted pictures to Instagram (owned by Facebook!). In one corner they delighted to dancers and performers dressed as elves, and discussed perhaps the news this weekend (posted on a blog by Facebook on Friday evening) that a bug had let developers see photos that users uploaded but never actually posted. It affected 6.8 million users. Or maybe they didn't bother discussing this – it seemed a relatively minor screw-up based on the year Facebook has had.

Apparently the mirror reflecting their past year has a bit of distortion.


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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by bradley13 on Thursday December 20 2018, @01:13PM (9 children)

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 20 2018, @01:13PM (#776784) Homepage Journal

    It cannot be much longer before Facebook is facing a whole series of GDPR lawsuits. While it only took effect last Spring, and so doesn't apply to actions before that, it seems that Facebook is incapable of understanding privacy. A couple of lawsuits resulting in penalties measures as a percentage of global turnover? That might, just might get their attention.

    And if they just decide to leave Europe entirely? Why, that would be even better!

    What a scummy company...

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by BsAtHome on Thursday December 20 2018, @01:49PM (4 children)

      by BsAtHome (889) on Thursday December 20 2018, @01:49PM (#776790)

      Yes, the lawsuits are already on their way in the EU. Also, many indirectly related lawsuits are running in parallel, where facebook or google are third parties, but are embedded into the first party's website. These have actually been running before the GDPR, but are still relevant. The rules got more strict with the GDPR.

      At some stage, the negativity in the word facebook will be enough to equate the word with "liars" and "parasites" (see f.x. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/12/20/facebook_disaster/ [theregister.co.uk] ). Then the house of cards will collapse, simply to follow in the footsteps of friendster and myspace. That will be the day, when the real party is celebrated.

      • (Score: 2) by cubancigar11 on Thursday December 20 2018, @05:35PM (3 children)

        by cubancigar11 (330) on Thursday December 20 2018, @05:35PM (#776862) Homepage Journal

        I closed my facebook account earlier this year, and to my surprise, my profile was still visible 6 months later. Apparently, there is 'delete' then there is 'permanently delete', latter of which I could only as a link on some other website that was explaining how to do it.

        At the end of the day, I got rid of everything except LinkedIn.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20 2018, @06:53PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20 2018, @06:53PM (#776905)

          except LinkedIn

          Hahahahahahaha! Hahahahaha! You poor bastard!

          • (Score: 2) by cubancigar11 on Thursday December 20 2018, @07:27PM (1 child)

            by cubancigar11 (330) on Thursday December 20 2018, @07:27PM (#776932) Homepage Journal

            Hey man, that thing is actually useful. And it doesn't have me discussing my private life, only projecting my professional image.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21 2018, @12:34AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21 2018, @12:34AM (#777027)

              Fair enough then.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by stormwyrm on Thursday December 20 2018, @05:40PM (3 children)

      by stormwyrm (717) on Thursday December 20 2018, @05:40PM (#776865) Journal
      If Facebook pulls out of Europe that would be corporate suicide. As soon as that happens Europeans will start looking for alternatives, and any alternative social networking platform out there that can comply with the GDPR would instantly have access to some 750 million people. The resulting network effects would rapidly pull even non-European users away from Facebook the same way they pulled people away from MySpace and Friendster a decade or so ago. No, they'll have to comply with the GDPR if they want to stay in business.
      --
      Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate.
      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday December 21 2018, @01:56AM (2 children)

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday December 21 2018, @01:56AM (#777050) Homepage

        They're only taking Facebook down because he didn't censor and manipulate hard enough to get Hillary elected, and then, which is awesome, he tried to draw the fire by blaming Soros -- which everybody kvetched about being "Anti-Semitic" even though Zuck and Sandberg are both Jews.

        You all know what I think about Zuck and Fuckbook, but unlike other shit platforms like twitter, he at least pretended to fight a little on the side of free-speech. He, being a Jew and this naturally good at business, foresaw the backlash coming against PC bullshit and positioned himself a step ahead to anticipate it. And the whole insulting Soros thing and being an ass-hair better about fairness than other platforms really gets the Globalists (read: Democrats and EU) on your shit-list.

        Perhaps when McCain Died, Zuck saw that it made more sense for Facebook to be a proper business and not an arm of the CIA and NSA.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21 2018, @03:34AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21 2018, @03:34AM (#777081)

          even though Zuck and Sandberg are both Jews.

          Do you know that it was a jew that sank the Titanic?
          Just look at the name - Iceberg.

          • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21 2018, @03:48AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21 2018, @03:48AM (#777083)
            Gee, so Hitler really flubbed things when he got those Jews Alfred Rosenberg, Curt von Gottberg, and Carl Oberg to work for him. He should have sent the lot of them to the concentration camps instead!
  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Thursday December 20 2018, @01:15PM (2 children)

    by looorg (578) on Thursday December 20 2018, @01:15PM (#776785)

    I always assume everything can get worse, a lot worse, that way I'm hardly ever surprised when shit goes terribly wrong -- which they usually inevitably does. Facebook is just to large to not have horrible features that will go wrong and considering the amount of data they consolidate or have at their disposal it is a recipe for worst-case scenarios. Other big giant data collectors are not better or worse or anything of the kind tho, they are all more or less equally bad.

    I'm not sure but isn't it a bit surprising that they have a Christmas party, isn't that very non-inclusive for all the non-Christians. Not that you can't celebrate x-mas unless you are a Christian but that is not normally a thing they seem to care about since so much these days seem to be about various causes and virtue-signaling. So it seems insensitive on their part. Was the elves there to see who had been naughty? Cause by just working at Facebook wouldn't that be all of them?

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by hendrikboom on Thursday December 20 2018, @07:19PM

      by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 20 2018, @07:19PM (#776922) Homepage Journal

      Dancing elves aren't a traditional Christian symbol.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21 2018, @09:01AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21 2018, @09:01AM (#777139)
      The Japanese for instance really seem to love Christmas and celebrate it readily, even though hardly any of them are Christian.
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Thexalon on Thursday December 20 2018, @02:28PM (4 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Thursday December 20 2018, @02:28PM (#776795)

    Most major companies have privacy policies where they swear up and down that they're never doing anything bad with your data. Most of them routinely break those policies when they don't think they'll be caught and believe it profitable to do so.

    You should assume that everybody who has data about you is using it, or if they can't use it they're selling it to someone who can use it. And I mean everybody: Retailers in your area larger than a mom&pop shop are almost definitely tracking what you specifically buy to the best of their ability, for instance, which means that they probably know more than you do about the last time you bought paper towels, all in the name of marketing paper towels to you at the right time.

    Facebook is no different. Nor is Google, Twitter, or Apple, or any other tech company. There are no good guys on this front, and if they are good guys now they'll stop being good guys once the suits take over.

    --
    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
    • (Score: 1) by redneckmother on Thursday December 20 2018, @03:03PM (3 children)

      by redneckmother (3597) on Thursday December 20 2018, @03:03PM (#776804)

      My farce shnook take:

      I'm like 7-UP - never had it, never will.

      I recognized it was likely to be a problem for any- and every- one who used it.

      I'm trying REALLY hard not to say "I told you so" to friends and family.

      --
      Mas cerveza por favor.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20 2018, @03:26PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20 2018, @03:26PM (#776813)

        I find saying "I told you so" pleasant. if someone doesn't like it, they should stop doing the stupid.

      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday December 20 2018, @03:45PM

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday December 20 2018, @03:45PM (#776819) Journal

        I created a Facebook account when they began because I had previously used Friendster, Meetup, and Yahoo Groups. I think there is utility in platforms that can facilitate collective action. Also, network effects are interesting to me and social media gives us a lot of insight into how societies work.

        The narcissism that has become the leitmotif of social media now doesn't interest me, though, and is the reason I haven't posted anything on Facebook in a decade.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Thursday December 20 2018, @05:27PM

        by Freeman (732) on Thursday December 20 2018, @05:27PM (#776859) Journal

        Generally, they don't care. So, the I told you so has very little effect. I just try to convince them that getting "real news" from Facebook is like getting "real news" from the tabloids. Since, essentially, they have the same vetting proces, 0% or -500% or something like that. If there's only 5 statements that are blatantly wrong, then it's good to publish. I'd almost be tempted to say Tabloids are Better than Facebook, since the tabloids have some editing process, whereas on Facebook, you're generally just getting random junk someone else posted about. Sure, there may be Good Sources on Facebook, but I've not heard or seen any of them pointed to by friends and family.

        --
        Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20 2018, @04:39PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20 2018, @04:39PM (#776831)

    It's like the lemmings that use Failbook today have totally and utterly given them a carte blanche to do anything.

  • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Thursday December 20 2018, @06:57PM (1 child)

    by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 20 2018, @06:57PM (#776907) Journal

    Didn't Think Facebook Could Get Any Worse?

    Why would I (or anyone aware of them) think Facebook is not striving to be "worse" to its users, in order to be a better privacy invader data supplier? That's how they get paid.

    If they don't 'Get Any Worse' then they are really not trying, given the scope for abuse and their lack of traditional business ethics.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20 2018, @11:17PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20 2018, @11:17PM (#777009)
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