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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


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: 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.

    Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
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  • (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"