Facebook Has Been Tracking You… Even on Your Android
Mark Zuckerberg and company have been spying on Facebook’s billion-plus users for years. In fact, their entire business model is built on profiting from your personal data. If you know how Facebook started to begin with, then you know that’s how he started out his business; by posting personal information about his Ex-girlfriend online.
Now he’s on a world apology tour, eating as much crow as possible. But in this case, “sorry” isn’t good enough.
After revelations of Cambridge Analytica harvesting data on 50 million Facebook users (I personally suspect it’s a lot more than 50 million – just like how all such things are initially reported out on the low end of a “guesstimate”), and questions about whether Facebook violated privacy rules in the process, the FTC publicly stated that they are investigating the data release. Only problem is, just like a lot of our current government agencies, there’s essentially nobody running the FTC at the moment.
Note that this was not a “data breach” in the typical way hackers would, by way of example, break into a system and get your credit card information. Hackers did not steal your information from Facebook and then sell it to Cambridge Analytica. Facebook ALLOWED Cambridge to get data. Facebook simply took their word for it when they said they weren’t going to misuse the data.
Then Facebook went even further by sending people over to Cambridge to help them use the data. Cambridge Analytica then turned Facebook “Likes” into a very lucrative political tool.
As if all that wasn’t bad enough, Facebook admitted over the weekend that they’ve been logging your phone calls and text message data via their Messenger App on your Android phone. Every call you’ve made, the duration of the call, and the person/place you’ve called.
Thus far, I’ve read no reports of this being done on the iOS operating system; Apple has tighter privacy policies and protections from data harvesting.
The fallout and backlash since the Cambridge Analytica scandal has been massive and relentless. Millions of people have been deleting their Facebook accounts and Instagram (also owned by Facebook). If you decide to delete your Facebook account, you should make a backup of your Facebook page(s) first. Once you close your account, it will take 14 days before it actually gets closed. If you happen to log back in during that time, your account will be reactivated again.
Rather than my typing out all of the instructions on how to find and download your data and photos, use the Other Cyber-Overlord; aka Google. Search for –download Facebook files before deleting account. Volumes have been written since the Cambridge story broke. Also do a search for – how to stop sharing your data with Apps.
Facebook could face fines of $40,000 per affected user. My calculator doesn’t go up to the Trillions, but suffice it to say that 2 TRILLION dollars basically equates to the end of Facebook and Zuckerberg. His net worth is 64.1 Billion. At least prior to last week it was; it dropped over $10 Billion in just the first week of this news. Even so, all of his net worth, and all of Facebook’s net worth, will never put Facebook together again.
What started out as an essentially harmless way to connect people around the world turned out to be far more than Zuckerberg bargained for, or could envision, and even more dangerous. I can’t imagine how he – as smart as he is – didn’t see this coming. Connecting people around the world also meant connecting terrorists groups, along with the rapid spreading of “fake news.”
Facebook also created a vehicle for data harvesting companies like Cambridge Analytica to be able to control the group mindset and sway opinion. What good can possibly come from a company like Cambridge Analytica whose mindset is: We don’t care if it’s illegal, as long as we get the results we want.
Knowledge is knowing what to say/do. Wisdom is knowing whether or not to say/do it.
In Zuckerberg’s case, he should have let people with more wisdom run his company.
As for Cambridge Analytica:
Chris Wylie, a data scientist whose work was at the center of a massive Facebook controversy, said publicly that he helped create “Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool.” Two of his associates who also helped build that tool have been quietly building another company to analyze and influence human behavior.
But… it isn’t just Facebook sharing your data.
If you use any Google services, such as Maps, Google Earth, Gmail, search, or YouTube, you’re sharing your information to help Google match you with its advertisers.
As the saying goes, there’s “no such thing as a free lunch.” When you’re using free online services, you are not the “customer.” You are the “product.”Free services aren’t really free. You pay for them by sharing personal data about yourself – along with data from everyone you’re connected to online – with Google, unless you opt out.