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Congress Grills Facebook CEO Over 'Shadow Profiles'

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therickmu25

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I completely understand the person that wants to use Facebook to watch news or events and avoids sharing person data, to not want Facebook tracking their likes offline. But I would argue this person is in the minority for a service designed to share your data with other people.
For the millions of people that post hundreds of pictures of their kids, their names, the location the picture is taken, restaurants they're going to, gyms they attend, games the play; It's kind of laughable that they're outraged when all of a sudden Facebook knows that you like to buy Hagen Daz.
 
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Considering they are collecting data on children who have no accounts, without parental consent; it may very well be found illegal.
 

epdm2be

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Why is everybody picking on facebook?

Why did suddenly everybody forget the real perpetrator, Cambridge Analytica? Why is the CEO/board of this firm not being questioned and/or in jail?

Also from the various news- and media sites it was my understanding that some "professor" took/bought this data from facebook and then later sold/gave to Cambridge Analytica? The same question here, why is this M?I?5?-?a?g?e?n?t? professor not being questioned about supplying personal data to ?M?I?6? Cambridge Analytica?
 

epdm2be

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I'll correct that for you: " The CEO/board of Cambridge Analytica should be shut down on principal alone not to mention the info theft it perpetuates."
 


Nice deflection but what does that have to do with the price of apples in Japan? The CEO has already stepped down and more are going to as well. They did nothing actually illegal which I'll explain below. Cambridge Analytica ASKED for user consent of users in cooperation with Facebook. Facebook in turn "quietly" allowed CA to read PMs (and only God knows what else). FB let them in the back door. They were co-conspirators. Why pick on Facebook? Please, read on:

On the other hand, Facebook operatives themselves have been exposed, as posted above, for attempting to datamine people who don't even HAVE Facebook accounts INCLUDING CHILDREN. Second, maybe you missed the other memo too, but Facebook was caught trying to obtain MEDICAL RECORDS of users WITHOUT consent. That is a Constitutional VIOLATION of privacy rights and illegal in most US states. I assume same in Canada and EU nations as well who themselves are suing FB as I type this.

And so far this week, Zuckerberg has told Congress 42 times in an answer that "I'll get back to you on that" on testimony questions he could not answer there on the spot. Why pick on Facebook? The head can't even answer basic business related questions any CEO should at least give a ball park answer to like "How many companies have a Facebook page?" It's apologists for FB like you who are continuing to embolden their power and tyranny against privacy rights and now stepping out of law bounds. When is enough ENOUGH???
 

alextheblue

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Not a fan of FB but I wonder if they'll slap this "non-user tracking" (I think the term non-member would be more accurate) fine on Google too. If not, it's definitely cherry picking.

My biggest issue with the big social media networks is their de facto censorship. Their "selective filtering" of user content ends up crushing free speech, and there's not a lot of alternatives. When grilled even Zucc could only point to dissimilar services and not a true viable FB competitor.
 

canadianvice

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If you're on FB... you signed away your privacy, and it's in plain text. No pity there.

However, the shadow profile thing is patently wrong and almost certainly illegal. That's gotta stop - you can't co-opt people into your product who never willingly entered a relationship with you.

Not only is it against privacy, but it's anti-capitalistic as well - the whole premise of capitalism is the free association of individuals.
 

The Reebo

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So FB tracks anyone who uses pages that have FB like buttons on them (presumably any page that has a "login using FB button" as well, even if they are not FB users.

So what?

Does anyone really think that the other players in that icon row (twitter, Instgram, etc. etc.) are not doing the same thing?

Do you think that the incredibly massive number of pages that have Google analytics embedded in them are not collecting data as well?

Why is FB the demon all of a sudden? You can hate FB for whatever you personal reason, but lets not pretend that they are doing something unique or evil here. They are doing what any significant web presence company is doing. It's not illegal, it's not even immoral. It's how they pay their bills for the free services they offer.

If you want to change things, stop picking on one kid you don't like and calling him names, and instead start pressing your representatives for better privacy legislation.
 

bit_user

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Ambassador

Because they spy on us, to a degree that would make the most authoritarian state blush. They've shown no signs of self-control or self-restraint, a clear willingness to lie about and misrepresent their activities, and therefore need to be regulated.

In case you weren't paying attention, the risks associated with their spying (and enablement of other spies) include no less than undermining democracy and human rights, as this data invariably falls into the hands of electioneering entities, hostile foreign states, authoritarian governments, and even criminals.
 

The Reebo

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The point being made by many, is "why facebook?". There are a great many companies tracking what you do on the web. Social rage at FB is pointless and will result in nothing but a momentary surge of concern and then apathy.

If you want to stop it, forget about FB as a target and instead target your representatives that won't back serious privacy policies. That's the only step that will change anything.

Don't be a sheep in the social rage against a convenient target, do something to fix the problem. Outrage is useless without action.
 

bit_user

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Ambassador

That's a bit like saying if you take a loan from a bank, they can pay themselves back from any money you may have, whenever they feel like it.

There's a concept of informed consent, where they owe their users a reasonable understanding of what data will be collected, when, and how it will be used. For instance, just because I can get you to (unknowingly) sign your life away, that doesn't entitle me to enslave you.


Capitalism requires informed and empowered market participants. Otherwise, they cannot truly act in the self-interested way that forms the very basis on which capitalism operates.
 

bit_user

Splendid
Ambassador

So, we can't prosecute one (and arguably the biggest) bank robber, as long as there are others?


Your naivete is disingenuous. The scrutiny on Facebook is not simply about shadow profiles. These hearings obviously came about as a result of Cambridge Analytica's violations of US election laws and the corresponding investigation thereof.


Facebook has a long history of dissembling and flouting regulators around the world. Their products give them the most insight into people's lives and the most potential to do harm. Clearly, any regulation that comes about from this won't have a scope limited to Facebook, but it's certainly a reasonable place to start.


In fact, they have been found to violate certain European privacy regulations. And simply offering services is not a legitimate moral justification for wrongdoing. So, it offers them no protection if their activities violate current or future laws and regulations.


I think that's where this is headed, but the issues must first be understood. That's what these hearings are about, and I realize there's a certain amount of grandstanding and political point scoring that I don't love, but I also have no sympathy for the billionaire weasel who's been caught in the spotlight.
 

bit_user

Splendid
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You present a false dichotomy. Outrage is not the problem, nor is it mutually exclusive with meaningful reform and regulation.

Moreover, I don't see Facebook being scapegoated for anything it didn't actually do. It has clearly and repeatedly been a bad actor and broken faith with its users, regulators, and the internet in general. Whether or not there are other bad actors misses the point.
 
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