Ex-Facebook Employee Accuses Company Of Having Lax Data Harvesting Rules

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Jul 28, 2013
I wish they would let me delete my account...stopped using FB in 2011, would love to be 100% deleted from that user data trap for good.

Simon Anderson

Sep 22, 2013
I can't find an article which really details what happened: maybe because investigations still ongoing but i'd think people would have a fair idea about the type of data accessible? Forgive me for speculating from here on in:

I'm guessing that Cam.Ana. didn't send content directly to specific users yeah? I'm wondering when an app has access to user data, is it actually directly accessible? i.e. in laymen terms could you export a list of user names, email addresses, and their associated likes/comments/friends/bio etc... I'd be very surprised if that was the case.

I'd assume that an app has access to personal data in an indirect manner, i.e. they could get a list of content that the users liked, or they could get percentages on how many users like particular posts, or a break down of age/location of their users without being able to actually tie the data back to specific people?

What I'm getting at, is did Cam.An. simply gather info on the sort of content voters respond to, in order to then generate their own content in a similiar vain? (i.e. you could maybe analyse the meta data to work out who are democrat, republican, or swing voters... then you see that democrat and swing voters respond well to posts featuring images, or posts with pictures of dogs, etc... so you generate similiar content but with a republican message you want to push)

Even if they did have a direct list of users, do facebook allow you to send content to specific users?? Obviously if you're friends with someone you can post directly to someones wall or send them direct messages, but even if Cam.An. had a user list they wouldn't be able to do much with it would they?

I know facebook allows advertisers to send content to specific demographics (i.e. that's the whole appeal) so was this simply a case of Cam.An learning what demographics best to target, and then requesting facebook ad's in exactly the same way as anyone else?

The media's painting this to be a massive data breach, but without the details, it could just as well be a reasonably innocuous if not slightly deceptive use of standard Facebook services... users accept their meta data is indirectly accessible for advertising as part of signing up. They don't expect third parties to literally have their names and details on a file: I'd highly doubt that was the case.


Mar 16, 2013

Researcher builds a data collection app. Facebook provides him access to the API for free.
"Hey dudes...participate in this"
270,000 people download that app and provide their specific info.
Apparently, that data is used to troll through all of their friends, friends of friends, etc, etc....55 million people.
That data is then sold to CA for $1.6 million.
Eventually, they present that to the campaign for whatever sum.

This is nothing new. FB itself does this all the time. That is their reason for being.
What...you thought they provided this website for free?
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