Yes, I said that – Tin you trust Facebook – with a direct face. Let’s do a petty proof of concept on the give-and-take ‘trust’.
Tin you trust Facebook to:
- Steal your data and use it confronting you? Yes.
- Make buckets of money without caring that is it doing and so from your information? Yes
- F’up again as it has washed so many times before? Yes
- Send the automaton Zuc to make yet another ‘mea culpa’ (My bad) amends and practice it again? Yes
I think you lot get my drift. GadgetGuy is doing a series on Trust in a digital world (an excellent preliminary read) with specific reference to FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google although we may expand that).
Our first article was “Tin can you lot trust Google”, and the short reply is that depending on your definition of trust – y’all can. But we are all the same calling for legislation to ensure all big tech tin can be trusted.
Can you lot trust Facebook to F’up? Admittedly? Tin can yous trust Facebook with your data? No.
Could Facebook survive with proper global information privacy legislation? No. Have Facebook shares dived off a cliff this week costing Zuckerberg (sorry his PR asks you to call him Zuc – information technology makes him appear more than homo) billions of dollars? Yes. Do nosotros care? No.
Zip personal Zuc – I am certain Motherborg and Skynet love you.
Sam Bocetta, our U.s. correspondent and security adept, has been deep-diving into the murky waters of FAANG and writes.
Can you lot trust Facebook?
If you lot apply that word to Facebook’s long list of privacy invasions, sure you can trust it to invade your privacy. Similar me and the rapidly growing #Delete Facebook motion we don’t trust Zuc equally far as we can kick him.
The long list of Facebook privacy invasions
Facebook might exist the worst visitor in the world. That might audio extreme but hear usa out.
In that location are plenty of companies that collect huge amounts of data on their users, and who do so under cryptic privacy policies that hide their true activities. Facebook is one of those. Simply what makes things worse is that the company is aware of its user privacy concerns and is consciously ignoring them.
Let’s take the almost egregious (our new favourite word means staggeringly bad; shocking; plainly wrong and wrong beyond whatsoever reasonable caste…) case.
Back in May 2019, Facebook reportedly argued that it didn’t violate users’ privacy rights considering there’due south no expectation of privacy when using social media.
“There is no invasion of privacy at all because in that location is no privacy,”
Facebook counsel Orin Snyder said during a pretrial hearing to dismiss a lawsuit stemming from the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
In short, the company didn’t deny that third parties accessed users’ information, but it said that there was no problem with this because there is no “reasonable expectation of privacy” on Facebook or any other social media site.
This volition non exist news to many of you Aussies. In recent months GadgetGuy has reported on Facebook arguing with the Australian government almost privacy rights, the scandalous fact that every time Facebook gets fined their shares soar, and the calls past the ACCC to rein in FB’s power.
And in instance you needed more than convincing, in that location’s the Off-facebook activeness tool. Officially, this tool allows you to see a summary of the activity that you share with Facebook most your interactions, such equally visiting their apps, websites, stores, etc.
The reality is that this tool does non even begin to show you all of the information that Facebook collects. In short, it’due south paying lip service to users’ concerns by giving them the illusion of command.
We remember that’due south atrocious.
In this article, we thought we’d take the opportunity to revisit how Facebook has systematically undermined privacy. So, hither’s a list of the eight most shocking examples of that.
one. Cambridge Analytica
Whatsoever list of the wrongs committed by Facebook must starting time with the Cambridge Analytica scandal. This was huge news dorsum in March 2018, but here’south a reminder. A whistle-blower came forward and claimed that the company illegally harvested the personal details of fifty 1000000 Facebook users to profile them and target political ads.
The extent of Facebook’southward involvement is still unclear – did information technology autumn, or was information technology pushed? Perhaps the most shocking attribute of it is that Zuckerberg took FIVE DAYS to comment on the revelations. At which signal he issued a wholly insubstantial ‘my bad’ non-apology.
Next, the glitches. Facebook has been one of the worst offenders when it comes to accidentally publishing user data. The largest such accident to date also occurred dorsum in 2018, when a technical hitch caused the details of xiv million users to exist published publicly.
Facebook is non the only company who’s messed up in this way. But if at that place’s anything we can acquire from data breaches of this type, it is this. If your whole business model is collecting personal information, it’s going to get breached at some point.
Side by side upwards, the hacks. Facebook remains a huge target for hackers, and its merchant services systems are the biggest prize for them. Given the size (and presumed technical sophistication) of the company, though, information technology seems very bad at defending itself confronting them. Nosotros won’t even comment on the (lack of) pedigree of the university PHP lawmaking information technology is written in.
What makes matters worse is that the calibration of Facebook ways that a single hack tin can reveal the information of literally millions of people. In 2019, hackers were able to steal personal information from nearly 15 meg accounts, and the visitor initially believed that fifty one thousand thousand users were affected in an attack that gave the hackers control of these same accounts.
The hacks and glitches to a higher place are well known. What was less well covered – and what makes Facebook worse than a lot of other companies – is that there are also suspicions that Zuc was personally involved in a program to “weaponise” the data they sold for political purposes.
Information technology is alleged, in an ongoing court case, that this program amounted to a “malicious and fraudulent scheme” to exploit vast amounts of private data to earn Facebook billions and strength rivals out of concern.
Given the quote higher up, it will come as no surprise that the UK Parliament has consistently criticised Facebook for not complying with requests for data on its operations. Though a huge enshroud of internal communications was released by a third-party programmer subsequently the UK parliament forcibly obtained it, Facebook then went on the offensive, claiming that this release violated THEIR privacy.
‘Zucpocrisy’ (our new word – the exercise of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case) knows no premises.
6. Everything is For Sale
The privacy violations on this list would non be so bad if they were exceptions. Unfortunately, they are not. In fact, Facebook’s whole business model is based on selling individual information to other companies equally a means to boost its stock price. How this is discussed internally is also alarming. The same documents nosotros’ve just mentioned reveal that Facebook considered selling ALL the data information technology holds to third political party companies.
This is the new normal in 2020, merely it is not. As BlueTree, a software research and analysis firm, note in their review of the SaaS sector, it is entirely possible for software companies to make coin in means other than selling individual data. In short, Facebook has made a selection, and its selection is to invade your privacy.
7. Vague Privacy Policies
Given the business organization model of Facebook, information technology will come up as no surprise that it has attempted to hide the true extent of its data drove and the level to which personal data is under attack.
The nigh straight claiming to the company’s vague privacy policies has come in the course of a class-action lawsuit alleging that the company “presents several wrongs, including a consumer bait-and-switch, an invasion of privacy, wrongful monitoring of minors and potential attacks on privileged communications”. Facebook said it asks for users’ permission to enable the feature that gives admission to telephone call logs.
8. Third-Political party Access
Finally, perhaps the biggest problem with Facebook is not that it collects huge amounts of user data; it is that it has no control over how third-political party developers use it.
Back in 2018, i such third-party developer invested $250,000 in developing an app called Pikinis that filtered users’ friend’s photos to find whatever of them in swimwear. Its launch was met with controversy, and Facebook claimed that it had stopped giving 3rd-party app developers access to user data in 2015.
But – and this will come up as no surprise – the Wall Street Periodical then reported that Facebook continued to share users’ data with third-party developers even after the date that executives claimed the practice would stop. Facebook officials even confirmed this study.
You have 2 choices
If you lot trust Facebook, then wait anxiously for the Easter Bunny to crap all over your front backyard.
Or if you are like the massive move that does not just #Delete Facebook
I know y’all tin’t give up the Facebook drug and then search for “How to secure your Facebook account” (and avoid those articles written past Facebook). It won’t end Facebook abusing your trust, but it may stop y’all oversharing on social media.
GadgetGuy’due south have – Can y’all trust Facebook? Lamentable, no, nada, nein, niet, nahi, nee, nej, nah, nedda, Não…
If Sam’s deep dive contains some things you didn’t know about Facebook’due south astringent privacy issues, y’all might be wondering how you can protect yourself.
Piece of cake: stop using Facebook. If the history of data leaks tin teach us anything, information technology’s that yous tin can’t trust any visitor with your private information, but peculiarly non one that has based its whole business model on collecting and selling it.
The worst thing is that Facebook doesn’t fifty-fifty recollect this is a problem. And that’s why we’ll stick to our statement in a higher place: that in an admittedly crowded field, Facebook is the worst company out there.
BTW: Facebook is a generic term for all 82 Fakebook companies activities including WhatsApp, Instagram, Oculus, Messenger, Onavo et al. We have not even scratched the surface – read Wikipedia’south article on Facebook Criticisms.