1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

News Facebook under fire over Cambridge Analytica data abuse

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by bit-tech, 19 Mar 2018.

  1. bit-tech

    bit-tech Supreme Overlord Staff Administrator

    Joined:
    12 Mar 2001
    Posts:
    1,105
    Likes Received:
    19
    Read more
     
  2. Corky42

    Corky42 What did walle eat for breakfast?

    Joined:
    30 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    8,299
    Likes Received:
    174
    And to think a couple of years ago i was being mocked by a certain user because i claimed metadata is the closest thing you can get to reading someones innermost thoughts, to reading their mind, and yet two years later we have a company admitting they gathered data for "psychological warfare" and "targeted their inner demons".
     
  3. lacuna

    lacuna Member

    Joined:
    9 Aug 2004
    Posts:
    606
    Likes Received:
    8
    The great unwashed won't give a toss. I don't foresee great swathes of users deleting their accounts any time soon
     
  4. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

    Joined:
    14 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    2,339
    Likes Received:
    109
    Oh dear, not this old chestnut. Neither Facebook nor Google sell your data. They both do their damndest to prevent anyone other than themselves from being able to access toe data their harvest, becuase access to that data is what they make money from. Their business model is based around the people who buy adverts from them not having access to that data to target adverts themselves, and instead need to pay Facebook/Google to deliver them. Selling user data would be selling the goose that laid golden eggs.
    If you want companies that DO gather intimate data about you (in far more detail than Facebook & Google could hope, down to details of the contents of your bank account) then look at Credit Rating companies. They will happily sell that data en mass.

    And this:
    Is a total and utter lie, as countered by the article itself:
    Cambridge Analytica did not purchase any data from Facebook. They ran their own application (one of those quizzes that remain inexplicable popular) and asked people to type information into the quiz, which they did, along with the information said Facebook users made sharable (in the privacy settings) like real name.

    Short timeline of events:
    - Cambridge Analytica acquire research API access under the name of Prof. Kogan (U. Cambridge)
    - API used to create and distribute questionnaire
    - Data gathered in questionnaire and through API (real name, pages you've 'liked', etc, dependant on sharing settings set by individual users) used by Cambridge Analytica
    - API abuse discovered by Facebook, demands sent to Cambridge Analytica to delete the data gathered in contravention of the API TOS
    - Cambridge Analytica claim they have done so
    All the preceding is old news, stuff we knew a while ago (amusingly, the survey itself being hosted by Amazon seems to have been widely ignored. 'Facebook Bad!' gets more clicks I guess). The new events:
    - Cambridge Analytica employee claims the data was not deleted at all
    - Facebook block Cambridge Analytica


    I know Facebook-bashing makes for good clickbait, but can we please try and stick to things that actually happened?
     
    Omnislip likes this.
  5. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    4 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    10,294
    Likes Received:
    686
    "Selling access to" and "selling" are, in this case, one and the same. "Hey, I didn't sell any drugs, officer, I only sold access to drugs!"
    Cambridge Analytica used commercial app publishing access ($$$) to Facebook to harvest data on its users. Like you say, Facebook sold access to its users' data.
    I've seen nothing in your post that contradicts my article, and certainly nothing that demonstrates I told a "total and utter lie."
     
  6. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

    Joined:
    14 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    2,339
    Likes Received:
    109
    The data gathered by API is the same data that could be gathered manually through screen-scraping. The only data gathered beyond that was not provided by Facebook, but by users via the Mechanical Turk survey.

    Besides, Facebook do not charge for access to the Graph API. It's the advert API that has charged access, but that's not the one CA were using.

    You cannot go to Facebook and 'buy user's data', you'll just get the middle finger. You can go to them and apply for API access, then laugh maniacally as you are granted access to... the exact same data you could have gotten by going to the user's page on the website.
     
  7. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    4 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    10,294
    Likes Received:
    686
    Not sure what that has to do with anything. The data is Facebook users' data, gathered by Facebook - just like the article says.
    But the article is discussing the data gathered from Facebook, which is why "Facebook" is in the headline.
    But, unless I'm mistaken - and it's perfectly possible I am, here, because I don't use Facebook and never have - you have to pay Facebook in order to deploy your Facebook App on Facebook, and Cambridge Analytica did exactly that (and, as far as I'm aware, also paid Facebook to advertise said app in order to get as many people to use it as possible.)

    The lede, incidentally, isn't a dig at Facebook: data-gathering is what it does, and it's never hidden that. It's a dig at Facebook users who are now attacking Facebook because "oh my gosh they've gathered all this data on me HOW COULD THEY DO THAT?!" Answer: because it's literally what they do.
     
  8. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

    Joined:
    14 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    2,339
    Likes Received:
    109
    That's where they made use of the Research API access rather than commercial API: they got to deploy surveys without paying the premium required if you were to deploying them as marketing surveys.
    My main complaint is the "facebook sold your data!" aspect, as they (a) did not sell it, and (b) broadcast the exact same data you tell them they can, in the open, to the entire world, based on your privacy settings.
     
  9. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    4 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    10,294
    Likes Received:
    686
    Then I happily cede the point - but, again, as far as I'm aware CA still paid Facebook cash monies to advertise said 'academic-honest-gov survey.'
    Would a rephrase to the lede as follows quench your ire?

    "Facebook, a social networking company which exists for the sole reason of harvesting the personal information of its users and making it available for commercial exploitation, has come under fire for harvesting the personal information of its users and making it available for commercial exploitation - in this case by right-wing political campaign group Cambridge Analytica, provider of data powering both the Brexit and Donald Trump campaigns."

    Sound better?
     
    Last edited: 19 Mar 2018
  10. Corky42

    Corky42 What did walle eat for breakfast?

    Joined:
    30 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    8,299
    Likes Received:
    174
    It's a strange world we live in, out of all the things in that lede i didn't expect someone to take umbrage with the "facebook sold your data!" aspect. :)

    That's not to say i disagree with it BTW.
     
  11. lacuna

    lacuna Member

    Joined:
    9 Aug 2004
    Posts:
    606
    Likes Received:
    8
    This article has also shown that Mark Zuckerberg does actually own a suit
     
    jb0 likes this.
  12. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

    Joined:
    14 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    2,339
    Likes Received:
    109
    How about "Facebook share the data you tell them they can share to anyone, to anyone. And the data you gave to a random survey you clicked on outside of Facebook went to the company running that survey".

    Framing the problem as 'Facebook sells your data!' results in the reaction of "well that's Facebooks problem, not mine! They should use psychic powers to know that when I said I wanted to share my data with everyone I don't actually mean it!", rather than maybe urging people to stop for a second, rub a couple of braincells together and consider who they're giving data to in the first place.

    Everyone gets up in arms when governments suggest ISPs or content distribution services should police other people's copyrights, but seem fine with demanding sites you voluntarily post data to that you tell them to display publicly should then have to police who looks at it.
     
  13. adidan

    adidan Avatar is back out of season.

    Joined:
    25 Mar 2009
    Posts:
    11,797
    Likes Received:
    652
    I think the main issue is 200,000 or so people took part but then their friends and family were dragged in to amass data, likes and so on, of almost 50,000,000.

    Are you suggesting we should all monitor what friends, friends of friends and so on have their privacy settings set to and what surveys they take part in?
     
    Corky42 likes this.
  14. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

    Joined:
    14 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    2,339
    Likes Received:
    109
    That "friends of friends" privacy setting isn't just there for fun, you know.
     
  15. adidan

    adidan Avatar is back out of season.

    Joined:
    25 Mar 2009
    Posts:
    11,797
    Likes Received:
    652
    And I agree, people don't take enough responsibility for their own behaviour.

    However, my point was is every single user supposed to rely on, and monitor, the activity and settings of everyone they know or should that be done by FB?

    Personally it has no effect on me as I don't use FB. It's also a distraction from the real story which is Cambridge Analytica.
     
  16. Corky42

    Corky42 What did walle eat for breakfast?

    Joined:
    30 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    8,299
    Likes Received:
    174
    It is a bit but to be fair Cambridge Analytica has been highlighted as using peoples data and targeting their innermost demons since just after Brexit and Trump, its just for some reason never garnered much attention.

    Maybe because that's like edzieba says people don't see it as a problem because they're using data that someone has willingly put out there, maybe it's because people don't recognise the kind of influence an organisation can have over everyones lives by playing on the fears of relatively small groups within their community.
     
  17. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

    Joined:
    20 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    9,497
    Likes Received:
    379
    As an intermittent Facehate user, I can see how people would miss out on privacy settings.

    Hell, I had to google how to turn a lot of the sharing stuff off, so your average joe who doesn't get twitchy about who knows what until something happens probably wouldn't be able to find all the privacy options necessary to stop that sort of thing happening just by accident.

    The onus should, IMO, be on Facehate to make it easier to find all the privacy settings, and responsibly inform people what those settings do.

    That said - People need to be more aware of what they do and share online. It's sickening what people think is worthy of sharing with other people. It's depressing that people cannot see through the advertising masquerading as a pretty girl "living life" with no apparent job and still flitting around the world with expensive ****.

    But, in the world of instant gratification, it's never going to change.
     
  18. Corky42

    Corky42 What did walle eat for breakfast?

    Joined:
    30 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    8,299
    Likes Received:
    174
    That's probably down to the different ways America and the rest of the world views privacy, (iirc) America takes an opt-out approach whereas most other countries choose opt-in, that is to say consent is automatically given and the user has to make it know they want to withdraw it, whereas most other countries, particularly in Europe, consent has to be specifically sought, the user has to make a conscious decision.

    Windows 10 is a perfect example, when it first came out all the data gathering options were automatically switched on, it was only later that pressure grew from mainly European countries that Microsoft started making adjustments, probably because a lot of European countries know from past experiences how important privacy is and how organisations can abuse that power.
     
Tags: Add Tags

Share This Page