50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by hmscott, Mar 17, 2018.

  1. Dragnoak

    Dragnoak Notebook Evangelist

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    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/palantir-knows-everything-about-you/ar-AAw5hwh?li=BBnb7Kz

    And these Rogerism's have nothing to do with this thread. I just wanted to post them here, because I'm too lazy to look for, or open some other thread, that would be appropriate for their content. :rolleyes:

    “All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that's an alibi for my ignorance.”
    Will Rogers

    “If stupidity got us in this mess, how come it can't get us out.”
    Will Rogers

    “Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people that they don't like.”
    Will Rogers

    “There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by readin’. The few who learn by observation.
    The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”
    Will Rogers

    "If you ever injected truth into politics you'd have no politics."
    -- Will Rogers
     
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  2. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Facebook Gets Its First Downgrade Since Cambridge Analytica
    By Elena Popina, Updated on April 18, 2018, 7:32 AM PDT
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...mid-first-downgrade-since-cambridge-analytica

    "Shares of social media giant Facebook Inc. fell Wednesday after the stock got its first downgrade since January.

    Research firm OTR Global cut its rating to mixed versus positive amid concern that year-over-year growth in advertisement spending moderated in the first quarter of 2018. The last downgrade of the stock prior to OTR was made by Stifel Nicolaus & Co’s Scott Devitt in January, before the scandal involving Cambridge Analytica.

    The company’s first-quarter ad spending will likely rise 19 to 24 percent year-over-year in the first quarter, versus a gain of as much as 30 percent in the fourth quarter, OTR said. Facebook lost 10 percent last month amid concern over the way the company handled its users’ personal data.

    OTR is not beholden to traditional industry coverage. The research team uses information gathered through methods including interviews with industry experts, client events and company filing reviews, according to the firm’s website.
    [​IMG]
    Earlier on Wednesday Goldman Sachs’ analyst Heather Bellini said the social media giant will likely report another solid quarter after checks with advertising partners were strong. The company is due to report earnings on April 25.

    Facebook shares fell as much as 1.7 percent on Wednesday, heading for the first loss in four days. The stock has added 3.9 percent this month, narrowing its decline since mid-March to 10 percent. Options traders have taken notice of the stock rebound: the cost of protecting against declines in Facebook shares are at the lowest level since February, before the Cambridge Analytica scandal roiled the stock in March.
    [​IMG]"
     
  3. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    The Facebook Whistleblower Wave
    Sara Fischer Nov 21, 2018
    https://www.axios.com/the-facebook-...078-0dffe164-b1f8-416d-bbb4-8afde5196bc8.html

    "Facebook insiders with detailed knowledge of the company's priorities and operations are increasingly voicing concerns that the tech giant is putting profits ahead of its users' best interests. Their accounts come as many Silicon Valley insiders are speaking out about the negative consequences of the world they helped create.

    Why it matters: The accounts put more pressure on the company to quickly and publicly address tough philosophical questions that they may not have the answers to yet. And it gives more ammunition for other Facebook alumni to come forward with their perspectives while they work their issues out.

    In response to these accounts, Facebook published a blog post late last night that says: "While it's fair to criticize how we enforced our developer policies more than five years ago, it's untrue to suggest we didn't or don't care about privacy."

    The latest: Former Facebook operations manager Sandy Parakilas wrote in a New York Times op-ed Sunday: "Lawmakers shouldn't allow Facebook to regulate itself. Because it won't ... [Facebook] prioritized data collection from its users over protecting them from abuse."
    • Early Facebook investor Roger McNamee, now managing director at investment firm Elevation Partners, told CNBC last week: "I don't think there is any way for us to expect them to undermine their profits ... We're going to have to give them an incentive to do so."
    • Former Facebook president Sean Parker told Axios' Mike Allen two weeks ago that the platform was designed to exploit human "vulnerability," and that "[The inventors] understood this, consciously, and we did it anyway."
    • Justin Rosenstein, co-creator of the Facebook "like" button, told The Guardian in October that there could be a case for regulating "psychologically manipulative" advertising. "If we only care about profit maximisation, we will go rapidly into dystopia," said Rosenstein, who admits to distancing himself from the platform he helped build.
    • Facebook product manager Antonio Garcia-Martinez, who's also author of Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley, told The Guardian earlier this year before the Russia scandal broke: "The hard reality is that Facebook will never try to limit such use of their data unless the public uproar reaches such a crescendo as to be un-mutable."
    Sound smart: It's one thing to be criticized from lawmakers or outside people who don't understand the company's business model, capabilities and priorities. It's another to be condemned by employees and investors with more intimate knowledge of the company."
     
  4. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Facebook releases long-secret rules on how it polices the service
    Facebook Inc on Tuesday released a rule book for the types of posts it allows on its social network.
    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/24/fac...cret-rules-on-how-it-polices-the-service.html

    "It's the first time the social network has done this and it gives more detail than ever before on what is permitted on subjects ranging from drug use to inciting violence.

    Facebook on Tuesday released a rule book for the types of posts it allows on its social network, giving far more detail than ever before on what is permitted on subjects ranging from drug use and sex work to bullying, hate speech and inciting violence.
    Facebook for years has had "community standards" for what people can post. But only a relatively brief and general version was publicly available, while it had a far more detailed internal document to decide when individual posts or accounts should be removed.

    Now, the company is providing the longer document on its website to clear up confusion and be more open about its operations, said Monika Bickert, Facebook's vice president of product policy and counter-terrorism.

    "You should, when you come to Facebook, understand where we draw these lines and what's OK and what's not OK," Bickert told reporters in a briefing at Facebook's headquarters.

    Facebook has faced fierce criticism from governments and rights groups in many countries for failing to do enough to stem hate speech and prevent the service from being used to promote terrorism, stir sectarian violence and broadcast acts including murder and suicide.

    At the same time, the company has also been accused of doing the bidding of repressive regimes by aggressively removing content that crosses governments and providing too little information on why certain posts and accounts are removed.

    New policies will, for the first time, allow people to appeal a decision to take down an individual piece of content. Previously, only the removal of accounts, Groups and Pages could be appealed.

    Facebook is also beginning to provide the specific reason why content is being taken down for a wider variety of situations.

    Facebook, the world's largest social network, has become a dominant source of information in many countries around the world. It uses both automated software and an army of moderators that now numbers 7,500 to take down text, pictures and videos that violate its rules. Under pressure from several governments, it has been beefing up its moderator ranks since last year.

    Bickert told Reuters in an interview that the standards are constantly evolving, based in part on feedback from more than 100 outside organizations and experts in areas such as counter-terrorism and child exploitation.

    "Everybody should expect that these will be updated frequently," she said.

    The company considers changes to its content policy every two weeks at a meeting called the "Content Standards Forum," led by Bickert. A small group of reporters was allowed to observe the meeting last week on the condition that they could describe process, but not substance.

    At the April 17 meeting, about 25 employees sat around a conference table while others joined by video from New York, Dublin, Mexico City, Washington and elsewhere.

    Attendees included people who specialize in public policy, legal matters, product development, communication and other areas. They heard reports from smaller working groups, relayed feedback they had gotten from civil rights groups and other outsiders and suggested ways that a policy or product could go wrong in the future. There was little mention of what competitors such as Alphabet Inc's Google do in similar situations.

    Bickert, a former U.S. federal prosecutor, posed questions, provided background and kept the discussion moving. The meeting lasted about an hour.

    Facebook is planning a series of public forums in May and June in different countries to get more feedback on its rules, said Mary deBree, Facebook's head of content policy.

    From cursing to murder
    The longer version of the community standards document, some 8,000 words long, covers a wide array of words and images that Facebook sometimes censors, with detailed discussion of each category.

    Videos of people wounded by cannibalism are not permitted, for instance, but such imagery is allowed with a warning screen if it is "in a medical setting."

    Facebook has long made clear that it does not allow people to buy and sell prescription drugs, marijuana or firearms on the social network, but the newly published document details what other speech on those subjects is permitted.

    Content in which someone "admits to personal use of non-medical drugs" should not be posted on Facebook, the rule book says.

    The document elaborates on harassment and bullying, barring for example "cursing at a minor." It also prohibits content that comes from a hacked source, "except in limited cases of newsworthiness."

    The new community standards do not incorporate separate procedures under which governments can demand the removal of content that violates local law.

    In those cases, Bickert said, formal written requests are required and are reviewed by Facebook's legal team and outside attorneys. Content deemed to be permissible under community standards but in violation of local law - such as a prohibition in Thailand on disparaging the royal family - are then blocked in that country, but not globally.

    The community standards also do not address false information — Facebook does not prohibit it but it does try to reduce its distribution - or other contentious issues such as use of personal data."
     
  5. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Facebook's Zuckerberg faces formal summons from MPs
    1 hour ago, April 26, 2018
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43906956

    "MPs have urged Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to speak to them after evidence given by his chief technology officer was deemed unsatisfactory.

    A parliamentary committee said Mr Schroepfer had failed to fully answer 40 points put to him as part of an inquiry into fake news.

    The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee's chairman said a formal summons to Mr Zuckerberg could follow.

    Mr Schroepfer has promised to address the MPs' unresolved queries.

    "Mark Zuckerberg's right-hand man, whom we were assured could represent his views, today failed to answer many specific and detailed questions about Facebook's business practices," said committee chair Damian Collins.

    "We will be asking him to respond in writing to the committee on these points; however, we are mindful that it took a global reputational crisis and three months for the company to follow up on questions we put to them in Washington DC on 8 February."

    He added that if Mr Zuckerberg did not respond positively, the committee would issue a "formal summons for him to appear when he is next in the UK".

    "There are over 40 million Facebook users in the UK and they deserve to hear answers from Mark Zuckerberg about the company he created and whether it is able to keep its users' data safe."

    'Mistake made'
    During testimony from chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer, MPs accused Facebook of "bullying" the Guardian newspaper when it informed the company about a major data breach.

    Mr Schroepfer was asked why Facebook had threatened to sue the newspaper over its story about the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

    He was also asked why it did not immediately inform users that their data had been used without consent.

    "It was a mistake that we didn't inform people at the time," he said.

    On the issue of bullying, he said: "I am sorry that journalists think we are preventing them getting the truth out."

    There were a series of questions put to Mr Schroepfer to which he replied: "I don't know."

    He admitted that the company had not known until recently that a current Facebook employee had been the business partner of Aleksandr Kogan, the Cambridge academic who designed the app that harvested user data on behalf of Cambridge Analytica.

    He also revealed that no-one at Facebook had read the terms and conditions that Dr Kogan had put on the app he had designed, which went on to harvest information from millions of users.

    At one point, MPs voiced their frustration with his replies. "You are the chief technology officer, why don't you know?" he was asked.

    User controls
    Mr Schroepfer was also grilled on the wider issue of political advertising.

    The Department of Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee's chairman Damian Collins accused Facebook of having tools on its platform that "work for the advertiser more than they work for the consumer".

    Mr Schroepfer promised to make political advertising far more transparent in the future but admitted that there was currently no way for people to opt out of it entirely.

    "You can mute an ad from a specific advertiser, and there are a set of controls of your basic interests and preferences that you can change or remove."

    "That puts a lot of work on the user," replied Mr Collins.

    His questions to Mr Schroepfer were tough from the outset.

    "What is the next car you will buy, what is the square footage of your house?" asked Mr Collins in his opening question.

    "I don't know," replied Mr Schroepfer.

    "But these are things that Facebook knows about us, isn't it?" pressed Mr Collins.

    Mr Schroepfer said he thought it "unlikely" that Facebook had that level of data about his life.

    "It knows I like coffee and there are certain things that I am interested in like technology, travel and cats," he said.

    Mr Collins asked whether the Internet Research Agency, a Russian-based troll farm that churned out fake news during the US presidential campaign, had used Facebook's targeting tools.

    "I don't know specifically," said Mr Schroepfer.

    "It is a terrible idea that a nation state is using our product to interfere in a democratic election by masquerading as citizens of the US. We were slow to understand the impact of this," he said.

    MPs had wanted Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to appear before them, but he declined."
     
  6. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Whistleblower: We tested messaging on Putin
    CNN
    Published on Apr 27, 2018
    In an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, former Cambridge Analytica employee turned whistleblower Christopher Wylie said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was the only foreign leader they did message testing on while Wylie worked there before the 2016 election.
     
  7. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Twitter Sold Data Access to Cambridge Analytica–Linked Researcher
    • Aleksandr Kogan had access to the data for single day in 2015
    • Twitter has removed Cambridge Analytica as an advertiser
    Selina Wang
    April 29, 2018, 11:26 AM PDT
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...ridge-analytica-researcher-public-data-access

    "Twitter Inc. sold data access to the Cambridge University academic who also obtained millions of Facebook Inc. users’ information that was later passed to a political consulting firm without the users’ consent.

    Aleksandr Kogan, who created a personality quiz on Facebook to harvest information later used by Cambridge Analytica, established his own commercial enterprise, Global Science Research (GSR). That firm was granted access to large-scale public Twitter data, covering months of posts, for one day in 2015, according to Twitter.

    “In 2015, GSR did have one-time API access to a random sample of public tweets from a five-month period from December 2014 to April 2015,” Twitter said in a statement to Bloomberg. “Based on the recent reports, we conducted our own internal review and did not find any access to private data about people who use Twitter.”

    The company has removed Cambridge Analytica and affiliated entities as advertisers. Twitter said GSR paid for the access; it provided no further details.

    Explanations Needed
    Twitter provides certain companies, developers and users with access to public data through its application programming interfaces (APIs), or software that requests and delivers information. The company sells the data to organizations, which often use them to analyze events, sentiment or customer service.

    Enterprise customers are given the broadest data access, which includes the last 30 days of tweets or access to tweets from as far back as 2006. To get that access, the customers must explain how they plan to use the data, and who the end users will be.

    Twitter doesn’t sell private direct messaging data, and users must opt in to have their tweets include a location. Twitter’s “data licensing and other revenue” grew about 20 percent, to $90 million, in the first quarter.

    Social media companies have come under intense scrutiny over reports that Facebook failed to protect the privacy of its users. Companies like Twitter tend to have access to less private information than Facebook. The latter has said that Cambridge Analytica, which worked for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, may have harvested data on 87 million users.

    Personality Quiz
    About 270,000 people downloaded Kogan’s personality quiz app, which shared information the people and their friends that was then improperly passed to Cambridge Analytica. Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has testified in front of Congress about the misuse of data, and lawmakers have called on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai to testify as well.

    Criticism of Twitter’s failure to prevent misinformation and abuse on its platform has risen since the 2016 election. In the first quarter, the company removed more than 142,000 applications connected to the Twitter API that was collectively responsible for more than 130 million “low-quality” tweets during the period. The company has also limited the ability of users to perform coordinated actions across multiple accounts."
     
  8. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Who has your data? - BBC Click
    BBC Click
    Published on Apr 12, 2018
    Who has your personal data and what is being done with it? Click investigates Facebook's data sharing practices.
     
  9. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Mark Zuckerberg Delivers Keynote Address At Facebook's F8 Developer Conference | LIVE | TIME
    May 1, 2018
    Mark Zuckerberg delivers the opening keynote address for Facebook’s F8 developer conference at the San Jose Convention Center in California.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  10. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Facebook, Google, WhatsApp face privacy concerns
    CBS News
    Published on May 1, 2018
    Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg opens the annual F8 developers conference today, just weeks after the company's data and privacy scandal made headlines. Meanwhile, thousands of digital publishers are concerned about Google's privacy policies ahead of new European Union regulations. Digital Content Next's CEO Jason Kint joins CBSN to discuss.
     
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