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

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

  1. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says he's left Facebook over data collection
    Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak leaving Facebook
    Author: Jessica Guynn and Kevin McCoy, USA TODAY
    Updated: 12:09 AM EDT April 9, 2018
    http://www.kvue.com/article/news/na...tion/465-ac09dcca-5e8b-4fa3-917e-4ca29c0500c9

    SAN FRANCISCO — Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told USA TODAY he's leaving Facebook out of growing concern for the carelessness with which Facebook and other Internet companies treat the private information of users.

    "Users provide every detail of their life to Facebook and ... Facebook makes a lot of advertising money off this," he said in an email. "The profits are all based on the user’s info, but the users get none of the profits back."

    Wozniak said he'd rather pay for Facebook than have his personal information exploited for advertising. And he heaped praise on Apple for respecting people's privacy.

    "Apple makes its money off of good products, not off of you," Wozniak said. "As they say, with Facebook, you are the product."

    His surprise announcement marks the latest development in back-and-forth corporate sniping by tech leaders as Facebook copes with a scandal over the potential misuse of user data by political targeting firm Cambridge Analytica. In an update last week, Facebook estimated as many as 87 million people, mostly in the United States, may have had their data improperly shared.

    Apple CEO Tim Cook started the unusual public criticism in late March. During a joint interview with Recode and MSNBC, he was asked what he would do about the crisis if he were in Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's position.

    "I wouldn't be in the situation," said Cook.

    He added that Apple reviews apps to confirm that each one meets the privacy standards his company has required for users.

    "We don't subscribe to the view that you have to let everybody in that wants to, or if you don't, you don't believe in free speech," said Cook. "We don't believe that."

    Cook also questioned the practice of social media platforms monetizing the personal data of their users.

    Zuckerberg hit back in a subsequent interview with Vox, calling Cook's comments "extremely glib."

    "If you want to build a service which is not just serving rich people, then you need to have something that people can afford," said Zuckerberg.”

    Championing his own company's business model, Zuckerberg also said: "At Facebook, we are squarely in the camp of the companies that work hard to charge you less and provide a free service that everyone can use. I don’t think at all that that means that we don’t care about people."

    Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify before congressional committees in Washington this week about the Cambridge Analytica episode and Facebook's response.

    On Sunday, Wozniak deactivated his Facebook account after posting the following message: "I am in the process of leaving Facebook. It's brought me more negatives than positives. Apple has more secure ways to share things about yourself. I can still deal with old school email and text messages."

    In an email to USA TODAY, Wozniak said even he was taken aback by the extent of data collection when he changed and deleted some of his information before deactivating his Facebook account.

    "I was surprised to see how many categories for ads and how many advertisers I had to get rid of, one at a time. I did not feel that this is what people want done to them," he said. "Ads and spam are bad things these days and there are no controls over them. Or transparency."

    Still, quitting Facebook isn't easy. Wozniak chose not to delete his Facebook account. He didn't mind bidding farewell to his 5,000 Facebook friends, many of whom he says he doesn't know. But he didn't want to give up his "stevewoz" screen name.

    "I don’t want someone else grabbing it, even another Steve Wozniak," he said.

    Wozniak's latest comments aren't the first time he's thrown shade at Internet giants. Speaking at an international business conference in Montreal last year, Wozniak said he tries to "avoid Google and Facebook."

    He cited the companies' use of widescale data-collecting operations that are used to help sharpen ad targeting of the social media platform's users, online magazine The Drum reported."
     
  2. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Level1 News April 10 2018: No Luck for the Zuck
    Published on Apr 9, 2018
    Source Links: https://www.one-tab.com/page/M_ehS6G-SnSNbYadtSQEqQ

    0:40 - Facebook admits public data of its 2.2 billion users has been compromised
    1:30 - Without data-targeted ads, Facebook would look like a pay service, Sandberg says
    3:13 - Facebook Building 8 explored data sharing agreement with hospitals
    5:03 - Facebook Scans the Photos and Links You Send on Messenger
    6:14 - Facebook retracted Zuckerberg's messages from recipients' inboxes
    9:22 - Zuckerberg says Facebook will offer GDPR privacy controls everywhere
    12:14 - Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg to testify before House and Senate panels that got Facebook money
    13:39 - Facebook's surveillance is nothing compared to Comcast, AT&T and Verizon
    17:20 - Twitter bans 270,000 accounts for 'promoting terrorism'
    18:11 - All of Facebook's privacy fixes have broken Tinder
    19:29 - YouTube will increase security at all offices worldwide following shooting
    20:11 - Teen Monitoring Apps Don't Work and Just Make Teens Hate Their Parents, Study Finds
    21:48 - Japan's FSA orders two cryptocurrency exchanges to halt business
    23:01 - George Soros Prepares to Trade Cryptocurrencies
    24:09 - India bans crypto-currency trades
    24:55 - Mt. Gox Ex-CEO Karpeles Says He "Doesn't Want" Leftover $1 Bln Post-Liquidation Funds
     
  3. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Tuesday Session - Now on Playback...
    WATCH LIVE: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies on Capitol Hill

    Started streaming 20 minutes ago
    Scheduled to start 2:00pm Eastern Time
    In Washington D.C., Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  4. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Prophet

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    Manlet booster seat (which incidentally is the name of my high school band's 6th album).

    DacSIUUW0AAMBVL.jpg
     
  5. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Wednesday Session Scheduled for 10am Eastern Time.
    Mark Zuckerberg testifies before House Committee: WATCH LIVE


    Scheduled for Apr 11, 2018
    Zuckerberg Testimony: Facebook’s CEO testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in Washington, D.C.
     
  6. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Unscathed After Five-Hour Senate Grilling Session
    Published on Apr 10, 2018
    CBS Miami's Angelica Alvarez reports on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg going before Congress to testify.


    Sen. Durbin asks for name of Zuckerberg's hotel in privacy question
    Published on Apr 10, 2018
    Senator Dick Durbin's question drew laughs from the chamber as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg refused to say what hotel he stayed in overnight and who he's messaged online. Durbin also asked about the security of Facebook's Messenger Kids app.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  7. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Nervous Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg passes Turing Test in Congress
    Bolstered by a booster, Robo-Zuck sits firm before senators, parries away mild questions
    By Thomas Claburn in San Francisco 11 Apr 2018 at 00:17

    "A few hours after the introduction of Facebook's newly launched Data Abuse Bounty program – an admission the social ad network has no idea what's become of its illicitly harvested data – CEO Mark Zuckerberg reprised his long-running mea culpa show before America's lawmakers.

    His appearance in Washington DC on Tuesday follows revelations last month that in 2013 a researcher obtained millions of user profiles through Facebook's developer program and then sold the info to data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, which was employed by the Trump campaign.

    Zuckerberg, a veteran apologist for Facebook data dissemination, weathered the widely anticipated and mostly cordial grilling before a joint meeting of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Some of the politicians posing the questions receive thousands in campaign contributions from Facebook and its staff.
    Commerce Committee Chairman Senator John Thune (R-SD) set the stage by both celebrating Zuckerberg's accomplishment in building Facebook as the American dream while cautioning, "At the same time you have an obligation to ensure that dream does not become a privacy nightmare."

    Zuckerberg, nervously seated on a substantial cushion, began by working his way throughprepared remarks released on Monday.

    "We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry," said Zuckerberg in his mildly robotic manner. "I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here."

    That responsibility however does not appear to imply consequences – Zuckerberg has dismissed the suggestion he might step aside. He's responsible, but won't pay a personal price. Instead, his company will hire more people to screen content and apps, and will pay a small sum to those who report rule-breaking developers.

    It is also investing in AI as a way to catch problems. In a few years, Zuckerberg said, he expects AI will be helping filter hate speech.

    That's an intriguing possibility, but not a guarantee.

    On repeat
    Zuckerberg's prepared words arrived amid weary skepticism from privacy advocates. "Facebook has known about this privacy sh*t show for a long time – they refer to it internally as their 'business model,'" observedtechnologist Ashkan Soltani, a security researcher who previously served as the CTO of America's Federal Trade Commission.

    Soltani recounted a few of the previous data grabs documented at Facebook, such as developer Pete Warden's collection of 210 million Facebook public profiles in 2010 (which brought a Facebook lawsuit), the release of data on 100 million Facebook users that same year by security researcher Ron Bowes, and marketing biz Rapleaf's sale of Facebook user data.

    And don't forget Max Schrems' complaint over shadow profiles, which were silently built up by Facebook on people who didn't even have an account.

    The lawmakers in attendance, thankfully, some showed awareness of the sordid saga of abuse and regret.

    "After more than a decade of promises to do better, how is today's apology different?" asked Senator Thune, once the reading of statements concluded.

    Zuckerberg responded by acknowledging that mistakes have been made running the company and by arguing that mistakes are inevitable. "We try not to make the same mistakes multiple times," he said, without really addressing the sense of deja vu.

    Zuckerberg then suggested the social network he founded has gone through a philosophical shift away from just building tools and hoping for the best.

    "It's not enough to just build tools, we need to make sure they're used for good," he said.

    Facebook in other words has committed to doing more policing, but cannot say for certain that its methods will be effective.

    To ensure results, lawmakers floated the possibility of regulation, which Zuckerberg did his best to humor without making any commitments.

    Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) also expressed skepticism of Zuckerberg's contrition, taking a more confrontational tone than most of his peers. He suggested Facebook had violatedits 2011 consent decree with America's Federal Trade Commission, a charge Zuckerberg denied – to do otherwise would be to invite further fines.

    "We're seen the apology tours before," Blumenthal said, before asking Zuckerberg whether he'd support opt-in for data usage rather than opt-out.

    "That's certainly makes sense to discuss," said Zuckerberg.

    The regulation road looks set
    The discussion train, however, has already left the station. Blumental, along with Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) on Tuesday introduced a bill called the CONSENT Act which requires companies like Facebook to get opt-in consent for data sharing, among other privacy protections.

    That would mirror the standard in Europe's pending GDPR data rules, and when asked about whether he would support the opt-in, Zuckerberg agreed in principle, while allowing room for refusal if the details are not suitable. As with other difficult questions posed during the hearing, Facebook's CEO made future commitments depend upon future discussions.

    Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth's 2016 remarks about prioritizing growth over human life would get him fired if Graham were in charge. He also asked whether Facebook is a monopoly.

    "It certainly doesn't feel like that to me," responded Zuckerberg – despite Facebook being number one, two, and three in social media in the US, number two being its Instagram biz and three being Facebook Messenger.

    Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) asked whether data analytics outfit Palantir had scraped Facebook data. Zuckerberg said, "Not that I'm aware of," which isn't quite the same thing as a denial. She also asked whether Facebook would embrace the GDPR in the US.

    Again, Zuckerberg demurred by suggesting further discussion is necessary. A good percentage of his responses were a mix of "that's a great question, senator," "in general," and "my team will get back to you on that." Another question he declined to answer there and then was whether Facebook kept a note of people's web activities even when they were logged out.

    Mark #Zuckerberg couldn't answer a simple question – does Facebook continue to track people's internet activity even when they are logged out. When pushed: Something something cookies.

    — The Register (@TheRegister) April 10, 2018
    Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) challenged Zuckerberg over allegations of left-leaning bias at Facebook. He teased the possibility that Facebook might not qualify for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's Section 230 immunity, upon which internet service providers depend, because it might not be a neutral public forum.

    In an effort to cite an example of bias, Cruz asked why Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey, who ignited a minor scandal for involvement in a pro-Trump funding group, was fired.

    "It was not because of a political view," said Zuckerberg, insisting that he wants Facebook to be a place for a broad spectrum of viewpoints.

    Zuck also ignored a question about which hotel he stayed at the night before, an attempt to demonstrate how creepy Facebook feels to others.

    Several hours of quizzing by US senators, and yet no one has asked #Zuckerberg:

    PHP? Really?

    — The Register (@TheRegister) April 10, 2018
    One other bit of political intrigue: Zuckerberg confirmed Facebook has interacted with special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation of the 2016 election, but stopped short of acknowledging the service of a subpoena.

    Several times Zuckerberg emphasized that Facebook does not directly sell user data, which is true enough. It profits from people's information without directly selling it... although there was that one time it let public profiles be scraped by parties unknown. The company sells ad space on Facebook based on the personal information of those viewing the site – such as, it shows ads for dog food to people with dogs – and it stopped giving private data away to developers in 2014, or so we're told.

    Eventually, the session collapsed in the following cycle:

    #Zuckerberg Senate grilling is running out of steam because the Q&A is boiling down to this:
    Q. Why are you amassing all this info?
    A. People give us this info.
    Q. What about the internet tracking?
    A. You can switch that off.
    Q. Why didn't you warn about this?
    A. It's in the EULA

    — The Register (@TheRegister) April 10, 2018
    And at the end of several hours of testimony, Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) summed up Facebook's privacy problem thus: "Your user agreement sucks."

    His point being that that even though the site's terms and conditions allow Facebook to process people's private information pretty much as it sees fit, and people agree to these conditions, netizens most likely are unaware of exactly what access they are signing away.

    "Mr #Zuckerberg, your end-user agreement sucks," says a senator. And that is what it is going to come down to. Facebook is going to have to be crystal clear on its use of personal data. All of it.

    — The Register (@TheRegister) April 10, 2018
    Zuck even went as far to suggest that if Facebook made its terms and conditions even more verbose, certainly no one would read them.

    If we told people exactly how much information we collect and share, it would be so long, people wouldn't read it.

    That's Mark Zuckerberg's answer to why Facebook doesn't disclose all the data it collects, stores and disseminates#Zuckerberg
    — The Register (@TheRegister) April 10, 2018
    And the sad thing? None of this, none of any of this, should be a surprise. ®

    PS: You can cop an eyeful of Zuck's notes here, thanks to AP."

    Comments
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  8. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Facebook admits: Apps were given users' permission to go into their inboxes
    Only the inbox owner had to consent to it, though... not the people they conversed with
    By Rebecca Hill 11 Apr 2018 at 12:24
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/...ted_apps_permission_to_go_into_their_inboxes/

    "Facebook has admitted that some apps had access to users’ private messages, thanks to a policy that allowed devs to request mailbox permissions.
    The revelation came as current Facebook users found out whether they or their friends had used the "This Is Your Digital Life" app that allowed academic Aleksandr Kogan to collect data on users and their friends.

    Users whose friends had been suckered in by the quiz were told that as a result, their public profile, Page likes, birthday and current city were “likely shared” with the app.

    So far, so expected. But, the notification went on:

    A small number of people who logged into “This Is Your Digital Life” also shared their own News Feed, timeline, posts and messages which may have included post and messages from you. They may also have shared your hometown.

    That’s because, back in 2014 when the app was in use, developers using Facebook’s Graph API to get data off the platform could ask forread_mailbox permission, allowing them access to a person’s inbox.

    That was just one of a series of extended permissions granted to devs under v1.0 of the Graph API, which was first introduced in 2010.

    Following pressure from privacy activists - but much to the disappointment of developers - Facebook shut that tap off for most permissions in April 2015, although the changelog shows thatread_mailbox wasn’t deprecated until 6 October, 2015.

    Facebook confirmed to The Register that this access had been requested by the app and that a small number of people had granted it permission.

    “In 2014, Facebook’s platform policy allowed developers to request mailbox permissions but only if the person explicitly gave consent for this to happen,” a spokesborg told us.

    “According to our records only a very small number of people explicitly opted into sharing this information. The feature was turned off in 2015.”

    Facebook tried to downplay the significance of the eyebrow-raising revelation, saying it was at a time when mailboxes were “more of an inbox”, and claimed it was mainly used for apps offering a combined messaging service.

    “At the time when people provided access to their mailboxes - when Facebook messages were more of an inbox and less of a real-time messaging service - this enabled things like desktop apps that combined Facebook messages with messages from other services like SMS so that a person could access their messages all in one place,” the spokesperson said.

    Presumably the aim is to imply users were well aware of the permissions they were granting, but it’s not clear how those requests would have been phrased for each app.

    We asked Facebook what form this would have taken - for instance if users could have been faced with a list of pre-ticked boxes, one of which gave permission for inbox-surfing - but got no response.

    Although Facebook has indicated Kogan’s app did request mailbox permissions, Cambridge Analytica - which licensed the user data from Kogan - denied it received any content of any private messages from his firm, GSR.

    GSR did not share the content of any private messages with Cambridge Analytica or SCL Elections. Neither company has ever handled such data.

    — Cambridge Analytica (@CamAnalytica) April 10, 2018
    But this is about more than GSR, Cambridge and SCL Elections: for years, Facebook’s policy allowed all developers to request access to users’ inboxes.

    That it was done with only one user's permission - the individuals "Friends" weren’t alerted to the fact messages they had every right to believe were private, were not - is yet more evidence of just how blasé Facebook has been about users’ privacy.

    Meanwhile, the firm has yet to offer details of a full audit of all the apps that asked for similar amounts of information as Kogan's app did - although it has shut down some.

    And it is only offering current users a simple way to find out if they were affected by the CA scandal; those who have since deactivated or deleted their accounts have yet to be notified. We've asked the firm how it plans to offer this information, but it has yet to respond.
    Amid increased scrutiny, Facebook is trying to sell the idea that it’s sorry, that it has learned from its mistakes and that it is putting users first.

    But it's going to be a tough sell: just last night, Mark Zuckerberg revealed that, when the firm first found out about GSR handing data over to Cambridge Analytica in 2015, it chose not to tell users because it felt that asking the firm to delete the data meant it was a “closed case”.

    Zuck gets another chance to convince lawmakers and the public this afternoon. "

    Live: 10:00am ET - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress on data scandal.
    Scheduled for Apr 11, 2018, 10:00am Eastern Time

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify today before a U.S. congressional hearing about the use of Facebook data to target voters in the 2016 election. Zuckerberg is expected to offer a public apology after revelations that Cambridge Analytica, a data-mining firm affiliated with Donald Trump's presidential campaign, gathered personal information about 87 million users to try to influence elections.
    To read more: http://cbc.ca/
     
  9. 6730b

    6730b Notebook Evangelist

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    The hearing so far, looks like Z's slippery eel strategy manages to fool everyone (for the moment).
     
    hmscott likes this.
  10. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Lawmakers tell Mark Zuckerberg "sorry" isn't enough

    Ted Cruz Grills Zuckerberg About Facebook's Approach to Political Speech
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
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