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Let us please remember that these incidents are not specific to Facebook, rather they are systemic to the big five.

A couple of years or more I was posting on Facebook regarding Cambridge Analytica's practices and was considered a tin foil hat and crazy.

No the reason I was able to shed some light at the time was I knew exactly how we could utilize the Facebook API back then to elicit the kind of data we are talking about, and completely legally. Nobody needed to circumvent FB API policies, it was yours for the taking.

I didn't do it although I did put together multiple PoC's from 2011 to 2014 to see what was possible and it was bad.

Another thing we should remember is that Cambridge Analytica is just one small tip of a fractal iceberg whose body is Facebook and the big five, your internet connection and certainly your smartphone themselves.

Google, Apple and Amazon are no less culpable in this regard.

The question now becomes which side of history we want to be on.

Another question is we assume we want to take our privacy back and how we do that with consent and assurance.

I don't have a Facebook account anymore but I'm still tracked as we all are. My mother doesn't like me not being there but a small price to pay. I can contact her elsewhere and do.

Surely enough is enough?

I think it is time to look for broad scale technologies that are better both in the real world and in our private world.




Out of interest, is there any evidence that Apple are collating data and making it available to 3rd parties in the same way as Facebook? They like to position themselves as more caring of the user’s privacy than the rest, but I’d definitely like to know more about any problems.


Unlike Google and Facebook, Apple does not make money by selling user profiles for marketers to target.


Only because iAd (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IAd) was a horrific failure.

In early 2011, the minimum buy price on the platform was $500K. By midyear, $300K. By early 2012, $100K. Early 2013? $50 (no K missing, just fifty bucks).


I believe you that it was a failure, but that doesn't follow from the minimum price dropping. Perhaps as they gained confidence in the system, they allowed smaller buys with smaller prices (but still just as profitable).


Are you sure?

Specifically it isn't necessarily about advertisers it regards surveillance.

Advertising revenue can be completely offset by Governmental tracking.

As I said in the other post we can't prove the positive but it certainly is a feasible option.

I know I could do it given the charter.


Advertising revenue can be completely offset by the government? That seems unlikely given how much these companies make off of advertising. It would be amazing that the Apple and the USG could hide that kind of massive money transfer off their books.


Isn't facebook embedded in iOS to some degree?


It used to be one of the only share targets (Twitter was the other). iOS 10 & 11 removed it; to log in with FB or share to FB through the OS, you must install the app to do so.


Lack of evidence is conspicuous in of itself, although that right now is tin foil hat territory. I'll tell you in a few years.

On the other hand I'd refer you to Bletchley Park.

Turing et al knew the decrypted Enigma messages but the Government were unable to act.

For good reason.

Secrecy is a thing


Apple likes to loudly proclaim that they care about protecting their user's data, but they also refuse to put their money where their mouth is. That to me is telling enough.

I do think it's important to note that I have not seen direct evidence of them abusing that data, but we've seen plenty of companies/governments/organizations doing bad things for years without direct evidence.


What are you referring to with “refuse to put their money where their mouth is”?


They refuse to open-source their products, and they also refuse to put in zero-knowledge encryption systems.


I guess you can argue that WebKit, CUPS, Darwin, LLVM etc were open-source before Apple started using/sponsoring them (or based new software on them) and so had to continue, but Swift was a from-scratch project that was open sourced.

As for zero-knowlege encryption, iCloud Keychain is although the rest isn’t, you’re right there. Hopefully they’ll move in that direction.


I'm not saying that Apple is staunchly against FOSS or anything, and they absolutely do release a lot of FOSS stuff (which is awesome!), but their platform is absolutely not FOSS. I still can't compile my own iOS or MacOS.


If Apple open-sourced their OS you'd have a CentOS in half a day. Apple definitely doesn't want clones, it means less customers and less cohesive branding, so is there any reason this wouldn't be a very damaging move?


It's definitely possible that this would have detrimental effects to their bottom line. I know I would start buying their products, and I would encourage others to do so, though, I'm not sure if that would make up for the loss.

But that's irrelevant to the point. The point is that Apple prevents users from understanding or controlling how the user's data is being used. Just because we understand why they won't fix it doesn't make it any less true that they could fix it, but choose not to.

And that's what I mean by "putting their money where their mouth is". They talk a big talk about protecting their users, but their actions are different than their speech.


I think this is good advice, not only because it generalizes the problem, but also because it avoids the politicization of the topic re: Cambridge. This shouldn't be viewed as a left vs. right problem.


Absolutely and hits the nail on the head.

We can't be seen to pick on Facebook or CA here since there is a bigger picture.

It's not about picking on anyone, it's about a line being crossed and bringing it back home.

Thank you for your comment.


It might be beneficial to engage in such fiction, seeing how unable the right is to even pretend to put country above self-interest with regards to election hacking.

But let’s not pretend that this fiction is true. Only one campaign hired this company. And if they are bragging to journalists now that they are willing to entrap politicians with hired prostitutes, I’m fairly certain they would have had some things in their sales pitch two years ago that would raise red flags in an ethical campaign.

The people you hire are a reflection of your character. And if they end up arrested one after another, it becomes less and less likely to just be bad luck.


Another point is even if Cambridge Analytica didn't exist, Facebook itself would and are doing the same things themselves, although not over a 50M population radius but over a billion. With a budget to match.




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