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This headline has been modified from the original, and is a mischaracterization of what's happening here. Facebook isn't collecting this data, rather the authors of many popular apps are sending these statistics to Facebook's analytics tool to better target with ads. The article explains Facebook doesn't want these companies sending users' personal data to them without their knowledge.

They are not completely absolved of blame because they should be monitoring for personal data (somehow), but the app developers should be to blame more using this data without users' knowledge.

Now if Facebook were to use this data for their own purposes, we'd have (another) real scandal on our hands.




> Facebook doesn't want these companies sending users' personal data to them without their knowledge

Facebook's claim about not wanting the data is contradicted by actions. They chose to make their SDK send[1] analytics signals on library init before the user could have even been presented with a request for consent. They chose to have their analytics SDK send[2] everything to Facebook by default, requiring developers to go out of their way to disable the spyware (including somehow discovering that this step is needed).

> Now if Facebook were to use this data for their own purposes,

What would Bayesian analysis say about that question given a history with multiple events where FB et al were using the all of data they received however they want? Facebook lost the benefit of the doubt a long time ago, and it will take a lot of work to rebuild their reputation.

[1] https://media.ccc.de/v/35c3-9941-how_facebook_tracks_you_on_...

[2] Ibid.


A Bayesian analysis would have to include all the decisions where FB was a good steward of user data. The events reported in the news are a very small fraction of the possible times that FB could have done wrong.

Not that I'm defending FB, but your attempt to lend credence to your statement with a smart sounding approach was undercut by selecting a superficial and biased prior.


> Facebook doesn't want these companies sending users' personal data to them without their knowledge.

Rubbish. If they didn't want the data, they wouldn't build & offer developers a first class analytics package for free, including analytics that don't require explicitly setting events (though not going as far as showing screen recording, which was the moral outrage of last week).

Having said that, When the screen recording thing broke, I wondered how long it would take for it to shift to analytics in general, especially those offered by Apple competitors. I'm no fan of FB, but given the consistent rhythm of the fb-scandal newscycle, and that all these scandals somehow end up with Apple wearing a white hat, I'm really starting to wonder what kind of offensive PR dark arts may be behind it.


note- strategic adversaries is a more appropriate term than competitors, and it is interesting how language used by nation states now fits the relation between companies so well.




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