I'm pretty vocal among my family about data security/privacy, as I'd like to keep information about me and my family safe from prying eyes, but it takes a lot of effort and know-how to put up walls against the sort of electronic creepiness that's default-on for most of us. It's been almost 3 years, and most of my friends/family still don't have content blockers installed for Safari on iOS. None of my family or friends have made any moves to ditch Facebook, instagram, whatsapp, etc. even though the barrier to entry for new services is so low.
It's frustrating to know that despite how bad they are, despite every new discovery of terribleness, nothing's going to change, and they're just going to get bigger.
My little brother is 20 years younger then I and was raised by youtube. I find his attitude towards things really weird. Like I asked him why he didn't use an adblocker to get rid of all the ads and he replied "I want to support to the streamers by watching their ads". As someone who grew up in a more punk/fuck authority, don't sell out 90s this threw me for a total loop. If he was on an android phone he would be mashing that ALLOW ACCESS button to play every game.
I quit facebook after cambridge analytica. Probably 2 weeks of typing "Fa...." into my browser and going "oh wait". There a few birthday parties/bbqs I probably missed because of not being reminded I exist on peoples invite lists, but they weren't the closest friends to begin with.
> If he was on an android phone he would be mashing that ALLOW ACCESS button to play every game.
These are different things, and while he might have the same view you express in the second quote, that's not necessarily a foregone conclusion from the first quote.
It's perfectly acceptable to be willing to (and feel obligated to) watch adds to support a program that you enjoy. Not wanting to support anything you consume isn't "fuck authority", it's "fuck everyone else", because it isn't aimed at authority, it's aimed at anyone and everyone that tries to use advertising to support themselves.
I don't think most people would say yes if presented with a choice of "let us read your private instant messages for access", or at least wouldn't after being educated a bit more if they were willing. Giving away privacy is special because you can never get it back (for the specific stuff you gave away), and that's different than people saying they are willing to passively accept some additional content to get what they want. That they might also be giving away privacy is a problem, but that doesn't mean we can infer their position on privacy based on actions they weren't aware they were taking.
I was surprised by the parent post over this too.
By most standards I'm out towards the fringe of the privacy and anti-ad viewpoint; I'm willing to argue that most billboards are intrusive and bad for society. But even I actively whitelist ads when I'm regularly visiting some creator who relies on ads for revenue and has reasonable practices with them. (Not wanting malware is of course a different concern.) It's the place where I'm most willing to see ads; I'm voluntarily directing my attention to content that wouldn't be available any other way, and the ad payouts are going to the people making the content.
It's not just that anti-authority isn't the same as anti-monetization, the punk DIY aesthetic isn't necessarily either. Sure, fuck big record labels, the modern version is probably refusing to let content hosts and scrapers profit off what you make. Buzzfeed does not need to show ads alongside random pictures they swiped off reddit. But warehouse shows still sold tickets, Against All Authority printed their own merch to sell, most people didn't try to fight the power by pretending that artists didn't need money to live.
It seems that nobody ever considers the other side, which would be that people are now targeted with ads that they want to see instead of poorly targeted ads that just waste their time. Another plus is that small advertisers can now afford to advertise alongside companies with much larger budgets by micro-targeting. I've engaged with lots of ads on Facebook and its not because I'm stupid, it's because they are showing me things I'm interested in. There's nothing wrong with being concerned with how data is being used but this constant dialogue from the "never ads" crowd is pretty tired.
That’s a tall drink of kool aid.
Nobody wants to see targeted ads that will get them to spend more money than random ads. That’s a basic corollary of nobody wanting to spend more money in general.
Caring about advertising “working” to support businesses is like caring about blacksmiths losing horseshoe replacement work when automobiles arrived.
I don't follow your leap of logic.
I could just as easily say those earnings reports proof how effective psychological warfare is at exploiting the weakness and insecurities of humans in order to part them from the fruits of their labour.
The observations I have made tell me that for some stuff people will buy because it's a good deal (usually non-essential luxury stuff) but for things they actually need in their day-to-day, they pay extortionate prices because there are simply few or zero options.
Simply make "I want to see targeted ads" an opt-in choice, then. I suspect the take-up would be a fairly small percentage of the population, but if it would satisfy your needs (and others like you), as well as mine - then I'm all for it!
This is disingenuous, I suspect that you know why. The reason few people would opt-in is not because few people support or agree with the premise. The reasons is the very act of "opting-in" to a thing is a huge barrier.
If receiving CPR was "opt-in", I would expect 1/3 of the population would just never get around to it or somehow be confused with the process. I bet you even could drive the opt-in rate down to 10% just by requiring a separate paper form that had to be requested and mailed to specific address.
Targeted ads are a method by which lots of people are able to make a bit more money. These aren't exciting changes but it is the difference between lots of people having hobby and making it their job. As most people don't care enough about the privacy of their internet history to take trivial steps like using private browsing windows. Why should the obligation to be on the large number of people who don't care when the small number of people who do care can take trivial steps, like private browsing?
Using the example of life-saving CPR as a "similar" example seems to be extremely disingenuous of you, and I suspect you know why.
* CPR - almost universally considered a good & essential thing for all humans by any measure (sure, a small number of religious groups might beg to differ).
* Targeted ads - well... not so much. wow.
If the poster didn't intend the post to come across that way, he may be experiencing an inherent bias in his opinion, in that he believes advertising is self-evidently good and simply didn't consider that other people might not agree.
I'm not sure that's any better.
For an example of irrelevant ads (minimally targeted), start reading your junk mail.
Unless you are just claiming that shadow profiles are not a real thing , I think Facebook is becoming more like a government entity in the sense that you cannot "opt out" of Facebook any more than you can "opt out" of your government, or you can "opt out" of having any friends in your life.
Unlike a government, which, even at its most corrupt and inefficient, is actually supposed to be built with a system of checks and balances to help serve its constituents, and in theory can at least be overthrown via coup or elections, the only thing you have with Facebook is this expectation that they don't "owe anybody" anything.
Make no mistake, Facebook is devious enough to know this, and it also knows there are lots of "useful idiots" (and I don't mean you, I mean the others who think this point shouldn't even be up for discussion!) who keep saying Facebook doesn't owe anybody <anything> without acknowledging that we have a phenomenon here which has never been seen before.
 I was thinking about redirecting to a google image search of cute animals wearing human clothes but after a few weeks of seeing 'this site can't be reached' my habit was successfully broken
The only way to individuals can fight tracking ads now is to starve the industry out. I am tempted to say take the fight forward and install Ad Clickers https://adnauseam.io/ in every browser you get your hands on.
"Nothing to hide" usually means they don't realize just how much can be known about a person from the trail they leave online.
No one cares who you are, they are just trying to sell ad space.
That's not true at all. GP comment referenced the fact that foreign companies get the data and then manipulate public opinion by spreading lies in a targeted manner, with the direct goal of cheating elections to get far-right, fascist governments in power globally.
> What am I really losing though by allowing access?
We have a lot to lose here. We already lost our democracy. At least temporarily.
> No one cares who you are
Yeah, they do. They care because that gives them power. We know humans like power and we know it is corrupting.
Your posts are spreading dangerous lies. The ad space is not some innocent thing. It is insidious and threatens democracy, with tyrants and dictators already taking over countries with the help of 'innocent ad space' that 'nobody really cares about'.
It's one thing when it's a detergent that is claiming to make your clothes whiter, it's another altogether when it's messages suggesting you might also want a whiter neighborhood.
People are profiting from my data. All that activity is unknowable to me.
How is that fair?
If I don't get any privacy, then no one else gets any privacy either.
Alternately, establish that everything knowable about me is mine and gimme my cut.
Sovereignty over your cognitive processes.
This isn't really an attack on your comment specifically; I just wonder to what extent this differential response drives much of the disagreement I've seen on the topic.
(you could perhaps say the same thing about the legalization of certain drugs).
If you're interested in this stuff, I'd recommend the following books:
Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky
Media Literacy by W. James Potter
My purchase decisions are and always have been pretty simple and articulable: for small-ticket items (eg bath soap), I buy the cheapest thing that I haven't already tried and found under par. For big-ticket items whose value affects my utility significantly (eg smartphones), I spend time doing research and if necessary asking friends who have experience with the products.
I'm not confidently asserting that it doesn't _feel_ like ads don't affect my purchase decision; I'm saying that I don't see anywhere for their first-order effects to affect my purchase process.
I'm very aware of the risk of overconfidence here, but this is something I've noticed and wondered about for years. I was pretty unsure of it given the strong prior everyone else seemed to have that ads are all-powerful brainwashing devices. But for years, whenever I have brought it up to people convinced of the ultimate power of ads, I've never gotten anything but lazy dismissals like yours that it's simply hopeless and you're at the mercy of any ad you see.
The two possibilities here are 1) I'm being overconfident and 2) you're not just generalizing your weakness to ads, but universalizing it and unable to admit the possibility of someone who's not as affected. Given everything the above, over all the times I've asked this question over the years, I'm a lot more confident in 2 than I am in 1.
 Second-order effects of course exist: the brands stocked by my local Walgreens and those that have visibility in review roundups will of course be skewed somewhat by advertising budgets. This seems inevitable though, and is a substantially different topic than the GP's mention of cognitive sovereignty.
That definitely isn’t what I said or meant, and it makes it hard to talk to someone who insists on responding to what they’d rather I’d have said in place of what I did say. The only thing I’d add to what I did say, is what darkpuma said.
Furthermore, people who believe themselves immune to being duped are less likely to admit when they've been duped, because for them to admit they were duped means they must first overcome their ego and admit to themselves they can be duped. For this reason and others, con artists love people who think no con artist could ever trick them.
Also listed in this article is an app called Muslim-Pro which apparently helps with prayer times etc. As someone who is not American, I wouldn't trust this as much as everyone is freaking about Huawei being part of 5G.
They see the "HeadOn, apply directly to the forehead" low-rent ads and glossy big budget car commercials that associate a sports car with sex appeal or freedom or whatever and think "that's stupid, who would ever be so gullible as to fall for that?" while classifying more insidious things like undisclosed paid reviewers or a subtle product placement as non-ads or even more dangerously, as genuinely informative material. They see effective ads as something else entirely and are thus less likely to resist!
Another example: somebody who believes themselves immune to advertisement may casually allow themselves to consume an advertisement (for instance, by failing to use an adblocker.) They may later be in the market for a product in some category for which they saw advertisements, look up facts about various competing products, and make their decision in a way they believe to be a rational appraisal of the product facts, missing the very real possibility that were it not for the ads they casually consumed, they wouldn't be in the market for this sort of product in the first place.
Somebody who is aware of their own weaknesses is more likely to exercise caution than somebody who believes themselves invincible.
Your point is well-taken, and I'm definitely aware that ads' effects are a lot more insidious than
seeing an ad and consciously deciding to go buy the product. Like many new grad Googlers, I started
my career paying my dues for a couple years as an ads engineer and have had plenty of time to think
about and hear a hundred different perspectives on advertising's utility and dangers. So rest
assured, this isn't based on low-effort theorizing like "I don't _feel_ like ads affect my
purchases". My purchases take one of two forms: small-ticket items (eg bath soap) where I buy the
cheapest one that meets my constraints, and big-ticket items where it's worth spending at least a
couple/few hours researching the options. I just don't see how first-order effects of advertising
would creep into this process, beyond hand-wavy, unfalsifiable effects on the ultimate purchase
decision (subjectively, I don't notice this either: I end up with the low-brand-recognition
contrarian choice as often as I do the front-running brand).
Given the strong belief most people have in advertising's irresistibility, I started out with the
hypothesis that ads may negligibly affect my purchases as very low-confidence, given the strong
priors from others' beliefs. Over the last decade or so, I've 1) periodically (non-rigorously)
thought about random purchases I've made and whether ads may have had any effect, and 2) brought
this up to people who seem confident that ads are irresistible (both online and in-person), in the
hopes that I'd get a good counterargument. The quality of response has been about the same as the
dumpster fire the rest of this thread is: not only do people fail to offer any defense of the
contrary view, they're emotionally incontinent about someone having the audacity to wonder whether
ads don't wield ultimate power over every person. I still don't consider any hypothesis
high-confidence until I've heard a high-quality defense of the counterargument, but the fact that
I've tried a couple dozen times over the years and gotten only hysterical emotional responses
obviously increases my confidence in my hypothesis over time.
Anyway, thanks for reading all that, assuming you got this far. In your opinion, what could I be
missing? People with the consistent purchase process explained above seem like the violation of
their "cognitive sovereignty" would, at worst, be negligible enough that the phrase would apply to
any of a million uncontroversially benign things about society.
EDIT: I forgot to address this in my already too-long comment: "being an expert" on the products in question seems like a non sequitur, since in a world with zero advertising, the information gap would still exist. The salient question is whether ads _fill_ that gap at all, and it seems to me that they don't in this case. Also, inre "Can you name five replacements (products) and describe their tradeoffs?": yes, generally, excluding small-ticket items where pricing drives my purchase decision.
 The second-order effect of advertising coloring what's stocked at Walgreens and the
discoverability and reviews of a product is unavoidable, but that's an information discoverability
problem, not a "cognitive sovereignty" one, and as such is a substantially different topic from the
one the GP comment brought up.
I would suspect that it is the folks who think they are less susceptible who are most at risk. In a way it makes me think of the misunderstanding around Dunning-Kruger (i.e. it's not an observation about dumb people, it is a warning to people who think they are smart).
Yes you might not use any of these products, but highly likely majority that you do is branded. Also you are more susceptible to purchase certain brans that others, that's why advertisers want to target items that you are more likely to purchase.
This is not necessarily bad, but we learned recently that this mechanism was weaponized and things like Brexit and 2016 election is prime example how dangerous this is.
Did you read about the Cambridge Analytica scandal at all either? I mean if you are fine about someone knowing about everything you ever clicked like on online and directing adds to rile you up politically then fine. Let the algorithms feed you man.
What Open Source Can Learn From Slack
> Third, we generally overweight the importance of our personal values when developing a product — without considering how users will make their decision.
> For example, users do value privacy, but many won’t switch to a product that protects their privacy if it means losing what they have — unlike so many of those commenting in Hacker News threads.
I don't think that is a fair assessment. Even if that is true technically, it is missing the spirit of the question at hand. I think many people are misinformed about what is happening in data collection and processing, and if they were well-informed, would care more about their privacy. Given that people are intentionally being misled about the implications of giving up their privacy - via various propaganda about how it's not-that-bad, etc - I think it is unfair to state that people "simply don't care about their privacy ... as much as you do".
I think if people knew what was at stake, they would care more. Stating that they "simply don't care" is basically ending the conversation preemptively, such that the only possible future is that there is no privacy.
But I think people are misinformed, greatly. Very few people have any idea how intense FB's data collection efforts are, or how insecure the data is when it goes there, etc. Even NYT pieces do not reach that many Americans. And NYT or other publications are careful and methodical about their writing, barely able to reach into the future and question out loud the future FB is building.
Democracy is at stake. This is more than a question of individual privacy: people need to understand that our society is crumbling due to lack of privacy, because wealthy and powerful institutions are using that intense violation into private American lives to brainwash targeted people with conspiracy theories and other dangerous society-damaging things.
Privacy matters to everyone, I'd wager even to those who think they don't value their individual privacy.
Yea, people are uninformed. But, I think you're overestimating people's capacity to care about issues that will have no real consequence on their life. The average person just wants to spend time with their family/friends, gossip, and enjoy their hobbies. Facebook helps them do just that.
>> But I think people are misinformed, greatly. Very few people have any idea how intense FB's data collection efforts are, or how insecure the data is when it goes there, etc.
This is exactly the type of information that people don't care about. "So, you're telling me FB knows I'm browsing Groupon for wedding gift deals and looking at cat pictures on Reddit? O, and other people could have access to that data?" Shoulder shrug...
>> Democracy is at stake. This is more than a question of individual privacy: people need to understand that our society is crumbling due to lack of privacy.
I guess this is the type of argument people actually care about. The problem is that their uninstalling Facebook isn't going to change anything, other than making their lives less fun. If there's a real threat to democracy, the solutions need to come via regulation.
Why do you think that this has no real consequence on their lives? I would state unequivocally that privacy violations have a direct consequence on people's lives. And they see that consequence, too, it's not some hidden thing. I would blame a lack of privacy culture on the election of a lying, cheating government that has directly caused pain to individual Americans. This is happening presently and I believe that if we had valued privacy significantly more over the last two decades, there would be far less physical pain intentionally caused on targeted people.
> This is exactly the type of information that people don't care about. "So, you're telling me FB knows I'm browsing Groupon for house cleaning deals and looking at cat pictures on Reddit? O, and other people could have access to that data?" Shoulder shrug...
What do you mean? I'm not talking about that at all. I'm talking about how when you go to the grocery store and someone snaps a selfie with you in the background, FB knows. They know when you take the subway and where you go, they [will] know pretty much every single detail of your life even if you don't have an account.
I'm not talking about browsing the web. By the way, that privacy violation is real and serious, not something to shrug off.
> The problem is that their uninstalling Facebook isn't going to change anything, other than making their lives less fun
What do you mean by this? Uninstalling Facebook isn't going to change anything because FB spies out the wazoo anyway! And anecdotally, I think that people are generally happier when they spend less time on Facebook, not less happy.
> If there's a real threat to democracy, the solutions need to come via regulation.
Sure - but with the way laws are written, FB's lawyers will write those laws and nothing meaningful will change. More than legislation has to happen, a cultural shift into caring about privacy is needed.
"I don't care if FB knows I was at the grocery store, or at the mall, or on the subway. I care about not missing the invite to my niece's birthday party."
>> They [will] know pretty much every single detail of your life even if you don't have an account.
Imo, this is fearmongering...
Privacy is not a "tech crowd" concern, it's a fundamental aspect of our societies and a human right.
Most people don't have to think too much about their freedoms because others fought for them and continue to do so.
"Privacy" isn't an absolute term, so saying privacy is a human right is pretty vacuous.
It goes along the lines of: Privacy is valuable because without privacy A, B, and C will be possible. And, we can all agree A, B, and C would be very very bad.
There are two ways to attack this argument:
1) A, B, and C aren't that bad when compared to the benefits of operating in an environment with less privacy.
2) A, B, and C are possible but unlikely. I.e. this is fearmongering.
I tend to go with 2.
I was talking to my uncle, a very smart man and a lawyer, about privacy concerns. He said something that will stick with me for years:
"You're like a prophet about this stuff, but like every prophet, you're 30 years too early for us to believe you."
The insight that they need to protect their friends is usually very convincing. - My hope is to spread this narrative.
The government doesn't need Facebook to get your data (they go straight to the ISPs, anyway). There's 10,000 companies that buy and sell your personal data already (and has been for 30 years - you can buy lists for direct mail of people's name, full addresses, numbers, marriage status, estimated income, etc.)
You're only thinking of the federal level. There are many levels of government, and local governments from states and counties all the way down to companies contracted by the local dog catcher buy the data mined by advertising companies.
and has been for 30 years - you can buy lists for direct mail of people's name, full addresses, numbers, marriage status, estimated income, etc
But for 30 years you haven't been able to track someone's location on a minute-by-minute basis. Or in real-time in the case of buying data from a cell phone carrier. Plus a lot of other invasive information that hasn't been available until FB, G, and others weaponized the avertising industry.
We're not talking about public data. We're talking about companies selling private data.
Apart from the evil of "making people buy shit they wouldn't have otherwise" that applies to all advertising the end game is to do price discrimination based on profiles of the individual. If they know you're friends are raving about a holiday somewhere then you'll see a higher price than a casual browser. This way you can extract the maximum amount possible from your customers.
You are looking at it the wrong way. It's not about Facebook's evil end game today. It's about what their current collection of data enables a future Facebook (or a company that may buy Facebook one day) to do. It's also about what malicious actors, government or otherwise, may do with the data if they get their hands on it, as they have, multiple times, in the recent past.
Today the data is used to show you ads. There is no guarantee that it will be used for just that purpose in the future.
I really like this definition of privacy on the Wikipedia page about the subject:
> The right to privacy is our right to keep a domain around us, which includes all those things that are part of us, such as our body, home, property, thoughts, feelings, secrets and identity. The right to privacy gives us the ability to choose which parts in this domain can be accessed by others, and to control the extent, manner and timing of the use of those parts we choose to disclose
If my boss has a speaker on his desk and I can't reasonably expect to be listened to, but he records me anyway, how do I prevent this?
Privacy needs to be understood as a social good, not as an individual right. Privacy is being destroyed in the same way pollution diminishes air quality, if you have privacy only locked into your home with the blinds shut you might as well not have privacy at all.
Privacy needs to be drastically expanded to have meaning for connected people in a social environment. It should mean I can use the train without being tracked, state a political opinion without forever having it pinned to my name, and without having to feel supervised every time I eat something unhealthy or say something that resembles dissent.
Yes. Privacy is everyone's responsibility. And I say this working in the digital marketing space.
> If my boss has a speaker on his desk and I can't reasonably expect to be listened to, but he records me anyway, how do I prevent this?
You have many options, the most extreme is by not working for people who put you in situations like that. But maybe having a talk would suffice. "Hey sorry I feel like my personal liberty is being violated here, I would prefer not to be recorded without my consent" If your boss insists, then you have the choice of not revealing anything you are not comfortable with being recorded all the way again to the extreme case of replying to everything your boss says with some same crafted response, as an example, "I would love to reply/answer, but not while being recorded".
> Privacy needs to be understood as a social good, not as an individual right.
100% emphatically absolutely not if not for the simple reason that this is contrary to American liberty and where our rights come from, and once you go down that hole, there is no going back.
> Privacy needs to be drastically expanded to have meaning for connected people in a social environment.
One of my favorite writers on this exact topic is Daniel J Solove. (He's the author of one of my favorite papers of all time "I've got nothing to hide and other misunderstandings of privacy" which is now subsequently a book called "Nothing to Hide")
I imagine with privacy it will be even harder because the danger is much less clear.
Google, Facebook and others have a whole collection of intentionally misleading dialogues and practices that deceptively conceal what they are doing under the catchall of 'improving user experience' or some such thing. Surely if they actually thought people 'don't care' all these firms and technical folks involved won't feel the need to be deceptive.
This comes across more as tech folks trying to offload their own responsibility in designing, building and profiting from surveillance systems by wishing that people didn't care.
On the other hand, my identity has been stolen 16 billion times by now. Even if it didn't, I own real estate, which means you can infer a hell of a lot of info about me by just looking up my property tax bill, which is public. You could cross reference a lot of data source and get way more than I've ever put on Facebook. Ironically, if you wanted to make my life miserable, Facebook is probably not the first, second, or third place you'd want to go to get the juicy stuff.
So yeah, it's pretty hard to care after a while. My credit reports are frozen, I post on social medias as if I was doing so under my first and last name, assuming they're public anyway, there doesn't exist any embarrassing picture of me or my immediate family in any form (at least that I know of), etc.
I'd like to have privacy, but even if I take every measure I can take, unless I get rid of my credit cards, bank accounts, house, etc, I'll never have it anyway, so...
So if you can't have perfect privacy, you'll have nothing at all? That's quite an all-or-nothing way of looking at this issue.
Well, I was out today when it started raining. I had my raincoat and my wellies in my rucksack, but I didn't have any water proof pants. I'd like to be dry, but unless I could get water proof pants, I'm not going to be dry, so ...
In cases where its realistic in the current world to get privacy, I'll take everything I can get: eg I still think there's a reasonable shot at eventually making cities enforce rules that prevent people from bringing a drone to my window on the 5th freagin floor to take pictures of my bedroom, and I'll certainly push for that to death.
I don't think that's the point; I think the OP is saying that in OP's particular case, the marginal benefit of Facebook privacy is much smaller than the marginal benefit of privacy in other aspects of life, and the lack of privacy from these various other aspects seem to be here to stay, therefore why worry about something relatively trivial like Facebook?
There may be other fallacies in OP's assumptions of course, but those notwithstanding I agree with the underlying logic. E.g. if I deem riding motorcycles an acceptable risk, then arguably I shouldn't spend energy worrying about whether my airplane will crash.
To explain my mindset, basically it boils down to:
"Can something bad happen to me as a result of tracking?"
And nobody has ever said "Yes, here are examples."
As to the real life consequences of a laissez-faire approach to privacy:
(Edited to combine my two comments)
Don't get me wrong: I think Facebook is a fundamentally culturally rotten company, and probably disagree with him more than I agree with him. But non sequitur buzzwords like your comment are neither here nor there.
Plus all kinds of bonus disinformation based on the profile your data has provided!
Plenty of other social networks that once seemed dominant have collapsed in the past. I agree it feels frustrating, but if a large enough minority of users abandons Facebook I do think that we could hit critical mass where even people on FB start using alternative communication tools to keep in touch with ex-Facebookers, and then that'll start creating a positive feedback loop by making it easier for more people to leave as other platforms fill in and pick up the slack.
What have these prying eyes done to them directly? Yes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but realistically, you only truly learn never to touch the stove again until you get burned. If they never get burned, then maybe they are safer than you think.
Facebook is a bad company doing bad things (full of, undoubtedly, good people trying to do good things) and I'd prefer not to give them any information about me, as they've proved they will share it with whomever, whenever, and only change behavior after they've been caught. 10 or 15 years from now, when my daughter grows up a bit, I want her to be able to decide what pictures of her are online, how much Facebook (or the new social monolith company) knows about her, and who to share her data with.
I don't know what these companies are going to do with our data in the future, but they have terrible track records, and I know they are not to be trusted. I grew up with a gmail account that holds thousands of hours of gchat logs. I grew up posting stupid stuff on Facebook that probably still exists on their servers. I would gladly give up the meaningless interactions that took place in Facebook for just an ounce of invisibility back.
We don't know what the burn will be, but I can tell you it's coming. I'd just rather not have my hand on the stove when it finally gets turned on.
And of course, the choice between the two doesn't matter for this.
I have accepted that it's easier and better for me to be a pragmatist on these stances. Especially because the idea that "facebook is ruining democracy/the world/motherhood/apple pie" is my own biased opinion of the future. And I'm no good at predicting the future.
My comment was just a reflection on Facebook’s ever-increasing sphere of influence; I would have had no problem using WhatsApp before it belonged to Facebook.
Replacing Facebook with Google is just replacing one form of terminal cancer with another.
Obviously texts and phone calls are available, and I do not use WhatsApp because it’s Facebook; my comment was just a reflection on how pervasive Facebook is.
I'm not sure why it's super surprising. Facebook's data collection has never personally harmed me. I like Facebook because it helps me stay connected and tools like whatsapp/messenger are some of the best cross-platform messaging tools.
Yes, Facebook has downsides, but I've never experienced a privacy-related downside.
Someone should provide a link to an article that exposes some really nasty stuff about Facebook--I already know Facebook knows my address and my likes/dislikes and probably what sites I browse (since many sites use Facebook tracking), and it reads my messages, but in a way, I don't really care about those things because Whatsapp and FB Messenger are free.
No need to worry, they have the rest of your life to think of something and a lot more of your data to collect.
Best of all: you will dutifully provide the data while continuing to think that Facebook has never harmed you and you will likely never know how they harm you.
IMO, they need a non-profit competitor. There's nothing surprising or innovative left in "share photos and news with selected people" so there's not much value-to-consumers left to innovate on. There is innovation left in how to monetize consumers, but there's not likely to be much value to humanity in that; and there is likely to be a lot of harm. (Looking at you anti-vaxers.)
Non profit. There's needs to be a non-profit facebook alternative to stop all this idiocy.
Some non-profits have a terrible track record with information security, but that's mostly because their major focus is not IT.
Given that mainstream media has been pushing the Facebook is evil meme for the last two years since Facebook changed their ranking models to deprioritize news sharing and destroyed traffic to media sites, this is unsurprising.
I don't think I'm THAT concerned with privacy but even I have thought about disabling my Facebook account. What stops me from doing that is that there isn't really a replacement for it. I don't even really post. Essentially the only thing I use it for is messenger.
However, if I disable it I won't have any way to contact the friends I have who live in other countries or who I don't frequently talk to. And please don't tell me to "just use email". I don't want to use a service where I have to find people by some unique ID instead of their actual names.
Except for the entire social network that remains on the old service & not the new one -- which comprises most of the value one obtains from a social network.
They've got a captive audience. Like it or not, the service that Facebook provides is unparalleled, and short of direct, tangible harm, it's not enough for most people to give that up.
Except that it's not. The vast majority of what Facebook does can be done without Facebook. The essential problem now is that there are large numbers of people who have only ever known Facebook and are unaware of how to accomplish those things without it.
Except that it is. Where else than facebook.com can I go to connect with 80%+ of my coworkers, family, and friends?
Like a stereotypical engineer, you're thinking about the software. People don't use Facebook for just the software. They use it for the network.
> They've got a captive audience. Like it or not, the service that Facebook provides is unparalleled, and short of direct, tangible harm, it's not enough for most people to give that up.
I think it's mainly unparalleled from the advertiser perspective, but not the user perspective. I think network effects aren't as compelling to users as is often assumed.
I think Facebook's privacy terribleness will be part of its undoing, but only part. Other things, like fashion, user fatigue, and potentially new regulatory antitrust oversight (to block acquisitions) will be significant factors, and they'll all reenforce each other.
Tell that to the carcasses of Facebook's competitors.
The real issue is that most people can't make the correlation between personal data that are monitored and ways of exploitation. They don't know that any individual can target them specifically by using their e-mail or phone number. They have this abstract notion that somewhere a company is running a generic ad that shows shoes or cars to them and that's all there is.
I feel like until we have an internet that isn't dependent on ad-networks, this is an inevitability. Targeted ads perform better, and you cannot expect these giant megacorporations to act ethically when it will cut into their profits and while they're technically not violating any laws.
Ads will exist until people are empowered to block them.
To stretch the analogy, ad blockers are people who drive in the HOV lane without paying. It isn't so bad that you do it, but if everyone did it the system would break. I personally block ads out of principle because I believe we can transition to a micropayment model and blocking ads forces the issue.
That being said, can anything really ever save us from ads? From my logic in the first paragraph, Patreon et al will eventually be as ad-infested as anything else. Maybe the fundamental answer is to consume less content.
If you don't want to see ads on a given site, your moral option is to stop visiting the site.
Glad we finally resolved that once and for all. /s
Want to see less intrusive business practices? Get rid of quarterly earnings reports.
> "Guess what, Jimbo 'forgot' to pay his share of the rent again.
It's not just the internet. Every industry that sells anything uses direct marketing, and that requires collecting information about people. Until you eliminate all advertising and marketing, you will be tracked in some way.
Target famously predicted a teenage girl was pregnant before her father even found out. They did it by tracking and analyzing her purchases, not by digging into data from Facebook. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-targ...)
Privacy violation is a symptom, but the cause is capitalists trying to sell as much crap as humanly possible.
I'm honestly surprised there isn't an app that pays you to tell advertisers about your friends.
Sort of. There is an acceptable amount of tracking.
For hundreds of years billboard, newspaper, television, and radio advertisers tracked if their ads were working by measuring sales. That was acceptable.
Facebook and Google trying to watch my every move is not acceptable.
I believe that ad networks as they currently exist are actively destroying the internet.
Please don't do this.
Have you found a viable alternative or removed analytics from your blog altogether?
Depending on your needs, it's pretty easy and interesting to hack something together yourself though.
I just want to know the number of daily unique visitors and where they are located (geographically).
May you elaborate on that?
The same applies for EVERY airline app I have used over the last 5 years.
NoRoot Firewall for Android, and put a global Deny rule for 31.13.x.x and problem is solved.
It's not that they want to notify Facebook. It's that they get useful functionality from libraries that Facebook makes available. And they've either decided that sharing your info with Facebook is a worthwhile tradeoff for the engineering time, or they don't realize it's happening.
The same applies to all airline companies that through their apps and my boarding passes have access to TOO much personal data.
> Facebook routinely tracks users, non-users and logged-out users outside its platform through Facebook Business Tools. App developers share data with Facebook through the Facebook Software Development Kit (SDK), a set of software development tools that help developers build apps for a specific operating system.
I don't have more info than that
Google has been smarter by being much more low-key about their data collection and potential privacy problems. Facebook's attitude has been so blatantly sleazy, self-serving, and user-hostile that they've made themselves a magnet for negative attention.
Though Google may catch up, due to their questionable permission requirements for some of their apps (e.g. you must enable all the tracking just to use voice commands with Android Auto).
They've also worked around their own permissions model. Google Play Services demands a massive amount of permissions, and will yell and scream and try to scare you if you take them away. IIRC, a lot of Google's own privacy invasions are conducted indirectly using that library.
This emotional negative bias against Facebook has existed for more than a decade in this otherwise informed and rational community, so it doesn't surprise me anymore.
Probably for ads: either measuring ad conversions, or building ad targeting/exclusion buckets. For example, your bank can exclude your devices from their FB ads because FB already knows you have their app and presumably a customer.
Because by doing that they get access to a ton of analytic data?
there's more of these kinds of lists out there for other intrusive ad companies.
Not a bad idea really. The problem is that it turned super predatory. Facebook just wants engagement at all costs. It’s not a tool for managing your life, it’s a tool for someone else to profit off it.
I think it's a genuinely bad idea to put any single entity in the driver's seat like that.
problem is that with tracking, people on the tracking side become to greedy for profit, and without tracking / censorship, then the people on the user side become vile and corrupt suddenly :D. either way there will be people enjoying it and people hating it at the same time. there's no pleasing some :D in any case , and really, maybe we should stop trying to do so, and just get on with more useful stuff than debating everlasting debates.
in the end it's more philosophical problem than anything, and how useful are those to debate...(except to people who enjoy that of course!) are we in a simulation, or not? no way to prove it, no impact even if it would be, so why try to get the whole of internet users involved and distracted with it.
we can go back and see, that then, it will probably just be people who like to discuss these things who are doing so, and they will always do so.
is it immoral or wrong to make a profit within a capitalist system? Or is it immoral or wrong to expect someone to change their ways or return your investment just because you didn't pay attention and paid for something you didn't want??
example of facebook user mentality i saw in some drunk at a station:
- drunk buys a paper from a bum
- bum gives paper for 50 cents
- drunk gets mad and attacks bum because the paper is a day old.
really, that's the privacy debate in a nutshell.
I have little choice about whether or not I'm going to be spied on by Facebook, Google, etc. That's the problem. If I could engage in some sort of meaningful informed consent (if I consent to data collection, then it isn't spying), that would resolve 90% of the philosophical issues.
But I can't.
Yes, things that don't exist can't be good or bad, and neither can things be good or bad without people. Once the thing exists at the same time that humans exist, we get opinions on good and bad. One way of deciding whether something is good or bad is whether it works to benefit your life, vs. making things worse.
You can call this a philosophical problem if you want, since pretty much anything can be described the same way, but realizing that FB people are greedy fucks when it comes to our daily datapoints over the course of our entire lives (they hope) is not a matter of theory. I'm not sure how you skated from FB's greed to "people become vile and corrupt when they aren't tracked by FB," though.
is it immoral or wrong to make a profit within a capitalist system?
Sometimes, and sometimes those profits are specifically illegal, with penalties at the level of "decades in prison." We the people get to decide (more or less) what acts qualify for those penalties, and there is no universal truth to which these penalties must be compared. We could put all board members of companies that leak data in prison, calculated at one day for every person's data that was exfiltrated. Strict liability. That is the privacy debate in a nutshell.
Since Facebook is only one of a huge number of other objectionable data leakages apps present to us, I recommend something more expansive than that. I recommend blocking all outgoing traffic entirely by default, and only enabling outgoing traffic for specific apps to specific destinations as needed.
-facebook already as my bank account info
-facebook already has my social security number
-if facebook doesnt have that stuff, im sure they could buy it or brute force it in seconds. (they can brute force a key for onion addresses...)
-I dont really care if facebook knows WHEN I log in (remember we are just talking log in services, not ad analytics)
-I trust facebook's service itself to be very secure. Facebooks login system its very likely insanely complex to prevent unauthorized logins. They know so much about me, they know when someone isnt me. See also, Google. I dont trust my bank to have this kind of "me detection" like I do Facebook/Google.
Reasons I would not use FB to sign in
-no other way into account if facebook decides to lock my account.
-super arbitrary content policy
-terrible support team to resolve arbitrary issues.
From a technical perspective, facebook seems like an excellent way to verify and secure the identity of "is this me." I cant really think of anyone else at the Google/AzureAD scale who does it better than Facebook. From a customer service perspective, Facebook gets the human side wrong of how to handle people.
> facebook already has my social security number
> if facebook doesnt have that stuff, im sure they could buy it or brute force it in seconds.
Do you not agree that this is a somewhat sad state of affairs?
And the fact that FB has your data certainly isn't a justification for a bank using any kind of such integration. My pet store has my credit card data, doesn't mean I want my bank to use them as an identification provider or have any integration with their systems.
And if powerful abilities are what you're looking for, the mafia can also brute force anything out of anyone. So I guess... yay? That's a good reason for banks to use them.
The reasons you yourself gave in the "against" section are sufficient to disqualify them. I have a contract with my bank. Any 3rd party introduced in there is additional liability. When that 3rd party is a company with a proven track record of every shady practice known to man it just reinforces my opinion.
I'm sure there are banks to cater for everyone's tastes. I just don't see a reason why I would ever want to give my business to any such bank.
I would not use FB to log into a bank because of the Against section. Its not the technical implementation, but their human services that make the product too risky to be trusted as my keys to a door. Im not worried about them logging in and poking around my bank, im worried about them locking me out.
First of all I do not trust Facebook in any way and would no longer trust my bank if they trusted Facebook. FB does not have any kind of obligation towards me (at least none that they're willing to uphold, even if it means bending or breaking the law). I consider banking to be a critical service to me so I personally wouldn't want them to have anything to do with my bank.
Second of all FB and the bank could at any time share data that would negatively impact me and we already know there are no negative consequences to that as far as the companies are concerned.
And lastly, my bank using this even as an opt-in sets the trend and suggests their intentions in the future. Continuing to use it means endorsing the behavior. Like buying software from a company that also sells to oppressive governments. If I have a choice I avoid it.
Myspace, Adobe, and Dropbox all lost databases.
(If they are asking my social to verify my identity, they already know it to verify against.)
Again, your personal choice could be to post you CC data on your FB wall, you're free to do whatever you want. But you're seeing this very one sided if you assume everybody should be just as comfortable with FB and anything real in their life sharing data, or relying on a 3rd party with 0 obligations towards you for those critical services.
And mind you, the problem isn't that the bank is relying on a third party for things. They may already be using a cloud service, they could also be using an Apple ID or a Microsoft account. It's that they would use a social media platform in general (thus allowing data sharing which will never do the customer any favors), and Facebook in particular (since they have some of the most atrocious morals and unreliable promises).
i agree fb is terrible at promises or treating people like they matter, but the only thing they ever do with the data collected on people is make them targetable demographics to advertisers. use an adblocker if you dont want to see them.
The constant articles deriding Facebook ring hollow considering most of HN’s audience is engaged in similar behavior.
- Tracking the behavior of your own users on your own app, for product improvement purposes (which most users will expect)
- Sending the behavior of your own users on your app to an advertising surveillance company, with an ID that can be used to correlate that behavior with behavior elsewhere, without their knowledge, consent, or reasonable expectation
And before anyone says it, no, a generic line about third-party service partners in a sadistically long TOS/Privacy-policy does not count as meaningful consent. Even Supreme Court justices admit that they don’t read them.
Depends. I think it's clear that users do not expect you to record their session, even though it's tracking behavior for product improvement.
So even if you're not a user, you get tracked and your data gets sold. That to me was a step too far, and got me to really scale back what I share on the Internet.
Here's Facebook's post explaining what they collect for people who haven't registered: https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2018/04/data-off-facebook/
TLDR: They collect what Google and all the analytics and ad-network companies collect, in order to target ads, along with incidental "user data" like IP address, etc.
Right across the Internet? Very few, I imagine!
Mainly because they don't have the resources to do it.
This is a pretty annoying part.
Maybe the scale, motivation and intent matter.
That app have no lesson, nothing is explained, there is just quizzes slapped on your face until you remember the good answer. The distractors are bad (you can find answer using capitalization in some case), sentences seems to have been generated automatically etc. I cannot fathom how one can learn anything with that nor why it is so popular.
The design of the app isn’t an accident. They want you to start trying immediately. The testing effect works even for vocabulary. If you guess which of four words is the Spanish for milk you’re more likely to remember the answer than if you’re just told it. When you put effort into learning something you’re more likely to remember it, even when the effort is as trivial as a multiple choice test.
> The distractors are bad (you can find answer using capitalization in some case), sentences seems to have been generated automatically etc.
None of this is wrong to be honest. I wouldn’t use any Duolingo course that hadn’t been out of beta for more than a year because there are often plentiful mistakes.
> I cannot fathom how one can learn anything with that nor why it is so popular.
It’s actually pretty good at getting you from nothing to novice for European languages as far as reading goes. And it’s free and gamified, which helps a lot with motivation. You might be mistaking the feeling of learning with actually learning too. Almost everyone does. That’s why most people do massed practice (cramming) instead of distributed (multiple reviews) and interleaved (practice different skills together, not one at a time, even though massed works worse. You feel like you’re learning more with massed.
Although I haven't tried other apps (so I don't have a baseline for comparison), their methodology has proven quite effective for me.
I quit Duolingo for Japanese because it was super slow and boring. I went through a few beginner grammar books/websites and started reading native material/talking to natives.
Currently going through KKLC so focusing on kanji/vocab... I passed the JLPT N5 (admittedly so easy it's useless as a certificaiton) with six months of studying from scratch, and I approximately N4 level now (~1 year in).
I know everyone has different goals and timelines, but 2 years of Duolingo feels like it covers what you can learn in <4 months by yourself.
Nope. Perhaps you are right.
> I went through a few beginner grammar books/websites
Would you mind telling which ones you went through?
I used the following:
- Genki I, II
The classic Japanese textbooks. They're pretty good and have tons of exercises. Do the exercises!
- Tae Kim's Guide
Alternative guide written by one guy. Very good as reference or quick learning. Used it to review Genki material.
- Japanese: The Manga Way
I thought this would be stupid but in some ways I liked it more than the other resources. Every chapter goes through grammar/expressions and it uses real manga examples. Vocab is translated for you. Not necessary with the other two resources but if you like manga or want something different, it's fun.
- Japanese Ammo with Misa
Long (20+ mins) lectures on grammar with a lot of examples. Goes on tangents often and some videos are too long but a great source of vocab, native expressions, etc.
You've probably heard of this. I currently use it for kanji but you can use it for whatever I prefer making my own flashcards but there's pre-made decks for vocab from Genki, Tae Kim, grammar etc. I'd link to some but they also include links to pirated PDFs so don't want to get the mods mad at me.
With all of that said, the most helpful thing for me has been reading native content in Chrome with this extension -> https://foosoft.net/projects/yomichan/ if you don't read, write, etc. you will not retain stuff. You will start out not understanding anything but slowly you will start reading without even translating to English.
You will hit a wall with vocab without kanji study but you should be good to go for some time with this.
As next steps, I've installed Yomichan and I plan on purchasing a copy of Genki I.
Thank you very much for the pointers!
Sure as children we learned our natives language by hearing it for years but the point is you can't magically have ten years of everyday language input when learning a foreign language. So then as adult it is way more efficient to learn the underlying rules. If there really was a more efficient method universities would have ditched their curricula for it. But from my experiences they don't and they don't recommend Duolingo either.
Yeah, maybe "quite effective" is overstating it.
So, if after two years of using Duolingo you cannot read all the katakana and cannot make a sentence more complex then xxx ha yyy desu it just totally prove how bad the application is. And what's even more damageable is that user think they are making progress and then do not focus on real, useful material.
It's definitely not as good as having a tutor or structured lessons, but for getting the basics down, when complemented with other study, it seems perfectly fine to me.
- Each lesson has a guide that shows what's new. This is a bit hard to find on the website (click on the lightbulb above the "Practice" button for any lesson), and (last I checked) isn't available at all on mobile.
- There's a discussion board associated with each sentence. This can be immensely helpful for getting tips from more experienced speakers regarding various tricky aspects of the language.
Is it enough to build fluency by itself? Doubtful. But I find it very helpful for building vocab with a ~20-minute daily investment.
Sounds like machine learning just met machine teaching.
If you want much better results, memrise and flash card apps are WAY better. Learn as much vocab, grammar, irregular verbs, etc. there.
You need to complete that with dialogues. On youtube you can often find these, either teaching videos which are great, or tv shows/movies with subs.