But there is also data that I may not want to be public knowledge. If Facebook scans my chat logs, then Facebook knows a lot about me that I would not want some of my friends and family knowing. And I wouldn't be surprised if their TOS permits them to scan my chat logs.
And you can also do interesting oracle attacks with this. Let's say I'm trying to figure out if my son is homosexual. (Substitute for any fact Facebook may know, and for any person you want to investigate). I already know a ton of things about my son. Age, where he lives, what sports he plays, his favorite foods, etc. So I create one really specific ad that's guaranteed to include only my son and maybe a few other people. This one is only shown to homosexuals. Then I create an alternate ad that targets the same group, but only heterosexuals. Then I just need to watch which ad appears on my sons computer, and I suddenly know what Facebook thinks his sexual orientation is.
Your language betrays your cognitive dissonance. It it not your chat log. It was never your chat log. You typed characters into Facebook’s chat log, and the chat log is Facebook’s. There is no “permitting” needed. When you use Facebook (or Google, or whatever), you live in a glass house, an aquarium, with overseers who do not consider you a person with integrity, but more as a kind of pet to be inspected and analyzed at will. Facebook distracts you with “privacy settings”, but those apply to other pets in the aquarium, not its overseers. It might be discomforting to think of yourself as a pet in an aquarium, but you have chosen this yourself, by using Facebook.
The question if Facebook is permitted to scan your chat logs is therefore meaningless; there is no such concept. Facebook “scans” all its chat logs, all the time. (That’s why they have their chat logs.) The “privacy settings” have nothing to do with actual privacy from Facebook — like Monopoly money, it has no validity outside the tiny world of its own. Like “deleting” things, it appears to you to delete things, but does not actually delete them as far as Facebook is concerned — it is all logged and saved, forever. I could go on, but I’d better not.
(The same goes for Google and all the other cloud and social services.)
See also: People who believe they can disable the face recognition.
Folks desperately want to deny the physical nature of cloud services, and pretend that its the same as storing something on your hard drive at home. They want to believe that the software abstraction that shows local and cloud documents together is real. But you can't will away reality.
When I rent a safe deposit box from a bank, and store my valuables in it, my valuables do not become the property of the bank.
Likewise, just because I store some data on someone else's computer system does not make that data theirs.
Now, we may not yet have a good enough legal framework for protecting our data; in Europe, laws about this are better, while in the US you are expected to just use contract law for this purpose, and of course with online services you have no way of negotiating the contract and they always claim the right to do anything they want with the data.
But that does not make it "their data"; it just means that our laws need to be updated to better protect our data and not allow companies to simply claim they can do anything they want in non-negotiable user agreements.
You can argue that things should be different. What I am talking about is how things are.
The law around physical property in someone else's hands is on the other hand well established, and is referred by English speaking lawyers as "bailment". If you entrust people with your stuff and they misbehave, they are then liable for their negligence about it. So the legal theory should be simple, but "on the internet" is masquerading the issue. If I send some clothes to the dry cleaners to get cleaned, it is still my clothes. If I send some emails to be cleaned by a spam filter service, it suddenly is no longer my emails anymore. There is no reason why we need any new law to correct this, but there is political work to make it enforceable.
It's only when you add a shared construct like some system of ethics or law that your definition of data ownership make sense.
It's the difference between ownership defined by abilities and ownership defined by rights. It's a failure of the English language.
Computer security, especially, encourages you to think in base, practical (there must be a better word for this) terms. Since you can't guarantee other actors will respect your rights, you fall back to "If I don't want X done then I must make it physically impossible to do X rather than just wrong to do X".
Depends on the T&C . Two things here, (1) you agreed to the FB terms and (2) took no steps to ensure your privacy despite these ever changing terms. More applicable digital lockbox hypo: when you put a gig of encrypted data on S3, AWS doesn't scan it and try to sell it to advertisers because you didn't agree to that. Further, they'd have to crack your encryption (i.e. PGP) as well if they wanted to violate those terms.
With AWS you get what you paid for. With FB, advertisers get what they paid for you.
(The set of things they can do with the data is subject to change, with notification, but if those changes are "adverse" to you, you have the right to revoke that consent. What happens to your data after that consent is revoked is something that probably needs to be explored legally, but it's pretty widely known that Facebook never actually deletes anything. And the TOS do say "irrevocable", after all...)
All that said, it's not their data. (Effectively) unlimited access, yes; ownership, no.
Actually, I disagree on that detail. An account on a Unix computer, accessible by SSH, is a known thing with known cultural implicit privacy guarantees. I have servers, which I can certainly call “mine”, with users, who have SSH access. I would absolutely not consider any file they type into to be “mine” — it is theirs.
But... that's just a cynical observation of the current, wild-west-style situation of data abuse. Society will slowly grasp the significance of what's going on and restore some sanity, ...right??
They will always have the ability to do what they like with the data they have control over.
1) messages sent through chat are not specifically covered by Facebook's TOS, as such, the individual's premise that it is is false
2) whether or not the content is Facebook's property is irrelevant, privacy laws in QC forbid publication of this content under most circumstances (exceptions being public safety etc
finally, anyone who honestly thinks anyone working for Facebook has any occupational need to look at their chat logs has a rather inflated opinion of themselves
Also, the idea that the danger is that Facebook employees should read any chat logs is also a straw man argument – a distraction. Nobody except straw men actually puts forth this as a major problem. You would have been right to dismiss it, except that nobody made that argument. To be fair, it might happen, but the scale at which it even could happen is by definition limited, since Facebook cannot have that many employees with the time and inclination to do it. The real issue is the above procedure of eternal storage and analysis – on behalf of external parties and/or for internal use.
Your arguments are highly diversionary, and seem to be aimed at confusing the issue.
There is the intellectual ownership (the ideas contained in the logs), there is the right to consult and have access to the logs, there is the publication right etc. These rights are also independent of one another, someone may have the right to consult the logs, but not to publish, or may have the right to publish, but only once someone who has the right to consult this information has given it to them
Also, it bears mentioning that simply claiming my argument is a straw man argument without actually telling me how that is so does nothing to show that it is so the issue of ownership was discussed in the first half of my commentary where i mentioned that Facebook's TOS allowed them do do what was described as such I addressed and confirmed OP's position
I then added that there were implications with what was being discussed and proceeded to give an example. Taken alone, yes it would be a straw man argument on my part, however, the point behind my commentary was to show that the practical damage that could be done by such a practice as monitoring and storing the information of chat logs would be minimized by the fact that not everyone can consult and publish that content
Indeed. I have argued before that the "privacy settings" are actually harmful. You should be making everything publicly available, because why would you give facebook access to this data but not your friends? Unfortunately this is contrary to what most people think. Of course, facebook doesn't actually allow users to make all the data available, in fact it's not even available to the user himself.
There are reasons to give private entities information that you don't want shared with the world.
Today, the technology to scan everything and keep it forever is trivial, and storage is very cheap.
And you can self host your own XMPP servers or use any other peer to peer chat client like SIP.
1. AdBlock Edge (or Plus, but Edge doesn't have loopholes): https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/adblock-edge/
2. Disconnect: https://disconnect.me/disconnect
3. Ghostery: https://www.ghostery.com/en/
And I'm sure others….
The second part of your comment strikes me as a bit ridiculous though. I cant invision a scenario in which someone would attempt to narrow down a group of users, given the provided selectors, to the point at which they know their 'target'(your son in this case) is in that group, and then(based on some boolean value (such as homosexuality)), figure out which ads are being served to that user in order to discern something about the user. (In this case seeing a certain ad would allow you to discern sexual orientation).
MarkCuban's post below (marked dead now) seems relevant, despite being decidedly offensive/inflammatory.
Why would _anyone_ go through all of that trouble when logging into the account directly or passively collecting network activity would yield the same answers?
If you're going to somehow attach the ads being served to a physical human (watching your sons computer screen to see what ads show up? Monitoring his traffic to see which ads are served?) you've already broken Facebook's model.
I _strongly_ believe that advertising is the wrong way to go about yielding revenue from a webapp in terms of the value it adds to our society(not that it isn't profitable for one entity). I just think your second statement/argument is a weak one.
There's evidence of scanning private updates & comments, going back to 2012 . We could assume chat messages would be fair game in Facebook's eyes, though I haven't seen any confirmation.
Example here: http://dangillmor.com/2014/04/25/indie-web-important/
There are several rational responses, but when some other entity keeps drinking your privacy milkshake, maybe the best way to respond is to poison the well.
Make any or all of the valid profile data fake. Potentially change it once in a while to something else also false. Don't invite people you normally would friend. Definitely don't use the profile for anything important.
aboutthedata by Acxiom is headed in that direction I think - just specifically for the ads they control, I think. I interned there, but I wasn't involved with aboutthedata.
If you're really upset, then just quit FB. Otherwise, keep baa-ing with the rest of the sheeple. I quit 3 years ago when their abuses got to be too much. Amazing, I still have the same friends and enjoyable life. I suspect most people would discover the same.
I am still on GPlus since it doesn't have any noise (and going by the trend, it's not likely to replace facebook anytime soon) - only tech oriented people use it, and I am fine with it.
The way I see it is the raw information itself isn't secret/private, but Facebook is the one who busted their collective asses collecting and organizing it. Similar to how companies don't have unlimited rights to Craigslist's data, the company owns the database. Facebook can't come sue you for sharing your personal information with other people- it's still YOUR information- but their catalog is theirs to do with as they see fit.
A (probably poor) analogy is a calculator. You, oh holder of the calculator, do not own mathematics. You don't have a license on the numbers that go in, nor the numbers that come out. Numbers belong to everyone. But you do own the calculator, and it is entirely within your rights to control who uses it and how.
I don't know if this new system will be available for small shops, but the current system for narrow areas (> 50k inhabitants) doesn't seem to work properly.
That's not to say that Facebooks ads won't work in some or most cases, but there are definitivly case where they are surprisingly wrong. For me personally I don't recall ever seeing an ad on Facebook where I felt that they where targeting me directly.
It might be that the only interesting piece of info about me is that I'm male and above a certain age. I would just think that given what Facebook knows about me they would be able to target my much much better.
Currently the company that does product targeting the best seems to be Amazon, but only in the books department.
It would be interesting to collect ad statistics from a broad range of Facebook accounts to see what they do get shown, since it would speak volumes about who's actually paying them.
I am almost certain that FB would put a stop to it though, as hypocritical as it may be.
The thing is that I dont know how to increase the page fans and run successful add campaigns wothout literally spamming everyone, which is something id rather avoid. Also i would to have 500 fans which arw i terested in the products then 1000 friends who liked the page because of me, but are not interested. Anyway, i will write a blog post in future woth specific numbers:budget etc.
If you are single you end up with ads for crappy dating sites, if you are not you get ads for child care products (likely also crap, or at least overprized).
Why? Because the crappy services are the only services where it makes sense to advertise on facebook.
Do you really need to be so snarky to make your point? It makes it unpleasant for everyone else to browse comments.
Re. your point, if you want to dip your toe in the water to see if FB ads work for you, then how much do you need to spend? I think starting at < €100 is reasonable.
It's not a matter of total spend. Advertising, and marketing in general is about a lot of tests. The best way to approach it is to read a lot of material beforehand. Then map out the outcomes you want out of the advertising. Figure out what your KPIs are, set goals for those KPIs based on what you've read. Then set a daily budget according to your goals. And start running tests. After a month you can look at your results and see what worked, what didn't and you can start thinking why those things happened or what didn't happen.
The budget is something specific for every individual business. You can't really say, you need $X to get started. It is not an easy process. That's why I sometimes overreact to statements like OP's. Advertising is not something you can do in 15 minutes before bed. You need to educate yourself, be dedicated and persistent to make it work continuesly.
If you want to make it work, I suggest Neil Petel's quicksprout university for a very, very basic introduction.
That suggests a problem that is not fixed by user education, testing or throwing bigger budgets at it.
But you could imagine this being pretty massive.
I'm also curious to see what kind of results Amazon's new ad network efforts yield. Narrower scope in some regards, but they obviously have incredibly valuable data.
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A couple months ago, I was looking for a cheap hotel in San Diego on several travel websites outside of Facebook. I didn't click any FB like buttons on those websites but not much later "Hotels in San Diego" ads started appearing in my feed.
Yes, by tracking you to other sites - you know the sites you thought were not facebook.
Budget-wise, I think this will expand the pie for over all ad spend rather than suck out any air from googles ad platforms.
Chris Dixon basically describes this game plan 4 years ago, http://cdixon.org/2010/05/15/facebook-is-about-to-try-to-dom...
- Will this respect DoNotTrack?
- Will Facebook users be able to opt-out of this targetting?
- Will it respect my privacy settings when I set all my "personal" data to "Only me" or "Friends only"?
I find it quite abhorrent that a service, so personal, is now truly using that data against me whilst I'm outside of the service. I will be among the first to leave if the answer to all these questions is no.
I don't know if the "like" buttons around the web respects the DoNotTrack, but I expect no changes in Facebook's tracking behaviour.
Also article claims that Facebook isn't selling your data but aren't they really if advertisers are going to get to set a cookie for usual advertising accounting of reach and view caps? E.g. Buy campaign targeting users with qualities X,Y & Z and then set a cooking on users who saw the ads so now I know they are all X,Y & Z.
Either you just happen to see a lot of ads all over the web for bars and day trips in Thailand after you did a Facebook check-in at the airport saying you're on your way to Thailand
The ads will be similar to what you see on FB, eg your friend Jonathan likes the new diet coke, why don't you try some, john? With the ad clearly outlined as not being part of the site with a "ad delivered by Facebook" disclaimer and clear FB styling.
Facebook's Like button was really a brilliant move by Zuckerberg because it essentially gave FB a tracking page of the majority of the Internet. I don't mean this in a nefarious way: this is how display advertising works. A cookie allows the advertiser to see what sites you visit and, from your behaviour, develop a profile of your interests, likely age/gender, etc (all based on modelling).
I should also point out that before the inevitable cries about privacy, an advertiser doesn't care about you, specifically. They care about the characteristics of groups of people because that's the only way statistical modelling works anyway. If you visit some fishing sites, you as an individual may or may not be interested in fishing. Take 1000 people like you and there's a much higher chance that a member of that group is much more interested in fishing than the general population.
Anyway, I thought a couple of years ago that FB was poised to become a major player in the display advertising business. This hasn't come to pass. Not because they couldn't. They simply have chosen not to go down that path. They don't' want to risk cheapening their platform by becoming another AdSense (which is the lowest CPM you can get and is really for the very long tail).
This is one reason advertising is tricky. It's a balancing act where you're trying to cultivate premium publishers and advertisers while segmenting both (premium, remnant, long tail, etc) without cheapening the premium side, which is where you make all your money.
So you can buy an impression on the WSJ through a guaranteed reservation. This by far generates the most money for the site and is how the WSJ would like you to buy advertising. Still, they can't sell all their impressions this way so there are various sources for monetizing so-called "remnant inventory". Thing is, you don't want your premium advertisers buying impressions through those (cheaper) channels instead.
So Facebook seems to clearly be protecting its potential value. It really is potential value until it's realized.
I have a theory about this: I don't think all that data we give Facebook is actually all that valuable. What sites you visit on the Internet vs what you tell Facebook is really the difference between what you do and what you say. What you say is filtered through how you perveive yourself, how you think others perceive you and how you want them to perceive you. What you do (IMHO) is a far more genuine representation.
So time will tell. I think at this point if you see FB enter the display advertising space, it's a de facto admission of failure (meaning it hasn't met expectations) of monetizing all that data.
Disclaimer: I work on display advertising for Google.
Of course they do. They just haven't figured out how to personally market to individuals without running afoul of regulations or public sentiment. Removing those impediments is a marketing wet dream.
That is one reason why knowing your individual target is valuable beyond targeting a certain demographic - you can tailor your ad to the individual, which in theory will increase the likelihood of a sale.
There was that (in)famous NYTimes article from a few years ago about how the target supermarket was successful in finding out a teenager's pregnancy before the girl's father did, and sent her coupons for baby items (which is how the father first got wind of the likelihood of his daughter's pregnancy).
So, as the OP says, it gets murky and grey very quickly as you get into "personalised" selling.
We "live in interesting times" indeed.
And the particular case that you are now picking on could be argued as a corner case that captures both segmentation and individualisation at same time.
Anyway, the point has been made about why individualisation could be a tricky curve by me and the others. Choose whichever example(s) gives you the best rationale.
1) someone who visits fishing websites
2) an individual who purchased (verified by credit card data) $5K worth of fly fishing gear
However I would disagree with your statement that it is a de factor admission of failure of monetizing all that data. If anything, it is Facebook laying the foundations for a very powerful data asset once it gets the other pieces of the puzzle in place. Let's not forget that Google's own GDN was once the red headed step-child of the display space only a handful of years ago due to quality issues (and the Search Partner Network still suffers from quite a bit of this as covered in a recent article on Search Engine Land).
In any event, all of this data that they have, and that Google has, etc. are largely wasted because of both of their failures to leverage it to the fullest capacity and solve the issue of cross-channel attribution analysis and optimization.
Perfect example...it is 2014--why the heck can't I get view-through revenue data in the AdWords UI when using the AdWords conversion tag and/or syncing with GA? You most certainly have the data. Why should that be limited to advertisers who pay for DFA to get the exposure-to-conversion reporting capabilities?
More importantly, why has nobody tackled the truly large scale, cross-industry problem of true global frequency capping and tracking? I realize it is in part because there is little incentive to play nice with others, but that seems like a problem Google should try to solve as it would provide tremendous value in the form of a drastic reduction in wasted impressions (and thus higher-performance display campaigns). In the end, it is the users that suffer from being bombarded by ads from multiple networks/DSPs/etc. because of the few options to limit exposure across initiatives without setting up complex audience segmentation and negative lists.
Getting all of this data under one roof/GUID is only useful if there are tools to optimize against it at that scale and level of complexity. That means making data-driven attribution a priority and proving the incremental value of impressions and view-throughs. Letting advertisers view their data through multiple attribution lenses or define their own is still falling short because attribution should not be based on static values. This is a problem that Google has the chops to solve, and that the average advertiser lacks the resources, expertise, and technology for. I've been pretty disappointed in your solution thus far. This is data you should expose to the masses in an actionable manner that would dramatically help them sell Google display solutions. Admittedly I haven't had a chance to try GA Premium's data-driven attribution features, and I'm dying to know how Adometry will be incorporated into your products, but it can't come soon enough.
As it stands right now though, I still can't easily show with data that view-throughs are worth a damn--even if I did have said revenue data. Oh, and don't get me started on video display units...why has AdWords for Video still not been fully merged with the main AdWords platform? It is ridiculous that I need to use a separate platform and split my budgets/data/reporting if I want to run Trueview ads for a retargeting campaign.
Anyway, thanks for bearing the brunt of my unloading on Google's display efforts. I've been particularly frustrated with them as of late, and now that I'm client-side without the massive collective budgets I sat on top of as a senior-level individual at a top agency partner, I don't get as many opportunities to share my candid thoughts to Googlers about how to improve things. I actually live/work in Mountain View though if you or any display Googlers want to grab a drink and discuss further.
This is misleading on both abstract and practical levels.
Practically, if a company runs an ad that targets certain data points, then converts a customer based on that ad, then the company now knows that those data points apply to that customer.
Abstractly, at what point do we define ourselves as "personally identifiable" these days, and when does it stop mattering? That is, we spend a great deal of time online generating data-based profiles that become very real identities in their own right. If these identities are of a world where we spend so much time and are effectively being bought and sold, then does it matter that our street address or first name isn't included?
Anyone who has ever felt creeped out or "big-brothered" by retargeting is experiencing exactly this breach of his/her alter online identity.
It certainly effects the utility to advertising frameworks for tracking cookies but I would think that IP address tracking might be enough to track users.
 see for example the evercookie (http://samy.pl/evercookie/), which even lists the various delivery mechanisms for cross-browser persistence, about halfway down the page.
before you waste any money, watch these two videos:
I've never used Improvely so I'm not sure how deep down the cross-channel attribution rabbit hole you get with it, but social, and display in general, are far from being solved problems with regards to measuring ROI.
There are of course a few cases where ROI is indeed easily measured. Someone sees a FB ad, clicks it, and converts without any other touch-points in their path to conversion. I think we can all agree FB would get 100% attribution credit in this instance.
But the second you throw in any sort of existing brand awareness generated by other channels, or FB's contribution to said awareness for driving conversions in more last-touch inclined channels, it becomes very murky indeed.
There's a reason all of the 3rd party dynamic attribution vendors like VisualIQ, Convertro and Adometry have been bought up by the big players.
Would love to know your thoughts on solving for this problem though as it is increasingly a large one as the targeting side of the display world continues to eclipse progress of actually measuring the performance of said display efforts at a staggering rate.
It's like me saying Boeing's products are junk, because I can't assemble a spaceship.