Sharing _exact_ locations by default without realizing it is creepy/intimidating. The content of the message/the incident itself is just an anecdote that explains how the GP noticed this idiotic behavior of FB's chat.
Commenting on the anecdote derails the thread as far as I'm concerned. The subject is 'FB shares detailed location data and you might not know it', not 'one time, in band camp, I lied to a friend about my ETA'.
Ignoring that, there's no way to judge his communication with a friend. The only two people that can decide whether a lie like that is acceptable are the people involved. The friend might be offended and agree with you. Or laugh about it and ask for a beer in return, being totally fine with it. Expecting it? Who knows. And still irrelevant.
We can blame HN for being unable to hide subthreads, but for now the first 2 pages on my 25" monitor discuss if lies are acceptable or not and in what circumstances..
In India, " bus(just) 5 minute mein(in) aaya(coming) " is a way of saying I am going to reach there soon and the other end knows this means either he is far away or hasn't even started yet. His reply was a banter.
Literal translation created this whole mess! This has nothing to do with ETA.
Knowing this, the trick was either to not take specific times seriously or to give a fake meeting time (earlier than the actual one) so the person gets there on time.
If he had no set time to meet, he'd say he would be there around "native o' clock" which meant he would be there at the time +/- 30-45 minutes. If we agreed to a specific time, he would be there on time. It really helped me and I learned a lot about how Native American culture operated while we were roommates.
And I hold everyone to it. If you don't show up in the amount of time you specify I'm gone.
I'm Romanian too I just hate wasting my time. My friends learned that really quickly.
If I'd taken a 30 minute train ride to come and see you, been delayed by 10 minutes, then find you're gone when I arrive I don't think our friendship would last very long.
But people in NYC know that the late party might not have cell phone coverage. Conventions adapt, life goes on.
I always underestimate how long it will take,this does not mean I am lying, it means I am bad at guessing how long it takes me to walk/drive/sit in a train somewhere
The negative consequences fall on the person receiving the lie. It's not a courtesy. It has long-term consequences to your credibility and trustworthiness.
It is far better to tell the truth in this case.
However, this creates problem for people who actually show up on the given time. Now you have guests in the house to entertain while at the same time make preparations for the party. It also embarrassing for guest to arrive on time only to find out that they are early.
Sometimes when we really want to convey be timeliness, we say something like 5PM American Time not Desi Time. But I really wish we don't have to do this.
When we want people to be on time and don't want to assume that they will be late, we usually say a little more or give a reason (like we made reservations etc).
"Ah but the social ostracization!", seemingly the main reason why otherwise intelligent, informed people do stay on Facebook, just doesn't hold up anymore, as too many cool, socially active 20-somethings I know or are acquainted with have moved off of Facebook, mostly in last 1-2 years. Even if you're stuck in a gossipy friend group that would "severely judge you" for leaving Facebook, which is more likely in your own head than in reality, then that's probably a sign you need to find more down to earth friends.
I understand the nature of the data Facebook collects about me, and I understand what they would like to do with that data. They want to know who I am, what makes me tick, and use that knowledge to show me advertising I'm more likely to click on. They also want to draw me into their walled garden by promising me shiny things if I stay. It doesn't really work, because I see the same middle of the road content and advertising shown to my friends and family.
I also share my location on Messenger, although the friends and family I chat to might or might not be interested in where I am. I don't chat to strangers, or even "strangers". And if I'm somewhere people don't need to know about, I don't share my location. These are things we teach children about using the Net, or should be. Adults should be able to figure this out themselves.
And I explain the difference between myself and my devices to people; when Facebook tells them I'm at home, that's where my phone or tablet or desktop PC is connecting from. I might be there, I might be away, I might not even be awake.
The technology lies, and sometimes so do I.
As an intelligent individual, you must recognize that this isn't really true. You were able to communicate with your family and friends before Facebook existed. You can still communicate with them now, over other media like email, telephone, etc. You (and many others) are simply choosing to use a hostile platform to stay in touch because it is 'easier' or 'more popular' than the alternatives.
As for Facebook being a "hostile platform", that's not quite true, is it? When they park a self-driving car they bought off Google outside your house and broadcast your life to everyone you know, that's when they're hostile.
I don't have a Facebook account and have to admit that I never truly understood the benefit, the appeal. It seemed full of ads, games, random pictures and without structure - i.e. you might read about people ranting about the current soccer game (I hate that), but miss an important update from a close friend.
Plus, as soon as email isn't a suitable format to exchange information, I have the impression that the communication is either too broad (shout to the public) or trivial (one liners about nonsense). I don't get it.
I DO get the network effect though. So while I agree with you that the 'why' might be hard to grasp, I don't like the stab at people's intellect. It doesn't matter if an individual is intelligent or not - not using a service that all your peers decided on using is hard.
Your last line about being severely judged by friends especially doesn't sit well with me.
For one, people might not judge you - they just might communicate less with you, forget you at times (because you're the one person that needs a mail or a text message or whatever).
And then there's the ridiculous 'find different friends' part. Seriously…
What do you do when you want to organize a party/group trip to a concert/etc. and invite several people?
* Email and reply-all? This means you annoy people who can't make it (they keep seeing all the replies), and people who are added to the list have to be re-added several times as people reply-all to old messages and leave them out.
* Create a mailman list for this specific event and require people to unsubscribe/resubscribe? That's a lot of overhead, and the UI is awful.
* Set up a website/blog for this one event? Even more overhead.
And none of the above approaches have decent calendaring integration - you can attach a .ics to an email but it's still a very manual process.
Email. I don't tend to organize things with dozens of people on the list (for that I might be convinced that random mail threads might become cumbersome - I'm not convinced that FB is a solution!). If I want to go to a concert and discuss that with <= ten friends, mails are fine. That reply-all argument doesn't come up. If someone has to decline it's trivial for any participant to remove that address. Or he explicitly asks to be removed. Or - and that's probably the general case, that person doesn't care about a couple of emails and marks the thread as read. Done.
I don't claim that you make this issues up or that these things cannot be a nuisance for some people. I .. just don't have these problems, mails work just fine in all cases here.
I agree that a calendar is missing. I tend to use various things for that and don't have a good solution for this so far. Most of the time it's probably 'no calendar' and only a poll of sorts (think doodle or something similar).
The outcome was that some people simply aren't reliable to follow up if they're fine with the event terms or not, no matter what medium. It's not a tech problem, it's a people problem and everyone's responsible.
All Meetup groups have to be face-to-face group with the intention of physically meeting, so if you want to organize your online play-by-email board games or whatever, or other groups that don't actually intend to meet very often (e.g. class alumni groups mostly for the purpose of distributing info), you can't have either of those be a Meetup group.
But Facebook doesn't care if you do that.
allows private/hidden groups (invite only; Meetup can hide the memberlist and require approval to join but the group existence is still searchable)
free (Meetup currently charges ~$70 for 6 months; source: I'm an organizer for a Meetup group and that's our semi-annual bill. I'm not sure if the scale slides based on membership numbers. I can't find the billing email for the exact number at the moment.)
While I do like Meetup and still use it, using Facebook for small group organization also makes sense.
We have about 40-50 active and semi-active members (on Meetup), hold a fundraiser, and yet the organizers still have to chip in to make up the inevitable shortfall.
Whether or not to use Facebook (or Meetup for that matter) is something everybody gets to decide for themselves and preaching about what they should do is silly.
And that's a bad thing? If your friends get this much information out of messages you're sending them, how much does Facebook have? An individual employee at Facebook? An individual who compromises Facebook's servers? An advertiser who works with Facebook?
Agreeing with Stallman is a good way to start taking back control of what information is available out there about you - assuming that matters to you.
The point I was trying to make is that one cannot/should not single out FB as anything special here (top-level comment) and that you probably end up somewhere on the privacy/freedom scale between 'posts restroom visits on social networks and shares the movie of ones wife giving birth' and RMS.
I personally lean towards the latter position. We're in agreement here. I wasn't bashing RMS, I was using him as THE example for someone trying to avoid all this nonsense.
Edit: Judging from the downvotes, asking this question is quite unpopular. Whilst I understand this opinion is unpopular I remain unconvinced it is less intelligent.
It's easy to forget - but the information they collect can be used by the group that collects it, and by other parties (Gov't TLAs, hackers, insurance companies, banks, business associates, contractors, partner companies). This can happen now, or at some point in the future.
The data can be combined with other data, such as the National Insurance Database (which is illegal to publicly discuss), to draw conclusions about yourself - possibly based on untrue assumptions.
Master Data programs/systems/initiatives are consolidating, de-duping, and integrating data from disparate systems. It doesn't matter that you put down a fake address 100 times, you just have to put in a real address one time - these systems can collate all the data, validate each one against the USPS database, and toss the fakes.
I don't really care that the data can be collated. I don't really care about the conclusions drawn. It's not just a "oh I haven't done anything wrong, why should I care" argument, it's past that. I couldn't care less that Facebook, the US government, or some intruder knows I went to Whistler last weekend with my family, and that I took a few photos at Squamish. That data isn't really useful in any context. Similarly, I don't care if they know what events I attend, or who I'm friends with. It just doesn't bother me. Does that make me less intelligent? I would say of course not. If I was ignorant about this information, sure. But knowing the information and simply deciding it's not worth it to care about who sees these trivial bits of data about me shouldn't be called "less intelligent".
As someone else posted below, I value my social life and being able to quickly and easily interact with family and friends from around the world more than the privacy I could attain by not posting these random bits and bobs about my life.
It reflects a lack of concern for "future-you", a way of closing off certain options in life that might hurt you later.
But if that's the best argument against it, then I continue to not care about what I put on Facebook. If it comes back to bite me in the ass 20 years from now, then I can deal with it then. I'd rather not completely destroy my social life in the present for a hypothetical scenario that will probably never end up even happening.
Again, why does using Facebook make me less intelligent?
I'm not arguing that data collection is never harmful. Driving a car is potentially harmful too and indeed caused more instances of actual harm than data collection does. And yet I drive a car, in full awareness of the potential harm.
I am saying that using Facebook - in full awareness of the data collected - is not an inherently unintelligent thing to do.
Why not? Keeping up with friends and family is extremely efficient, due to FB's algorithms giving me the most relevant content. There are many great products that the FB platform has to offer and it is the reason I don't need the more trendy social networks, a la Instagram/Snapchat.
Facebook Messenger is a fantastic product and it is the main communication platform that I use on a daily basis (you can easily send photos and files). Facebook Groups makes communicating within a group a lot nicer, since you can selectively choose notifications (where you can't on a normal mailing list).
Facebook events is great for inviting people to parties, social gatherings, study groups, etc. and you can invite by group.
I value my social life, and I value being able to actually communicate with my friends.
I have made a conscious and rational decision that my social life is more valuable to me than my privacy.
You don't share everything to everybody or you end up being the sucker that gets the news late or not at all because he can never shut the fuck up.
Even if you are careful about others privacy, you can be a victim of the carelessness of others. As an example, we have friends on FB we can no longer read any news due to them friending people careless about their privacy wishes. Everything now is coded messages like "Worked better than expected. Next step tomorrow at 10", so you must have had a conversation with them outside of FB in order to know what the fuck is going on - which is the reason why we had FB in the first place.
What makes one person's personal privacy/communication breakover point better than another?
I could say that "intelligent individuals" don't project their personal views on favorable demographics, but then I would be doing the same.
No faster way to get people to agree with you than to insult their friends ;)
I use Facebook, and I consider myself very privacy conscious. How do I reconcile that? I decide what I want to share (very little) and only log in occasionally, for the odd update. It's a pragmatic view and a reasonable one. I don't feel the need to cut myself off from a convenient social resource on principle alone. I have to make decisions on what personal details I share about myself all day, every day (such as commenting here, for example)–Facebook is just another example of that.
I agree that lack of user knowledge (and, therefore, consent) with location information on messages is worrying though, and should be addressed.
Facebook groups and messages however are just so incredibly convenient and ubiquitous that you won't be able to convince entirely separate groups of people to leave and use a service you mandate - unless you are friends with solely technical people.
Could I be a member of the groups and organizations I am without being in the Facebook groups? Sure - but it would inconvenience everyone, if there's a discussion in a group, and someone tags me to get my opinion on something, I can fire back a reply. They don't have to call or email me separately.
And then people tag you in their photos. So Facebook may not strictly know your name, but any agency (of course, never in America!) who backdoors or coerces Facebook could learn everything about you.
These 20-somethings - they're also moving off of Google properties? Or is it just facebook data you're concerned about?
I don't agree with statements such as 'hard to grasp why any intelligent individual [uses it]'. If that's your opinion then great but not everyone should have the same opinion.
If one's news feed is full of gossipy rubbish and stuff they aren't interested in, then one either need to learn how to customise one's feed (easy) or get better friends. Facebook make it pretty damn easy to do the former.
Facebook is a content sharing platform and one's friends are making the content. If the content is rubbish, that says more about the people involved than it says about Facebook.
In the first case, if Alice isn't on facebook, they might make plans on facebook and someone will say "cool, I'll let Alice know". In the second case, they might make plans on facebook and nobody will think to do that. Her closer friends might - but her closer friends might not even be going, and that doesn't mean she doesn't want to go.
There is an element of inertia and of being held hostage though. Why go through the hassle of everyone changing networks of Facebook still works? And no-one can leave on their own...
So there's one reason.
Precision is not the same as accuracy. Although the reported values may have 5 decimal places of precision, I find my location is often a bit off.
In practice, accuracy will be in the 5-10m range.
It doesn't make it any less creepy though... which then begs the question of how the number of people wanting to send their location would change with how "approximate" of a location (i.e. rounding to some radius) they're sending. Nearest 100m? 500m? 10km? 100km? State? Country? Continent? ... Planet? I would probably be fine with the last one, but no more than that for anyone I don't know well.
It's either a well written FB app, or a no-permissions jail around Facebook's own hybrid-app/mobile-site. GPS no longer turns on, and messaging works for me.
Facebook's laundry list of permissions is perhaps the best example of how Android's permission system is completely broken.
If they tank their native site, well, then they won't get to harvest any more data from me.
Not to hijack a thread, but: this is is why Apple's iOS is such a compelling case. They make it so easy to control access to the location/microphone/etc. in one tab: Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services
I don't know what Google is thinking, but given the current snooping climate you think they'd err on the side of the customer... but they don't.
(It caused an exception to be thrown whenever an app tried to access something that had been locked down by the user. Legacy apps obviously couldn't catch the exception, so typically the app would just crash.)
There's also the question of whether apps will still behave gracefully when receiving dummy data. Some apps may misbehave in ways such that it's not immediately apparent that the root cause is a permissions issue.
That customer data is valuable for them, so "the more the merrier" ?
Of course, this wouldn't give facebook a detailed map of their user's movements.
Of course, this is Facebook, which has been fighting with Google for the title of "most creepy, intrusive, privacy-destroying business model". With their ethics, the answer to "what would stop them" is obviously "nothing".
There is a significant PR difference - reporting the GPS location at regular intervals is currently "just part of the regular status update", where Facebook gets to act as a passive man-in-the-middle who records those updates. If sending the location data as seen in all user visible situations is a manually-triggered event, extra code to hand that data off at regular intervals only to Facebook wouldn't be able to hide under the assumption that "it's a feature". In an ideal world, this would be criminal access to unauthorized data. In the current environment of legalized spyware, we are back to "nothing" mentioned previously.
(The terrible granularity in the permission models in these environments is a huge problem. As it affects far more than just location data, that is a topic for another day)
Honestly, and maybe I'm in the minority, showing that information readily to my friends is MORE of a red flag than if Facebook solely had that data. Because let's be honest... they already have that data from my usage on the FB app (albeit at a lower frequency).
A lot of these things are questions I routinely get/ask in things like messenger. People with location on usually help us to coordinate things and the like.
This solution probably isn't particularly novel, but it's probably better than carte blanche location access, in the opinion of most people.
My wife and I use this service and find it quite useful - it seems like a much more sane way to handle location sharing than to simply attach your exact location to every message you send by default.
Sadly, since it's buried in Google+, most people are probably unaware of it.
I can understand the divisiveness, but I can also imagine people working on messenger (who probably use it a lot more than you or I) being on this, and genuinely believing it leads to a better user experience for most people (see read receipts).
According to the article, this feature is also enabled for group chats, where you converse with people who are not even your FB friends.
people working on messenger
I happen to be working on a mobile messenger , and I can see the benefit of transmitting user location. Still, I would never implement it as an on-by-default feature on all outgoing messages. Sending a location should always be an explicit action performed by the user, for battery preservation reasons as much as because of the privacy.
If the FB developers think that's generally true, I'd say they are pretty incompetent. Even my parents, with just a couple dozen friends, have FB friends they have never met, let alone my teenage brother and his friends, who have hundreds of FB friends each.
This is usually not a problem, since they don't post sensitive information on their timeline, only in the chat to specific people.
Even when people are incredibly careful people do unwittingly post things that allow others to identify them. They may not reveal much in any individual post but when you combine a few together its a problem.
1 prime example is a friend who posted an invite to a house warming party then a week later posted from their holiday abroad...
You think you are in a relationship with facebook, but facebook is secretly also in a relationship with all kinds of three letter agencies, state actors and advertisers - and tells them everything you told facebook.
Facebook only knows what you are telling it, maybe don't announce your next bank robbery on your status update and you'll be alright
Right, because only criminals have something to hide. Maybe it's my generation, but I don't automatically trust Facebook (or the government for that matter, hello IRS) with the safety and security of my personal information. There are plenty of bad actors out there who can take my perfectly innocent movements and information and either ruin my life for the hell of it, or steal my identity and profit from it.
If that means you don't want to give Facebook anything at all, you're allowed to do that too. Don't register an account, block their domains with your hosts file, block their networks with your firewall.
Plus Facebook can very trivially figure out where you work without you telling them. Let's say a colleague lists they work at Initech. They then create a group called "co-workers" and add you to it. Now Facebook can do some very simple datamining and figure out you work at Initech. You betcha they do that.
Even if you don't have an account and browse the web like RMS, you still probably have a shadow profile unless you have no friends. If a friend gives the Facebook app permission to view it's phonebook (typical) and you are in it now Facebook knows and stores everything about you that's in your friend's phonebook - name, email, phone number, possibly home address, etc. This is one way it creates shadow profiles.
Facebook has face recognition software - need I say how much they can gather about you if your friends post pictures of you online?
Also, they know everything your friends say about you (your pictures, which they feed into their face rec engine to find you even if you weren't tagged; and the exif data in those pictures often gives location data ...). And they have a shadow profile of you even if you never created a profile yourself.
Oh, and they have a copy of your phone contacts if you use the FB app or the whatsapp app.
All of this is documented by Facebook.
Facebook knows a lot more about you than what you are explicitly telling it.
You're acting like most people care about permissions. 99% of users just click through everything.
The actual accuracy of the measurement is given by the dilution of position (DOP), which does not appear to be in the data shown in the blog post.
This would undermine their ability to pin-point their location to within a meter, as the DOP could be very high; especially in areas with lots of tall buildings or other problematic environments.
From the comparisons, it looks like the author's GPS is getting a very low DOP (i.e. a good, clean signal from a constellation of >= 5 GPS satellites).
Either way -- still glad I don't use FaceBook, and an interesting find!
"I've been a big Facebook supporter - one of the first users in my social group who championed what a great way it was to stay in touch, way back in 2006. I got my mum and brothers on it, and around 20 other people. I've even taught Facebook marketing in one of the UK's biggest tech education projects, Digital Business Academy. I'm a techie and a marketer -- so I can see the implications -- and until now, they hadn't worried me. I've been pretty dismissive towards people who hesitate with privacy concerns.
With this latest privacy change on January 30th, I'm scared."
It seems to be taking the radical conservative viewpoint of Thiel as granted, while those are at best part of his viewpoint. Also Thiel is supposed to be part of the board of a radical group, but the text was hard to hear (Vanguard VAC) is what I could come up with), while I could find no such connection on the internet.
In-Q-Tel itself has a lot of controversy, but again, controversy doesn't imply any truth. There have been In-Q-Tel companies that have worked perfectly fine and we don't see as anything bad, for example Keyhole.
The channel itself also doesn't breathe neutrality to me, though that doesn't mean I'd take their claims for not true, it does indicate some more research from them would have been nice. It seems to be more based on loose connections instead of proven active collaborations.