The creepiness that is Facebook

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Re: The creepiness that is Facebook

Postby DrEvil » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:34 pm

Karmamatterz » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:04 am wrote:
couple of weeks ago, my co-worker and I went to get coffee. We each had our phones and were discussing a particular appliance; I mentioned a particular store I had seen an ad in that day's newspaper (dead tree edition). When we got back to our desks, she navigated to a news site and got an ad for that particular appliance; I opened Instagram and there was an ad for the store I had mentioned. Someone was listening.


Nah, much more likely it was cookies or location based ego-fencing advertising. For example, with retargetig ads are delivered to a potential shopper if they visited a website that sells appliances. Does not have to be the actual store website the ad came from, but could be their competitors they target.


A bit late, but I have to agree with this. First of all because even the fuckheads at Facebook have to realize that getting caught doing this would be a huge scandal and most likely very illegal (not Zuckerberg, he's a flaming asshole who would happily do this if he thought he could get away with it, but his lawyers), and secondly because it should be pretty easy for any security professional to check if it's actually true. We would have seen the shocking revelations by now if that was the case.

What I do not doubt for a second is that they probably know more about you than you know about yourself, and the things they can infer from other things you post and do online is pretty amazing and probably the origin of these stories.

For the example above, it could just as easily have been one or both of the people doing some kind of activity at home that often requires that particular appliance. They searched online for other things to do with that activity and the algorithm figured out that that specific appliance would be a good fit (If you search for "how to fix my sink" it will know you need a specific type of tool for instance) and served up ads for the product and the local hardware store that had just advertised that product.
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Re: The creepiness that is Facebook

Postby Karmamatterz » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:38 pm

If you're a bit tech savvy and want to take a stab at it fire up an app called Charles. It will take some work but you can pinpoint specific network calls and what protocols are being used.

https://codewithchris.com/tutorial-usin ... debugging/

I'm not totally discounting that listening in via apps is happening, just need some proof. I found it disturbing that when at a school fundraiser recently we noticed Paypal was asking for the microphone to be activated so we could take credit card payment using the IOS swipe app.
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Re: The creepiness that is Facebook

Postby DrEvil » Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:59 am

^^I wouldn't be terribly shocked if it turned out they were listening after all, and in many cases they are listening, but for specific things like background music or TV shows/ads, and only at specific times, like for x seconds after you start typing a message, and then only if you gave the app permission to do it.

At least according to them, but then Facebook has been caught lying before, so it's not like you should trust anything they say. They're the Uber of social media.

One unrelated thing: If you have the Facebook app on your phone, uninstall it. Log in via the browser instead, it should increase your battery life significantly.
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Re: The creepiness that is Facebook

Postby mentalgongfu2 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:36 pm

I have had personal experiences that lead me to believe they are listening, based on things I discussed out loud with friends but have never searched for, which appeared in ads on my FB account hours later. It's anecdotal, and not "proof" by any means, but it was enough to convince me.
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Re: The creepiness that is Facebook

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:46 pm

so I am not on Facebook but someone that visits my house is.....I have noticed ads that I get on my computer are coming from web searches done by my guest on their computer.....is that a coincidence or how does that happen
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Re: The creepiness that is Facebook

Postby mentalgongfu2 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:54 pm

seemslikeadream » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:46 am wrote:so I am not on Facebook but someone that visits my house is.....I have noticed ads that I get on my computer are coming from web searches done by my guest on their computer.....is that a coincidence or how does that happen


Do they use your wi-fi? If so, then I would bet it's based on the IP address.
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Re: The creepiness that is Facebook

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:35 pm

thanks

ok that was my uneducated guess...can Facebook or any other website owner I visit tell who I actually am by the IP or are they just putting adds through the wifi?

I just looked up the answer ....so the answer is no?
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Re: The creepiness that is Facebook

Postby Karmamatterz » Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:16 pm

Facebook knows who you are if you're a user and have provided them with you're real name. Targeting of ads to a real person is supposed to be a big no no. Ad servers are only supposed to be able to target the attributes and behaviors you've "shared" online. Much of the time a real name is not necessary as all the other info is given away by people to Google, Facebook etc...without a care in the world.

Trying to target ads to identified users will get publishers in hot water with the the Federal Trade Commish and Google will ban you from using their systems.
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Re: The creepiness that is Facebook

Postby DrEvil » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:45 pm

^^Facebook probably knows who you are even if you don't have an account. People might have uploaded photos of you and tagged your name in them, or mentioned you in posts they wrote. I'm still waiting on their facial recognition getting someone killed because their violent ex found them through it.

seemslikeadream wrote:
thanks

ok that was my uneducated guess...can Facebook or any other website owner I visit tell who I actually am by the IP or are they just putting adds through the wifi?

I just looked up the answer ....so the answer is no?


They can't tell who you are by your IP, but they can tell your general geographic area, and even from that they can learn "useful" things like probable socioeconomic status, where your kids most likely go to school etc.

The ads are probably from your guests using your wifi.

I would strongly advice everyone to use an adblocker or five (adblock plus is shit, uBlock is good). Ads are one of the biggest vectors for malware right now. Even ads playing before youtube videos aren't safe anymore, they've just been caught mining crypto-currencies on people's computers. Ads aren't just pictures and annoying videos anymore, but practically pieces of software in themselves, running all kinds of dodgy code on your computer.

Even if you trust the website you're visiting, do you trust the company delivering their ads, and do you trust the company supplying those ads to the ad delivery company?

There's scammers setting up legitimate ad companies with all their paperwork in order, Linkedin profiles for their CEOs and professional looking websites, just so they can insinuate themselves into Google and Facebook's trust and start delivering ads on their networks, and once they're in, BAM! you're screwed. When they get caught they just switch to the next company they've already set up and do it all over again.

I would be happy to support websites I like by not blocking their ads, but in the current situation, no fucking way.

Fun fact: there's already been at least one case of two pieces of malware "breeding" (one infecting the other) and turning into new malware with new capabilities with no humans involved in the process, and that was years ago.
I can't wait for the malware authors to get into machine learning (probably built with code libraries open sourced by Google and Facebook).
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Re: The creepiness that is Facebook

Postby 82_28 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:21 am

Screenshot-2018-1-30 Security Checkup.png
Screenshot-2018-1-30 Security Checkup.png (39.77 KiB) Viewed 562 times
I'll put this elsewhere sometime. However. Gmail, google just gave me this heads up! My phone has a fingerprint sensor on it and it wants me to "activate" that shit. Of course I won't. But I did just get this email prodding me to submit my fingerprint on a little ol' device I got.
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Re: The creepiness that is Facebook

Postby DrEvil » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:01 pm

I've already given up on protecting my prints. My government and the US government (and probably the Russians and Chinese too) already have them, so giving them to Apple or Lenovo won't make much difference. And it is really convenient on my iPad. Just touch the on button and I'm magically logged in.

Security-wise they're not exactly fool-proof. Researchers have already reconstructed someone's prints from public photos and successfully used them, and it's easier for fascists law enforcement to hold your thumb still for two seconds than it is to beat the password out of you.
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Re: The creepiness that is Facebook

Postby Harvey » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:02 pm

DrEvil » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:01 am wrote:given up on protecting my prints...so giving them to Apple or Lenovo...really convenient...magically logged in...easier for fascists law enforcement to hold your thumb still for two seconds than it is to beat the password out of you.


Easier not to have the phone?
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Re: The creepiness that is Facebook

Postby 82_28 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:15 am

“This Is Serious”: Facebook Begins Its Downward Spiral

Facebook was always famous for the sign that hung in its offices, written in big red type on a white background, that said “Move Fast and Break Things.” Every time I think about the company, I realize it has done just that—to itself.

Years ago, long before Mark Zuckerberg became Mark Zuckerberg, the young founder reached out to a friend of mine who had also started a company, albeit a considerably smaller one, in the social-media space, and suggested they get together. As Facebook has grown into a global colossus that connects about a third of the globe, Zuckerberg has subsequently assumed a reputation as an aloof megalomaniac deeply out of touch with the people who use his product. But back then, when he only had 100 million users on his platform, he wasn’t perceived that way. When he reached out to my friend, Zuckerberg was solicitous. He made overtures that suggested a possible acquisition—and once rebuffed, returned with the notion that perhaps Facebook could at least partner with my friend’s company. The chief of the little start-up was excited by the seemingly harmless, even humble, proposition from the growing hegemon. Zuckerberg suggested that the two guys take a walk.

Taking a walk, it should be noted, was Zuckerberg’s thing. He regularly took potential recruits and acquisition targets on long walks in the nearby woods to try to convince them to join his company. After the walk with my friend, Zuckerberg appeared to take the relationship to the next level. He initiated a series of conference calls with his underlings in Facebook’s product group. My friend’s small start-up shared their product road map with Facebook’s business-development team. It all seemed very collegial, and really exciting. And then, after some weeks passed, the C.E.O. of the little start-up saw the news break that Facebook had just launched a new product that competed with his own.

Stories about Facebook’s ruthlessness are legend in Silicon Valley, New York, and Hollywood. The company has behaved as bullies often do when they are vying for global dominance—slurping the lifeblood out of its competitors (as it did most recently with Snap, after C.E.O. Evan Spiegel also rebuffed Zuckerberg’s acquisition attempt), blatantly copying key features (as it did with Snapchat’s Stories), taking ideas (remember those Winklevoss twins?), and poaching senior executives (Facebook is crawling with former Twitter, Google, and Apple personnel). Zuckerberg may look aloof, but there are stories of him giving rousing Braveheart-esque speeches to employees, sometimes in Latin. Twitter, Snap, and Foursquare have all been marooned, at various points, because of Facebook’s implacable desire to grow. Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus VR, and dozens of others are breathing life because they assented to Facebook’s acquisition desires. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg moved quickly to circumnavigate regulations before governments realized the problems that Facebook created—and certainly before they understood exactly how dangerous a social network can be to their citizens’ privacy, and to a democracy as a whole.

From a business standpoint, Facebook’s barbarism seemed to work out well for the company. The social network is worth over half-a-trillion dollars, and Zuckerberg himself is worth some $76 billion. Facebook has some of the smartest engineers and executives in the entire industry. But the fallout from that success has also become increasingly obvious, especially since the 2016 election, which prompted a year of public relations battles over the company’s most fundamental problems. And now, as we enter 2018, Zuckerberg is finally owning up to it: Facebook is in real trouble.

During the past six months alone, countless executives who once worked for the company are publicly articulating the perils of social media on both their families and democracy. Chamath Palihapitiya, an early executive, said social networks “are destroying how society works”; Sean Parker, its founding president, said “God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.” (Just this weekend, Tim Cook, the C.E.O. of Apple, said he won’t let his nephew on social media.) Over the past year, people I have spoken to internally at the company have voiced concerns for what Facebook is doing (or most recently, has done) to society. Many begin the conversation by rattling off a long list of great things that Facebook inarguably does for the world—bring people and communities together, help people organize around like-minded positive events—but, as if in slow motion, those same people recount the negatives. Unable to hide from the reality of what social media has wrought, Facebook has been left with no choice but to engage with people and the media to explore if it is possible to fix these problems. Zuckerberg determined that his 2018 annual challenge would be fixing his own Web site, noting that “the world feels anxious and divided,” and that Facebook might—just maybe—be contributing to that. “My personal challenge for 2018 is to focus on fixing these important issues,” he wrote. Now, the company has said it’s going to change the focus of the site to be less about news and more about human connections.

The question, of course, revolves around this underlying motivation. Is Zuckerberg saying this because he really does worry what the world might look like tomorrow if we continue headed in the direction we’re going? Is Facebook eliminating news from its site because it realizes that spotting “fake news” is too difficult to solve—even for Facebook? Or, as some people have posited to me, is Facebook rethinking the divide it has created in order to keep growing? After all, much of Zuckerberg’s remaining growth opportunity centers upon China, and the People’s Republic won’t let any product (digital or otherwise) enter its borders if there’s a chance it could disrupt the government’s control. Why would the Chinese Politburo open its doors to a force that could conspire in its own Trumpification or Brexit or similar populist unrest?

There’s another theory floating around as to why Facebook cares so much about the way it’s impacting the world, and it’s one that I happen to agree with. When Zuckerberg looks into his big-data crystal ball, he can see a troublesome trend occurring. A few years ago, for example, there wasn’t a single person I knew who didn’t have Facebook on their smartphone. These days, it’s the opposite. This is largely anecdotal, but almost everyone I know has deleted at least one social app from their devices. And Facebook is almost always the first to go. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other sneaky privacy-piercing applications are being removed by people who simply feel icky about what these platforms are doing to them, and to society.

Some people are terrified that these services are listening in to their private conversations. (The company’s anti-privacy tentacles go so far as to track the dust on your phone to see who you might be spending time with.) Others are sick of getting into an argument with a long-lost cousin, or that guy from high school who still works in the same coffee shop, over something that Trump said, or a “news” article that is full of more bias and false facts. And then there’s the main reason I think people are abandoning these platforms: Facebook knows us better than we know ourselves, with its algorithms that can predict if we’re going to cheat on our spouse, start looking for a new job, or buy a new water bottle on Amazon in a few weeks. It knows how to send us the exact right number of pop-ups to get our endorphins going, or not show us how many Likes we really have to set off our insecurities. As a society, we feel like we’re at war with a computer algorithm, and the only winning move is not to play.

There was a time when Facebook made us feel good about using the service—I used to love it. It was fun to connect with old friends, share pictures of your vacation with everyone, or show off a video of your nephew being extra-specially cute. But, over time, Facebook has had to make Wall Street happy, and the only way to feed that beast is to accumulate more, more, more: more clicks, more time spent on the site, more Likes, more people, more connections, more hyper-personalized ads. All of which adds up to more money. But as one recent mea culpa by an early Internet guru aptly noted, “What if we were never meant to be a global species?”

If Facebook doesn’t solve these problems, and I’m not sure If it actually can, the outcomes could be devastating for the company. As Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School and former senior adviser to the Federal Trade Commission, told me recently, Facebook is in real potential trouble of running into regulatory hazards, either at home or abroad. Whether it’s over hate speech or privacy protections, governments all around the world are exploring how to stop social sites, specifically Facebook, from enabling more harm to spread through society. Wu predicts that if the U.S. government turns its sights on Facebook, it could quiet easily break it up, where Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Facebook are run by four different people. Scott Galloway, professor of marketing at N.Y.U. Stern School of Business, echoed this sentiment in a separate interview with me last year, where he predicted that out of the five big tech companies (Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook), Facebook is the most at risk of seeing a legal hammer come crashing down on its platform. “This is serious. Either it’s this government, or the European government, but this is going to get real,” Galloway told me.

It’s impossible to predict where Facebook and other social sites will be in five years. Will they be largely extinct? Will they be more akin to Netflix, or like TV channels we can group-comment on? Will they have fixed their problems and be thriving? Just a couple years ago, most people believed Twitter was dead on arrival, and then Donald Trump came along and made it his 24-hour mouthpiece. Facebook could go in this direction, saved by its foray into scripted content, or the mass adoption of virtual reality. Or, it could be split up into half-a-dozen pieces.

But one thing is certain. For years, Zuckerberg and Facebook have tromped through the technology landscape and demolished everything that stood in the way. This was done without any reprisal, without any consequence. In fact, each time the company destroyed a competitor, or found a way around traditional regulatory concerns, the valuation of Facebook would go up. But now, it seems that all of those actions are coming back to haunt the company, and social media as a whole. Facebook was always famous for the sign that hung in its offices, written in big red type on a white background, that said “Move Fast and Break Things.” And every time I think about the company, I realize it has done just that—to itself. But I think that Zuckerberg, and the people who work at Facebook, also realize that the things they have broken are things that are going to be very difficult to put back together.


https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/01 ... ard-spiral

As for myself, I have a "fake" account and offer nothing more about my identity other than who I totally trust "irl" (or quite a number of RI people!) -- I offer no personal information of mine and I never do it about anyone I know ever. I would never put a real pic of me on it and nor would I of another person. My profile photo is from my dad's like 1965 year book (just some random guy he didn't know and I thought it was a rad photo. He has a crazy mustache wearing dark aviators and is surrounded by a lot of other people some 50+ years ago so I figured I wasn't post doxxing him). I am waaaay late to the "party" (I started my account like 1.5 years ago) but FB has become "invaluable" to keep up with these "trends" because of the feeds that I get. I actually have wound up checking CNN a lot just to corroborate if something is "true" when various idiots I "follow" make something trend, sometimes with just a few comments. There is very little that is edifying other than those I know from here who continue on, a few real life peeps who I know their updates won't depress the fuck out of me and I only re-post shit other people have posted that I cannot disagree with. FB is so fucking lame and it seems everyone hates it. But it does "seem" to work as long as you only use it as an outpost/clearinghouse and keep rules of personal nature to you strict. It can definitely become a depression pit. There are a few people that I will not even look up at all because I know it will make me obsess on what went wrong. . .
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Re: The creepiness that is Facebook

Postby DrEvil » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:03 pm

Harvey » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:02 am wrote:
DrEvil » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:01 am wrote:given up on protecting my prints...so giving them to Apple or Lenovo...really convenient...magically logged in...easier for fascists law enforcement to hold your thumb still for two seconds than it is to beat the password out of you.


Easier not to have the phone?


I actually haven't had one for the last two years. I finally got a new one for christmas, because apparently everyone has to have one. It had enough charge out of the box for me to do the basic setup and since then it's been a dead brick of silicon on my couch. I might charge it some day. And get a sim card. Stranger things have happened.

Even if I could be bothered to get it up and running I won't be taking it with me if I'm traveling abroad, so border fascists aren't an issue.
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Re: The creepiness that is Facebook

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:52 pm

Facebook faces big challenge to prevent future U.S. election meddling

David Ingram
SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Russian influence operation designed to tamper with the 2016 U.S. presidential election used a combination of old-school espionage tactics and 21st-century technologies that will not be easy to stop, even now that the methods have been exposed, experts said.

Social media companies, especially Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc, have been under heavy pressure to find ways of stopping what is often referred to as “information warfare” on their services.

The indictment of 13 Russian nationals on Friday, announced by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, made extensive use of records from Facebook and Instagram, according to people familiar with the matter.

Yet the combination of tactics revealed in the indictment, including the use of shell corporations and stolen IDs, deployment of virtual private networks to avoid online detection, and payments to unwitting Americans, suggests even a company as powerful as Facebook could struggle to stop such activities by itself as they happen.

U.S. spy agencies have said Russia would try to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections, again by using social media to spread propaganda.

“They can’t out of hand stop it, because it’s very difficult for them to trace those things,” said Ann Ravel, a former member of the U.S. Federal Election Commission. The clandestine purchase of advertising on the site through fake personas was particularly alarming, she said.

To know the identities of ad buyers, internet companies might need to duplicate the “know your customer” practices of banks and regularly share information with authorities, Ravel said.

Facebook has said it will start requiring thorough documentation from election-related advertisers to verify their identity and location, beginning with U.S. elections this year.

How extensive that vetting will be is unclear. “If you want to put up a theme page for a group, in the ordinary course you wouldn’t expect that a vendor like Facebook would require that sort of vetting,” said Dan Petalas, a former U.S. federal prosecutor.

“The indictment really details an elaborate scheme that would be difficult to identify,” he said.

Facebook said on Friday it was making “significant investments” to guard against future attacks and was working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to deter election interference.

The Russians’ alleged campaign began with three weeks of reconnaissance in 2014, when two of them traveled to nine U.S. states, including Colorado and Michigan, according to the indictment. They were equipped with cameras, SIM cards, drop phones and, if needed, “evacuation scenarios,” the indictment says.

It describes the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg as an organized bureaucracy. It was backed by an annual budget of millions of dollars, employed hundreds of people and boasted several departments dedicated to specific projects, like search-engine optimization and graphics.

Even those who have demanded Facebook do more acknowledged on Friday it could do only so much.

“We each bear some responsibility for exercising good judgment and a healthy amount of skepticism when it comes to the things we read and share on social media,” Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement.

The defendants are accused of stealing social security numbers of Americans to open up fraudulent accounts on digital payment system PayPal Holdings Inc. They purchased space on computer servers located within the United States to use virtual private networks to mask their identities and pose as Americans.

Facebook could go further in monitoring its platform and adopt the process cryptocurrency firms use to verify bitcoin traders, said Jordan Lieberman, president of ad firm Audience Partners. But if Facebook raises the bar much higher, “It’s going to interrupt revenue flows and it’s absolutely going to cost them money.”

Reporting by David Ingram in San Francisco and Dustin Volz in Washington; Editing by Jonathan Weber and Lisa Shumaker
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... SKCN1G102D
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