Facebook says they’ll stop abusing your privacy [a little bit]

” Facebook Inc will no longer feed user phone numbers provided to it for two-factor authentication into its “people you may know” feature, as part of a wide-ranging overhaul of its privacy practices, the company told Reuters.

” Revelations last year that Facebook was using personal data obtained for two-factor authentication to serve advertisements enraged privacy advocates, who called the practice deceptive and said it eroded trust in an essential digital security tool…

” Facebook initiated the updates in connection with its $5 billion settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which required it to boost safeguards on user data to resolve a government probe into its privacy practices.

The FTC order, which is still pending approval in court, said Facebook failed to disclose that the phone numbers provided for two-factor authentication also would be used for advertising, and specifically barred that approach to security tools.

If a thief has to change style, methods, to stay out of jail – while continuing to steal – of course, he will exert the effort.

Facebook to ban two white nationalist groups


Megan Jelinger/Anadolu Agency

❝ Facebook will no longer allow Red Ice TV and Affirmative Right to use its platform, following a Guardian report on the continued presence of prominent white nationalist organizations on the site eight months after a promised ban.

A Facebook spokesperson said on Tuesday that the company has now determined that Red Ice TV and Affirmative Right violate its policy against “organized hate”. The ban will include the pages of the Red Ice TV hosts Lana Lokteff and Henrik Palmgren, as well as their internet radio show, Radio3Fourteen…

❝ YouTube banned Red Ice in October for repeated violations of its ban on hate speech.

❝ Facebook has for years failed to proactively police its site for hate groups and white supremacists, despite a longstanding ban on “hate”. As white nationalist terrorist attacks rose around the world, the company maintained a policy distinction between white supremacism and white nationalism until March of this year, when it finally agreed to ban white nationalist content. The company still allows Holocaust denial content, though it says that it works to prevent such content from spreading…

What? Did you think foot-dragging was wholly-owned by the Republican Party. The only part that surprises me is these dilettantes of democracy believe folks angry over backdoor support for bigots will simply forget about them after a while.

Facebook Making Millions Off Gun Permit Scam

❝ One of Facebook’s biggest political advertisers is running an elaborate scheme to trick people into believing that a legal “loophole” allows them to qualify for and purchase concealed-carry permits online. The multimillion-dollar ad operation actually sells handgun safety certificates rather than legitimate permits, and urges people to buy them right away before Democrats intervene.

❝ But the scam goes far beyond false advertising

Of 50 ads launched in October, more than one-in-three contain links enabling people to bypass either critical caveats (including the fact that the certificate is not a permit), the safety training that’s required by law, or both. Nearly one-in-five of the ads — which have been viewed millions of times — feature a shareable link that takes people directly from Facebook to a checkout page with the message, “Congratulations! You PASSED!” where they’re told to fill in their billing information in 15 minutes or less to get their certificates…

❝ At the very bottom, there are also a few small, grey-on-grey lines stating that the certificate is “not a license or permit to carry a concealed weapon in any state.”

Truth in advertising, eh?

Facebook Fail over illicit gun sales

Facebook launched its Marketplace feature four years ago, allowing its more than two billion users to buy and sell almost any secondhand item by clicking a button on their home page. The private sale of many items, including guns, is specifically forbidden by Facebook rules.

But sellers are getting around that with a simple trick: They list gun cases or boxes at inflated prices. Those postings have become code for the real thing, while in many instances evading Facebook efforts to screen postings for banned items. Sellers, via private messages, describe the more valuable content, the gun itself, with would-be buyers and hash out a deal…

A spokeswoman for Facebook said the social-media giant takes immediate action against individuals caught selling guns on the Marketplace platform and removes violating content, but didn’t discuss specifics. She didn’t comment specifically on the gun-case tactic.

As noted previously, I grew up in New England when it was the Arsenal of America. My father and every one of his 7 brothers and sisters – and his father – worked in the firearms industry during some part of their working life. I grew up with what were sensible rules about firearms pre-NRA nutballism. I’m still a gun owner. This crap would have been prosecuted BITD.

Employers Used Facebook to Keep Women and Older Workers From Seeing Job Adverts


DO NO HARM, EH?

❝ Two years ago, ProPublica and The New York Times revealed that companies were posting discriminatory job ads on Facebook, using the social network’s targeting tools to keep older workers from seeing employment opportunities. Then we reported companies were using Facebook to exclude women from seeing job ads.

Experts told us that it was most likely illegal. And it turns out the federal government now agrees.

❝ A group of recent rulings by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found “reasonable cause” to conclude that seven employers violated civil rights protections by excluding women or older workers or both from seeing job ads they posted on Facebook.

The agency’s rulings appear to be the first time it has taken on targeted advertising, the core of Facebook’s business…

I stopped being surprised by crap like this from social media long, long ago.

Facebook wants to manage your wifi network for you

❝ Back in 2017, Facebook rolled out the “Find Wi-Fi” feature globally, a feature that lists the nearby Wi-Fi networks that Page owners shared with Facebook. Two years later, Facebook is working to expand this feature from being a list of nearby Wi-Fi networks to a service that manages the Wi-Fi connections on the device.

❝ Facebook needs more geolocation data to hyper-target advertising and information — but mostly advertising — and know even more personal information about you. Of course, it can also learn what services you use and when you use them with this connection manager. They have learned well from their big brother, Google. Sigh!

Which is why I have such a negative attitude towards Facebook and Google. They are exclusively profit-driven creatures. Loyal only to the ethos, motivations of 19th Century capitalism. Given the profit structure of high tech, it’s unneeded. Apple [and others] have proven that.

Facebook discovers Washington, DC – not the other way round


Feliciotti

From Om Malik’s April 28th weekly newsletter

❝ Bloomberg Technology host Emily Chang asked me where I think Facebook will be in a year. My answer: Pretty much where it is now. It will be unchanged or even emboldened, thanks in part to its new strategy of buying protection in Washington. Like many other industries — for example, tobacco and oil — Facebook has figured out that it can help write regulations that will allow it to exist blissfully and put its competitors at a disadvantage.

To tame Washington, you must have the right people. So, the company has begun hiring individuals that will help achieve this goal. These are seemingly innocuous moves in what is a long game…

❝ Neither advertisers nor Wall Street — the two constituents that matter more to the company than the people — don’t seem to care about the regulations and the stream of outrage news. Macquarie Research analyst Ben Schachter put it best when, in a note to his clients he pointed out that, if you “take away all the headlines, the controversies, the regulations, and what you are left with” is a company with lots of users on its platforms that “advertisers will pay to reach.”

The operative verb being “PAY”. Advertisers paying Facebook. Facebook paying lobbyists. Facebook paying new hires with experience at balancing the whole quasi-payola mechanism.

Facebook busted for bigoted adverts

❝ The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said it’s charging Facebook Inc. with allegedly violating the Fair Housing Act by restricting who can view housing-related ads.

❝ “Facebook is discriminating against people based upon who they are and where they live,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said. “Using a computer to limit a person’s housing choices can be just as discriminatory as slamming a door in someone’s face.”

The social network allowed those advertising housing to exclude people it classified as parents; non-American-born; non-Christian; interested in accessibility and Hispanic culture; as well as other group’s deemed protected classes, according to HUD.

Facebook responded by saying, “Gee-whiz. We’re trying to reduce the bigotry in our ads. We’re just too busy counting our money to catch up with stuff like that.”

OK. That really isn’t what they said; but, it might as well be. Self-pitying whining about cost and time constraints from a company that rolls in money faster than they can stack it into boxcars ain’t cutting much ice with the few honorable folks remaining in federal government.