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  • Geebo 9:00 am on July 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Crimson Hexagon, data breach, , ,   

    Facebook is facing yet another privacy problem 

    Facebook is facing yet another privacy problem

    Once again Facebook finds itself embroiled in controversy over the possible abuse of user data. If you’ll recall, Facebook was admonished by both the US and UK governments when it was discovered that analytics firm Cambridge Analytica had improperly obtained the personal data of 87 million Facebook users. Now, Facebook has suspended a research firm from accessing its data over surveillance concerns.

    Over the weekend, Facebook suspended its contract with research and marketing firm Crimson Hexagon. This was in response to a Wall Street Journal article that claims Crimson Hexagon has contracts with entities that have ties to US and Russian government agencies. Facebook has suspended Crimson Hexagon’s access to user data over fears that the data is being used to conduct government surveillance on Facebook users. Crimson Hexagon denies this claim and says they only get their information from public Facebook posts. However, it is a bit disconcerting that Crimson Hexagon has over 1 trillion of these posts in their databases.

    Besides the fact that this may be another case of Facebook being unable to keep track of who has its data, there’s another concern here. Facebook is only reacting to these potential breaches only after its brought to their attention by the media. By the time Facebook becomes aware of the problem, the data is already in questionable hands. Is Facebook not properly vetting these data collectors, or does Facebook just not really care about our privacy as long as they’re being paid for our information? Then again, the Cambridge Analytica scandal didn’t seem to hurt Facebook so it’s unlikely this latest kerfuffle will either. What will it really take before the American public realizes that Facebook’s only interest is in itself?

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on July 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , data breach, ,   

    Facebook facing fine from UK government 

    Facebook facing fine from UK government

    Yesterday, it was announced that the British government plans on fining Facebook for their role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office claims Facebook failed to ensure another company had deleted users’ data. Because of this, the ICO is looking to fine Facebook the maximum amount allowed by British law. While that may sound impressive, the actual amount is paltry compared to Facebook’s net worth.

    The ICO is planning on levying a fine of £500,000 against the social media juggernaut. That equates to around $663,000 in US figures. If this fine is imposed it will no doubt have little to no impact on Facebook since the house that Mark built probably makes this amount in less than a minute. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg could probably pay this fine just from the change cup in his Acura.

    Fines probably mean nothing to Facebook. Even if they were to be fined $1 billion, they could recoup that loss in a matter of days. Facebook won’t enact any real change until governments start threatening to regulate. It doesn’t even have to be the US government as the EU famously got both Microsoft and Google to curtail some of their more questionable business practices. Until then, Facebook will shake off any fine like so many fleas from a dog.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on June 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: data breach, ,   

    Facebook can’t keep track of where your data went 

    Facebook can't keep track of where your data went

    You’ll have to forgive us for constantly railing on Facebook for its sieve-like tendencies when it comes to its users’ personal data. I can’t speak for everyone at Geebo, but I come from a time on the internet when you didn’t share a bunch of personal information online. Then almost overnight with the advent of social media, we started sharing almost every intimate detail of our personal lives. Even if you post the most innocuous statuses on Facebook, the social media giant can determine so many things about you as this video demonstrates.

    According to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, Facebook has so much of our data that they can’t keep track of it all. We’re all familiar with the Cambridge Analytica scandal by now but as the WSJ points out, Facebook has also given a lot of our data to companies that are no longer in business and because of that our personal information could be anywhere out in the wild. Once something is out on the internet it’s next to impossible to get it back.

    Again it needs to be said that this is too much information for one entity like Facebook to have. It’s now gotten to the point where Facebook apparently seems to be the proverbial submarine with a screen door when it comes to our personal data. This data can be abused in so many ways by bad actors and Facebook treats it like so much junk mail that it just throws on a table and forgets about it. Unfortunately, the only true way to stop Facebook from abusing our private data is to stop giving it to them, but in a society that’s driven by how many likes you can get for your vacation photos that won’t be happening any time soon.

     
  • Geebo 9:16 am on June 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: data breach, , Huawei,   

    Did Facebook share data with the Chinese government? 

    Did Facebook share data with the Chinese government?

    I’ve mentioned previously that I don’t normally feel inclined to post about the same subject in the same week. For example, if Facebook makes the news for one of its many alleged data leaks, I try to only post about that once a week. I do this to try to avoid reader burnout on any particular topic. However, Facebook seems to be the gift that keeps on giving with its reported mishandling of user data when it comes to third parties. Now, there are concerns that Facebook may have inadvertently shared user data with a foreign government.

    In an update to our previous post about Facebook sharing user data with device manufacturers, one of those manufacturers has questionable ties with the Chinese government. China-based Huawei is the third largest manufacturers of cell phones in the world. Many within the US government believe that Huawei could allow access to their devices by the government of China which could lead to espionage in the US. This is nothing new either as these concerns have been around since the last two previous administrations. Huawei is one of those manufacturers that Facebook had an agreement with to share user data leading some to assume that Facebook may have exposed user data to the government of China.

    Once again, Facebook is playing catch-up with their possible data breaches as they say that they’re ending their relationship with Huawei even though Huawei claims they never exposed any user information.

    How many more potential data breaches will it take before the public decides to limit the personal information they voluntarily give to Facebook who then gives it to multiple third parties? The US government already seems poised to regulate or break up Facebook, yet the Facebook users continue to sacrifice privacy for the sake of convenience.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on May 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cambridge, data breach, , mypersonality   

    Facebook exposes millions of users’ data…again 

    Facebook exposes millions of users' data...again

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A personality quiz on Facebook compiled data from at least 6 million users and at least half of those users had their personal data exposed. Much like the Cambridge Analytica scandal, this data was freely available for four years before Facebook finally banned the app.

    New Scientist reports that an app called myPersonality was distributed by the University of Cambridge for an academic project. The problem was that the information collected was distributed to researchers on a website that was not very secure. It seems that a username and password for the website was could be found publicly by doing a web search. From there, anyone could steal the information which included the names of the quiz participants.

    Those in tech circles are known for calling on Facebook to tighten its security protocol, however, normal users of the platform really don’t have those concerns. In too many instances Facebook users are willing to sacrifice their own privacy for the sake of convenience, entertainment, or just plain boredom. While no major damage has been done from Facebook’s data breaches, it’s only a matter of time before so much data is lost that it causes the average Facebook user to stand up and take notice. If Facebook is not going to protect our data, maybe it’s time we stopped giving Facebook all of our information.

     
  • Geebo 9:02 am on April 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: CubeYou, data breach, , , Senator John Neely Kennedy   

    Senator to Facebook: “We Can Do It The Easy Way Or The Hard Way” 

    Senator to Facebook: "We Can Do It The Easy Way Or The Hard Way"

    U.S. Senator John Neely Kennedy (R-La.)

    While we await further news on any prosecutorial action against Backpage, Facebook continues to dominate the headlines with more potential data breaches and a possible Congressional showdown.

    The first bit of news that made headlines over the weekend was that Facebook divulged another potentially damaging data breach that happened in a similar vein to that of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook is said to have suspended operations with an analytical firm called CubeYou. CubeYou was accused of harvesting personal data from Facebook users through those quizzes that many people take on Facebook that appear on the surface to be innocuous. In this instance, CubeYou is accused of allegedly using the information collected to sell to marketers.

    How many more of these analytical firms are collecting Facebook user data against Facebook’s wishes? That’s what U.S. Senator John Kennedy would like to know. Yesterday Senator Kennedy, no relation to the famous Kennedy political family, appeared on Face the Nation and had a warning for Mark Zuckerberg. In the mostly friendly interview Senator Kennedy stated that he doesn’t want to regulate Facebook ‘half to death’, however, he also said that if Facebook is unwilling or incapable of fixing their problems, the Senator said “We can do this the easy way, or the hard way” in regard to Mark Zuckerberg’s expected appearance before Congress this week.

    Senator Kennedy seems like he has a good grasp on this situation at hand with Facebook. It appears that Senator Kennedy could either be Mark Zuckerberg’s best friend or worst enemy depending on how forthcoming the Facebook CEO will be with Congress this week.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on March 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , data breach, , , Steve Bannon   

    50 million Facebook accounts exposed in political data breach 

    50 million Facebook accounts exposed in political data breach

    In a story that seems like it was taken straight from the 1988 sci-fi movie ‘They Live’, a large data firm is accused of allegedly breaching the Facebook accounts of 50 million US voters in order to ‘change audience behavior’. It was supposedly done, once again, to try to influence the 2016 Presidential election.

    Cambridge Analytica is accused of allegedly using a paid survey app that was disguised as a personality test. The app required users to log in through Facebook. After a user logged into Facebook, the app would not only harvest the information of the user, but also data from everyone in the user’s friends list. Trump advisor Steve Bannon was a board member of Cambridge Analytica and, according to the New York Times, “was intrigued by the possibility of using personality profiling to shift America’s culture and rewire its politics.”

    To make matters worse, Facebook allegedly knew of the misuse of the data and did little about it except to ask Cambridge Analytica to delete the information they had. Again, the New York Times claims that the data was not deleted and was discoverable online. So this seems like it is another instance where Facebook supposedly knew of alleged election interference and chose to do next to nothing about it. Many lawmakers are even calling for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress. It’s about high time that he did since it’s obvious he really has little to no control over what’s really happening throughout Facebook and the detrimental effect it has on our society.

     
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