About Facebook is a great service. I have a profile , and so does nearly everyone I know under the age of 60.
By STEVE STECKLOW and PAUL SONNE One of the most potentially intrusive technologies for profiling and targeting Internet users with ads is on the verge of a comeback, two years after an outcry by privacy advocates in the U.S. and Britain appeared to kill it. The technology, known as "deep packet inspection," is capable of reading and analyzing the "packets" of data traveling across the Internet. It can be far more powerful than "cookies" and other techniques commonly used to track people online because it can be used to monitor all online activity, not just Web browsing.
By JULIA ANGWIN And STEVE STECKLOW At 1 a.m. on May 7, the website PatientsLikeMe.com noticed suspicious activity on its "Mood" discussion board. There, people exchange highly personal stories about their emotional disorders, ranging from bipolar disease to a desire to cut themselves. It was a break-in. A new member of the site, using sophisticated software, was "scraping," or copying, every single message off PatientsLikeMe's private online forums.
Facebook consistently reappears in the news with regards to privacy and the data it keeps on each of its users. For example, earlier this week an engineer working for the social network had to explain why Facebook tracks you even when you’re logged out . While Facebook insists it does not share your details with anyone, would it surprise you to find the amount of data stored about each user may in fact total 800 pages? It certainly surprised me. If you live in Europe, then you have the right under a European data protection law to request a copy of all information stored about you on any given service.
Every 24 hours 600,000 Facebook accounts are subject to attempted hacking or violation, Facebook has revealed. The Social Network™ disclosed details of hacking activity as it unveiled new measures to protect user’s privacy. “We are adapting and responding to new threats everyday and will continue to roll out new ways to protect your account,” Facebook said. In a blog post , Facebook revealed new tools to help users access their accounts if they are locked out and help prove your identity through your friends. “It's sort of similar to giving a house key to your friends when you go on vacation - pick the friends you most trust in case you need their help,” it explains.
Cookies have been a feature of the web for as long as I can remember. In many cases they are a useful feature to have as they remember your preferences and limit the amount of times you need to login to a service you have signed up for. But there is a dark side to cookie use in the form of them tracking where you go . The advice to anyone concerned about tracking through cookies is to use a good cookie clean-up utility and log out of sites you believe to be tracking you around the web. But in the case of Facebook it turns out that logging out of your account is not enough–Facebook continues to track you. This is possible because when you log out of Facebook the associated cookies are not deleted off your machine.
When you click a Facebook “Like” button on other Web sites to tell your friends about a cool band, favorite political candidate or yummy cake recipe, you may know that you are also giving intelligence to Facebook the company, which makes money through targeted advertising. But did you know that even if you don’t hit the button, Facebook knows you were there? That’s because the “Like” and “Recommend” buttons Facebook provides to other Web sites send information about your visit back to Facebook, even if you don’t click on them.
David Brin here, responding to Analee's - ahem - somewhat inaccurate portrayal of my work and arguments and beliefs. Look, I like a good argument as much as anybody. But it can be nice when people actually bother to read-up on the opinions of another person, before publicly setting up a false strawman and proclaiming "this is what he believes!" In this case, alas - while I like and respect Analee and io9 - this is simply beyond acceptable: "For decades now, science fiction author David Brin has been arguing that technology is pushing us towards a "transparent society" where we lose our privacy but gain "transparent" systems of authority to make up for it." Ah.
The Nymwars rage on. Over the past several weeks Google has been engaged in a very public struggle with its users over its “real names” policy on Google+, prompting blog posts and editorials debating the pros and cons of allowing pseudonymous accounts on social networking sites. But there is one person for whom insisting on the use of real names on social networking sites is not enough. Unsurprisingly, that person is Facebook’s Marketing Director, Randi Zuckerberg. Speaking last week on a panel discussion about social media hosted by Marie Claire magazine, Zuckerberg said,
This statement may seem self-evident, but the revolution in information technology has created a growing list of exceptions. Your grocery store knows what you like to eat and can probably make educated guesses about other foods you might enjoy. Your wireless carrier knows whom you call, and your phone may know where you’ve been. And your search engine can finish many of your thoughts before you are even done typing them. Companies are accumulating vast amounts of information about your likes and dislikes.
Right to be Forgotten