Facebook Turned Our Economy Into a Spying Operation

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Coalage1's picture

From Reason magazine: http://reason.com/archives/2018/03/23/cambridge-analytics-dust-up-reveal...

The Graph API's features were no secret. They were shouted to the world via press release. At his 2010 announcement at a San Francisco conference, Zuckerberg boasted that developers would now be able to download and retain Facebook data. "We've had this policy where [third-party developers] can't store and cache any data for more than 24 hours, and we're going to go ahead and we're going to get rid of that policy," Zuckerberg said. CNET reported that the audience cheered.

Four years later, Facebook reversed course, saying it had chosen to discontinue those features of the Graph API. The equivalent of a global Facebook-wide identifier would be replaced with application-specific IDs. Friend data would be sharply restricted. The changes took effect in April 2015.

No Senate hearings or congressional investigations convinced Facebook to pull the plug. No flurry of investigative news articles preceded it (there appears to have been not one New York Times or Washington Post article discussing the Graph API in the prior year). No Federal Trade Commission investigation loomed; Facebook had already reached a privacy settlement with the agency in 2011 that altered the Graph API not one whit.

The most likely explanation for the 2014 policy shift is the simplest: The company realized, however belatedly, that even Facebook users want more control over how they share their information. Market pressure (or, perhaps, market dominance and less fear of alienating developers) had closed a privacy loophole. At the F8 conference that year, Zuckerberg said, "We take this really seriously because if people don't have the tools they need to feel comfortable using your apps, then that's bad for them and it's bad for you. But it will prevent people from having good personalized experiences and trying out new things but it also might hurt you and prevent you from getting some new potential customers. So we need to do everything we can to put people first and give people the tools they need to build a sign in and trust your apps."

Zuckerberg must also be contemplating a second oddity. There was no privacy outcry when Barack Obama's 2012 campaign took advantage of the same Graph API to exfiltrate information of tens of millions of Facebook users without each voter's knowledge and consent.

Wattree's picture

Conservative Republicans have revised American history to reflect that it was their faux patriotism that saved America during WWII. But the fact is, our grandparents - who we refer to as "The Greatest Generation," and who lived through the Great Depression and actually fought WWII - despised conservatives, and they wouldn't let them anywhere near the Oval Office - and for good reason.
In spite of the fact that conservative Americans have a long tradition of wrapping themselves in the American flag throughout our history, that very same history has clearly shown a strain of anti-American sentiment from their very beginning. and now during this fascistic Trump era when America needs its democratic ideals most, conservative Republicans have found this the perfect time to come out of the closet and raise their ugly heads.  So now it’s up to the American people to determine whether between now and the 2020 election America experiences the best of times, by standing up for the democratic principles laid out by our founding fathers to ensure this Republic remains a nation “of the people, by the people, and for the people”, or the worst of times, by allowing it to descend into just another authoritarian Kleptocracy where the people and the nation’s resources are exploited by a small minority of plutocrats for their own interests - like Russia, a nation that Donald Trump seems to have embraced so passionately.  This has been the conservative game plan from the very beginning, unbeknownst to many who have bought into their manipulative Kool-aid.

Wattree's picture

Donald Trump's behavior says it all. An innocent man would simply quietly wait out the Russian investigation and review the results. But not Trump - he's been firing people, threatening to fire others, literally climbing the walls, and totally preoccupied with the investigation to the exclusion of everything else. Why? He's publically humiliated his own Attorney General for recusing himself and failing to maintain control of the investigation. Why?  He’s also been slandering our most respected government institutions who have a mandate to protect the American people. Why?  And he seems to be furious at everybody BUT the Russians who attacked our democracy. Why? 
And why did Trump try to set up back channel communications with the Russians that was outside the hearing of our intelligence services? In addition, Trump has refused to put sanctions into place that was voted in against Russia as the bipartisan will of the 2017 congress,  and that he was FORCED to sign. Why?  Is Trump afraid of Russia for some reason? It sure seems like it, and it is essential to our national security that we ask ourselves, Why? Trump struts around like Mr. Big Stuff when he’s calling Americans out of their names on twitter, but he whimpers like a wounded kitten when confronted by Putin. Why?

TashaBBarnes's picture

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JulianMartk's picture

Indeed I totally agree with you guys, I have been to a few places to learn all about the upcoming Spying Operation of facebook and it is quite amazing to be here and learn it from you guys, Thank you for always helping us with the best


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