privacy

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Facebook has been promulgating the fact that they will be enacting new “terms of service (ToS) and conditions” starting on January 1st, 2015.

Happy New Year!  All you have to do to agree to the new terms is to continue using the site.

Despite the fact that I suspect they could already do this, it seems the new Facebook ToS includes a new feature to track your location, and if you look at subscriber numbers that means tracking 1.3 billion users. If you think about it, that is a lot of computing power to track your footprints.

Let’s be honest too, in the premise that this will work because 99.99% of all Facebook users would rather agree to the new (or any) TOS and sign away some privacy rights than get kicked off. Some of that is laziness on the part of the users who don’t care as long as they get what they want, and the other part is how our lives are already so deeply entrenched in the site, is it not? And that’s what FB banks on!  Lazy and hooked.

This new policy of tracking users supposedly gives more control to the user also, whereas you might have the ability to go into your profile and control what Facebook does with your online activity. On the other hand there will also be some features that provide location info on (and to) your friends. Their other sales pitch for our acceptance is that some of the new features will magically improve the battery life on your cell phone and help in signal strength.

The real trick behind the move, because face it, giving you more of what you want is not what sells ad space on FB, is about knowing where you are so that the ads you see are better targeted to you, or, targeted to your location. That means that as you might be driving be an REI, you might get an ad from REI promulgating their sale prices.

So if you want your buddies to track you, that’s fine. Being as how that is an option. But this also helps the advertisers track you.

Now before you get stir crazy about the following, remember, Google has been doing this to you for a very long time via your smartphones while your desktop and laptop computers have been doing things like this for an even longer time via cookies. Little benign text files saying, yes, I was visiting this and that site. Those cookies can also be read by other applications to tell or hint to them your probable likes and dislikes.

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Facebook Copyright “Hoax”

OK gang, hoax or misconstrued hopes, I am chiming in on the copyright/infringement issues where Facebook users are posting comments to their own feeds about the website’s limitations on “your own content.”  I chimed in on this a few days just before this entire thing went hoax/viral.

First off, I completely understand how you feel and why you might want to take a stab at trying to control the information in your posts… your words, your pictures and other aspects of your online social interactions.

I get it.

But…

The website (Facebook or any other social site) you use puts down some roots and restrictions or agreed upon understandings on the use of their website.  (Yes, you did. You probably glazed over or skipped the lengthy, detailed rules of usage.) It’s their website that you are using for free.  That “free” involves access to whatever information you give them.  And you’d be surprised how much that content is worth to the site.

For example, when you play games, you give them certain permissions to access some information in your profile.  And profiles of your friends. They then take that info and parlay it via focused content marketing into sales.  That’s how one of the game makers on FB has made its billions.

But then there’s this thing on the website governance and usage policies, where they’ve updated the policies for users.

But…

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Some Website Facebook Apps are Pretty Annoying [An Observation]

June 8, 2012

When I first heard about how the Hollywood Reporter was integrating their site with Facebook and how it will all be very cool, it seemed interesting.  But these days, if you have any concerns about your Facebook privacy, it’s rather disconcerting to click on anything from the site.  (Remember, this is about the app, I’m […]

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Is Your Personal Data Truly Safe on Your Smartphone?

February 20, 2012

I’m sure you’re aware, but if you’re not, today I chat about some smartphone apps uploading personal data, evil QR code or financial apps with tiny flaws…

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Apple Privacy Issue Gets Expensive

August 1, 2011

Apple Privacy Issue Gets Expensive

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Is The Smartphone Privacy Issue Getting Overblown?

April 29, 2011

Is The Smartphone Privacy Issue Getting Overblown?

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Facebook Sharing Your Home Address and Phone Numbers [Consumer]

January 18, 2011

Facebook Sharing Your Home Address and Phone Numbers [Consumer]

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WikiLeaks, A Huge PIA and A Clue that Freedom Of Information Isn’t Always Good!

November 29, 2010

WikiLeaks, A Huge PIA and A Clue that Freedom Of Information Isn’t Always Good!

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