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Facebook Collecting Your Data

Sunday, June 28th, 2015
facebook

Facebook now harvesting the list of all the other websites you visit: total online surveillance is here

(NaturalNews) If you’re one of the millions of people who have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, there are now even more reasons for hating the immensely successful social media giant.

You probably know that Facebook collects and stores your personal data and preferences to form a profile that it uses to generate advertising content targeted directly at you. But did you know that Facebook also looks at all the other websites you visit and stores that data, too? Facebook also collects your online search data along with some of the details you give to retailers when you purchase something.

Facebook and the data brokers

Zuckerberg and his Facebook shareholders make huge amounts of money by partnering with what are known as “data brokers.”

Bruce Schneier, a data security expert, defines data brokers as entities which:

“collect demographic information: names, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, gender, age, marital status, presence and ages of children in household, education level, profession, income level, political affiliation, cars driven, and information about homes and other property. They collect lists of things you’ve purchased, when you’ve purchased them, and how you paid for them. They keep track of deaths, divorces, and diseases in your family. They collect everything about what you do on the Internet.”

This information is used to target advertising to individuals, but many see it as an illegal invasion of privacy. One of the charges against Facebook is that it deliberately tries to hide the extent of its data mining. Very few people actually read the terms and conditions when they sign up to Facebook, and even those who do typically don’t have a real understanding of what the privacy policies actually mean.

A recent article posted by Phys.org explores the issue and observes:

Users of social media are generally unaware of how much of their fragmented personal data is collated from across social media sites–and even taken from the content of their free, web-hosted emails (e.g. Gmail)–and how this can be used to build detailed personal profiles.

“Opting out” is difficult and basically futile

Facebook claims that its users can opt out of its data-mining practices, but it’s difficult to do so, and, according to data security experts, it doesn’t make much difference if you do.

As a piece on the Sherbit Blog points out:

A ‘note’ on the ‘Facebook and Privacy’ page attempts to comfort users by insisting that “the process is designed so that no personal information is exchanged between Facebook and marketers (or the third parties those marketers work with).” But the truth of the situation is that the ‘data brokers’ already own your personal information–and their collaboration with the social network may allow them to assemble even more detailed profiles of your health and habits in the future.

The bottom line is that Facebook and the data brokers collect and store more personal information than the NSA does, and they make piles of money doing it.

A recent analysis conducted by the Belgian Privacy Commission concluded that these practices are in violation of European law, but it remains to be seen whether or not anyone will be able to curtail Facebook’s snooping practices.

Facebook claims that its data-mining activities make for a better user experience, but I doubt that very many people actually appreciate their spying. “Big Data” is increasingly expanding its reach into our personal lives, and it appears that the age of total online surveillance has arrived.

What many of once thought of as a fun, essentially harmless and amazingly useful social network has turned into a intrusive tracking monster of Orwellian proportions. The NSA has nothing on Mark Zuckerberg and Co., and unless there is a concerted global effort to reverse the trend, we can expect the ever-increasing monitoring of every detail of our lives.

Sources:

https://www.sherbit.io

http://www.law.kuleuven.be

http://phys.org/news

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

http://www.valuewalk.com

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/050219_Facebook_internet_surveillance_personal_data.html#ixzz3eNJhPose

Minds.com Takes on Facebook

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

New Social Media Platform Dubbed ”The People’s Site” by Anonymous

By Claire Bernish

Facebook may have finally met its match. By directly targeting the social media behemoth’s lack of messaging encryption, infamously opaque algorithms, and government and advertiser accessibility, Minds.com has earned the attention of privacy advocates, activists, and frustrated Facebook users—and has even garnered active support from Anonymous. By employing many similar features found on Facebook and other social media giants, Minds gives its users a familiar platform without the numerous privacy concerns plaguing the long-established sites.

Users will find the typical status updates, comments, and link-sharing as other social media, but Minds takes the government’s eyes out of the equation by encrypting private messages and using open-source code that any programmer can check. The platform uses a “reward’ system based on points to earn “views” for posts, so the more active you are, the more the network will promote your posts—-without hindrance from advertisers and profit models.

“For every mobile vote, comment, remind, swipe & upload you earn points which can be exchanged for views on posts of your choice. It’s a new web paradigm that gives everyone a voice,” explains the website.Minds.com founder Bill Ottman told Business Insider, “Our stance is the users deserve the control of social media in every sense.”

As an answer Facebook’s enigmatic algorithm that has contentiously manipulated users’ newsfeeds for years—essentially strangling organic post reach, even for wildly popular pages—Minds has vowed its formula for boosting posts will be transparent and available. Instead of using inexplicable formulas that rely on Orwellian features like how much time a user lurks on a post, the new platform logically bases its system on user interaction.

These features have been so appealing, the site had 60 million visitors before the official launch on Monday—the majority of whom listed an interest in “alternative media” as their primary reason to be there. In fact, the Facebook page Anonymous Art of Revolution—with a following of over one million users—boosted the Minds website when it announced a hackathon. According to the post:

Anonymous is initiating a call to hackers, designers, creators and programmers to unite worldwide. Let us collaborate on the code of Minds.com and build a top site that is truly of the people, by the people and for the people.

There have been many attempts to build alternatives to Facebook, but Minds.com—with its heavy emphasis on privacy and transparency—appears to be the most promising yet.

Claire Bernish writes for theAntiMedia.org, where this article first appeared. Tune in! Anti-Media Radio airs Monday through Friday @ 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific.

from:     http://www.activistpost.com/2015/06/new-social-media-platform-dubbed.html

Perils of Social Networking

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Facebook and Twitter are creating a vain generation of self-obsessed people with child-like need for feedback, warns top scientist

By SARAH HARRIS

Last updated at 1:11 AM on 30th July 2011

 

Facebook and Twitter have created a generation obsessed with themselves, who have short attention spans and a childlike desire for constant feedback on their lives, a top scientist believes.

Repeated exposure to social networking sites leaves users with an ‘identity crisis’, wanting attention in the manner of a toddler saying: ‘Look at me, Mummy, I’ve done this.’

Baroness Greenfield, professor of pharmacology at Oxford University, believes the growth of internet ‘friendships’ – as well as greater use of computer games – could effectively ‘rewire’ the brain.

Vain generation: A top Oxford scientist has warned that repeated exposure to social networking websites could harm users. (Picture posed by model)Vain generation: A top Oxford scientist has warned that repeated exposure to social networking websites could harm users. (Picture posed by model)

This can result in reduced concentration, a need for instant gratification and poor non-verbal skills, such as the ability to make eye contact during conversations.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2020378/Facebook-Twitter-creating-vain-generation-self-obsessed-people-child-like-need-feedback-warns-scientist.html#ixzz1TXq5Od7
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