If you don’t # DeleteFacebook it’s your funeral

# DeleteFacebook is a rapidly growing movement that has seen over US$80 billion wiped off Facebook’s share price, or Faecesbook as it is now known, since the ‘Fit hit the Shan’ on 16 March. Shares are going to tumble further.

While this is not good for shareholders who are jumping ship like lemmings, we hope it is translating into masses of the 2.2 billion users invoking # DeleteFacebook.

DeleteFacebook

GadgetGuy does not often make political statements, but unless you protest by doing a # DeleteFacebook, the recidivists will continue to get away with the most significant privacy abuse in history.

Why do we hope you will # DeleteFacebook? No one company should have that much knowledge – power. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

It is time to put the handbrake on rampant privacy abuse. Mark Zuckerberg et al., have proven beyond any doubt that they don’t deserve our trust.

Read what Channel Seven Sunrise GadgetGuy Val Quinn had to say about # DeleteFacebook issues.

A half-hearted apology does not make things better

Zuckerberg made a half-hearted attempt to apologise over the Cambridge Analytica debacle, but it was a non-apology, a streak of brilliant wordsmithing.

Simply the best Politspeak obscuring what he means, and he is not sorry. Zuckerberg knows exactly what Facebook does, and at best gives lip service to tightening control. If you believe him sincere, you believe in Santa Claus.

But just when things seemed to have settled down came ‘Callageddon.’

This week Facebook users were rocked by the discovery that Faecesbook was caught shitting all over its user’s privacy again.

Facebook Messenger was caught storing all voice, and text messages and Telco carried phone calls to and from your Contacts. All that information including speech converted to text and mined for keywords ends up your profile. What next WhatsApp and Instagram spying? LOL if it was not so dangerous.

GadgetGuy has covered Feacesbook’s blatant attempt to capture user’s web visits via its Onavo VPN. Nothing seems sacred to this company.

If something is free, then its product is you!

The Sydney Daily Telegraph revealed that a YouGov Galaxy survey conducted just before the scandal broke showed

  • 80% of users were concerned that their personal information was being sold.
  • 62% do not trust Facebook
  • 74% feel identity could be stolen based on their Facebook page
  • 84% have noticed targeted advertising after a search
  • 54% want to see what information Facebook has and amend/delete it
  • 56% think they should be paid for the information as they are its product
  • Only 15% feel Facebook keeps their data safe and believe in the Easter Bunny too

Repeat that survey today, – I suspect 100% would not trust Facebook.

Interestingly, # DeleteFacebook comments seem to fall into two camps

Pro:

Facebook is not “selling our privacy”. We give it to them freely by signing up. They then sell the information we provide. That is their business model, and it has been extremely profitable for them to date.

It’s also why Mark Zuckerberg isn’t apologising – he’s been open about that since they started. If you don’t like it – don’t use it.

Con:

Facebook is a bunch of scum who play fast and loose with the truth and people’s understanding of tech. Evil is as evil does. Regulate Facebook now – out of existence. The root of all evil is the money Facebook makes selling our privacy up the creek to bad actors, but the biggest bad actor of them all is Facebook!

All major companies store your personally identifiable information (PII)

The sentiment is turning against ‘Silicon Valley’, and Facebook is regarded as the tip of a sinister iceberg.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has come out swinging against Facebook saying, “We are not going to traffic in your personal privacy. Privacy, to us, it a human right and civil liberty.” What Cook did not say is that it is OK for Apple to know everything about its users to drive sales to profitable services like iTunes, Apple Music etc.

Google’s old mantra was ‘Don’t be evil’ recently updated to ‘Do the right thing’. Google has a tonne of information about you including Gmail, calendar, contacts, search, location history and more. Android is a thinly veiled vehicle to sell more targeted advertising delivered by Google services. At least it’s a closed loop.

Microsoft Windows has default privacy settings that are repulsive. But to be fair it walks you through these in setup and the system performs flawlessly with all settings turned off. Then you ruin it all by using Cortana and Bing that get to know you a little too well.

Interestingly there is a major groundswell against Amazon too. Even US President Donald Trump does not like it. US Congress will investigate further. Sure, that is mainly about taxes or lack thereof, but the still waters run much deeper.

There is significant concerned at Amazon’s Alexa, business model. It is not to voice-enable everything. It is just another subtle way to collect so much information that Amazon (and its merchants) can sell their products to you. Alexa Skills is just another word for data-sharing. The suspicion now extends to everything hosted in the Amazon cloud (AWS) to.

PII abused galore – bring on the tech-lash

To be fair most big guys have accessible pages to see what PII they have so you can delete or modify it. Most have accessible switches to turn on extensive privacy measures like do not track, block advertisements, private mode browsing, and turn location/ID off.

Simply search for ‘How to enable privacy’ on your operating system – macOS, iOS, Windows, Android or Chrome. Then search for how to enable privacy on a browser – Chrome, Bing, Safari, Firefox, etc.

They appear to be far more responsible and respect its use. They know abuse would send them out of business.

But I don’t trust them either. I strictly limit the information they collect by using privacy switches, VPN, alternate online identity, etc. Investigate Ghostery – it does a great job of helping to make the web cleaner!

I may be naive, but I tend to believe these companies have more to lose and will respect us. If you don’t, please use Linux and wear a tinfoil hat!

# DeleteFacebook is a top priority, but there are too many ‘mini-me’s.’

Then there are the others we all deal with. Banks/finance, insurance, utilities, comparison websites, retail and online stores, loyalty cards and more – all collecting masses of PII.

Coles Flybuys, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Virgin Velocity, Woolworths Rewards and many store cards appear safe. But they know so much through their partner network it is scary. They share data freely with those partners that can afford it.

Comparison websites are a very deep, dark, rabbit hole that you should never go down. Sure, some are slightly better than others privacy-wise. But they all want masses of PII to enable them to compare everything from mobile phone plans to health insurance. Not only do they get commissions from so-called objective comparisons, but they gain information to sell to partners.

Fact: There is nothing legally or morally you can currently do to stop abuses of your PII.

We need a universal online bill of rights with teeth

No single, comprehensive, law sets out our online rights. Where such rights do exist, they have developed, in a piecemeal, Band-Aid fashion.

It is heartening that the ACCC will conduct an enquiry into Facebook and Google’s practices. ACCC has teeth and is not afraid to use them.

I am delighted that the Federal Government seems willing to investigate what is now known as Facebook laws to hand back control of personal data to its rightful owner – you.

All we need is legislation covering

  • The key rights relevant to the online world.
  • Add to those any existing civil and human rights that apply in the physical world.
  • Prohibit collection of any data without immediate consent, g. A red light flashing in a browser or app. No disagreement can stop you accessing a website or shopping etc. Any agreement must not last more than that one instance.
  • Greater transparency around how government and the private sector use personal data. In simple words no more fine print, word-smithed, legal gobbledygook privacy agreements.
  • Citizens to take control of their data and to make informed choices about their online lives including the right to monetise their data.

 

If you dont # DeleteFacebook then read the following

 

DeleteFacebook

Image from https://www.le-vpn.com/tips-secure-facebook-account/

14 Comments

Write a comment
  1. Dude
    March 31, 20:02 Dude

    This article was free. Should I stop reading articles from this domain?

    Reply this comment
    • Ray Shaw
      April 02, 12:35 Ray Shaw

      If you use Ghostery all you will find is that we use Google Analytics for anonymised demographics. But tell you what. Give me your credit card details, address and more and I will send you a tin-foil hat!

      Reply this comment
  2. Roger
    March 31, 21:39 Roger

    Can’t stand Facebook and their blatant abuse of user’ s privacy and private information. They automatically linked and carried over all whatapps data to their already substantial database. They are no doubt doing the same with whatsapp data as per Facebook. I can’t stand this organization.

    Reply this comment
  3. Whocares
    March 31, 21:53 Whocares

    What do you call privacy? The fact that you like Nike products or child pornography? If the former why do you care if the world knows about it and gives you free stuff. If the latter…

    Reply this comment
  4. Barry Wilson
    April 01, 01:08 Barry Wilson

    I don’t delete FB cuz they have no info about me except my name. I lie bout all else. I guess it knows some personal things like my depression but that is for anyone to know. I don’t look at the news feed so am not exposed to ads. I have 6 FB friends which is too much. Facebook is a a journal for me. A place to put my silly thoughts pictures and videos. I don’t share news I create everything. IF Facebook was gonna that would be nice but a depressed guy needs somewhere to pretend he matters

    Reply this comment
  5. Techy
    April 02, 09:50 Techy

    Everything you use these days collect information on you. It’s your own due diligence to protect the data you’re willing to share. For an app that I don’t have to pay for, sure collecting my information for ad based targeting is only fair but you choose what information you share with FB and other companies. Hell, even Netflix picks up your habits and preferences. Trading our information for services these days shouldn’t come as a surprise of you’re vigilant on the information you share.

    Reply this comment
    • Peace
      April 11, 01:24 Peace

      I absolutely agree with you. This is an information gathering age we live in. It is totally up to us to choose the kind of information we make available for use. You shouldn’t #DeleteFacebook because it shares information which you have made accessible to them. The outrage makes no logical sense!

      Reply this comment
  6. Daryl
    April 03, 20:22 Daryl

    Seems threre is a social need for people to ‘share’ and say what they are doing.
    FB makes money from advertisers. If a new service based on a subscription model and not advertising came along people might post information but would the new service succumb to sell information to adversisers?
    Or they can get hacked.

    Reply this comment
    • Ray Shaw
      April 04, 10:46 Ray Shaw

      The solution is to fix Facebook and take away its ability to do things we don’t know about. If they introduced a paid for privacy option then I might use it.
      A new paid-for site simply will not have the coverage needed to be successful.

      Reply this comment
  7. Jim
    April 11, 00:41 Jim

    This is wacked. FB has NO PRODUCT TO SELL EXCEPT YOUR LIFE. They don’t create a damn thing. Doesn’t take a genius to see what is going on.

    Reply this comment
  8. Doubledutchbus
    April 11, 21:20 Doubledutchbus

    I tried to delete my FB page (just got tired of the fake “friends” that never say anything lol) years ago before the #DeleteFacebook movement came about but found it to be a mighty pain the buns. Apparently, I had to delete every comment and everything I had posted throughout the years one message at a time, one by one. So I opted for just changing my name to something less identifiable and removed what little personal info I already had there, which wasn’t really much anyway since I was careful not to share much.

    It is kind of worrisome, though, the way that apps, websites n online businesses try these days to get into your privacy by learning things about you that you wouldn’t even tell your mother.

    Right now as I type this I am wondering about this one app that I downloaded months ago from the Google Apps store. It’s a free antivirus/ cleaner/ booster app called Hi Security. What worries me, though, is that they keep flashing annoying merchandise to me every time I use, which is okay I guess since it is a free app and they need to sell something to make their dough…, but the stuff that they show, like t-shirts, mugs and other apparel has my damn birth name stamped all over it… as if that was going to move me to say ‘gee look my name.. i’m buying it Lol! On the contrary… it freaks the hell out of me. How the hell did they find out my name?!? I am always very cautious in not giving my real name, location, address, phone # and such to anyone online, and yet here are these people who somehow were able to retrieve that info from my smartphone, and other creepy little habits of mine 😉 without my consent. I mean, unless I inadvertently and foolishly granted them permission to do so when I downloaded their app. Idk it just seems a little creepy. I feel like a lil hoe waiting to see what’s next. I bet they know my DOB too and my credit card info and online purchasing trends. I always purposely lie online about personal crap but these guys must have gone way beyond social networks to dig out my info. I wonder if they like the porn I watch every 4 or 5 days when me n my girl are in the mood for for some kinky play, tho.. Lol Just sayin..

    Reply this comment
    • Ray Shaw
      April 12, 09:14 Ray Shaw

      I hear you. I bought some clothes at a real mall shop recently. They asked if I wanted to join the Loyalty Club (that gets all your details). I said no. “Well, if you have issues or want to return things just quote your mobile number. I will put it on the computer so you don’t have to keep a paper receipt. OK?”
      Within days I had received a congratulations email for joining the club. I logged in and changed the default password only to find they had all my details including address, date birth etc.
      I was pissed so I contacted the store HQ and was told they don’t enrol without consent (and validating warranty was that implied consent) and they subscribe to a reverse lookup service. I am passing that on to the ACCC.

      Reply this comment
  9. mmasters
    April 17, 20:12 mmasters

    I’ve been a software engineer since the days when the only email was ELM and the only way to transfer data was FTP. All this frenzy about Facebook using personal data is an overblown rant. That one company downloaded data and used it for political marketing is something Facebook doesn’t even like. But looing at the big picture, does Facebook’s model of collecting data to make money really matter? This type of data transaction is nothing new. Companies have collected customer data and analyzed it since before computers were invented. The only difference is with computers, a lot more data can be collected and it’s easier to share it. If we look at the pupose of Facebook, it’s to be a social platform. In that regard, it excels. I belong to several very worthwhile groups and for that reason alone, I would not delete my Facebook account. Secondly, apart from the political targeting dones by Camb ridge Analytica, do you really care about all that data you post on the internet for the world to see? I have always cautioned friends not to upload data from their smartphones – especially photos – if the location finder is turned on. Nothing like letting dangerous criminals know where your kids go to school and what time you drop them off. And that’s exactly what you doing when you upload a photoof your kid walking up the steps to school with location finder on. But your other data – it’s your choice to tell the world who are, your education, and where you work. Once you put something on the Internet, it’s no longer secure. If you don’t want to list anything in your profile, then don’t. It’s your choice. I’m not happy with Facebook messenger having potential hooks that could let a hacker make phone calls, listen in, copy my contacts, or delete information from my smart phone. But apart from that, I really don’t care if some company notices what I like, how many clicks I make a day, etc. While I certainly agree that it’s a bit annoying to have ads pop up after I’ve searched for something, I don’t usually search with privacy settings on and after spending 30+ years in IT, the last thing I want to do is come home and do more IT work, such as select a VPN and then spend time configuring it All the fears about how my data will be collected, packaged up in a nice box with a pink ribbon, and sold as part of a Big Data Customer package doesn’t phase me. That fear is not a good enough reason for me to delete Facbook. For me, Facebook is a useful tool. Until there is another social media platform with all the features of Facebook, I will continue to use Facebook. If you don’t want to, then don’t. But to suggest that we should all boycott Facebook isn’t going to happen. The data I have on Facebook is not confidential. I don’t post much about my personal life except photos of my pets. The rest is interesting stuff I find on the internet. Should there be a privacy option to keep your data private? Yes. Should you pay for that service? Probably. Did Zukerburg look lik an idiot before the Convress= No. He is the CEO of a company that grew exponentially and like all CEO’s, he hired experts to manage it. IT’s not his job to be a know.-it-all, As CEO, he must focus on the core mission statement and grow the company. His only loyaltly is to the bottom line. Lawyers write TOS, software engineers, create the code, and sales finds companies who want to buy it. Just because Zuckerberg is the inventor of Facebook does not automatically make him the de-factor guru of the code or responsible for knowing all the details of how data is collected and shared. His job is to look at the big picture. And apart from the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, he’s done exactly that So quit complaining . Every service on the Internet has a TOS. If you aren’t sure what it means, then ask someone. Know that whatever you do on the internet, someone is bound to find out no matter how many precautions you take. As long as you computer isn’t hacked and secretly being used in a bot net, take big chill pill with your Starbucks coffee or chai. And try to relax and enjoy the digitial universe at your fingertips. It’s a heck of lot better than ELM 😉

    Reply this comment
  10. Meli
    April 23, 09:01 Meli

    “the most significant privacy abuse in history.” Ha ha ha ha. I guess you never heard of the NSA.

    Reply this comment

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