"cambridge analytica"

Cambridge Analytica data-raid: the number is "much greater than 87 million"

Brittany Kaiser is an ex-Cambridge Analytica employee who gave written testimony and answered questions at the UK Parliament this week in which she revealed that the Facebook apps that Cambridge Analytica used to covertly gain access to millions of users' data went far beyond the ones disclosed to date, and that the number of total users implicated is "much greater than 87 million." Read the rest

The Facebook Liberation Army Link List

The Institute of Network Cultures' Facebook Liberation Army Link List (compiled by Geert Lovink & Patricia de Vries) is a thoroughly useful document: Read the rest

Cambridge Analytica instructs its lawyers to warn journalists

Cambridge Analytica, the British consultancy firm founded by Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer, and whose CEO, Alexander Nix (pictured above), was secretly recorded boasting about using bribes and covert prostitution strings to blackmail candidates, tweeted that it has "instructed our lawyers to send letters to news media who have been covering this story, advising them not to repeat false and unfounded allegations as fact."

The replies on Twitter are delightful:

Image by Web Summit - SAM_7454, CC BY 2.0, Link Read the rest

Facebook quietly admits they let Cambridge Analytica read your private messages

Buried in Facebook's latest message to 87,000,000 users who had their data stolen by Cambridge Analytica is this eye-popping nugget: "A small number of people who logged into 'This Is Your Digital Life' also shared their own News Feed, timeline, posts and messages which may have included posts and messages from you." Read the rest

Facebook finally has a form where you can check whether Cambridge Analytica stole your data

Want to know if Facebook let Cambridge Analytica steal your person information? here's the company's form to check, but you'll need a Facebook login, so it won't work if you've already done the right thing (that is, #DeleteFacebook). (Image: hobvias sudoneighm, CC-BY) (via The Verge) Read the rest

Cambridge Analytica campaigned for Republicans across America in 2014

2016 wasn't Cambridge Analytica's first rodeo; in 2014, they worked for Republicans in races across the country. Read the rest

Survey: 89% of Android users didn’t give Facebook consent

In a survey of 1,300 Android users, 89% percent said that they did not give Facebook consent to scrape their call and text history. Facebook has been allegedly scraping phone records since 2015.

From TeamBlind:

Last month, we surveyed our users, asking them if they planned to delete their Facebook accounts after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. In just a few days, more than 2,600 users answered our survey, with 31 percent answering that they will delete their Facebook account.

Shortly after news of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, many Facebook users rushed to download their profile data, leading Android users to discover that the company had been collecting their call history records and SMS data. As Sean Gallagher of Ars Technica writes:

This past week, a New Zealand man was looking through the data Facebook had collected from him in an archive he had pulled down from the social networking site. While scanning the information Facebook had stored about his contacts, Dylan McKay discovered something distressing: Facebook also had about two years’ worth of phone call metadata from his Android phone, including names, phone numbers, and the length of each call made or received.

We surveyed over 1,300 Android users, asking if they granted Facebook permission to collect their call and text history. Overall, 89% answered ‘No.’

Last week, Facebook announced that the company will reduce the amount of data collected from Android users. In a company blog post, Facebook CTO, Mike Schroepfer writes:

Call and text history is part of an opt-in feature for people using Messenger or Facebook Lite on Android.

Read the rest

In an attempt to quantify stupendous risk, cyberinsurers ratchet up premiums, deploy gimmicks

In some ways, there's never been a better time to be an insurer: every business wants cybersecurity insurance, and the market is willing to tolerate crazy annual premium hikes -- 30% a year for the past five years! Read the rest

87 million Facebook users' data shared with Cambridge Analytica

Facebook admitted Wednesday that 87 million users' data was harvested by Cambridge Analytica--about 74% more than previously disclosed.

The new figure sharply increased the company’s previous estimate of how many users’ information was harvested by Cambridge Analytica. For weeks, Facebook had said that the data of about 50 million users was at issue.

Facebook released the revised estimate of affected users as part of an extended statement about its plans for handling personal data. The company said it would start alerting users on April 9 about whether their information may have been shared with Cambridge Analytica.

Another day, another numbingly obvious example of "dumb fucks." Read the rest

Facebook: Actually, looks like Cambridge Analytica got 87 Million user records

Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer buried the news that Cambridge Analytica's total body-count was probably 87,000,000 (not 50,000,000 as previously recorded) at the end of a long-winded, mealy-mouthed update on the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal. He offered no explanation for the discrepancy. Read the rest

Federal court will allow the ACLU to keep suing for the right to violate terms of service for legitimate purposes

Back in 2016, the ACLU and First Look (the publishers of The Intercept) sued the US government to force it to clarify that the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act -- the overbroad statute passed during over a panic sparked by the movie "Wargames" -- does not prohibit violations of terms of service. Read the rest

On the junk science and excellent PR of Cambridge Analytica

Cambridge Analytica claimed that it could sway elections thanks to the devastating power of psychometric profiling, and they may have even believed it, but those claims should be read with a critical eye, because they're marketing hype aimed at people whom Cambridge Analytica was pitching as client; and because Cambridge Analytica is not a scientific enterprise, but a secretive corporation whose researchers never had to subject their experiments and results to critical, peer-reviewed scrutiny, opening up endless possibilities for self-deception and truth-shading. Read the rest

The idea behind Cambridge Analytica's Facebook data-harvesting app came from a Palantir employee, with support from Eric Schmidt's daughter

Palantir is the surveillance company founded by authoritarian "libertarian" Peter Thiel; their business-development employee Alfredas Chmieliauskas was part of a cohort of Palantir employees who worked closely -- if informally -- with Cambridge Analytica as they hatched their plan to harvest 50,000,000 Facebook profiles with a deceptive "personality quiz" app. Read the rest

Firefox users: keep your personal information safe from Facebook with this browser extension

As our Cory Doctorow points out, the tools to protect yourself from non-consensual online tracking are already out there. He uses and recommends the EFF's free Privacy Badger browser plug-in to keep his online data to himself and out of the hands of creeps like Facebook, Google and Cambridge Analytica.

If you're a Firefox user who wants to keep using Facebook, but worried about the sort of nonsense that the service has been getting up to of late, Mozilla has launched a new browser extension that's designed to provide users with more control of what sort of personal data everyone's favorite social media problem child is capable of getting its hands on. It's called the Facebook Container Extension.

From Mozilla:

This extension helps you control more of your web activity from Facebook by isolating your identity into a separate container. This makes it harder for Facebook to track your activity on other websites via third-party cookies.

Rather than stop using a service you find valuable and miss out on those adorable photos of your nephew, we think you should have tools to limit what data others can collect about you. That includes us: Mozilla does not collect data from your use of the Facebook Container extension. We only know the number of times the extension is installed or removed.

When you install this extension it will delete your Facebook cookies and log you out of Facebook. The next time you visit Facebook it will open in a new blue-colored browser tab (aka “container tab”).

Read the rest

Young people hate Facebook because it forces them to have a single identity

Social media has always had a real-names problem. Social media companies want their users to use their real names because it makes it easier to advertise to them. Users want to be able to show different facets of their identities to different people, because only a sociopath interacts with their boss, their kids, and their spouse in the same way. Read the rest

Fight back against Facebook overcollection with EFF's free Privacy Badger plugin

Privacy Badger is EFF's free privacy plugin; it blocks trackers and ads from companies that practice "non-consensual tracking," in which your browser's "do not track" instructions are not honored. Read the rest

Zuck to Parliament: Drop dead

Mark Zuckerberg has responded to the summons from the Mother of All Parliaments to explain the way that Cambridge Analytica was able to plunder his company's databanks: he's told them to go fuck themselves. Read the rest

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