"cambridge analytica"

Facebook and FTC negotiating multi-BILLION dollar fine over privacy violations

Facebook is expected to be slapped with the largest fine the FCC has ever imposed on a tech company, but the exact dollar amount is yet to be determined.

Amazon is using purchase data to sell targeted ads, which is creepy, but not because they've invented a mind-control ray

Amazon is building out its ad-targeting program to allow for ad-buys like "people near a physiotherapist's office who've bought a knee-brace," and reports that the ads are incredibly successful. Read the rest

Gates tells Mueller of Trump campaign deal with Israel's Psy-Group for 2016 "social media manipulation"

[PHOTO: Psy Group's headquarters in Israel, via]

Former Donald Trump presidential campaign aide Rick Gates is cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, and has provided info on a firm in the Middle East that is reported to have worked with the Trump campaign to influence the 2016 U.S. election. Read the rest

Cambridge Analytica pleads guilty, faces the first in a probable series of criminal convictions

EU privacy rules force European companies to surrender data they hold on anyone, anywhere; and that includes SCL Elections, which owned Cambridge Analytica, the notorious Facebook data-miner and election-manipulator that extravagantly claimed to have won the election for Donald Trump. Read the rest

A timeline of all of Facebook's scandals in 2018

This list of terrible things Facebook did in 2018 (not including the terrible things it did without getting caught) makes it clear that Facebook is a garbage company.

March 29

BuzzFeed News published an internal memo from Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth in which one of Zuckerberg’s most trusted lieutenants calls any effort to connect the world a “de facto good.” “Maybe it costs a life by exposing someone to bullies,” he wrote in June 2016. “Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools... And still we connect people.” The note caused a backlash externally in light of troubling events, including Facebook’s role in abetting genocide in Myanmar and its role in broadcasting a spate of suicides and murders on its livestreaming tool. In a statement, Zuckerberg disputed the idea that Bosworth was speaking for the company and said, “We've never believed the ends justify the means.” In response to the story, Bosworth tweeted (and later deleted), “I don’t agree with the post today and I didn’t agree with it even when I wrote it.”

Image collage created from photos by JD Lasica (Attribution 2.0 Generic, CC BY 2.0) and Shutterstock/Mr.anaked Read the rest

Calculating Facebook's value by figuring out how much you'd have to pay users to quit

A group of academics from economics, business, and policy schools at Kenyon, MSU, Susquehanna and Tufts performed a series of ingenious experiments to determine how much typical Facebook users value the service, by getting experimental subjects to participate in sealed-bid auctions for payments in exchange for quitting the service. Read the rest

Top FTC official is so such a corporate shill that he has conflicts of interest for 100 companies, including Equifax and Facebook

Andrew Smith is Trump's chief of the FTC Consumer Protection Bureau, in charge of investigating companies that abuse Americans -- but he can't, because he has previously provided services for over 100 of America's largest companies, including Facebook, a whack of payday lenders, Amazon, American Airlines, Amex, BoA, Capital One, Citigroup, John Deere, Equifax, Expedia, Experian, Glaxosmithkline, Goldman Sachs, Jpmorgan, Linkedin, Microsoft, Paypal, Redbubble, Twitter, Sotheby's, Transunion, Uber, Verizon, Visa, Disney and Wells Fargo. Read the rest

British Member of Parliament publishes 250 pages of damning internal Facebook documents that had been sealed by a US court

Damian Collins chairs the UK Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee; it was he who ordered the Parliamentary Serjeant at Arms to drag a visiting US tech executive named Ted Kramer out of his hotel to surrender his laptop to Parliament so they could see the internal Facebook documents that a US federal judge had ordered sealed. Read the rest

British Parliament seizes internal Facebook documents by threatening to jail a rival exec

Ted Kramer is CEO and co-founder of Six4Three, a creepy US-based machine-learning startup whose debut product was a Facebook app called Pinkini that let you search your friends' photos for pictures of them in bikinis; when Facebook shut down the app after a terms-of-service change, Six4Three sued Facebook and obtained a key trove of internal Facebook documents through the discovery process. Read the rest

Senator Wyden proposes 20 prison sentences for CEOs who lie about data collection and protection

Senator Ron Wyden [D-OR] (previously) has introduced the Consumer Data Protection Act, which extends personal criminal liability to the CEOs of companies worth more than $1B or who hold data on more than 50,000,000 people who knowingly mislead the FTC in a newly mandated system of annual reports on the steps the company has taken to secure the data. Read the rest

Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating Steve Bannon, including his Cambridge Analytica activities

The United States Senate Intelligence Committee is “pursuing a wide-ranging investigation” into ex-White House adviser Steve Bannon’s activities during the 2016 election, Reuters reports, and looking into what possible co-conspirators George Papadopoulos and Carter Page had to do with those activities. Read the rest

Chicagoans can actually play "Machine Learning President," the election RPG

After the 2016 elections, Scout.ai and a group of technology activists created Machine Learning President, designed for "scenario planning to game out how tech might impact future elections, as a way to think through the potential challenges and pitfalls that might eat away at democracy." Read the rest

EU Parliament demands Facebook audit after breach hits 87 million users

MEPs in European Parliament want Facebook to submit to a full audit by European Union bodies to determine whether the U.S. based social media company adequately protects users’ personal data. The demand made in the form of an EU resolution adopted Thursday, October 25, 2018, follows the company's recent breach scandal, in which data belonging to 87 million Facebook users around the world were improperly obtained and misused. Read the rest

Facebook's value has crashed 30% since July

"Investors are bailing" from Facebook, writes CNN Money. The share price for the disgraced social media firm has dropped 30% since July. Facebook has had a hard time shaking its image as a firm that happily violates users' privacy, manipulates users emotional well-being, doesn't take proper steps to secure users' data, courts advertisers interested in targeting white supremacists, and sells users' behavioral information to unscrupulous entities.

Despite hours of testimony, a blitz of executive interviews and numerous tweaks to its privacy settings, Facebook has yet to put the Cambridge Analytica issue behind it. And now, Facebook faces the prospect of additional regulatory scrutiny after disclosing a new security breach affecting nearly 50 million users.

The longer the privacy backlash continues, not to mention ongoing concerns about election meddling, the more potential for damage to Facebook's core business.

"For the first time, we've heard some grumblings from the advertiser community that the hot water that Facebook is in politically is creating some hesitation on budget allocations (for some)," Ross Sandler, an analyst with Barclays, wrote in an investor note this week.

Read the rest

Facebook: 50 million users’ personal information exposed in mega breach

Facebook says an attack on its network left the personal information of some 50 million users—perhaps you?—exposed to hackers. Who were the hackers, and what did they want? Facebook doesn't know, or won't say. But the company has confirmed that execs Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sanders were among the users affected.

“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” Zuckerberg said about Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year.

Well. You heard the man. Read the rest

Whatsapp founder: I sold out, but I walked away from $850,000,000 when I quit Facebook

In 2014, Facebook bought the messaging system Whatsapp for $22B; it was a weird fit, because Whatsapp founders had decried Facebook's surveillance-based business model and targeted advertising, and had promised its users "No ads, no games, no gimmicks." Read the rest

Facebook users demand their Cambridge Analytica data, as 'dirty data' firm dies in bankruptcy

A group of Facebook users who claim their personal data was misused, possibly to throw the 2016 U.S. Presidential election to Donald Trump, must wait until September to try and get more information from 'dark data' firm Cambridge Analytica. Read the rest

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