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Nick L

Break up Facebook up

Since the users of Facebook will never take action to fix their addiction, perhaps it is time for regulators to step in. The history of egregious breaches of public trust and leaks of privacy at Facebook demand action.

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When the government broke up the telephone system in 1984, the fact that AT&T could count most citizens as customers and that it was arguably the best-run telephone company in the world was not deemed compelling enough to preserve its monopoly power. The breakup would unleash a wave of competition and innovation that ultimately benefited consumers and the economy.

Facebook seems to be in a similar position today — only with far greater global reach than Ma Bell could have imagined. Facebook’s two billion monthly active users, and the way those accounts are linked and viewed by users and by third parties, have made it the most powerful communications and media company in the world, even if its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, insists his is a technology business.

And that power is being abused. As The New York Times reported Tuesday, Facebook shared data with at least four Chinese electronics firms, including one flagged by American officials as a national security threat. We learned earlier this week, thanks to a Times investigation, that it allowed phone and other device makers, including Amazon, Apple, Samsung and Microsoft, to see vast amounts of your personal information without your knowledge. That behavior appears to violate a consent order that Facebook agreed to with the Federal Trade Commission in 2011, after Facebook was found to have made repeated changes to its privacy settings that allowed the company to transfer user data without bothering to inform the users. And it follows the even darker revelation that Facebook allowed a trove of information, including users’ education levels, likes, locations, and religious and political affiliations, to be exploited by the data mining firm Cambridge Analytica to manipulate potential voters for its Republican Party clients.

Throughout its history, Facebook has adamantly argued that it treats our data, and who has access to it, as a sort of sacred trust, with Zuckerberg & Company being the trustees. Yet at the same time, Facebook has continued to undermine privacy by making it cumbersome to opt out of sharing, trying to convince users that we actually do want to share all of our personal information (and some people actually do) and by leaving the door unlocked for its partners and clients to come in and help themselves. Those partners have included 60 device makers that used application programming interfaces, also known as A.P.I.s, so Facebook could run on their gadgets.

In Facebook’s view those partners functioned as extensions of the Facebook app itself and offered similar privacy protections. And the company said that most of this intrusive behavior happened a decade ago, when mobile apps barely existed and Facebook had to program its way onto those devices. “We controlled them tightly from the get-go,” said Facebook’s Ime Archibong, vice president for product partnerships, in a response to The Times’s article. Yet a Times reporter was able to retrieve information on 295,000 Facebook users using a five-year-old BlackBerry.

Facebook Gave Data Access to Chinese Firm Flagged by U.S. Intelligence

Suprise Surprise Surprise! Just say no to Facebook!

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Facebook has data-sharing partnerships with at least four Chinese electronics companies, including a manufacturing giant that has a close relationship with China’s government, the social media company said on Tuesday.

The agreements, which date to at least 2010, gave private access to some user data to Huawei, a telecommunications equipment company that has been flagged by American intelligence officials as a national security threat, as well as to Lenovo, Oppo and TCL.

The four partnerships remain in effect, but Facebook officials said in an interview that the company would wind down the Huawei deal by the end of the week.

Facebook gave access to the Chinese device makers along with other manufacturers — including Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry and Samsung — whose agreements were disclosed by The New York Times on Sunday.

The deals were part of an effort to push more mobile users onto the social network starting in 2007, before stand-alone Facebook apps worked well on phones. The agreements allowed device makers to offer some Facebook features, such as address books, “like” buttons and status updates.

Security Court says NO to Kaspersky’s US govt computer ban appeal

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A US district court has upheld the American government’s ban of Kaspersky Lab software from computers of federal agencies.

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, sitting in Washington, DC, issued a ruling Wednesday to dismiss the two lawsuits Kaspersky had filed against Uncle Sam and the Department of Homeland Security challenging both the September 2017 Binding Operative Directive (BOD 17-01) and the Congressional National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the two documents that blocked government agencies from using Kaspersky Lab’s products.

The Moscow-based Kaspersky saw its products blocked from US government use after it was implicated in a Russian government espionage operation that lifted top-secret NSA cyber-weapons from the Windows PC of a careless agency staffer.

Facebook Gave Device Makers Deep Access to Data on Users and Friends

Dear Facebook users, you are the product, you are also morons. Freedom and privacy are rights that need to be defended, not given away for convenience.

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As Facebook sought to become the world’s dominant social media service, it struck agreements allowing phone and other device makers access to vast amounts of its users’ personal information.

Facebook has reached data-sharing partnerships with at least 60 device makers — including Apple, Amazon, BlackBerry, Microsoft and Samsung — over the last decade, starting before Facebook apps were widely available on smartphones, company officials said. The deals allowed Facebook to expand its reach and let device makers offer customers popular features of the social network, such as messaging, “like” buttons and address books.

But the partnerships, whose scope has not previously been reported, raise concerns about the company’s privacy protections and compliance with a 2011 consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission. Facebook allowed the device companies access to the data of users’ friends without their explicit consent, even after declaring that it would no longer share such information with outsiders. Some device makers could retrieve personal information even from users’ friends who believed they had barred any sharing, The New York Times found.

TomTom Privacy – a Good Model!

So I previously posted the disgusting Garmin Privacy policy. There is a fine alternative. TomTom.  (I have no financial interest in TomTom and do not sell their products. I just want to show an alternative)

Firstly they state clearly the principles

TomTom is all about where you are and getting to where you want to be. We help you achieve more. Sometimes we’ll need to know some things about you in order to help you. While we collect and use your data, we fully understand that you value your privacy.

We believe privacy is about freedom and being able to decide for yourself who uses your data and how. This is why we have established our Privacy Principles:

1. We will always keep you fully informed about your data

We make sure you understand which data from or about you we use, why we use it, how long we use it and who can use it.

2. We enable you to remain in control of your data

We consider the data from or about you to be yours. We only use it for the purposes for which you have given it to us, or for which we collected it from you. You can opt out or opt in at any time using our software and websites.

3. We protect your data

Your data is yours. We keep it that way by protecting it as best as we reasonably can to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.

Read the whole thing HERE. Unlike Garmin their default is privacy

We will not share your data with others without asking you for permission first, unless there is a legal obligation that prohibits us from asking.

Say YES to TomTom and shame on Garmin

Garmin: Your Privacy Matters (NOT!)

So here is the latest privacy update to come out in the wake of all the Facebook flack. This one is terrible.

Garmin Privacy Policy Full Text Here

Personal data that is processed when you use your Garmin auto navigation device or app:

If you use a Garmin auto navigation device or app and provide your consent, then Garmin will collect and upload from your device data such as location, speed, direction, and time and date of recording. If you provide your consent when asked, then Garmin may also share this aggregated data with or sell this data to third parties to enhance the quality of the traffic, parking and other features enabled by content providers.

Oh great Garmin – Why is the default to violate your user’s privacy? Where is the link to OPT OUT?

Personal data that is processed when you use location features on your Garmin device or app:

If you elect to use location-based services, such as weather, traffic information, fuel prices, movie times, and local event information, on your Garmin app or device, then the physical location of your device will be collected, in order for Garmin or our providers to provide you with such location-based services.

No Consent option??

Basically Garmin the deal is this. We have high prices for your products and your default is to monetize this further by stealing and selling our personal information as the default.

Sorry – Just say NO to Garmin

Where Countries Are Tinderboxes and Facebook Is a Match

If you have a facebook account and have a shred of decency, you should delete your facebook account. If your businesses on facebook, get off and send the message. This company needs to be buried as they are out of control and have serious blood on their hands. Stop supporting them.

“A reconstruction of Sri Lanka’s descent into violence, based on interviews with officials, victims and ordinary users caught up in online anger, found that Facebook’s newsfeed played a central role in nearly every step from rumor to killing. Facebook officials, they say, ignored repeated warnings of the potential for violence, resisting pressure to hire moderators or establish emergency points of contact.”

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False rumors set Buddhist against Muslim in Sri Lanka, the most recent in a global spate of violence fanned by social media.

MEDAMAHANUWARA, Sri Lanka — Past the end of a remote mountain road, down a rutted dirt track, in a concrete house that lacked running water but bristled with smartphones, 13 members of an extended family were glued to Facebook. And they were furious.

A family member, a truck driver, had died after a beating the month before. It was a traffic dispute that had turned violent, the authorities said. But on Facebook, rumors swirled that his assailants were part of a Muslim plot to wipe out the country’s Buddhist majority.

“We don’t want to look at it because it’s so painful,” H.M. Lal, a cousin of the victim, said as family members nodded. “But in our hearts there is a desire for revenge that has built.”

The rumors, they believed, were true. Still, the family, which is Buddhist, did not join in when Sinhalese-language Facebook groups, goaded on by extremists with wide followings on the platform, planned attacks on Muslims, burning a man to death.

But they had shared and could recite the viral Facebook memes constructing an alternate reality of nefarious Muslim plots. Mr. Lal called them “the embers beneath the ashes” of Sinhalese anger.

We came to this house to try to understand the forces of social disruption that have followed Facebook’s rapid expansion in the developing world, whose markets represent the company’s financial future. For months, we had been tracking riots and lynchings around the world linked to misinformation and hate speech on Facebook, which pushes whatever content keeps users on the site longest — a potentially damaging practice in countries with weak institutions.

Time and again, communal hatreds overrun the newsfeed — the primary portal for news and information for many users — unchecked as local media are displaced by Facebook and governments find themselves with little leverage over the company. Some users, energized by hate speech and misinformation, plot real-world attacks.

A reconstruction of Sri Lanka’s descent into violence, based on interviews with officials, victims and ordinary users caught up in online anger, found that Facebook’s newsfeed played a central role in nearly every step from rumor to killing. Facebook officials, they say, ignored repeated warnings of the potential for violence, resisting pressure to hire moderators or establish emergency points of contact.

Read the full article

Yahoo Mail – The “OATH” to spy and track you

“Yahoo is now part of Oath, the media and tech company behind today’s top news, sports and entertainment sites and apps.”

..and behind overt violations of your privacy

This includes: analyzing content and information when you use our services (including emails, instant messages, posts, photos, attachments, and other communications), linking your activity on other sites and apps with information we have about you, and providing anonymized and/or aggregated reports to other parties regarding user trends. …sharing Data with Verizon. Oath and its affiliates may share the information we receive with Verizon.

Verizon – another bad actor when it comes to privacy and acting like a monopoly

And of course, like Facebook, they buy other data sources, combine it and build a profile on you

Information from Others. We collect information about you when we receive it from other users, third-parties, and affiliates, such as:

When you connect your account to third-party services or sign in using a third-party partner (like Facebook or Twitter).
From publicly-available sources.
From advertisers about your experiences or interactions with their offerings.
When we obtain information from third-parties or other companies, such as those that use our Services. This may include your activity on other sites and apps as well as information those third-parties provide to you or us.
We may also receive information from Verizon and will honor the choices Verizon customers have made about the uses of this information when we receive and use this data.

The details — full privacy policy here

Just say no to Yahoo and OATH which includes AOL

ROKU = SPYWARE

Roku has updated their privacy policy. It is awful.

B. Information collected automatically

When you use the Roku Services, we and our partners may use unique device identifiers, cookies, pixel tags, web beacons and other similar technologies to receive and store information on an automated basis.

What this means

[They} collect usage data such as your search history (including letters you key in for searches, and utterances provided if you choose to use voice-enabled functions such as voice search (if available on your Roku Device)), search results, content and advertisements you select and view, including through use of automatic content recognition technology (ACR) (see “Smart TV Experience and ACR on Roku TVs” (Part I, Section B-4) and “Choices regarding Smart TV Experience and ACR on Roku TVs” (Part IV, Section E), below), and content settings and preferences, channels you add and view, including time and duration in the channels, and other usage statistics….

Third parties who provide us with analytics services for the Roku Services may also automatically collect some of the information described above, including, for example, IP address, access times, browser type and language, device type, device identifiers and Wi-Fi information…

We may receive data about you from data providers and combine it with the data that we collect from you.

You don’t like, They will charge you a fee

If you have a Roku account, you may view and update certain contact and billing information we have about you by logging into your account on Roku.com. If you otherwise wish to ask for access, correction, or deletion of any of your personal information held by us or a change in the way we use your information (for which we reserve the right to charge you a fee, as permitted by applicable law), please contact us at: customer.advocate@roku.com. However, Roku may decline requests that are unreasonable, prohibited by law, or are not required to be honored by applicable law.

Oh and this cop out…

At this time there is no accepted standard for how to respond to Do Not Track signals, and we do not respond to such signals.

After all this I logged into my Roku account and tried to find the privacy and/or opt-out links. Not there! The only way is to reset your identifier, but that is temporary as the new identifier starts a new collection process.

Bottom line — use a NON Smart TV and build your own KODI box.

Full ROKU Privacy statement is here for the US