Share: Facebook Get’s Called Out Everywhere – Except Here …

June 29, 2010

German, British and Canadian Governments are monitoring Facebook’s assault of the general definition of privacy. Meanwhile the shameless free market fundamentalists who’ve wormed themselves into the American Government, in great numbers, are giving “favors” and trading players…

BERLIN, AP – Facebook still isn’t doing enough to protect users’ data, Germany’s consumer protection minister said Thursday, adding that she plans to give up her account.

The minister, Ilse Aigner, first raised concerns about Facebook two months ago, urging the network to upgrade its privacy settings.

Last week, in response to a backlash among users, Facebook announced that it was simplifying its privacy controls and applying them retroactively, so users can protect the status updates and photos they posted in the past.

Those changes were “a first step in the right direction, but I still have my doubts as to whether these improvements will really bring a true turning point,” Aigner said after meeting Richard Allan, Facebook’s director of European public policy.

Aigner said the meeting “unfortunately confirmed my skepticism.”

She said she plans to leave the network, but will remain in contact with Facebook managers and “will not rest until data protection is improved decisively.”

The changes so far aren’t enough “to protect the privacy of users and to comply with our German law, which has higher standards than elsewhere in the world and America,” Aigner added.

She complained that the network’s data protection system remains too complicated and geared toward opting out of sharing information rather than opting in.

Aigner has also harshly criticized Google Inc. for failing to respect German data protection regulations through its Street View mapping program.


Fedbook: Blatanly the Fed’s Book

June 24, 2010

CNET News
By: Caroline McCarthy

Facebook announced Thursday the hire of Marne Levine, as its first-ever Vice President of Global Public Policy. She’ll start at the Palo Alto, Calif.-based tech company next month but will remain based in Washington, D.C. Currently, she serves as chief of staff for the White House National Economic Counsel; previously, following a background in the online payments space, she worked in the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Legislative Affairs and Public Liaison, and was chief of staff to former Treasury head Larry Summers when he was president of Harvard University.

“I’m excited that Marne is joining my team as Vice President, Global Public Policy,” a statement from Facebook vice president of communications Elliot Schrage read. “With over 70 percent of our users living outside the United States, her unique mix of government and Internet industry experience will be invaluable to help Facebook address some of the most interesting questions at the intersection of technology and public policy.”

As Facebook draws ever closer to the half-billion-member milestone, the company increasingly finds itself dealing with international governments and legislative bodies both inside and outside of the U.S. Part of Levine’s job will be to help build public policy teams in Asia, Europe, and the Americas; Facebook’s existing D.C. branch head, Tim Sparapani, will continue to manage the company’s relationship with the U.S. government.

Part of Levine’s background–connections to Harvard University, the Treasury Department, and Larry Summers–sounds a whole lot like that of another Facebook executive, chief operating officer and former Google sales exec Sheryl Sandberg, who was Summers’ chief of staff when he was at the Treasury Department. Sandberg was one of Facebook’s first prominent employees to come from a government background rather than Silicon Valley.

Facebook’s existing D.C. connections also run deep thanks to Donald Graham, chairman of the Washington Post Company, who serves on Facebook’s board of directors. The Washington Post was also the outlet for an op-ed penned by CEO Mark Zuckerberg after the company’s most recent privacy controversy, indicating Facebook’s desire to further permeate the close-knit world of D.C. influence and dealmaking.


Fedbook: Ghosts From the Past

May 17, 2010

Can you remember back two-years? How about two-years ago on Facebook? Ugh has it been that long?

Two years ago was the beginning of the end, or at the very least it was the moment where the users of Facebook began to realize something wasn’t right with Facebook Inc.

In light of this fact, we’re posting a submitter’s frustrated letter about some shitass third-party application:

Facebook “Choice Makers”-

The news describes the malicious behavior of “Secret Crush” *which is what ended up compromising my browser that day on the I to wrote you.

http://www.news.com/8301-10789_3-9840441-57.html?tag=cd.blog

Here is my question Facebook … Are you selling us out to these “third party” operators? Is this why your initial and second reply indicate less concern for my “Facebook experience” than I’ve seen in the past?

I don’t know why, but I really hope “Mark’s company” and all it’s practices do decide to adopt a more ethical defensive mindset than the usual sell out … like MySpace did.

My guess is, in this era; I’m probably being too optimistic and should have no reservations, as it appears FB does not either? This is rhetorical.

Thanks for caring.

This application may still be up in the Facebook apps, we looked and saw something with the app name there… it could also be some moron who made a new one because it doesn’t seem to have a lot of users.

Enjoy the past irony and happy Facebooking!


Fedbook: Watch As Facebook Holds Your Profile Hostage…

May 5, 2010

New terms mean new demands. And the new demands are clear:

“Register this computer

Please take a moment to register this computer by choosing a name you’ll remember later. You’ll receive a notification confirming that you registered and logged in from here. Please note that if you clear your cookies you may need to reregister this computer.”


The “yesterday” date mark is May 4th, 2010 and there are no other topics regarding this new(?) demand before this date anywhere online of what we could find, in any forum. This new “security measure” seems pretty damn recent.

Don’t believe it? Well it happened to us today!


Before “registering” anything we’ve given Facebook the opportunity to answer for themselves. We sent them an email, “Why are we having to register a computer we’ve used for the last five years to log in to Facebook today?” What do you want to bet two outcomes – 1. no reply  or 2. a form reply claiming “security” due to phishing and malware…

We’ve also taken the liberty to write Senators Schumer, Franken, Bennet, Begich, and our own State’s Attorney Generals as well on this and one thing is for sure – we aren’t registering SHIT until we get a response from someone. (see edit)

You know, there are other ways of dealing with “hacked accounts” instead of  gathering even more information than usual, on every computer that connects to Facebook. It’s not like they don’t log our IP’s.

The splash page has made it clear though, if you want to get onto their network to see your information, you have no choice but to give them even more information about your home location than has ever been needed in the past. (And quite frankly, should not be needed now.) There really is no excuse for this but let’s see them try to make up a good one.

EDIT: Of course we got the form letters today from Bennet and FBook but we also read the link above’s new development - which indicates that the logging of your computer’s ID issue is due to yet another new setting in the overly confusing plethora of new, rearranged, and reworded Facebook settings. Remember the slider settings? Those were good times. Anyway, this new setting could have been automatically changed for you, or you could have changed it not knowing what it does because it’s not very clear in an explanation on what it does and how it works.

In fact this is what the setting says word for word:

“To help keep your Facebook account as safe as possible, we can notify you when your account is accessed from a computer or mobile device that you haven’t used before.

Would you like to receive notifications for logins from new devices?”

Sounds harmless enough to check “Yes” for but it really isn’t because it’s not 100% truthful about what it does.

Ultimately, there’s nothing in that explanation about “Team Zuckerberg” locking your ass out of your account till Facebook registers your computer. You know, the computer you’ve been consistently using to log into FB for the last five years. Even though the setting says “…computers or mobile device that you haven’t used before.”

So if you’re thinking about using their “security settings,” you’d better think again because THIS is what happens.

Anyway, if you’re locked out then that’s it. You are locked the fuck out till you name your computer in their records. After getting the form letters we registered our computers – this was my registration result:




UP NEXT… On the topic of new demands and forcing you to do shit you don’t want to do: Facebook has been on the offensive about prominently linking your likes and interests, to your account. You can be dicking around, emailing team members, managing a group and the next thing you know you’re being told, not asked, to link to some malarkey:

What WE do in this situation is just hit the “refresh” button and it goes away. That’s our “No” button. Refresh = no. It works at the moment. But if you think that’s all you’ll see of that sheisty message… believe us – you’ll be seeing it often.

Facebook is being relentless about wrangling its little bundles of commodities [YOU] into well behaving rows of information to present to the Wall Street Journal, Sephora, Scribd, and other ass-tastic corporations on their buddy list.

Just keep hitting refresh on this and happy Facebooking you little well-behaved little bundles of commoditized information.


Fedbook: Discussing Senator Schaumer’s Letter To Mark Zuckerberg

May 3, 2010

Two-weeks ago Facebook implemented some asinine changes in regards to sharing your privacy with their favorite corporate buddies. A behavior which continues to run along the sort of destructive path we’ve all come to expect from Facebook.

A month before this malarkey went down Facebook announced the planned change. Kim-Mai Cutler @ Venture Beat asked Barry Schnitt, Facebook’s director of communications and public policy, if there would be a way to opt-out of the new personal data-share plan. “No,” would be the indirect, but mostly direct answer.

Over the last couple years Facebook has been penalized by authorities of other countries for their policy behavior – but in the corporately hi-jacked USA, shit like this gets ignored all the time! Think Paypal.

OK if you haven’t taken some time in the last decade to get to know the shadiness that is Paypal/Ebay, then proceed with the basic summary here: In the EU, Paypal is held up to the authority of the banking standards which govern the region’s economy. What’s different between us and them?  In the US, Paypal isn’t held to the same “stringent” standards and practices which govern banks and other financial institutions. Paypal operates without the same SEC laws a bank like Chase, would be held to. Paypal is NOT FDIC insured so in other words, Paypal is an unregulated money philanderer. They’re not the high-end gigolos banks are, they’re just straight up whores for the money.

I’ve watched Paypal rip a small business off for $20,000 … putting the tiny operation out of business as it spun its little wheels using loans to try to recoup the cash Paypal unreasonably froze and fined. And who stepped in to help the small business owner? No one. That’s Paypal in America! And that shit happens every day, to more than one person at a time.

So how is Facebook like Paypal? Think of privacy as cash and there you have it.

Privacy is in fact, even more intrinsically valuable than cash and Facebook knows this. Facebook has taken personal privacy and turned it into any other commodity like crude oil, wheat, or gold. A Facebook account is no longer an innocent chat with mother, it’s a contribution to what the Facebook Brokerage will sell out on the commodities market.

Mark Zuckerberg, Commodity Trader: “Sally’s love of SAFEWAY brownies are for sale!!!!”
Assy McClinched, Commodity Buyer for CNN: “DAMN! That’s A GREAT price for that info about Sally, Mark! I’ll buy her account and add her to the share pool! Thanks!”

As you can you see, privacy, like money, actually needs protection. Educated alarmists are not just talking out of their butts. Facebook, like Paypal, are the unregulated ass-rapers of your checkbook and your privacy. And apathy … well apathy is the pegged dildo they do it with. Maybe you’ll care when it’s your turn.

So there are two points to today’s posting other than drawing whimsical comparisons and generating thought.

The first point is in the last few days Senator Schumer wrote Facebook and called Mark Zuckerberg out on the recent bullshit. Whether this is a publicity stunt or really will be a result of a true action, this is a good thing. It’s good because for once, a bad issue that’s been created by a large/greedy corporation who usually get’s the “hush-hush pass” from the press and bureaucracy, is being singled out! This shit is rare and good!

And then this brings me to the second reason for this posting… I have seen some dumb-dumbs out there comment on stories related to Schumer’s letter. Just reeeeeeeally fucking stupid comments. More ignorant opinions from ignorant people who don’t know wtf is really going on. Those muthafuckers take note: Ignorant opinions are not good for anyone. Ignorant opinions hurt the brains of people who’ve invested time into being educated about social issues because they, the reader who seeks solid/educated thought, just read what you wrote and it was soooo stupid it burned a hole in their brain. Ignorant opinions make apathetic ignoramuses even stupider by justifying their reasoning to not actually go fucking read up on the issue themselves, and just take the word from some other unread hayseed. Ignorant opinions and apathy are like an airborne diseases, they spread and infect easily.

Let’s try this: If you’re unread on a particular issue, then how can you really have a developed thought on it to share with anyone else? Stop peeing in our drinking water ok? There’s no shame in saying “Oh I’m not educated in that issue enough to have a valid opinion.” Ooor!!! Or just in keeping your under-developed thoughts to yourself and your mouth shut. No shame in that. Remember – ignorance is bad. Knowledge is good. They don’t teach that in kindergarten these days I guess.

Because I’m feeling frisky, I’ll break it down some more for those assholes with ignorance constantly spewing from their mouths like it was oil out of a broken oil platform in the Gulf. Assholes who make comments like, “Oh yea so let’s look into the Senator’s privacy records.”

THAT’S NOT THE FUCKING POINT AT THIS FUCKING MOMENT YOU FUCKING SPAZZ-BASKET. ONE ISSUE AT A TIME!!! PREFERABLY THE ONE THAT ACTUALLY COUNTS, FIRST!

Or blatantly half-witted comments like, “Why does the government have to get involved in this? Can’t they just mind their business for once?”

This tea party sounding ass-hatery; the declaration of anarchy or libertarian trendsetting needs to quit. You’re angry at the government, but not at the corporations who’ve infiltrated our government, education, and economy in a takeover? You’re mad at an irrelevant politician instead of the corporation that’s going to charge you your tax dollars to fight for your right in a court of law – when that same fucking corporation could’ve saved us all from spending the cash and just gone ahead with being ethical on their own in the first place?

It’s not government that’s the issue, it’s regulation. Too much regulation and you end up like North Korea. Too little regulation and you end up like the Native Americans when Christopher Colombus raped and murdered their wives in front of them. So to say you’re for “no regulation” makes you look like a greedy fuck who wants the rules removed so you can ass-rape to your heart’s content, or it makes you look especially stupid. And vice versa.

You don’t want your privacy protected because you’re unread? HAH! And BY THE WAY, why the fuck do you think the USA is in an economic shit-storm?

ITS BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT DIDN’T REGULATE THE ASSHOLES IN SUITS FOR 30 FUCKING YEARS. Those assholes NEED enforced regulation! THEY CLEARLY AREN’T INTERESTED IN TAKING ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITY ON AS AN ADDITION TO THEIR SHITASS CORPORATE POLICIES!

So YES ASSHOLE. Facebook’s behavior is a huge issue because the definition of yours, and my personal privacy is VERY VALUABLE. Say it with us, PRIVACY IS VALUABLE.

PRIVACY SHOULD NOT BE A COMMODITY.

Finally there are the comments of… “Well then just close you account.”

That helps a little but not enough. Facebook is perverting the definition of privacy of which we all have come to love today. Regardless if you have an account or not the company is being reckless with the overall idea of privacy. And from this bullshit wall-street-like irresponsibility they’re wielding, we the US Taxpayers, the Canadian Taxpayers, the EU Taxpayers, and all other Taxpayers, are going to end up having to pay for the laws to save us from the raping of our ideas of what personal privacy really means and should continue to mean.

So now that I’ve said my piece on why this shit matters GREATLY, I’m leaving you with Schumer’s letter. Read it, and fucking get the issue. Stop being ignorant.

Schumer was joined in his letter to Facebook by Senators Franken, Bennet, and Begich:

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,

We are writing to express our concern regarding recent changes to the Facebook privacy policy and the use of personal data on third party websites. While Facebook provides a valuable service to users by keeping them connected with friends and family and reconnecting them with long-lost friends and colleagues, the expansion of Facebook – both in the number of users and applications – raises new concerns for users who want to maintain control over their information.

The following three changes have raised concerns:

1. Publicly available data. Facebook’s expansion of publicly available data to include a user’s current city, hometown, education, work, likes, interests, and friends has raised concerns for users who would like to have an opt-in option to share this profile information. Through the expanded use of “connections,” Facebook now obligates users to make publicly available certain parts of their profile that were previously private. If the user does not want to connect to a page with other users from their current town or university, the user will have that information deleted altogether from their profile. We appreciate that Facebook allows users to type this information into the “Bio” section of their profiles, and privatize it, but we believe that users should have more control over these very personal and very common data points. These personal details should remain private unless a user decides that he/she would like to make a connection and share this information with a community.

2. Third party data storage. Previously, Facebook allowed third-party advertisers to store profile data for 24 hours. We are concerned that recent changes allow that data to be stored indefinitely. We believe that Facebook should reverse this policy, or at a minimum require users to opt in to allowing third parties to store data for more than 24 hours.

3. Instant personalization. We appreciate that Facebook is attempting to integrate the functionality of several popular websites, and that Facebook has carefully selected its initial partners for its new “instant personalization” feature. We are concerned, however, that this feature will now allow certain third party partners to have access not only to a user’s publicly available profile information, but also to the user’s friend list and the publicly available information about those friends. As a result of the other changes noted above, this class of information now includes significant and personal data points that should be kept private unless the user chooses to share them. Although we are pleased that Facebook allows users to opt-out of sharing private data, many users are unaware of this option and, moreover, find it complicated and confusing to navigate. Facebook should offer users the ability to opt-in to sharing such information, instead of opting out, and should make the process for doing so more clear and coherent.

We hope that Facebook will stand by its goal of creating open and transparent communities by working to ensure that its policies protect the sensitive personal biographical data of its users and provide them with full control over their personal information. We look forward to the FTC examining this issue, but in the meantime we believe Facebook can take swift and productive steps to alleviate the concerns of its users. Providing opt-in mechanisms for information sharing instead of expecting users to go through long and complicated opt-out processes is a critical step towards maintaining clarity and transparency.


Share: You Belong (to them) Indefinitely

April 23, 2010

That’s right – no hilarious Friday post because this week was a marked black shroud for personal privacy everywhere.

In fact we’re going to just add one more Consumerist post to our collection because it should be shared.

In the words of Dr. Lexus from Idiocracy, “… shits all retarded.”
Enjoy your weekend…


Fedbook: They Sold Your Ass Out… AGAIN!!!!!!

April 21, 2010

YOU’VE (we’ve) BEEN SOLD OUT

And so my lovelies, *It* has finally arrived.
Behold! Facebook’s new affront on your right to privacy!

Just a few short weeks ago Facebook announced a new way they’re going to sell you out to snake companies and at that time, they told us they hadn’t really thought about how, and if the we deserved an “opt out.” Sounds buzz-tastically familiar?


Well the news is here, and here it is!:



Let’s capture that exact fact in time:


And who exactly are these listed “partner sites”? You wont find that information in Facebook’s Site Governance profile or in their “Help Center.”

TECHNICAL USEFULNESS

If you’ve wondered where the cutting edge development has gone in Facebook’s technical usefulness, this is where the development has run off to: Facebook is no longer focused on making a worthwhile, trusty platform with the user in mind, they’re more interested in making a platform with the benefit of shit-ass companies in mind.

Oh technical usefulness! You cheating whore!

CRACKING THE CODE

In light of this news and Facebook’s attempt to sugar coat the truth, we here at Facebook Watchdog have spent a fortnight, tons, of time and “lots and lots of money” in cracking the OH SO FANTASTICALLY TOUGH CODE on Facebook’s new promotional explanation page.

We know this page says ONE thing, but we’ve figured out what it REALLY means. Have a look wont you!

“OPTING OUT”

So in the grand scheme of things, with this new announcement Facebook has indeed offered a convoluted “Opt-Out.” Last month they didn’t feel like they needed to give us one, this month they’ve provided their users a carefully worded choice to “Opt-Out” of Social Plugins – however you still can’t “Opt-Out” from the newly deemed, “Facebook Public Information.”

Anyway we went ahead and followed the steps of this very generous offer…

There you have it! Facebook’s new run on your privacy and your personal exploitation. We’re not surprised here given the company’s track record. It’ll be interesting what legalities, if any arise from this. We doubt the U.S. Government gives a shit about the user’s right since that shit’s all kinds of sold out to lobbies…

What exactly would a D.C. based Facebook lobby look like?

Happy Facebooking!!!!


Fedbook: Facebook Insists on Owning Your Box (one way or another)

April 15, 2010

Do you remember when getting “internet screwed” by cookies was good enough? Well it’s not good enough for Facebook.

In a recent interface change the company has turned to a persistent campaign to tell you they’re installing something on to your computer to allow for uploads. There’s no explanation in the message saying, you don’t have to and the original up-loader is always an option. But they do give you the option to tell the new installer to remember that you said no. And no means no right? Apparently not to Facebook.

If you get accosted by this dumb ploy to dominate your privacy even more than usual, keep clicking “Don’t Install.” It’ll take you to the old skool conventional up-loader. They don’t tell you that’s what happens but it does. You can still upload your privacy without downloading their anti-privacy. And you can go ahead and try to click that little radio button in hopes that Facebook respects you enough to maintain that record, but it wont. It will keep asking you to install their spyware. Be vigilant my good privacy warriors. Just keep saying no.

Happy Uploading!


Fedbook: Facebook’s Interface Hates You

April 2, 2010

En route to going back all 6-years of posts on Facebook, poor Selma ran into a bold-faced lie.

There are no posts after March 09, you say?
Even though you’ve been posting since early 2005?!

Greedy Facebook sure doesn’t want to make managing your personal information simple.

Happy posting!


Fedbook: Taking Away Your Access

April 1, 2010

It’s clear where Facebook stands in respect to business ethics and their user’s rights. They couldn’t care less.

First there was Beacon in 2007 where Facebook’s user activity was openly shared with outside companies unbeknownst to the user. A lawsuit was filed and eventually Beacon was canceled in 2009.

Coincidentally in 2009, Facebook made some unannounced changes to its privacy policy on general search engine accessibility to its user’s Profiles. Once hidden Profile details, Photo albums, Groups details, and Page details had been reset to unhidden, or in other terms made live for search engines to crawl over and store in their own databases.

This means people’s private information was made available online for anyone searching for them.

i.e. Pictures from high school, parties, intimate moments, etc… were now searchable by any interested party.

“Facebook estimates that 20% to 30% of users change their privacy settings. Facebook selected the default privacy settings to reflect what they thought users want.”

(Make sure to write Facebook [ ops@facebook.com and abuse@facebook.com ] and thank them for making such a thoughtful decision to invade your privacy on behalf of only 20 or 30 percent of it’s hundred million users.)

At the top of 2010 Facebook completely changed its user interface in a spectacular overhaul of how user’s information is managed and viewed. The change was so excessive and took so many people by surprise that it was met with a great dissatisfaction from its users across the globe. At that same time Mark Zuckerberg also announced that privacy is no longer relevant. Meanwhile Facebook is staying private about its affairs.

Moral-less Capitalists argue that Facebook shouldn’t be obligated to handle user information responsibly since the service is “free” but that argument is more of a narrow-minded, self-preservationists ideal rather than the real issue. Time and personal information are both extremely valuable commodities of which users are paying with, to use the Facebook service. It isn’t “free,” users are paying.

Overall – this timeline represents a small fraction of how Facebook has misused its user’s personal information. These are just the stories that have been thoroughly proven enough to make it to the mainstream media. And while some stories make it and others do not, the common thread in the reports and the business practice of Facebook is an endeavor to limit your access to your own personal information:

  • You filled out personal details, they took it away.
  • You posted on friend’s walls and want to look it over two-weeks later, they’ve kept that information unsearchable.
  • You once had search fields to traverse the events, groups and pages, listings – those search tools have been revoked as well.
  • Facebook once started out as a simple and functional way to keep track of co-workers, friends, classmates, and family. It is no longer simple and accessible, and therefore is no longer a tool of functionality. In the past five-years Facebook has intentionally morphed into a frustratingly inaccessible human data farm unless of course, you are a corporation in need of profit generating statistics.

    Happy sharing!


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