'It may also be worth noting that before Professor Burns became an academic, she spent seven years in corporate marketing and the course she teaches is the "principles of public relations."'
KidsAcademics these days!
Facebook wants to hear what you have to say. Literally. Professor Kelli Burns claims to have tested a hunch that the social media giant's mobile application is listening to everything you say and providing ads based on that content, and discovered it was true. The mass communication prof at the University of South Florida, …
>Android: Settings > Privacy and emergency > App permissions. Find Facebook and turn off mic access
That tip is a kind thought, but I suspect that option is limited to just some flavours of Android. Using the string Android Settings "Privacy and emergency" only returns results about Samsung phones. Darned fragmentation!
AFAIK, being able to toggle permissions on an app by app basis is something that Google have toyed with in Android (remnants of the necessary framework have been spotted in the last few versions), and some vendor versions (e.g Xiaomi MIUI) incorporate such a feature.
Permission toggling is a standard option now on current Android (i.e. 6+), although not everyone seems to know about it even when they have it (or just don't care!).
Settings > Apps > App you want to look at > Permissions.
As an example, I don't have Facebook installed (or pre-installed, Nexus device), but I do have Facebook Messenger (all my friends use it), and it has toggles for Camera, Contacts, Location, Microphone, SMS, Storage & Telephone, all of which are disabled by default, and none of which have been switched on since it was installed, and the App still works fine for what I use it for.
This is for Android 6.0 or later. Some options are also available in Cyanogenmod if your carrier and device manufacturer is too cheap or lazy to upgrade Android.
If you do have Android 6 or Cyanogenmod, be sure to go through all the apps and turn off many unnecessary permissions. The microphone is a big one. Turn off location too except for a few special apps, i.e. map apps, weather radar. And then turn off all Google privacy settings, both on the Android and on Google's own privacy controls website.
Ditto Cyanogen OS - as supplied with the Wileyfox Storm (and the facility is probably there on the Swift as well).
Settings -> Personal section -> Privacy -> Privacy Guard
My policy is also to turn off everything initially, only enabling what I think an app should need to perform its function.
1. Just added this week and defaulting to 'on' of course:
"Ads on apps and websites off of the Facebook Companies"
"Adverts with my social actions"
"Adverts based on my preferences"
Older option, but no way to permanently disable, so this must be purged frequently. Just how are FB slurping with private-browsing, ad-blockers and hosts-blocking? Clearly its IP + Browser-Signature based. ... Fuckers....
It's a privacy option merry-go-round. They appear and disappear constantly and it's impossible for most people to keep on top of them and set the way they want.
But all commentards here know this. The easiest way is not to have an account.
Sadly I am continually hassled by SWMBO to have an account so I now have one....equally sadly I made some mistakes around my personal details when I created it but I did write them down so that's OK. Additionally it is on a FB-only VM on a laptop which wasn't being used as it has rippled down the capability stack so it got rebuilt with some Linux or other (didn't care which) and then a VM on top for the hell of it.
"And third, it only works when plugged in (although Apple has reportedly considered turning off the plugged-in restriction)"
I understand that this depends on the hardware. The iPhone 6S hardware allows Siri to work at all times while the iPhone 5 hardware only allows Siri to work when the iPhone screen is on.
"Today I took to the streets to protest all the warrantless wiretapping the government is doing and to protest all the data collection the government is doing. But I can totally trust you. So in exchange for having this wonderful free service, I will gladly hand over all that information that the shadowy government agencies want and more because you are totally not going to use it for evil purposes. Tomorrow I will protest the evils of big businesses and how their huge markups are hurting the poor of the world. I just hope my iPhone battery will last long enough so that I can blog about this protest non-stop on Facebook. Signed, a naive Facebook user."
"My solution is that I refuse to have the FB app on my phone"
Yeah - but what about the people around you?
I'd never install that Facebook shite on my phone, either - but if other people's phones have it, and if it does listen in, then it's still listening to conversations that involve me. Even if it doesn't know specifically who I am*, just some random third party.
* currently - technology improves over time (while UIs seem to get worse, but that's another story!)
I'd never install that Facebook shite on my phone, either - but if other people's phones have it, and if it does listen in, then it's still listening to conversations that involve me. Even if it doesn't know specifically who I am
Hey, that's my Intellectual Property you're stealing Facebook, is that even legal? I'm surprised Hollywood hasn't taken a hit out on Zuck (judging by the amount of people who don't put their phone in aeroplane mode whilst in the cinema).
..... It doesn't really matter. You also need to refuse to have friends. You can nail down your account as much as you like. But your clueless friends allow FB to upload their entire phonebook which includes your name, address, phone numbers, DOB etc. etc. It doesn't really matter what you do unless you have 100% control over your contacts. And non of us do.
Really you're looking after your friends data, but they're not looking after yours.
And sadder still, Farcebork builds a blind profile of you, without your permission or knowledge, if you don't have a "real" one.
Everytime you punch a "like" button, or visit a page with Farcebork code/bloatware/bugware in it, unless you have scripting turned off and Farcebork's IPs blocked, they get info on you.
Total monitoring, total "influence", total control.
But who will watch the watchers?
Another bunch of crooks...
And that's the saddest of all. Meet the new boss; same as the old boss.
Talking about profiles..
I was dismayed when G+ made a little exibition of all my theoretically publically accessible photos that used to only be available if you had the obscure Picasa link!
Nothing very embarrassing there, but being an old skool human being, that don't expect private stuff being hang out for all to see, it was really annoying.
The first time an app wants to access the microphone, it has to ask for permission. So if Facebook has been given permission to access it on an iPhone, it is because you granted that permission yourself.
IIRC didn't Android 6.0 finally allow users to disable permissions for apps post-installation? As that version starts reaching more phones in the next few years apps won't be able to pull this kind of crap (even if Facebook isn't doing it, you can be damn sure some Android apps are)
That explains why when I went to turn it off the option wasn't even there... I must have been asked once, said 'hell no' and so now I can't even enable it. I assume there's a way to try and do something in the app which needs microphone access, which will pop up the prompt again.
I do appreciate how iOS makes every app ask for each permission individually, rather than just 'this app needs all this, you want to run it or what?'
Quote: "IIRC didn't Android 6.0 finally allow users to disable permissions for apps post-installation?"
It's the other-way round. All permissions are denied/off by default, and you are then prompted to grant an individual permission when the app tries to use that permission. You can allow, or deny at that point, and the app is required to gracefully accept your option (i.e. don't bomb out if someone says no, or stop the rest of the app working because you denied one permission).
If you change your mind later, you can just go into Apps > 'App name' > Permissions, and toggle the permissions off again.
Time to dust off the Nokia 3310 and stick two fingers up to this crap. The whole "You can turn it off" argument is crap, it shouldn't be on in the first place and we should be asked before this crap is turned on.
And hell, if Nokia have been doing it since the 3310 I'm going to go get myself a carrier pigeon.
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