back to article Facebook previews GDPR privacy tools and, yep, it's the same old BS

Facebook has previewed its new privacy settings, developed to meet new European privacy legislation that comes into force next month. The social network is keen to promote the changes as evidence it is listening to concerns – from users and lawmakers – about how it gathers and sells private information, and argues that the new …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    According to Private Eye, Facebook are also updating the T&C for their "Custom Audiences" product (and presumanly other similar products) to make the advertiser agree that they are the data controller for any personal data that may be used.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Which is of course bollocks as the advertiser doesn't get to agree to whether or not they are the controller. Chances are Facebook are still the data controller in these instances, possibly with the advertiser as a co-controller.

    2. Adam 52 Silver badge

      The entire Ad industry is doing this. Led by Google and Group M. It needs stopping, urgently. Write to your MP.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Write to your MP

        Yeah, that only works if you've got a decent MP. Mine is that lying Tory shit, Chloe Smith. Last year she got booed and hissed at when she thought she could get away with speaking complete bollocks at the opening of Norwich Pride. This was a woman who bleats the "right noises" but then votes to make the lives of her constituents worse off. A total scumbag!

        We nearly unseated her last time around - hope we have better luck next time.

      2. steviebuk Silver badge

        And then start having to pay for Gmail, Outlook.com (although you can already pay to get rid of the ads on that), Facebook.

        Annoying as these privacy issues are, I still feel it's up to you, mostly (sometimes you've not given a choice I understand that) to hand over your data to use their services for free. If you don't wish them to have your data, simply stop using their services.

        But that is easier said than done when some sites only allow you to now login with Facebook etc.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          > If you don't wish them to have your data, simply stop using their services

          If it were that easy, then I wouldn't object as strongly to them. But it's not. You also have to convince everyone you know who uses Facebook to avoid uploading or posting any data about you. Good luck with that.

        2. DavCrav Silver badge

          "Annoying as these privacy issues are, I still feel it's up to you, mostly (sometimes you've not given a choice I understand that) to hand over your data to use their services for free. If you don't wish them to have your data, simply stop using their services."

          I deleted my Facebook account a few minutes ago.

          (I had deactivated it a few weeks ago, and decided I didn't need it, and with the recent announcement that they are moving all of Europe's records to the US, I decided to press the button and get rid of the slimeball once and for all.)

          1. DavCrav Silver badge

            "(I had deactivated it a few weeks ago, and decided I didn't need it, and with the recent announcement that they are moving all of Europe's records to the US, I decided to press the button and get rid of the slimeball once and for all.)"

            Correction: it appears that they are moving everyone other than Europeans away from Europe to the US. I still do not regret my decision.

        3. Chet Mannly

          "And then start having to pay for Gmail, Outlook.com"

          Yeah that's why I ended up going with a paid service. It's only $20 a year. Things like this make me value privacy more than that.

          Harder with facebook though, I have friends all over the world and it really is the best way to keep in touch. I compensate with adding all kinds of false stuff in my profile. It's kinda fun to put "morris dancing" as an interest and watching the wacky and totally irrelevant ads come though LOL

    3. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Eh...

      "To be clear, Facebook's entire business model is built on gathering as much information as possible on you and then figuring out how to use that information to make as much money as possible.

      That's why the economists call it Surveillance Capitalism.

      Surveillance capitalism is a term first introduced by John Bellamy Foster and Robert McChesney in Monthly Review in 2014 and later popularized by academic Shoshana Zuboff that denotes a new genus of capitalism that monetizes data acquired through surveillance.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "an opportunity to invest even more heavily in privacy."

    You know, Zuck, in the Real World, you first have to invest in something before you can invest more.

    I read through this article just to remind myself of why I don't have a FaceBook account.

    Mission accomplished.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'Mission accomplished.'

      Shadow Profiles? Data-Brokers? Until all your friends / family / colleagues also quit the platform, saying 'mission is accomplished' is like toasting the Invasion of Iraq...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 'Mission accomplished.'

        Whilst you are correct, as the Tesco advert (no I don't have a frigging clubcard and yes I'm playing by cash) say, 'Every little bit helps'

        Reduce your recognisable web footprint which will help in the long term.

        My current gripe is with companies who insist on you giving THEM all your contact details before you can even get a ball park price for goods (standard products) they sell. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: 'Mission accomplished.'

          "My current gripe is with companies who insist on you giving THEM all your contact details before you can even get a ball park price for goods "

          Yeah, that's annoying -- but that's relatively easy to deal with. I just don't do business with those companies.

          1. Adam 52 Silver badge

            Re: 'Mission accomplished.'

            "I just don't do business with those companies"

            I guess you don't have car insurance then.

    2. ST Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: "an opportunity to invest even more heavily in privacy."

      > I don't have a FaceBook account

      THIS.

      I don't either. For obvious reasons. I have Google. That's enough slurping for me.

      My question is: how many current Facebook users are willing to delete their Facebook account, delete all the cookies Facebook stored on their computer and forget it exists?

      Facebook will not change because its users complain about its practices. The only thing that might change - from time to time - is their PR bullshit.

      So, cut off the money spigot. Delete your Facebook account.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: "an opportunity to invest even more heavily in privacy."

        I don't either. For obvious reasons. I have Google. That's enough slurping for me.

        I now have DuckDuckGo, Google is restricted from running scripts etc. on my machines - apart from my smartphone, where as much as possible is disabled.

        1. Graham Cobb

          Re: "an opportunity to invest even more heavily in privacy."

          I now have DuckDuckGo

          I have now moved on to Searx (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Searx). It finds more stuff than DDG (DDG is one of the engines it uses), although the tradeoff is that it really isn't so good at ordering the results. And you have to pick an instance to use (or run one yourself).

    3. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: "an opportunity to invest even more heavily in privacy."

      You are still on their database... https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/04/17/facebook_admits_to_tracking_non_users/

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > ... to make as money as possible."

    Might want to run a spell or grammar checker on the article text. Seems to be several typos, missing words, and similar.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      report corrections link, bottom of the page.

      No one likes a grass ;-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > report corrections link, bottom of the page.

        That's for correction of facts.

        Authors are assumed competent enough to run a spell checker before publishing.

        Not a completely accurate assumption it seems.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    What’s that blue ‘f’ icon at the bottom of every article page on this site?

    You know, the one that looks just like Facebook’s logo. Is it safe to click or tap it?

    1. Ian 69

      Re: What’s that blue ‘f’ icon at the bottom of every article page on this site?

      This, this, a thousand times this!!!

      Sorry Reg, you're talking the talk but...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What’s that blue ‘f’ icon at the bottom of every article page on this site?

      Although I agree that there should be no Facebook links anywhere on El Reg, at least they made them visible.

      Unlike most websites that choose to make the Facebook icons invisible to the user along with the one pixel by one pixel Facebook tracking beacon.

      (I can't see them however, as my router, host file and uMatrix all block this kind of trash)

      It appears that it would literally "break the internet" if you tried to block the Facebook beacon by distrusting it's Trust certificates as they use several.

      However, it appears that Digicert is used more often than others:

      https://censys.io/certificates?q=fbcdn.net

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WARNING:

    Watch-it if you're using Facebook's Download-Your-Data feature. Zuk embedded Phone-Home links back to Facebook, despite including the photos in the Download-zip anyway. The links work like 'Pixel Beacons' and take the following form below. Facebook were not doing this a year ago:

    https://scontent.fbog2-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-0/p600x600/[VERY-LONG-SERIAL-NUMBER].jpg?_nc_cat=0&_nc_ad=z-m&_nc_cid=0&oh=[LONG-SERIAL-NUMBER]

  6. adnim

    Nice article Kieren

    It's all about psychology and manipulation.

    Did you know that the screens on gambling machines are designed with the input of psychologists?

    The problem I have is where I draw the line between shrugging my shoulders and thinking... "I don't really give a fuck, perhaps it's evolution" and "For fuck sake people wake the fuck up".

    Please advise :-)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Facebook users are constantly Mushroomed

    Fed Shit / Kept in the Dark... Where is the answer to this for example: If you travel overseas for work, or log-in on holiday, what happens to your Facebook data then? (What even ties a user to Europe and GDPR etc)...

    What criteria is used by Facebook to decide whether EU / non-EU data-rape rules apply: The location you set in your profile.. The Geo-IP location where the account was originally opened.. The location where the account was principally accessed in the past 12 months.. The location of the majority of your friends etc.. One-month to GDPR, how will this work?

    One thing is certain, the Irish DPC (OPDC) is too busy being complicit to answer any of these questions. If you ask, Helen's Dixon's office will just refer you back to Facebook. Jobs for the lads in Ireland and artificial GDP numbers, mean Politicians always look the other way. Wake up EU leaders!

  8. Tessier-Ashpool

    I don't generally swear in public...

    But this article is fucking awesome. Very clearly written and exposes Facebook for what they really are. It needs to be reprinted verbatim in the national press.

  9. LenG

    Just say no

    I do not have a facebook account but it is getting increasingly difficult to maintain that status as so many companies have taken to using facebook as a channel to provide important information to their (potential) clients. I try to avoid dealing with such companies but I seem to be in a shrinking minority of people who don't want to splash their information across the world.

    1. Triggerfish

      Re: Just say no

      This is the problem I have people may be switching of facebook in the West, South East Asia is a different story, pretty much everything is done on there.

      I didn't even use facebook really till I moved out here, now I have messenger on my phone dammit.

    2. Netscrape

      Re: Just say no

      LenG, I'm with you. Never been on facebook and apart from the occasional strange faces I get from people I will stay off it.

      Now that the Facebook data scandal is more mainstream, I have some grounds for not being there.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The message just isn't getting through

    Some believe if they never had a Facebook account, they're in the clear. Here's what we know: Firms upload their entire CRM data to FB. Ever got a quote from anybody Bam! Credit reference data is also traded. So... Ever had a credit card or loan? Bam! Supermarket / Cinema loyalty card? Bam!

    Facebook also slurped some users Android messages and texts, and in general it actively dupes users into uploading phonebooks with contact numbers / emails. Can you can be remotely sure you're not in there, you can't! You'd have to be a super human hermit to have escaped all that.

    So the question how exposed are you actually? There's no way to know that, because Zuk never added a Download-Data option for Non-Users. Even if you use Adblockers, Data-Sharing still goes on Server-Side... This often happens during online flight / hotels bookings. Nice juicy date there!

    Even if FB doesn't know you by name. Its likely everyone has been tokenised in a Lookalikes group by now. So the million dollar question is, is that feeding into custom pricing that you're seeing across the internet? Orbitz / Staples have done these kinds of trails for example..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'tokenised in a Lookalikes group by now'

      Anyone whose ever been at a busy Tourist site, or even just in the background at a birthday party, has probably had their image uploaded to Facebook already. Its just a question of, has Facebook managed to connect-the-dots with its other data-sets!

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: has Facebook managed to connect-the-dots with its other data-sets!

        Don't you mean 'Big Brother' (is watching you). That's what Facebook has become (along with Google and Amazon)

        Next, Zuck will propose changing the 12hr clock used in the US to a 13hour one.

        Amazon and Google (via their so called home assistants) are just as bad.

        Get off Facebook and all the other clearly antisocial snooping networks and take your Echo etc to recycling.

        Kick them out of your homes now. BB will have a harder time watching you.

        1. Chet Mannly

          Re: has Facebook managed to connect-the-dots with its other data-sets!

          "Amazon and Google (via their so called home assistants) are just as bad."

          I find those hilarious - let's put a microphone from companies known to be spying on me online and put it in the middle of my home.

          Oh, and I'll pay money for the microphone and supply the internet connection.

          It's like a Yes Minister episode...

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: The message just isn't getting through

      Can you can be remotely sure you're not in there, you can't! You'd have to be a super human hermit to have escaped all that.

      You can be crystal clear that you haven't. If just one person has your number in their phone book and has a facebook account, your privacy is toast.

      Roll on GDPR day - Remember folks, if everyone in Europe hits them with a GDPR request on the same day, they lose most of their revenue for the year. Rinse and repeat twice a year and they go pop. Their ONLY alternative will be to delete the data they hold about people that don't have an account and so haven't consented to the cyber stalking.

    3. LDS Silver badge

      "Firms upload their entire CRM data to FB"

      Here such act is illegal even before the GDPR, if I didn't give consent for my data to be used for marketing purposes beyond what needed to deliver a product/service - something I'm very careful always not to give. There are also stricter rules on what financial services can share with third parties.

      But sure, there are shady data collection practices that try to bypass rules. We hope shady data collection practices will be under far more scrutiny, now that GDPR becomes law.

      Like children, these companies always test how far they can go before being slapped. Hope some big fines will tell them what the limits are.

  11. jonfr

    Fines on the way for facebook

    I guess there is going to be a lot of fines on the way for facebook in near future.

    1. Herring`

      Re: Fines on the way for facebook

      Yep. There is no way that their maze of options counts as "clear and unambiguous" (as mandated by GDPR). I suspect that, come the end of May, they will also be suffering from a severe outbreak of SARs.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        There is no way that their maze of options counts as "clear and unambiguous"

        Also, it's against the "privacy by default" principle - it's clear from the process that the default is "no privacy". It would require the default button be "Keep disabled and continue".

    2. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: Fines on the way for facebook

      I gave you a downvote because, yes, that is what SHOULD happen. But look how long Max Schrems had been going at them and how useless the Irish data protection people have been so far.

      FarceBorg know that it'll take ages before the authorities decide that they can't keep their eyes closed any longer, and then ages again while they drag it out through the courts.

      So I agree, large fines should be in their future - but I can't see it being as soon as we all think would be justified.

  12. Lars Silver badge
    Happy

    I can understand why I did not sign up to FB, although I suppose they probably have my data too, for what ever it's worth. But what I cannot understand is why successful big international companies want to do it. it's like grownup men wanting to piss with teenagers.

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      I cannot understand is why successful big international companies want to do it

      MONEY

      What else is there to know ? These businesses are in business for the function of making money. They may have started out with good intent - Google started out with the aim of making stuff easy to find, Facebook started with the idea of networking people, etc, etc. But just like Google has dropped any pretence at "don't be evil" and now operates in a "how can we make most money, regardless of ethics" mode, FarceBorg has similarly gone down the route of "lets make lots of money" with the networking feature just being a way of getting people to give them the personal information they need to be able to sell it for that money.

  13. Lars Silver badge
    Coat

    @ElReg

    Why do you have this link to FB, do they pay you for it, do you assume we need it, why not simply get rid of it, I will not miss it. If they pay for it then do as you please.

    1. Smoking Man

      Re: @ElReg

      Use uBlock origin. Add a filter called "Fanboy’s Social Blocking List".

      No FB, Instagram, Google+ or other "click my crap" buttons anymore.

  14. Grade%

    Join the revolution!

    If there was ever a publication that could dispense with FB then this has to be it.

    It is time.

    #deletefacebook

  15. croc

    "People just submitted it ... I don’t know why ... they ‘trust me’ ... dumb fucks"

    It is my self-appointed job to forever remind people that leopards never change their spots.

  16. Richocet Bronze badge

    FB could make plain what information it will sell

    "The web giant could also make plain what information it will never provide to anyone else."

    They did. The answer was "none".

    So they didn't bother creating a page. Which is why it isn't there.

  17. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Perhaps FB will collapse as the castle in the sky it is.

    They must be desperate to prop it up now so the stock value doesn't totally collapse.

    Intangible assets..

  18. nss

    limbo

    So , if a non-fb user wants to download their data, they have to create an account to do so. But , I'm guessing all that will then do is then take them to some sort of welcoming page that says "Hey new user ! Glad you've finally arrived ! Start sharing your experiences / pictures / secrets with us ! I can see you already know Joe Bloggs, etc etc ". The user will then immediately start uploading cat photos ,and forget why they even came...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I m getting scared, *how* do they know so much stuff about me?

    I've gone to have a look at the settings, I've always done it from time to time to keep them strict, and now is a good time to check again.

    And in Ads / Your interests, they list several mobile apps I use, specifically, it says, because I installed them.

    The problem here is, *how can it know*?

    - I'm using a throwaway gmail account for Android which does not have my name

    - I've never logged in FB from my phone, not even from a browser, let alone from the apps

    - I've never created an account for those apps, nor, of course, used my FB account in them

    - I've not given FB my phone number

    - I'm using a dedicated, non-gmail address for FB

    There's some deep tracking going on here to correlate my activity that I simply can't understand anymore.

    -- Anon, but really, what's the point, I'm half-expecting this to appear on my timeline anyway...

    1. LDS Silver badge

      "I've not given FB my phone number"

      But probably some of your friends did...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "I've not given FB my phone number"

        "But probably some of your friends did..."

        Right, so any friend who would have given the FB app access to their contact list would also give them my name and phone number. That could be it. This, however, doesn't sound quite like a legal harvesting of data. My friends do not have any agreement in place with me to share my personal information with 3rd parties, they're of course only allowed to have it under the personal use exemption that the law obviously affords.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "they're of course only allowed to have it under the personal use exemption"

          Of course - but I'm sure Facebook et al. still would try to assert they are not liable for what the user uploads, and you'll have to sue your friends for uploading your data, not Facebook, despite the apps being designed to do it automatically and by default.

          It's years I'm telling the harvesting of address books (and other resources) should be banned because it infringes many privacy laws especially outside US, but I was in a minority, most people were and are ready to sell their address books in exchange for some free messaging apps... what could go wrong, after all? <G>

    2. luminous

      Re: I m getting scared, *how* do they know so much stuff about me?

      Your IP address? Unless you are using a completely different wifi/data connection on your phone to your other device?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I m getting scared, *how* do they know so much stuff about me?

        "Your IP address? Unless you are using a completely different wifi/data connection on your phone to your other device?"

        It's also a possibility, yes, though it's likely that would be only for further correlation rather than providing a perfect match by itself.

        In any case, I will make a formal request to Facebook by special snail mail and wait for their explanation, and depending on their answer, escalate to my local DPA.

  20. luminous

    Optional

    "You could prevent it from automatically identifying and tagging you in pictures that anyone else takes and uploads."

    How can I do this when I've never had a facebook account? And how do they get away with allowing me to be tagged (thus making some sort of shadow account on me) without my consent? Surely this is against some sort of data protection law? I guess there aren't enough people who have never been on Facebook to make a complaint about it that gains public attention?

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: Optional

      Surely this is against some sort of data protection law?

      Under current law, it's questionable at best.

      From 25th May it will be expressly illegal - but that won't stop them doing it.

  21. codejunky Silver badge

    Wow

    I have an innovative idea! If you dont want to give Facebook your data (or any of the others) then dont. Feel free to keep reading once you pick yourselves up off your chair (for the few who wont have thought such a thing possible).

    Does anyone really care? Or lets make this easier- how many of you have a facebook account? If you dont then it doesnt matter to you anyway. If you do then who put a gun to your head and forced you to sign up? More importantly who forced you to put up all those status updates of your mundane lives, pictures of your pets/holidays/cartoonified faces?

    I have an amazing shock for you- there are many forms of communication. You can email, phone, sms, mmsms and god knows how many other methods of talking to people but they will likely end the conversation if you stick 1 line of cryptic text about how you have had enough or an invite to some garbage you have no interest in.

    You do this by choice. Which means you are happy to put your information up there because you are willing to trade limited information to access facebook and then willing to post up more information to get people to look at you.

    Put in another context how many of you with FB accounts are willing to cough up money? Probably a lot less, which leads to less people being interested as your cheap friends wont be willing to pay to access the platform (I am one of those cheap people who would not pay money for FB). So if you use FB you are happy with FB collecting the data you freely give them to use to generate the money you are not willing to give them for the product you are using.

    Good news- facebook has moved users outside the US, Canada and the EU to US servers which puts them under US law not GDPR.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/apr/19/facebook-moves-15bn-users-out-of-reach-of-new-european-privacy-law

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Wow

      OK. We need to talk. I tend to sympathize with the blame-the-users mentality here; I'm quite cynical. However, the fact remains that pretty much everything you said here is wrong. Most of the wrong things were already covered in posts before yours, which I assume you've read. I'm going to cover your points:

      "I have an innovative idea! If you dont want to give Facebook your data (or any of the others) then dont."

      If you read the posts here, you'll find out that:

      1. Many of us don't give facebook any data.

      2. Many of us that don't give facebook data are rather certain that facebook has collected data on us anyway, without our consent, and without informing us or giving us any option to have it removed.

      3. Some people have specific reasons that not using facebook is harmful to them. You may contest that, or say that they shouldn't care, but it's reasonable for them to complain about data collection they didn't authorize as it's reasonable for you to complain that they haven't given it enough thought.

      "Feel free to keep reading once you pick yourselves up off your chair (for the few who wont have thought such a thing possible)."

      That isn't helpful. You're attacking people who don't give facebook data. It doesn't take much time to figure that is the case, as most of them state this outright.

      "Does anyone really care?"

      Yes, they do. That's why we're talking here. If you mean "does anyone outside this community care", you'll see that both the optimists and pessimists have discussed this specific question in these comments.

      "Or lets make this easier- how many of you have a facebook account? If you dont then it doesnt matter to you anyway."

      I previously said "Many of us that don't give facebook data are rather certain that facebook has collected data on us anyway, without our consent, and without informing us or giving us any option to have it removed." Therefore, it would matter to us. Also, things that don't affect us directly still matter to us. If I knew that people living next to me were periodically beating each other up, even if it never affected me, I'd still report it in the interest of protecting their health. It's called altruism, and it is important.

      "If you do then who put a gun to your head and forced you to sign up?"

      A reasonable question. However, people have explained why they need facebook accounts. You could question their need for the accounts, but the fact remains that facebook collects data that they did not intend to give. Maybe they assumed less data was disclosed, and were willing to give that data. For example, if you agreed to let me photograph your house every day in exchange for providing you a service, you'd be pretty angry if you found that instead I broke into your house and started photographing all your posessions.

      "More importantly who forced you to put up all those status updates of your mundane lives, pictures of your pets/holidays/cartoonified faces?"

      You're attacking again. Whether one's life is mundane or not is not related to whether facebook steals data. It's irrelevant.

      "I have an amazing shock for you- there are many forms of communication. You can email, phone, sms, mmsms and god knows how many other methods of talking to people but they will likely end the conversation if you stick 1 line of cryptic text about how you have had enough or an invite to some garbage you have no interest in."

      Yes, we have become aware of this fact. I have an amazing shock for you: people use facebook as a communication mechanism. Some people face disadvantages if they insist on using another. Some, including me, either have a lower level of such pressure or are more willing to be irritating, thus allowing us to stay off facebook. Others are not so lucky. Either way, the reason people are worried about facebook's data collection is not because they believed there to be no alternative.

      "You do this by choice. Which means you are happy to put your information up there because you are willing to trade limited information to access facebook and then willing to post up more information to get people to look at you."

      No. That's not it. If I agree to one thing and find that there is another one going on that I didn't realize, then things have changed. Please reread my analogy to the photographing and decide where your boundaries lie.

      "Put in another context how many of you with FB accounts are willing to cough up money? Probably a lot less, which leads to less people being interested as your cheap friends wont be willing to pay to access the platform (I am one of those cheap people who would not pay money for FB). So if you use FB you are happy with FB collecting the data you freely give them to use to generate the money you are not willing to give them for the product you are using."

      I've covered the "happy to give all info" argument. In summary, it's crap. However, they are not offering a no-collection paid version. I'll state my typical opinion on such issues. Once they offer such a feature, in good faith, and without trying to break it in any way, they can use that as an argument, assuming it fails. Until then I will assume (correctly) that they have no intention of treating my data with honor and I will reject the argument as the fallacy it is.

      "Good news- facebook has moved users outside the US, Canada and the EU to US servers which puts them under US law not GDPR."

      True. However, the discussion about GDPR applies to EU citizens, and still does. In addition, moving the data for EU citizens to U.S. servers would not prevent GDPR from applying, if that were to be attempted. So the fact you've referenced does not change the validity of the discussion. Also, many of us do not consider this good news.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Wow

        @ doublelayer

        "Many of us don't give facebook any data."

        A good portion of your post refers to this but I discount these people from my comment- "If you dont then it doesnt matter to you anyway."

        "Many of us that don't give facebook data are rather certain that facebook has collected data on us anyway, without our consent, and without informing us or giving us any option to have it removed."

        Are they? How do you know and what are they collecting?

        "Also, things that don't affect us directly still matter to us. If I knew that people living next to me were periodically beating each other up, even if it never affected me, I'd still report it in the interest of protecting their health. It's called altruism, and it is important."

        Or another way of applying your first sentence is people choose to do something perfectly legal and without bothering anyone else, I dont like it make them stop! This can be anything. Your example was physical abuse and yes that is a concern you can get the law involved. Not liking their private hobby that doesnt affect you is not. In interest of protecting your health I am sure some militant vegans would love to step into your personal space.

        "For example, if you agreed to let me photograph your house every day in exchange for providing you a service, you'd be pretty angry if you found that instead I broke into your house and started photographing all your posessions."

        Facebook is breaking into your house? Call the police. Your taking pictures, giving them to facebook, telling them your age, place of work, what you had for breakfast and then crying that they use that information as is the companies function. All so you can post the mundane aspects of your life for friends and sometimes all to see (I know plenty people who do this).

        "You're attacking again. Whether one's life is mundane or not is not related to whether facebook steals data. It's irrelevant."

        The mundane factor is mostly my experience with the platform. But is facebook stealing data? If you give it data, you want a new feature so give it more data, you provide it data then it is not stealing. And it also isnt technically stealing as it is a copy of your information (which you gave it to have!) and not depriving you of your information.

        "Yes, we have become aware of this fact. I have an amazing shock for you: people use facebook as a communication mechanism."

        Me too! I am one of those. Part of a social group so we can organise meeting up and checking in on parts of the family/friends I dont want to talk to. I got an account because my job demanded it. And I put on there what little I really cared to put there over years. I didnt want to use the platform but it was required. And so what?

        "However, they are not offering a no-collection paid version."

        Then you do it? If it is such a money spinner some capitalist will do it surely! FB without the data just £x a month. I wonder why nobody is doing it if it is such a sure winner? The innovation aspect has been done, FB has tried to make a usable platform that people worldwide actually use! Saying one doesnt exist so we cant tell is to assume such efforts would succeed (or maybe it had been tried and failed?).

        "True. However, the discussion about GDPR applies to EU citizens, and still does. In addition, moving the data for EU citizens to U.S. servers would not prevent GDPR from applying, if that were to be attempted. So the fact you've referenced does not change the validity of the discussion. Also, many of us do not consider this good news."

        I never suggested it would apply to EU citizens, that is why I explicitly stated outside the 3 countries. And this again comes back to the private life. You may not consider it good news. I might take issue with how much salt is in your diet. Is that any of my business? Should I start poking my nose into your private business or do we have a right to our own choices?

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Wow

          Some good points. However, some more bad ones. I think you may be forgetting some of the collection that facebook does, as well as misinterpreting concern for others as an authoritarian wish to impose my will on them. Neither of these is correct.

          @ doublelayer

          "A good portion of your post refers to [those of us who don't give facebook data] but I discount these people from my comment- "If you dont then it doesnt matter to you anyway."

          You can see, however, why we think it does matter to us, as you express below.

          "Are they? How do you know and what are they collecting?"

          If you're going to claim that facebook isn't creating shadow profiles, my discussion isn't going to help. There are many sources for this concern. True, we don't know what data has been stored, but the fact that there have been reports of that activity, as well as the refusal by facebook to discuss it, makes some of us quite concerned. Unless you are claiming that you can ensure that no shadow data is stored, and you have a specific reason for us to believe so, then it remains logical for us to assume that the data we didn't authorize (data collected from acquaintances who use facebook) is not all that facebook has.

          "Or another way of applying your first sentence is people choose to do something perfectly legal and without bothering anyone else, I dont like it make them stop! This can be anything. Your example was physical abuse and yes that is a concern you can get the law involved. Not liking their private hobby that doesnt affect you is not. In interest of protecting your health I am sure some militant vegans would love to step into your personal space."

          I'll be the first to admit that my abuse analogy may have been extreme. However, my statement remains the same. I'm not advocating that I get to choose what people are allowed to do, but it's still OK for me to be concerned for others. Just as those who know that someone consumes a lot of salt could be concerned that that might be dangerous to their blood pressure. In addition, the unhealthy diets that seem to be your analogy of choice do not affect me, while people's use of facebook can, as facebook gets data that they put there.

          "Facebook is breaking into your house? Call the police. Your taking pictures, giving them to facebook, telling them your age, place of work, what you had for breakfast and then crying that they use that information as is the companies function. All so you can post the mundane aspects of your life for friends and sometimes all to see (I know plenty people who do this)."

          Yes. An average facebook user puts all that information up. They may be unaware that facebook collects their browsing histories using single-pixel tracking widgets. They may be unaware that some facebook apps had (we think it ended, but nobody will confirm it) access to record from the microphone of their phone at all times. This is data that they probably didn't intend to become facebook's property. Furthermore, data about their acquaintances, including those of us without facebook accounts, is downloaded. This, at least, has been proven. Therefore, facebook has data on me that I never gave any type of approval for.

          "The mundane factor is mostly my experience with the platform. But is facebook stealing data? If you give it data, you want a new feature so give it more data, you provide it data then it is not stealing. And it also isnt technically stealing as it is a copy of your information (which you gave it to have!) and not depriving you of your information."

          Fine. Ditch "stealing". How about "copying after tactics designed to ensure user ignorance about the policy"? If you read the article, you'll see that facebook gets people to consent by burying text in other text. You can say that this is technically consent, as the lawyers do, but that doesn't mean that people are fully cognizant of what will happen. Also, I'm getting a bit annoyed with you, so I suggest that you go to a copyright attorney and inform them of your definition of "stealing". They won't be happy.

          "Me too! I am one of those. Part of a social group so we can organise meeting up and checking in on parts of the family/friends I dont want to talk to. I got an account because my job demanded it. And I put on there what little I really cared to put there over years. I didnt want to use the platform but it was required. And so what?"

          "So what" was covered. So the point you made, that there are alternatives available, is not what we were complaining about. We did not say that "it's so bad that facebook is the only thing around, so people have no choice but to let it take data." We said that "It's so bad that facebook takes data, and it has such a large user base that it can be hard to avoid." So what? So your point was irrelevant to our discussion.

          "Then you do it? If it is such a money spinner some capitalist will do it surely! FB without the data just £x a month. I wonder why nobody is doing it if it is such a sure winner? The innovation aspect has been done, FB has tried to make a usable platform that people worldwide actually use! Saying one doesnt exist so we cant tell is to assume such efforts would succeed (or maybe it had been tried and failed?)."

          It hasn't been tried. I'm saying that you can't argue that "you wouldn't pay for facebook so it's OK" because it is jumping to conclusions. Just like if I said "if [x-company] ran facebook it would be better" would be jumping to conclusions because x-company doesn't run facebook.

          "I never suggested it would apply to EU citizens, that is why I explicitly stated outside the 3 countries. And this again comes back to the private life. You may not consider it good news. I might take issue with how much salt is in your diet. Is that any of my business? Should I start poking my nose into your private business or do we have a right to our own choices?"

          Are you obese? I'm not, and I hope it stays that way. Go read some news. See how often the phrase "obesity crisis" appears. People who are not obese are concerned for the health of others. They're not instituting the do-not-eat-too-much police. Just because I consider something "not good news" does not mean that I feel it should be prevented with extreme prejudice. It means I oppose and disapprove. Either you must never disagree with me on anything, or you must agree that both of us have the right to oppose and disapprove.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Wow

            @ doublelayer

            "If you're going to claim that facebook isn't creating shadow profiles, my discussion isn't going to help"

            Shadow profile sounds malicious doesnt it. But reports of such activity- by who? Facebook wont discuss it- discuss what, shadows? And what is shadow data to know if it is stored? If it is someone posting information which is their interaction with a non-facebook user then it is the user you are taking issue with.

            "Unless you are claiming that you can ensure that no shadow data is stored, and you have a specific reason for us to believe so, then it remains logical for us to assume that the data we didn't authorize"

            Guilty until proven innocent. Fun. And that is the methodology to prove god exists- science cant prove it doesnt. We know aliens exist because we cant prove they dont. And so on.

            "In addition, the unhealthy diets that seem to be your analogy of choice do not affect me, while people's use of facebook can, as facebook gets data that they put there."

            Does it? So far you said it may or may not be of concern that something may or may not be the case. On that solid ground we could raid anyones private property to look for anything that might 'concern' us.

            "An average facebook user puts all that information up. They may be unaware"

            They may be an idiot, they may not be. Pretty much sums up most people. Now many read all of the software licenses? All the terms and conditions for everything they sign up to? Even look up the highlights? Or more reasonable- who looks at what the data collection app wants to collect data on?

            "Fine. Ditch "stealing". How about "copying after tactics designed to ensure user ignorance about the policy"?"

            I am happier with that. Those tactics could even be big red flashing words telling people and they still wont notice. What users can ignore is amazing.

            "Also, I'm getting a bit annoyed with you, so I suggest that you go to a copyright attorney and inform them of your definition of "stealing""

            I never said it would make them happy. As far as i am aware the definition still stands. But is moot to this discussion I guess.

            "People who are not obese are concerned for the health of others."

            Not quite. Concern over other peoples weight has led to the 'fat-shaming' issues which makes it hard to tell them fatties to be good. As a result (and this is where you are wrong about 'the do-not-eat-too-much police') it is now public policy to reduce sugar! Not the fattening sugar substitute stuff but to actually make policy against them people who may or may not have a sugar issue. The measurement of obesity of course being BMI which is not to be used for the purpose of diagnosing the suitability of weight medically, except it is.

            "Just because I consider something "not good news" does not mean that I feel it should be prevented with extreme prejudice."

            I agree. Which is why we have the law and shouldnt pander to the daft whims of the uninformed. Unfortunately governments want the support of the population and telling them someone is bad makes it easier to attack that someone.

      2. iowe_iowe

        Re: Wow

        the last reply made by @doublelayer most interests me. I would have thought that moving data dominion from Ireland (GDPR) to the USA (using some diluted GDPR analogue like Privacy Shield) would not make a significant difference to our rights as EU-located individuals.

        This is obviously not the case, however, as FB would not have bothered if that were true...

        An unambiguous GDPR environment, interpreted and enforced by each country's Data Protection Authorities should put the fear of god into the big US-based data-wranglers.

        Unfortunately, we're already working to dilute and re-invent the GDPR into our own UK version, for the benefit of our big US-based friends and for government (ab)use..

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Wow

          >I would have thought that moving data dominion from Ireland (GDPR) to the USA (using some diluted GDPR analogue like Privacy Shield) would not make a significant difference to our rights as EU-located individuals.

          Sorry. I might have been unclear. You are correct--no matter where the data lies, facebook is obliged to adhere to GDPR for its European users. However, it is moving data that it might previously have been stored in Europe out of it so that that data is not affected. For example, a user in Algeria whose data might previously have been stored in Europe for the locality now has their data stored outside the area so that it won't be covered by GDPR.

          Here's the description of who has to comply with GDPR:

          The regulation applies if the data controller (an organisation that collects data from EU residents), or processor (an organisation that processes data on behalf of a data controller like cloud service providers), or the data subject (person) is based in the EU. The regulation also applies to organisations based outside the EU if they collect or process personal data of individuals located inside the EU.

  22. Aynon Yuser

    Mark is obviously greedy on OCD levels. He got his first taste of collecting people's information when he started with TheFaeceBook back from his college days. He must have gotten a high from his endeavors, in which he called the people who gave him their information "stupid fucks". Stupid fucks indeed even to this very day. He's come a long way from the "stupid fucks" from a few thousand people to now collecting information from billion of "stupid fucks". He must be "high" all the time now to addict levels, and to the level where if it stopped he'd go through withdrawal he'd die. It's also made him very rich.

    For someone who has no respect for people's privacy, even non Faecebook users tracking them without their knowledge or permission and profiting off of them, he has security that guards his garbage and bought the houses around his own so as to protect *his* privacy.

    He's very smug right now, but eventually it'll all come crashing down all around him. I'm looking forward to that day when the stupid fucks eventually turn the tables and the he's the biggest stupidest fuck of all.

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. pauhit

    Fill in the blanks; Average people do not care about _______, they care about _________

    Well, we're doomed then.

    About a week ago a coworker asked me if I had heard about some new shift changes taking place. I responded that I had not, and as it turned out that was because my fellow workers only discussed such changes over facebook messenger, which I did not have. After this coworker extolled the virtues of facebook messenger for communicating with other employees, I downloaded the app, but the prospect of having to log into my facebook account has kept me from opening it all this time.

    Growing up the peer-pressure psas they showed in school always had the same format; Muffled house music played in a dilapidated bedroom with a circle of kids in the center and smoke overhead (probably maryjane). As the commercial continued, one of the kids, the obvious leader of the pack, would pull out a beer and push it on a cowering underclassman, generally with the reassurance that "One sip won't hurt". Cue police sirens flashing red and blue, the sound of a cell door slamming, and a gruff voice over detailing the penalties of underage drinking.

    Now, how many people have facebook accounts to connect with people who do not have phones, or refuse to use them? How many people only have such accounts so that they don't miss out on stuff that is inevitably only posted on the one platform? How about twitter or instagram accounts? And for any of the younger crowd, do any of you have snapchat accounts just so that you remain included in conversations? Finally, has anyone outright been told by friends or family to download an app, just so that they can send you something?

    The psas were correct, peer pressure IS dangerous, but I am not sure in the way they intended to convey.

    1. The Dogs Meevonks

      Re: Fill in the blanks; Average people do not care about _______, they care about _________

      "Finally, has anyone outright been told by friends or family to download an app, just so that they can send you something?

      The psas were correct, peer pressure IS dangerous, but I am not sure in the way they intended to convey."

      I was on facebook until around 2011-2012 but deleted it and have never used it since... I was also on what's app but deleted that the day after it was bought by facebook.

      I have virtually zero contact with a bunch of people because as they put it 'you're not on facebook' this in spite of the fact they have my email and mobile number... as well as knowing other ways to contact me.

      The fact that they're become to lazy to do anything outside of facebook, is the perfect example of why i left and the perfect reminder to never ever relent and consider using it (or anything else owned by them) again.

      Friendships take work... It's a two way street. I made the effort, I'd txt everytime I was coming to town, tried to arrange meetups and so forth... They couldn't be bothered to do anything that wasn't 'on facebook'. It's like they lost the ability to function as human beings without a phone and a FB app in front of their face. Those people are no longer considered friends... to quote Arnold J Rimmer... I've come to regard them as 'people I've met'

      One of them did actually keep in touch via phone/txt but lives at the other end of the country from me... Trying to arrange to actually visit as none of the others have made the effort in the last 6 yrs, in spite of the fact he's come up several times to see them. It's tricky finding a time when both of us have free weekends as it's a 600m or so round trip for me. Can't be done in a single day.

      I treat people as they treat me... so it's always funny when some one complains about the way they get treated... It's exactly what you do to others... Deal with it fuckwit.

  25. Milton Silver badge

    The only word that really matters: Sucker

    Because every single one of you and all the millions beyond could ditch Facebook tomorrow. You, and they did not need Facebook 20 years ago and not a single one of you actually needs it now.

    Sure, it has a few useful features beyond the opportunities for endless boasting, bullying and checking how many pointless Likes were attracted by your most recent witless, facile, unoriginal post—mostly around providing an easy way to stay in touch with friends and family.

    But like I said, you were able to do that two decades ago and you'd be able to do it tomorrow ... if you weren't a bunch of sorry, drooling addicts with all the self-aware willpower of crack whore.

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