back to article What could Facebook possibly do next to reassure privacy fears? Yup – make a dating app

Facebook on Tuesday kicked off its F8 developer conference in San Jose, California, only one month after dialing back the data available to developers and after nixing rumored plans to debut a smart speaker housing an AI assistant. The platform clampdown followed revelations earlier this year about Cambridge Analytica, a data …

  1. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    F8 ?

    More like one big F-U !

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: F8 ?

      You are obviously already perusing the dating app. That is supposed to be the result you know.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: F8 ?

      Look at it this way: now not only your private profile can get slurped.

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: F8 ?

      "Hello, we're Facebook, and we've decided to use an abbreviation for our name that, coincidentally, is pronounced 'fate'. Have we mentioned that we're run by megalomaniacs?"

      (Obviously the correct abbreviation would be f6k, by analogy with i18n and the like. Then we could write things like "that's f6k'd up" and "oh, you've been f6k'd".)

  2. JohnFen Silver badge

    Facebook wants you to share its delusion

    Facebook keeps talking like the privacy and security threat is from outside entities, and can be solved with greater vigilance. That's delusional. The biggest threat to privacy and security is from Facebook itself, and I haven't seen even a single initiative from them to address that.

    1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      Re: Facebook wants you to share its delusion

      The biggest threat to privacy and security is a bunch of users sharing everything about their daily life - where they are, what, where and when they eat, shop, run, cycle, holiday, etc. - with a bunch of other users whom they call friends, even though they have never met them and don't know what they look like. They clearly don't care about their, or their contacts', privacy - or if they do, and they are thinking rationally, they are trading it for the utility of the free app. If they cared about privacy and security they'd stop publishing their lives online.

      I've never used FB. I know what my friends look like, and, unless it's pretty f*****g spectacular, I don't care what they had for tea tonight or what they bought on Amazon. If they want to get in touch with me then they either have to wait till I see them in the pub (preferred), phone, SMS or mail me - and it seems to work OK.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Facebook wants you to share its delusion

        "The biggest threat to privacy and security is a bunch of users sharing everything about their daily life"

        Well, sure, but that's a bit different. Everyone has the right to choose for themselves what level of privacy and security they desire.

        The problem when it comes to Facebook is that FB users don't really understand how invasive Facebook itself is. That's the main thing I fault FB for. They should be putting up a big red warning on their page about what's happening to all that data.

    2. Joe Werner

      Re: Facebook wants you to share its delusion

      No. The problem is Facebook slurping data of non-users as well... through address book imports, tagged pictures, buttons etc. on websites.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Facebook wants you to share its delusion

        I agree, that's the biggest issue of all. It also seems to be the issue that people, especially FB users, care the least about.

    3. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Facebook wants you to share its delusion

      That's delusional

      It's deliberate misdirection.

  3. Franco Silver badge

    I've never used Facebook.

    Got my first 2 dating matches this morning though....

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Coat

      Got my first 2 dating matches this morning

      Admiral Achbar: It's a TRAP!

      /me gets coat, again

      1. Jemma Silver badge

        Re: Got my first 2 dating matches this morning

        I didn't know he was Scottish...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You like privacy and I like pwyvacy,

    You like tomato and I like tomahto;

    privacy , pwyvacy, tomato, tomahto!

    Let's call the whole thing off!

  5. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Coat

    Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match

    one that can get me a whole lot of snatch nevermind...

    On a related note, maybe this is Zuck just reacting to the tendency of millenials to do EVERYTHING via a 'phone app'. Next will be a plethora of safe-sex adaptors, one type for each of the "8 genders". With a USB micro-B adaptor for your phone. It will re-define the meaning of the words "data slurp".

    coat, please.

    1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      Re: Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match

      Bombastic - doing everything by the app is OK, as long as Apple don't get involved, cos you'd come home one night to find that your sex buddy's equivalent of the headphone socket had been removed in the latest update.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match

      @bombastic bob

      USB-C

      ...swings both ways!

  6. Mage Silver badge
    Devil

    Facebook absolutely cares about your privacy.

    Facebook absolutely cares about making money from your privacy.

    Easy to fix. STOP COLLECTING ANYTHING. Just do ads like newspapers, magazines, TV and billboards. The so called targeting is mostly just fake snake oil to convince advertisers to use the platform.

    Also independent audits. Figures for views, clicks and users are only Facebook's claim. No proper independent auditing. Frankly not believable. They were caught out on videos.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Facebook absolutely cares about your privacy.

      especially now, with the "dating app" concept. So it harvests your personal info based likes, dislikes, and visits+interaction with web pages and links related to ANYTHING with the 'F' icon and tracking script+cookies+whatever-else

      "they" determine FOR you who is compatible, thus potentially doing a kind of 'genetic engineering' on the human race. In a few generations, EVERYONE is programmed to do what Faece-bitch manipulates them into doing, thus LOCKING IN the dependency on "Big Faece-bitch" running every aspect of your life, tracking your every moment on or off-line, and so on.

      "Big Brother" was a typo, along with "1984".

      (that's my new conspiracy theory)

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Facebook absolutely cares about your privacy.

        Good conspiracy theory there.... I'm just not sure how much is theory and how much is reality though. Hell, even a non-FB user is tracked any more. I'll know if the conspiracy is out of the genie bottle if I suddenly get emails about "perfect matches". At which point... I'm thinking I'll nuke the computer and move to the woods. It'll be too late to nuke it from space.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Facebook absolutely cares about your privacy.

        "Big Brother" was a typo, along with "1984".

        Well, you're right about the latter. Orwell insisted on spelling the title out (Nineteen Eighty-Four), because he thought that would help make it clear that it wasn't a prediction about a particular year, just a near-future speculation. Publishers, unfortunately, were more interested in helping generations of gormless students identify the novel on the shelf.

        More to the point: As any number of people have pointed out, in the European-style democracies our present era has more in common with dystopias-by-consent like the one Huxley portrayed in Brave New World than Orwell's autocratic regimes. (Of course some other countries, or conditions for particular populations in many countries, are decidedly more on the Orwellian side.) Most people seem quite eager to participate in their own surveillance.

        And any number of people have mulled over why that's the case, from the Frankfort School (Benjamin, Adorno, et alia), to the Post-Structuralists (particularly later Foucault, Baudrillard, Lyotard, and their followers), to politically-minded Lacanian theorists like Zizek, to any number of political scientists, philosophers of politics, psychologists, economists, etc. But it all comes down, more or less, to the observation that in general people receive psychological rewards for yielding control and privacy.1

        And persuasion is much more economically efficient than compulsion. That's why capitalism beat slavery, as Eric Williams explained.2

        1Substantive rewards are just proxies for psychological rewards - people care about goods because they make them feel good.)

        2Though CLR James claims he gave Williams the idea.

  7. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Devil

    "Hate" speech

    Article: "Facebook briefly went a bit nuts and asked people under every single post if said text or image was 'hate speech.'"

    Let's mark everything that we disagree with as "Hate Speech", on BOTH sides of the political isle, just ot make sure that the entire process is obfuscated into non-existence. [well, P.C. tries to do that with everything said by conservatives already... so time for some 'tit for tat' I say]

  8. DougS Silver badge

    Its the next logical step

    Now that they've collected so much information about people that they can predict their votes, there won't be any chance of accidentally matching a Trump voter and Hillary voter!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Its the next logical step

      @DougS

      My friend, hate and love are just two sides of the same coin.

      "Help, I Can't Stop Hooking Up With Trump Supporters"

      https://www.glamour.com/story/hooking-up-with-trump-voters-essay

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        "Help, I Can't Stop Hooking Up With Trump Supporters"

        These days I only have sex with women wearing MAGA caps. It's a lot cheaper than an SS uniform and works just as well.

    2. revenant Bronze badge

      Re: Its the next logical step

      there won't be any chance of accidentally matching a Trump voter and Hillary voter!

      It's sad to realize that there is truth in those words. I can understand it being desirable to keep passionate supporters of either one apart, but as voters people get just a binary choice (OK maybe there are other options but generally it's either one devil or the other), and so a difference in voting is not necessarily a significant difference in outlook.

      We don't really need any more division in society, but I guess that's where we're headed.

  9. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Mushroom

    "[the] Oculus Go, [..] is now available in 32 countries for $199"

    I will be burned at the stake before I give that asshole my money in any way, shape or form.

    1. KBeee
      Unhappy

      Re: "[the] Oculus Go, [..] is now available in 32 countries for $199"

      Unfortunately, if you buy anything from anybody that advertises with FB, you've already given them money. The advertising costs are paid for by you when you purchase a burger/beer/softdrink or whatever.

  10. LDS Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "taken down tens of thousands of fake accounts"

    Of course, a dating app will help to reduce them... <G>

    Anyway "ten of thousands"? I guess they are in the order of tens of millions, if not hundreds.

    But the adding of this kind feature means new registrations are slowing down, so they have to resort to scraping the barrel, luring in the most desperate people.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He's not going to be happy until he's taken over the entire Interweb. Enough is enough.

  12. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Holmes

    Targeted adverts

    When one partner/spouse starts using the FB dating app, FB could target adverts for detective agencies and divorce lawyers to the other partner/spouse.

  13. Lion

    Alike rather than Like

    I suppose if the FB members just date each other (and marry each other), FB can then be called a cult - if it is not already. They'll all start dressing alike.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Alike rather than Like

      I think there are a lot of silly cults on FB.

  14. razorfishsl

    It is just completely laughable that people are stupid enough to allow access to there sexual profile info.

    I have today sent a letter to Mr Musk asking when the fuck he plans to get me off this planet, even if it is in the next car he send up.

    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      Yep. I'll take that one way trip to Mars now. Happily.

      1. Jemma Silver badge

        That's one advantage of living in space, facebook probably won't run on the ancient hardened processors (the best of them appears to be a PowerPC board) used out there*.

        *For a while at least, until some utter Rimmer codes a Facebook client in assembler - at which point it'll be hunt the facehugger.

  15. ilithium

    Besides the privacy, not a bad idea

    So whilst Facebook has lots of issues around privacy (and, frankly it's whole business model as a free content ad network) I actually think Facebook Dating could be quite interesting.

    Given they have more data on their users than most other places, their systems will "know" you, your behaviours and interests better than, say Match.com or OKstupid (although the latter's tech is quite impressive).

    In particular, they gather data about you which you don't specifically supply so what you might think of as "subconscious" data from your browsing habits.

    Whilst trust is a massive issue here, for me the really interesting thing is: how is their algorithmic approach going to work? Could they do this with AI?

    Having tried most forms of digital dating, I find the real world much more interesting but I will be fascinated to see how this pans out.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Besides the privacy, not a bad idea

      Digital Dating? Not a lot of conversation with a finger and how many forms of dating can a finger provide?

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        Re: Besides the privacy, not a bad idea

        how many forms of dating can a finger provide?.

        That's why you should use three.

    2. MrXavia
      Facepalm

      Re: Besides the privacy, not a bad idea

      Seriously?

      It will be no different to any other popular dating app, especially considering it will be used by die hard Social Media addicts that only care about apearances...

      In other words, it will be men pay to use and swipe right to everyone, and the women swipe right to the guys with the best paying jobs....

  16. Winkypop Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Crisis? What crisis?

    The minions will lap this dating lark up just the same.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Dear The Register,

    If you are to continue writing about Facebook, Twitter et al., and how they abuse privacy, could you please remove the social media buttons (aka ‘data gatherers’) from your site. Otherwise it appears that you are just spouting outraged hot air, and if I want to read that, there’s the Daily Mail and Evening Standard sites ready and waiting.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      @tea hound. Why shouldn't El Reg make a buck from those who don't care about their privacy?

      Those who do care take steps to block slurping.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Coat

        Thanks for pointing that out, @tea hound. My blockers make this site look a lot cleaner than it actually is.

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Social Media buttons

      "Inspect Element" suggests the SM buttons are just images with ordinary links, not the "recommended" Facebook et al scripts the privacy scrapers offer. That's fine as you don't have to click on them. I also used to use "NoScript", but now on desktop and mobile I use uMatrix. Probably more effective than AV software on 3rd party scripts exploiting zero-day vulns too.

  18. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge
    Trollface

    Google next?

    This seems to be an obvious way to leverage masses of slurped personal data.

    M$ might be tempted as well; that offering could be "interesting".

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Google next?

      M$ might be tempted as well; that offering could be "interesting".

      Give clippy a new life too: "I see you are writing an intimate proposal, would you like me to assist?"

      1. Alistair Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Google next?

        Give clippy a new life, slightly modified shape too: "I see you are writing an intimate proposal, would you like me to assist?"

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Google next?

      I still remember when Google mocked dating sites years ago, where a female user created a single, trustful profile, while a male user created ten wildly different fake ones... but I assume Zuckerberg is fine with that, he will boast about the 12 billion users FB now has... just, about 90% will be men. The others, female bots. Did he bought Ashley Madison data and developers?

      1. onefang Silver badge

        Re: Google next?

        "he will boast about the 12 billion users FB now has... just, about 90% will be men. The others, female bots"

        No, that'll be 60% men, 20% scammers of indeterminate gender, 10% bots, and 10% very busy women.

  19. Chris G Silver badge

    Horse, door, bolt, late.

    "We need to take a broader view of our responsibility," he said. "It's not enough to just build powerful tools. We need to make sure they're used for good."

    'We should have taken a much broader view of our responsibilities', he should have said.

    'It's not enough to have built powerful tools. We should have thought it through and considered the consequences for our users, not only our clients.'

    But of course he didn't give a rat's arse until it looked as though it would cost him money.

  20. The Nazz Silver badge

    a perfect match?

    FB : Dear ******* Bloggs, following your recent visit to the local STD clinic and diagnosis, commiserations by the way, we have found potential matches for you that also attended with similar results. See, you have something in common.

    We have kindly provided targeted adverts for pharmaceutical products that may alleviate your symptoms.

    And may we suggest a soundtrack? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnM3Iq977JU

    Or

    FB : Dear ******* Bloggs, if you really are that sadistic bastard that your many posts would suggest you are, then here are a number of matches that recently tested clear.

  21. Anonymous Noel Coward
    Big Brother

    BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!

    They're also now asking users if every post is hate speech.

  22. Chris Jasper

    Horrifying

    Given some of the friend recommendations I get on FB, this is a terrible idea

    1. onefang Silver badge

      Re: Horrifying

      "Given some of the friend recommendations I get on FB, this is a terrible idea"

      I dunno, I've managed to train FB to mostly give me good looking women as friend recommendations.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FB's own reality distortion field

    FB (aka 'The Zuck') seems to be deliberately ignoring the opinions of at least a proportion of us.

    This is just another attempt at obfuscation.

    Zuck must have been taking lessons on how to generate its own version of reality which is totally divorced from reality. in other words, their own RDF.

    Perhaps he needs a spell in the Tower to make him see the real world.

  24. handleoclast Silver badge
    Coat

    The first thing I'd look for

    in a Facebook dating profile is that the person doesn't use Facebook.

  25. onefang Silver badge

    Facebook has a higher standard of transparency, he claimed, than TV or print publications.

    Well, FB's really transparent about its users data at least.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019