Bug or Feature? Facebook Made Your Life Public in May

Privacy is such a 20th Century concept. Facebook bug switched as many as 14 million users’ privacy settings to ‘public’

Facebook Inc. had a software bug for 10 days in May that set the audience for people’s posts to “public,” even if they had intended to share those posts with only friends or an even smaller audience.

So no one noticed a bug for 10 days. Did anyone test? (Before or after the implementation?)

Actually given Facebook’s pogrom against all things conservative, I’m not sure why anyone who reads this blog regularly would still be using FB. Oh it is convenient to support the people working against your Constitutional Rights. Really? I hope you have a lot of luck with that.

You won’t find me on FB, and I’m on Twitter less and less, and have considered ditching it too. (Social media is a time-waster, and I waste enough time on this blog.)

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What’s the Opposite of Privacy? Facebook

In violation of a consent decree. Does this mean that Zuckerberg lied to Congress? Facebook Gave Device Makers Deep Access to Data on Users and Friends – The New York Times

Facebook formed a bunch of partnerships with companies like Apple/Blackberry/Samsung/et al that let them access data on users’ friends without explicit consent. Which is apparently in violation of an F.T.C consent decree from 2011. Those agreements are still in place.

Because as far as the Facebook is concerned, privacy is not something that you get to have.

“It’s like having door locks installed, only to find out that the locksmith also gave keys to all of his friends so they can come in and rifle through your stuff without having to ask you for permission,” said Ashkan Soltani, a research and privacy consultant who formerly served as the F.T.C.’s chief technologist.

And people wonder why I don’t use Facebook.

The Cops Can Track You in Real Time

Through your smartphone of course. (Actually via any cellphone – doesn’t have to be smart.) The Silicon Graybeard: How a “location API” allows cops to figure out where we all are in real-time

The recommendation of Graybeard is to NOT go to the site and run the test. Doing so means you give up ALL future privacy rights.

In one place it says, “You agree to provide LocationSmart with true, accurate, current, and complete information about yourself (the “User Information”) if requested, and maintain and update such information to keep it true, accurate, current, and complete at all times.” I added that bold format. That sounds like they’re going to keep anything I tell them.

Of course they are, because they don’t like being hemmed in by the 4th Amendment. Which is probably one of the reasons it is basically dead.

As they say, go read the whole thing.

Facebook – The Enemy of Privacy

The guy who runs the place basically said privacy is an out-dated concept, and yet people are surprised that if you use Facebook, you have no privacy. Facebook Under Investigation by FTC for Use of Personal Data | Time. Same goes for Twitter of course, but that is a story for another day.

The latest (though I doubt the last) privacy kerfuffle around Facebook has as much to do with the fact that the firm involved “helped elect President Trump,” as anything. However the FCC isn’t investigating that.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is probing whether Facebook violated terms of a 2011 consent decree following the revelations that user data had been transferred to Cambridge Analytica without their knowledge, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Under the 2011 settlement, Facebook agreed to get user consent for certain changes to privacy settings as part of a settlement of federal charges that it deceived consumers and forced them to share more personal information than they intended. That complaint arose after the company changed some user settings without notifying its customers, according to an FTC statement at the time.

Nothing will happen to Facebook. People will not stop using it. And I believe, that if the firm involved had been a Democratic consultant, and not Republican, this story would not even be in the news. But hey that’s just my opinion. (Which for the time being is still protected by the First Amendment.)

Drones Invading Privacy

You knew the idiots and the bad actors would get around to this. Woman comes eye to eye with camouflaged drone peeping in her bedroom window | Stuff.co.nz

Cameras peering into windows. Drones hovering over backyard BBQs and kids playing in the driveway.

One, whose privacy was invaded from the air, fired at a drone with a shot gun and another threatened to shoot one from the sky. Earlier this year a Motueka man said a peaceful stroll turned “really creepy” after a mysterious drone followed his family along the beach.

This doesn’t even cover the “fleets of drones” that police departments are getting.

Smart TVs Not So Smart

Don’t worry, I’m sure the people building self-driving cars are doing a much better job. Maybe. Probably. Perhaps. Investigation finds major security flaws with smart TVs

Consumer Reports has found millions of smart TVs from major manufacturers can be controlled by hackers exploiting easy to-find security vulnerabilities.

This focuses on hackers controlling your TV, but experience has shown that if they can get in, they won’t wreak havoc, so much as steal things.

Why you want a camera and a microphone in your living room/family room/wherever you have a TV is beyond me. Especially when we KNOW that the vendors of smart devices couldn’t care less about security. Hat tip: I, For One, Welcome Our New Self-Driving Overlords.

Dark Overlord Hacking Group Turns Attention to Schools

Because as mentioned, schools love to put sensitive data online, but can’t be bothered to secure it properly. Dark Overlord hacks schools across U.S., texts threats against kids

The hacking group responsible is the Dark Overlord, the group that leaked new Orange Is the New Black episodes because Netflix didn’t pay a ransom. The same group tried to sell millions of pilfered healthcare records and was responsible for other attacks such as on Gorilla Glue and an Indiana cancer service agency. Now, it is targeting schools and scaring the snot out of parents by sending personalized text messages threatening their kids.

Iowa, Montana, Texas, and Alabama have had schools that were targeted.

Why target schools? In part, it is because they have crappy security.

Schools had better get on it and batten down the security hatches because there is no excuse for their lax security.

If you don’t have the money for security, you shouldn’t be putting students’ data on the web. Probably shouldn’t do it in any case, but there you have it.