Author Topic: 50,000,000 Facebook profiles harvested  (Read 1746 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Maik

  • Administrator
  • Forum Deity
  • *****
  • Posts: 14778
50,000,000 Facebook profiles harvested
« on: Sunday, 18 March, 2018 @ 21:35:29 »
Quote
Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach

The data analytics firm that worked with Donald Trump’s election team and the winning Brexit campaign harvested millions of Facebook profiles of US voters, in one of the tech giant’s biggest ever data breaches, and used them to build a powerful software program to predict and influence choices at the ballot box.

A whistleblower has revealed to the Observer how Cambridge Analytica – a company owned by the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, and headed at the time by Trump’s key adviser Steve Bannon – used personal information taken without authorisation in early 2014 to build a system that could profile individual US voters, in order to target them with personalised political advertisements.

Christopher Wylie, who worked with a Cambridge University academic to obtain the data, told the Observer: “We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles. And built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons. That was the basis the entire company was built on.”

Documents seen by the Observer, and confirmed by a Facebook statement, show that by late 2015 the company had found out that information had been harvested on an unprecedented scale. However, at the time it failed to alert users and took only limited steps to recover and secure the private information of more than 50 million individuals.

The data was collected through an app called thisisyourdigitallife, built by academic Aleksandr Kogan, separately from his work at Cambridge University. Through his company Global Science Research (GSR), in collaboration with Cambridge Analytica, hundreds of thousands of users were paid to take a personality test and agreed to have their data collected for academic use.

However, the app also collected the information of the test-takers’ Facebook friends, leading to the accumulation of a data pool tens of millions-strong. Facebook’s “platform policy” allowed only collection of friends’ data to improve user experience in the app and barred it being sold on or used for advertising. The discovery of the unprecedented data harvesting, and the use to which it was put, raises urgent new questions about Facebook’s role in targeting voters in the US presidential election.
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/17/cambridge-analytica-facebook-influence-us-election


There's an easy read article which explains this pretty well on the irishtimes.com

Offline Maik

  • Administrator
  • Forum Deity
  • *****
  • Posts: 14778
Re: 50,000,000 Facebook profiles harvested
« Reply #1 on: Monday, 19 March, 2018 @ 11:29:11 »

Offline TonyKath

  • Global Moderator
  • Forum Deity
  • *****
  • Posts: 1749
Re: 50,000,000 Facebook profiles harvested
« Reply #2 on: Monday, 19 March, 2018 @ 15:02:16 »
Re Facebook- I told you so!!  ;)

Tony

Offline Maik

  • Administrator
  • Forum Deity
  • *****
  • Posts: 14778
Re: 50,000,000 Facebook profiles harvested
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday, 20 March, 2018 @ 00:56:03 »
Quote
Cambridge Analytica boasts of dirty tricks to swing elections
Bosses tell undercover reporters how honey traps, spies and fake news can be used to help clients

The company at the centre of the Facebook data breach boasted of using honey traps, fake news campaigns and operations with ex-spies to swing election campaigns around the world, a new investigation reveals.

Executives from Cambridge Analytica spoke to undercover reporters from Channel 4 News about the dark arts used by the company to help clients, which included entrapping rival candidates in fake bribery stings and hiring prostitutes to seduce them.

In one exchange, the company chief executive, Alexander Nix, is recorded telling reporters: “It sounds a dreadful thing to say, but these are things that don’t necessarily need to be true as long as they’re believed.”

The Channel 4 News investigation, broadcast on Monday, comes two days after the Observer reported Cambridge Analytica had unauthorised access to tens of millions of Facebook profiles in one of the social media company’s biggest data breaches.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/19/cambridge-analytica-execs-boast-dirty-tricks-honey-traps-elections

Offline TonyD

  • Forum Deity
  • *****
  • Posts: 381
Re: 50,000,000 Facebook profiles harvested
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday, 20 March, 2018 @ 13:01:01 »
Why the surprise?

Gathering User info/data, is the single, 100% purpose of Facebook

And Twitter, and Snapchat, and Instagram, and Linkedin, and Skype and....

The data gets sold/distributed, then..... unless it's used for illegal purposes, deal done. Hard cheddar.

Caveat scurra Atticus

Shouldn't all this media attention instead be asking why are these services' users so naive, so gullible, so manipulable?
That's what seems to be the claim, after all.
« Last Edit: Tuesday, 20 March, 2018 @ 13:02:52 by TonyD »

Offline Maik

  • Administrator
  • Forum Deity
  • *****
  • Posts: 14778
Re: 50,000,000 Facebook profiles harvested
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday, 20 March, 2018 @ 17:03:02 »
Couple of articles on the Indy say pretty much the same, Tony... well, almost pretty much the same:

Quote
Why is everyone so worried about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica?
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/facebook-cambridge-analytica-scandal-data-breach-explained-quiz-a8264791.html#explainer-question-3

Quote
The Cambridge Analytica scandal isn’t a scandal: this is how Facebook works
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/camridge-analytica-scandal-how-facebook-works-harvesting-data-politics-trump-brexit-a8264051.html


So, er, we've got Facebook users to thank for Trump and Brexit?  :hmm:

Well anyway, even though Facebook has been doing pretty much what it's always done, lots of people are (now) wanting to delete their accounts.
According to the Independent: How to delete Facebook for good: Step-by-step guide to permanently removing your account

Offline HiFi

  • Forum Deity
  • *****
  • Posts: 397
Re: 50,000,000 Facebook profiles harvested
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday, 20 March, 2018 @ 18:45:02 »
If Facebook is responsible for Trump and Brexit - let's have more of the same!! :yahoo:

Offline Misty

  • Forum Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 177
Re: 50,000,000 Facebook profiles harvested
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday, 20 March, 2018 @ 21:27:26 »
If Facebook is responsible for Trump and Brexit - let's have more of the same!! :yahoo:

Would have thought  it was Facebook users scaring off Brexit voters with their frightened scaremongering, "ooh what shall we do, we won't be able to travel to Europe and sit around not speaking and taking photos of our food"

Offline Maik

  • Administrator
  • Forum Deity
  • *****
  • Posts: 14778
Re: 50,000,000 Facebook profiles harvested
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday, 20 March, 2018 @ 21:50:47 »
If Facebook is responsible for Trump and Brexit - let's have more of the same!! :yahoo:

I suspect many Facebook users will be blissfully unaware of the hoo-ha, most won't give a flying fox and very few will actually delete their account or even take control of their privacy settings. So, be happy, you almost certainly will get more of the same!

The same lying, cheating and mis-use. But not necessarily more of Trump and Brexit. Next time it could be Putin.


Offline Maik

  • Administrator
  • Forum Deity
  • *****
  • Posts: 14778
Re: 50,000,000 Facebook profiles harvested
« Reply #9 on: Wednesday, 21 March, 2018 @ 21:18:05 »
Quote
Why have we given up our privacy to Facebook and other sites so willingly?

Facebook isn’t really a social network. It’s barely even an advertising company. It’s a data analytics firm, which manages to use its position as the middleman for a vast proportion of all human communication to find out everything there is to know about its users.

Just as Cambridge Analytica claimed enormous powers of perception with a scant selection of personal information, Facebook also boasts to advertisers about how much it knows about its users – and how effective it can be at influencing their minds: it cites a games company that “made video adverts to match different gamer styles” for a “63% increase in purchase intent”; a clothes retailer that achieved “a dramatic increase in sales” with “richly personalised ads”; and a mobile network that scored “a major boost in awareness and purchase intent” by focusing on users with families. (Facebook used to have a similar page on which it showed off to politicians about how effective it was at swinging elections, but it quietly removed that in February.)

If you think you’re a passive user of Facebook, minimising the data you provide to the site or refraining from oversharing details of your life, you have probably underestimated the scope of its reach. Facebook doesn’t just learn from the pictures you post, and the comments you leave: the site learns from which posts you read and which you don’t; it learns from when you stop scrolling down your feed and how long it takes you to restart; it learns from your browsing on other websites that have nothing to do with Facebook itself; and it even learns from the messages you type out then delete before sending (the company published an academic paper on this “self-censorship” back in 2013).

This data life isn’t limited to Facebook. Google, famously, is in the same basic business, although the company is a bit more transparent about it (for a shock, try going to the “My Activity” and “Location History” pages to be vividly reminded that Google is tracking everything). And Amazon is building a modern surveillance panopticon, replete with an always-on microphone for your kitchen and a jaunty camera for your bedroom, purely to sell you more stuff.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/21/why-have-we-given-up-our-privacy-to-facebook-and-other-sites-so-willingly

Offline Maik

  • Administrator
  • Forum Deity
  • *****
  • Posts: 14778
Re: 50,000,000 Facebook profiles harvested
« Reply #10 on: Monday, 09 April, 2018 @ 15:41:04 »
Quote
Facebook: Cambridge Analytica warning sent to users

Facebook members will find out from 17:00 BST whether they are among the 87 million potential users whose data was shared with Cambridge Analytica.

Every account holder will receive one of two notices informing them whether their data was breached.

The tech giant said people will also be shown what apps they use and what data those apps may have gathered.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-43698733

Offline Maik

  • Administrator
  • Forum Deity
  • *****
  • Posts: 14778
Re: 50,000,000 Facebook profiles harvested
« Reply #11 on: Tuesday, 10 April, 2018 @ 13:08:07 »
Quote
Guardian Australia can reveal just 53 Australians used the quiz app. That means the vast majority of the 311,127 Australians affected were simply friends of others who had used the quiz app, whether in Australia or abroad, and gave no real consent to the harvesting of their data.

A similar trend was seen in New Zealand. About 64,000 New Zealanders’ accounts were compromised in the Cambridge Analytica breach. Just 10 New Zealanders downloaded the personality quiz.

Australians and New Zealanders may also have been exposed to the breach by Facebook friends abroad.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/apr/10/just-53-australians-used-facebook-app-responsible-for-cambridge-analytica-breach


Quote
Cambridge Analytica: 'Hundreds of companies have harvested data from Facebook'

Cambridge Analytica, the company at the centre of the Facebook data scandal, has alleged "hundreds" of companies are harvesting personal information from social network users.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/04/10/cambridge-analytica-hundreds-companies-have-harvested-data-facebook/

Offline Maik

  • Administrator
  • Forum Deity
  • *****
  • Posts: 14778
Re: 50,000,000 Facebook profiles harvested
« Reply #12 on: Wednesday, 11 April, 2018 @ 01:25:35 »
Quote
How to check whether Facebook shared your data with Cambridge Analytica
People who fear their information may have been used by Cambridge Analytica can go to a new help page

The social network eventually hopes to inform every user who was affected with a warning at the top of their Facebook news feed. For now, however, individuals can check by going to a new help page on the site or searching for “How can I tell if my info was shared with Cambridge Analytica?” in Facebook’s help centre.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/apr/10/facebook-notify-users-data-harvested-cambridge-analytica

Offline TonyD

  • Forum Deity
  • *****
  • Posts: 381
Re: 50,000,000 Facebook profiles harvested
« Reply #13 on: Wednesday, 11 April, 2018 @ 10:30:17 »
Very telling that you can ask the question "has my data been shared with Cambridge Analytic" and receive a pertinent answer - however, ask the more pertinent question "who has any of my data been shared with" and answer comes there none

Again, the hand wringing and general ire appears to miss the obvious issue - Facebook has enabled and facilitated a third party to target users specifically and explicitly, based on that same Facebook data

Given that's Facebook's entire corporate model, that that's what it exists to achieve, I'm left asking exactly what is the issue here?!

Offline Maik

  • Administrator
  • Forum Deity
  • *****
  • Posts: 14778
Re: 50,000,000 Facebook profiles harvested
« Reply #14 on: Wednesday, 11 April, 2018 @ 10:57:13 »
"I'm left asking exactly what is the issue here?!"

1. They got caught doing it
2. Cambridge Analytica probably made more money from it than Facebook did
3. that, and the way they used the data, has left F/b looking, at best, like naive chumps
4. If C.A. are based in the UK then Trump isn't getting his money back in tax dollars

Offline TonyKath

  • Global Moderator
  • Forum Deity
  • *****
  • Posts: 1749
Re: 50,000,000 Facebook profiles harvested
« Reply #15 on: Sunday, 15 April, 2018 @ 13:30:24 »
The issue is that Facebook and everybody else is not at all transparent about who they are sharing people's data with.  The rely on vague and general statements of "sharing data with trusted [ha!] third parties". Joe Public has no way of understanding who or what that means in practice. 

Who are the third parties?

What do they do with the data?

FB and others trust them, but make the decision about my data, not theirs.

How is that data processed by FBeven before it is passed on?

How are my aggregated data different from individual items?

For FB does this include data from friends who have not even been asked to consent.

Overall the issue is that people are finally waking up to what they agreed to when a very juicy carrot was dangled in front of them in terms of tempting apps.

Tony
(declaration of non-interest: not on FB, but have lots of apps on my phone)




Offline Maik

  • Administrator
  • Forum Deity
  • *****
  • Posts: 14778
Re: 50,000,000 Facebook profiles harvested
« Reply #16 on: Monday, 07 May, 2018 @ 11:30:06 »
Quote
Facebook privacy: Survey suggests continuing US loyalty

Most Facebook users in the US remain loyal, despite the recent data sharing scandal involving a political consultancy firm, a poll suggests. The Reuters/Ipsos survey found no clear loss or gain in use since then.

A quarter of Facebook users said they used it less or had left it but another quarter said they used it even more.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44023381