Is Facebook’s Number Up?

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Jesse Bergman and Kayla Tausche  wrote an article for CNBC.com that was long overdue about FaceBook. Their article which was investigative in character revealed many points that a lot of people worldwide had been suspicious of. I had recently deactivated my FaceBook account for privacy and job protection issues.

Why take a chance when your employers can snoop around and uncover skeletons in your closet, especially if your are the type to spill your guts at FB.

This particular article published at MSNBC , not influenced in the least by Microsoft, titled Poll shows Most Users Distrust FaceBook had a series of posts at the end. One of the posts mentioned that GM has dropped FaceBook as an advertising medium. Another with investigative accuracy spoke to the level  which FaceBook can sink its teeth into your personal lives and confirmed many of my concerns and fears regarding the extent to which my private info is being distributed and sold :

Chris-749391 informs us

About a year ago I conducted my own “investigation” into Facebook because I was having suspicions about an increase in junk mail and telemarketer calls.

On a brand new computer I signed up on Facebook with a completely phony name and profile. (This is not illegal in two states with more pending as Facebook bribes state legislators.) I did several image comparisons between the post-Facebook image of my computer with a pre-Facebook image. I found that Facebook puts two cookies on your computer (regardless of your cookie settings.) One is a “session” cookie that actively tracks your browser keystrokes anytime you are on the internet, even if you are not signed on to Facebook. The other is a “persistent” cookie that is active whenever your computer is turned on. This cookie “browses” your hard drive.

I created a single document on the new computer in a folder in My Documents called “Private.” In that folder I put a single Notepad document containing the phony name on my Facebook account, my real address and my real landline telephone number.

Then I went on my Facebook account and made several wall posts that indicated that I might be an insulin-dependent diabetic and that I had moderate hearing loss with severe tinitus. I created several other accounts on the library computers near my house where I could arrange to use several internet-connected computers at once. I then commented back and forth about the diabetes and hearing problems in a pretty routine and low-key manner on several different days. I also posted a single picture on the phony account that had several people in Mardi Gras masks — only I was without a mask — but I tagged it with the names of several of the “friends.” Then I deleted all the accounts.

Within two weeks I started receiving telephone calls from telemarketers that would begin, “We are checking to make sure you are checking your blood sugar daily. ….” Telemarketing of diabetic supplies is one of the most sleazy operations on the earth. Within four weeks I was receiving a stream of junk mail for hearing aids, some of them specifically geared to tinitus. Hearing aids are also a very disreputable business and they do not help with tinitus. I discontinued the landline as I had planned all along, but the flood of junk mail continues to this date.

I can do a tag search and find the “deleted” photograph as of yesterday. The sale of confidential medical information obtained without the person’s express permission is a serious violation of HIPAA, but the Justice Department “declined” to become involved.

I do get my revenge, however. I carefully mail back every pre-paid postcard or envelope that I receive unsolicited. (Not just this issue, but credit card offers, crooked mortgage insurance, etc.) Each returned envelope costs the sender about a dollar.

No one should ever trust Facebook. They mine your data from your hard drive without permission and monitor every site you browse and everything you enter online, including credit card numbers, etc. And with their new face-recognition software (which they contend is 92% accurate) they are adding names to millions of pictures from picture dump sites, but with the interesting twist of mis-tagging 8% of millions of pictures a day. The most famous one is the picture of “Lindsay Lohan” that it actually a picture of a little girl’s knee that looks a tiny bit like a face.

Congress and the Justice Dept have decided that Facebook is too big to take on. So they are trying to chip around the edges by keeping people like employers from demanding your password. What they do not tell you is that HR software like PeopleSoft have “back-doors” into Facebook that allow them to search and examine accounts without a password. This includes all past posts and pictures, even if they were supposedly deleted.

And especially for Viners — NewsVine is a good example of another Facebook threat. EVERY post, along with your name, IP address, etc are all passed torough Facebook anbd recorded. The little check box says nothing to indicate that every post on NewsVine becomes a permanent piece of Facebook’s massive database on YOU! This is generally called “cyber-squatting.”

Just think about that childish racist remark you made about Obama, or that post running down GW Bush. Does it make you feel good to know that Facebook has a copy of that post that could be available to every prospective employer or investigator for the rest of your life? The Zimmerman guy will be dealing with posts he made on a MySpace account that he closed years ago. And law journals are indicating that Facebook posts are being used as evidence in almost 80% of contested divorce cases, including GPS data from cell phones that has been recorded on Facebook.

 

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