After embarking on exactly the kind of cringe-inducing apology tour one would expect following the revelation that Cambridge Analytica plundered the data of millions of Facebook users, Mark Zuckerberg has yet another mess on his hands. Over the weekend, Android owners were displeased to discover that Facebook had been scraping their text-message and phone-call metadata, in some cases for years, an operation hidden in the fine print of a user agreement clause until Ars Technica reported. Facebook was quick to defend the practice as entirely aboveboard—small comfort to those who are beginning to realize that, because Facebook is a free service, they and their data are by necessity the products.


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I think many many people have understood the depth of Facebook's tracking for a long time now. The issue is that most people didn't care as long as it was all for the sake of ads and revenue. It turns out tracking can be much more sinister than that. Manipulation of elections is just the tip of the iceberg. When you know what activities/relationships impact a person you can make a psychological impact. The issue at hand is all about epistemology; Facebook can alter/pretend to be a source of authority based on beliefs you have expressed or people you follow. This is what happens when people are willing to abandon innate freedoms for convenience.


posted by FirebrandRoaring: 85 days ago