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04/05/2018 / By Lance D Johnson
Facebook users can now find out what kind of information Facebook stores about them. You can download an archive of your Facebook records, including personal messages, call records, IP addresses, ad clicks, interests, pictures, login times, connections and more. This is the information that Facebook stores that they allow you to download and see.
Facebook has also been exposed for keeping copies of users’ deleted videos. The old deleted videos were detected by users who had downloaded an archive of their Facebook account. Facebook now claims that a software “bug” caused these videos to appear in the archive, even though the deleted videos could easily be used by Facebook, which is in the business of using large swaths of personal data to their advantage.
Facebook says the deleted footage was never shared publicly, but the footage could be used in a variety of other ways behind the scenes. Facebook has promised to delete the videos now that users are taking notice of them in their archive and speaking out.
Since these deleted videos are showing up in the archive because of a “software bug,” we should wonder about other kinds of information that Facebook is storing, information that doesn’t appear in the archived files that the user can download. Perhaps another “software bug” could reveal more information that Facebook keeps, including voice records that were obtained by accessing users’ device microphone or videos recorded from users’ device camera? What’s stopping them, when many apps ask to access your device’s camera and microphone? (Related: Facebook plan uncovered to SPY on users through their own smartphone cameras to analyze their facial expressions.)
The kind of data that Facebook stores is the kind of data that is easily stolen, shared without permission or analyzed for marketing or political purposes. These kinds of data logs (kept on every user) make it easy for political operatives to profile people and manipulate them with targeted ads and suggestions. These data logs make it easy for surveillance agencies to track people’s whereabouts, get into people’s minds, fabricate evidence, and use blackmail tactics. Facebook is a data goldmine for intelligence agencies and organizations with political agendas. (Related: Facebook has a file on you: Even if you don’t have an account, if you’re online, they track you through third-party activity.)
Facebook is currently facing a privacy scandal over the harvesting of personal data on 50 million users by a political firm called Cambridge Analytica. The communications firm has offices in New York, Washington, London, Brazil and Malaysia. Their team includes data scientists and behavioral psychologists who specialize in utilizing data to move people to action. The firm boasts they have data on more than 230 million Americans and their analysis “played a pivotal role in winning presidential races as well as congressional and state elections.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has publicly apologized for the privacy breach, but apologies ring hollow when there is no accountability to ensue.
As Facebook users learn what Facebook really is, they will have to make a choice. Should they continue to allow Facebook to keep a detailed record of their life so their private information can be accessed by large data firms? Should they allow Facebook’s third-party advertisers to exploit people’s emotions and buying habits on the internet? Will Facebook users continue to allow Facebook to analyze their clicks online so their personal interests and political affiliations can be used against them in an elaborate marketing game?
Only time will tell, but the social media site is losing users by the day. See FacebookCollapse.com for more.