Why is everyone surprised by Facebook?

I gotta admit that I'm stumped.
I had already assumed that Facebook was selling our data to people with unethical intentions. In fact, I think it's only a matter of time before "unethical" turns into "illegal".
So why is everyone surprised? Were they simply not paying attention?

Just to give you an idea, while Mark Zuckerberg was busy asking forgiveness, take a look at what his company is doing.

Imagine a hyper-connected world where dating applications build 800-page profiles or your Internet behavior and taste in love interests, or track your one night stands based on the overnight location of your cell phone.
..The California Consumer Privacy Act would require big companies to disclose the type of information they gather, explain how it is shared or sold and give people the right to prevent businesses from spreading their personal data.
...Google, Facebook, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast have contributed $200,000 each to a campaign finance committee opposing the initiative since mid-February. The proponents, a trio of Bay Area business professionals, expect the Internet behemoths will eventually pour in over $100 million to try to stop the measure from passing.

No matter what bullsh*t these big internet companies tell you about how much your privacy and concerns matter to them, the simple fact is that you are nothing but a cash cow that exists to be milked by them.
And when I say "cash cow" I mean serious cash.

It is clear that in the aggregate, our personal information – even relatively innocuous details such as our browser search history – is worth a vast amount of money. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has come to be valued at more than $720bn in the space of 20 years, with most of that derived from its advertising and information efforts. Facebook, which has just celebrated its 14th birthday, is still worth more than $475bn, even after taking a pummelling all week.
Both of those valuations – together topping a trillion dollars – are a reflection of the worth of our data, and the rights those companies hold on it based on what billions of us agreed to in our terms and conditions.
Despite the huge value created by our data, we have handed it over in exchange for little more than the services these companies provide. Now we know its true worth – something we couldn’t have predicted when these companies were young – we should ask whether this trade-off is remotely fair.

Forget for a moment the hopelessly flawed statement of "Who cares, I have nothing to hide".
If that is actually true, and you mean it, then please post your email addresses and passwords below so that we can all go through your correspondence.
What, no takers?
Even if there were people who believed that their privacy had no value, Facebook and Google know otherwise. They even can put a dollar value on it, but you gave it away for free anyway.

Another side of this is the free market fundamentalists who for some inexplicable reason believe that the "free" in "free market" stands for "freedom" rather than "buy one, get one free".
Just look at how the free market reacted to his huge violation in people's right to privacy.

There's no denying Facebook's recent privacy woes have hurt the broader technology sector. Just look at the Nasdaq's rough past couple of days for evidence of that.
But Bank of America Merrill Lynch has crunched data that reveals something surprising: Amid all of the chaos, traders actually poured another $500 million into tech stocks this past week.

Investors don't give a fuuuuk about civil rights. Neither does free markets, or capitalism in general. Getting rid of government is not the road to freedom. It's the road to private tyranny.

The only thing more laughable than Zuckerberg pretending that he gave a flying F about your privacy, is watching Congress pretending that they care about your privacy.
Do you know what those congressional swamp creatures are doing right now while pretending to care about privacy rights?

The CLOUD Act (S. 2383 and H.R. 4943) is a dangerous bill that would tear away global privacy protections by allowing police in the United States and abroad to grab cross-border data without following the privacy rules of where the data is stored. Currently, law enforcement requests for cross-border data often use a legal system called the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties, or MLATs. This system ensures that, for example, should a foreign government wish to seize communications stored in the United States, that data is properly secured by the Fourth Amendment requirement for a search warrant....

As we explained in our earlier letter to Congress, the CLOUD Act would:

Allow foreign governments to wiretap on U.S. soil under standards that do not comply with U.S. law;
Give the executive branch the power to enter into foreign agreements without Congressional approval or judicial review, including foreign nations with a well-known record of human rights abuses;
Possibly facilitate foreign government access to information that is used to commit human rights abuses, like torture; and
Allow foreign governments to obtain information that could pertain to individuals in the U.S. without meeting constitutional standards.

How that even got to the point of being seriously considered by Congress boggles the mind.
If only this country had national referendums, like the Dutch.

One last thing, just being more computer savvy is not enough to protect your privacy. Although it can't hurt.

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OzoneTom's picture

@gjohnsit @gjohnsit @gjohnsit
Collecting personal data of not only those who agree to share it, but scooping-up those in their social networks as well -- then selling it to third parties is the whole FB business model. As Jimmy explains here, it has been publically acknowledged by both the Cambridge Analytica in February, and by the Obama campaign in 2012.

CEO Nix in Feb on political campaigns:

I think we have a 100% track record," Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix said today at Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. "That's about 30-100 campaigns.

Per Obama staffers immediately after the 2012 election:

...1 million Obama backers who signed up for the app gave the campaign permission to look at their Facebook friend lists. In an instant, the campaign had a way to see the hidden young voters. Roughly 85% of those without a listed phone number could be found in the uploaded friend lists. What’s more, Facebook offered an ideal way to reach them. “People don’t trust campaigns. They don’t even trust media organizations,” says Goff. “Who do they trust? Their friends.”

This is all out in the open and no one called it "meddling," "hacking," or "stealing the election" then.

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Wink's picture

utilize his campaign prowess
@gjohnsit
and campaign staff acumen to, you know, govern.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

Don't be mean to Obama - the GOP didn't play fair!

Hey Now.jpg

I've been several days behind the new cycle; this Jimmy Dore clip is perfect: Obama 20-Fucking-12 campaign using fbook to data creep and capture info.

CA = Foreign nationals meddling in our elections!
Will Mueller be indicting double-digit Brits from this Data Farming operation?
Will Rachel call for a military response to this act of war (equivalent to Pearl Harbor!!!1)?
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@Wink

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JVolvo2

Meteor Man's picture

The sheer volume of global data that was mined is astonishing and threatening. Now Congress sneaks The Cloud Act in a budget bill? Because freedom!

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

thanatokephaloides's picture

I gotta admit that I'm stumped.
I had already assumed that Facebook was selling our data to people with unethical intentions. In fact, I think it's only a matter of time before "unethical" turns into "illegal".
So why is everyone surprised? Were they simply not paying attention?

That's pretty much what I think.

If they were paying attention, they would not have trafficked with the likes of Facebook to begin with.

One last thing, just being more computer savvy is not enough to protect your privacy. Although it can't hurt.

Depends on what you do with your "savvy". Avoidance of the occasion of privacy invasion is the name of this game.

And I strongly suspected Facebook was selling data. You don't make Zuckerberg's level of money selling advertising delivered in the home via DSL. The bandwidth just isn't there.

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

OzoneTom's picture

@thanatokephaloides
I was in the "business intelligence" game for nearly two dozen years and this sort of thing is an incredibly rich trove. That is where the FB revenue comes from. People volunteering their personal information (and that of friends within and without the service) for convenience or access to games, often even paying for the privilege!

And the computer savvy are not immune. I was always shocked at how many of my smart-phone slinging colleagues seemed to be trying to outdo one another to be the most "connected." I expect that most of these today have always-on internet-connected "speakers" like Alexa in their living areas -- which is weird considering the freak-out a year or so back when people were worried that their televisions might be listening to what they were saying.

Just remember the old truism that "if you are not paying for a product, you ARE the product."

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Wink's picture

if you give them Fake Info.
@thanatokephaloides
Which I do aplenty.
I have no problem with FB utilizing (or selling) my data anyway they want to.
I'm on there for shared group info.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

snoopydawg's picture

This starts out explaining how FB was created with CIA money and then goes on to describe how it can track everyone regardless if they have an account or not.

Facebook And It's Connections To The C.I.A. And D.A.A.R.P.A.

Almost any website you go to now has facebook like buttons on it. Well they do that because they know Facebook is really popular and website have tailored to their customers and visitors needs

Do you know that ANY WEBSITE that has one of these Facebook buttons on their site, just one that Facebook then uses that and tracks what website you exit to??!! This is ANY SITE with a Facebook button. So if I go to ESPN and read an article and there are Facebook buttons on that site, Facebook is going to know where I go next! It is going to actually be able to place a cookie or whatever it is on me and see where my IP address goes next!! Now first off obviously if your going to something personal like a porn site or a gambling site or whatever it is you do you don't want the world knowing, FACEBOOK KNOWS!!! Now not only that it works like links in a chain. When you leave ESPN lets say and go to Joe Smoe's Cleaning site and there are no share options chances are next site you go to isn't another Joe Smoe's type of site. The next site because Facebook is soooo big now will most likely have at the very least one of these buttons and BOOM you are being tracked again!!! You do NOT NEED TO CLICK ANY OF THE FACEBOOK BUTTONS for this to occur! Not only that you do not need to be a Facebook member! Facebook has almost taken over the web. Its Facebook vs Google Right?? Ya right. Thats one of those false sneses of choice. Sure you can choose. NSA(Google) or CIA(Facebook) Facebook is so big some companies like say a car company, I see it a lot with them, they plug their Facebook page on their commercials and not their own site. They made Facebook so cool and popular that people not even in on it are unwillingly opening back doors for the government to track their website's visitors when they leave.

If congress and the courts were protecting our Bill of Rights this would be illegal for them to do. The CLOUD legislation lets any agency have access to every person in the world regardless of their country's laws and no judge has to sign off on it nor do they have to get a warrant.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Daenerys's picture

and still believe corporations are honest and would never do them dirty like that.

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This shit is bananas.

OzoneTom's picture

@Daenerys
Our trusted media sources will calm them down and so they will continue to ignore the costs.

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100% correct that this has been SOP since day one. I’m prettty sure it’s somewhere in the fine print of the user agreement, if you can read that. Many privacy oriented people have been sounding this alarm for years, but yeah, it’s been the “I’ve got nothing to hide” or “they know everything anyway” shrug.

So, as much as I am happy this is finally becoming a big story. However, as expected they’re making it all about Trump as if this is an exception rather than business as usual. I’d really like the whole extent of this to become the story, but I have no hopes for that.

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Mark from Queens's picture

That's what Thom Hartmann chimed in about here, and about the rampant creepy capitalism behind selling info/data. Have to admit I don't follow him anymore at all, though I used to love him, after he completely bought into the $hills parade. As someone else here said, he goes in for the Dems at every big election then as soon as it's over returns to his progressive credentials. I guess so. But hasn't made me want to seek him out like I used to.

Anyway, here it is:

Facebook Turned Our Economy Into a Spying Operation
Companies are selling our data to the highest bidder so we can buy more products we don't need.

The thing that scares me most is: do kids today know any other world one than one in which to be surveilled constantly and to willingly share personal info on social media is a natural as walking down the street?

I remember going into a high school for a local community panel discussion and freezing at the sight of a sign high up on the wall in the front foyer that said everyone in the building was on camera. Stunned, I caught the attention of a few kids presumably who went to school there, if they were aware of the sign and what it meant. They just shrugged.

The whole thing is one of the most, if not the most, unsettling developments in this tech era.

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"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

hopeful1's picture

Facebook made me queasy from the first time I logged on. My actual friends can email me. I dont need the rest. I got back on, ironically, to organize a MarchForScience in my small town, but now I'm getting back off. FB derives its utility from its many users. I am sure alternatives will spring up that jst facilitate discussion, w/o all the distractions, theft, and lies. I recommend leaving FB, and further, removing the C99 group from it.

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Do not let the plutocrats divide us!