Facebook: Revelations

[Текст на српском] Facebook’s been slapped with a maximum fine of £500,000 by the UK's Information Commission Office (ICO), for failing to protect users’ personal data over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. As you can imagine, this is just the beginning of a dark story…

The Commission said the company, in case of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, had failed to protect user data of at least one million UK citizens. But that’s not all:

Between 2007 and 2014 Facebook processed the personal information of users unfairly by allowing application developers access to their information without sufficiently clear and informed consent and allowing access even if users had not downloaded the app but were simply friends with people who had.

— Information Commissioner Office

First Revelation

As early as 2007? Facebook was established in 2004! This means it was actually created, from the beginning, for the purposes of Data Harvesting, or in other words — shearing sheeple while they do not feel anything! “If the service is free, then you are the product.” Having in mind that in the last quarter Facebook had $17 billion revenue, those £500,000 ($641.103,5) are approx. a bit less than 5 minutes (4.88) of their criminal activity! In truth, they have got another incentive to continue their dirty job! And they did — they were not fined for a clear case of “private” censorship, closing down anti-establishment accounts… and probably never will.

Second Revelation

The decision was preceeded by the keynote speech of the Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook in the European Parliament on Wednesday. Explaining the importance of privacy, he said that customer data was being “weaponised with military efficiency” by companies to increase profit.

    [4:56] “In a way the desire to put profits over privacy is nothing new. As far back as 1890, Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis published an article in the Harvard Law Review making the case for a right to privacy in the United States. He warned: “Gossip is no longer the resource of the idle and of the vicious, but has become a trade”. Today that trade has exploded into a data industrial complex. Our own information from the everyday to the deeply personal is being weaponized against us with military efficiency.

    Every day billions of dollars change hands and countless decisions are made on the basis of our likes and dislikes, our friends and families, our relationships and conversations, our wishes and fears, our hopes and dreams these scraps of data, each one harmless enough on its own, are carefully assembled, synthesized, traded and sold.

    Taken to its extreme this process creates an enduring digital profile and lets companies know you better than you may know yourself. Your profile is then run through algorithms that serve up increasingly extreme content, pounding our harmless preferences into hardened convictions. if green is your favorite color you may find yourself reading a lot of articles, or watching a lot of videos about the insidious threat from people who like orange. In the news almost every day we bear witness to the harmful even deadly effects of these narrowed worldviews.

    We shouldn't sugarcoat the consequences. This is surveillance. And these stockpiles of personal data serve only to enrich the companies that collect them. This should make us very uncomfortable. It should unsettle us. And it illustrates the importance of our shared work and the challenge is still ahead of us.”

    — Tim Cook, Apple CEO

You can see the full speech. Duration: 22:11

Third revelation

This man, Tim Cook, is a CEO of the most valuable corporation in the history of stock market. The first one which has crossed over $1 trillion in value. You may be sure he knows what he is talking about. Hey, it’s his corporation that has been deliberately slowing their phones to “stimulate” sales, his corporation has transferred complete production to China so it could shamelessly exploit cheap labour to the point of driving workers to suicide, his corporation designed false privacy protection to its phones that can be broken in a matter of minutes with a simple device made by Israeli company Cellebrite…

If you wish, you can trust his “privacy preaching”, but remember, Apple is in the same business of Data Harvesting. The fact that they have collected all your data and will return them to your request, does not mean you know how it is (ab)used. And even if it was not abused now, race in technology will create a temptation too strong — it’s just a matter of time.

So, you can believe Tim Cook when he is speaking against the direct competitors in the Data Harvesting business, Facebook (Instagram, WhatsApp), Google (YouTube), Amazon, Twitter… but I wouldn’t advise to believe him when he is talking about Apple as a solution for the privacy problem.

Solution are decentralized, censorship free platforms and apps that return value to their users. Steemit is THE solution.


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