Privacy Issues - Are you paying attention?

patswin

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I have been watching with interest the pending rollout of iOS14. Facebook is none too happy about Apple removing their ability to data mine you. Anything that is bad for FB is good for privacy.
 

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I have been watching with interest the pending rollout of iOS14. Facebook is none too happy about Apple removing their ability to data mine you. Anything that is bad for FB is good for privacy.

Facebook has a lot to be unhappy about lately.

I wonder if they have bribed enough politicians and bureaucrats to beat the system.

I have a suspicion that Facebook will beat the anti-trust suit....because it's just an extension of our Intelligence Community....the bastard child of LifeLog. The question is whether the Intelligence services will spend their blackmail chips on protecting Facebook. I don't know, honestly. It will be interesting to watch.
 

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aloyouis

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Another more detailed piece on Apple v. FB. Gives you some insight into how nefarious FB really is.
I saw that article when it came out as I am a regular there. The comments section on Macrumors is usually solid, but Apple centric. This article is no different. Thanks for posting it.
 

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aloyouis

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New Apple policy on tracking. Begins 2021. Read the second picture first.
 

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patswin

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LOL. Fuck Facebook.

Facebook declares war on Apple

Facebook launched a PR assault against Apple on Wednesday, proclaiming that the iPhone maker’s upcoming changes to its mobile operating system will hurt small businesses’ ability to target advertising and app makers’ ability to offer free content.


When Apple (AAPL) updates iOS 14 on mobile devices early next year, it will require all apps to show a prompt allowing users to opt out of targeted advertising. People opting out of tracking will hinder Facebook’s (FB) ability to collect information it could use to personalize ads, and the company’s attack Wednesday included publicly standing with “Fortnite” owner Epic Games Inc. in its antitrust suit against Apple.



In full-page ads Wednesday morning in the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, Facebook said it is “standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere.” The social media giant also held a news conference featuring a couple of small-business owners who said their businesses have thrived because they effectively target personalized ads.


“There’s no possible way our business would be where it is today without personalized ads,” said Monique Wilsondebriano, who co-owns Charleston Gourmet Burger Co. in South Carolina with her husband Chevalo. She said that when they started their business in 2012, they turned to online ads because they could not afford radio or television advertising: “No way, hands down.”


Apple argues that it is just giving users a choice.


“We believe that this is a simple matter of standing up for our users,” the company said in a statement Wednesday. “Users should know when their data is being collected and shared across other apps and websites — and they should have the choice to allow that or not.”


An Apple spokesperson pointed to a letter sent by Jane Horvath, senior director of global privacy at the company, to privacy advocates last month in response to their disappointment that Apple was delaying the rollout of iOS 14.


“Some companies that would prefer [app tracking transparency] is never implemented have said that this policy uniquely burdens small businesses by restricting advertising options, but in fact, the current data arms race primarily benefits big businesses with big data sets,” Horvath wrote.



After the iOS update, users will be able to more easily track who’s tracking them and make changes if necessary, Apple said. It said it was delaying the rollout to give app developers more time to adjust.


Dan Levy, Facebook vice president for ads and business products, said Facebook “fundamentally disagrees” with Apple’s stance that “personalized ads are inherently inconsistent with privacy.” He added that Facebook and others in the industry “can protect privacy while using personalized data.”


Levy also said Apple’s moves are “anticompetitive,” echoing antitrust sentiment against Big Tech, and said Apple is trying to “go back 20 to 30 years” to a time before targeted advertising.


“We welcome in-app advertising and are not prohibiting tracking,” Apple said in a statement. “We’re simply requiring each app to obtain explicit user consent.”


Facebook also said it intends to support Epic Games’ lawsuit against Apple. The lawsuit accuses Apple of anticompetitive behavior after it removed Fortnite from the App Store because Epic offered a way to pay for in-app purchases that bypassed the App Store.


For more: Will videogames be the Achilles heel for Apple, Google in antitrust investigations?


Apple, which has been criticized for the 30% cut it takes from app developers, last month launched a program that slashes commission rates in half for businesses that make under $1 million a year.


The company expected companies like Facebook to fight its upcoming update.


Craig Federighi, Apple’s head of software engineering, said at a privacy conference in Europe last week that “it’s already clear that some companies are going to do everything they can to stop the App Tracking Transparency feature I described earlier — or any innovation like it — and to maintain their unfettered access to people’s data.”


Apple and Facebook have sniped at each other for years. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook has pointedly said his company doesn’t “monetize” its users through advertising. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has hit back by saying that his company does not charge its users, while Apple’s products are sold at a premium.


Facebook faces its own antitrust scrutiny, with the Federal Trade Commission and 48 attorneys general signing on to an antitrust suit against the company last week. Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL) (GOOG) Google also faces federal and state antitrust charges, and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) is being investigated for potentially anticompetitive actions by the European Union and reportedly the U.S.


Facebook shares gained slightly Wednesday, while Apple declined slightly. Apple stock has gained 73.6% so far this year, making it worth more than $2 trillion, while Facebook shares have increased 34.4%. The S&P 500 index has gained 14.4% in that time.
 

patswin

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Facebook’s Laughable Campaign Against Apple Is Really Against Users and Small Businesses​


Facebook has recently launched a campaign touting itself as the protector of small businesses. This is a laughable attempt from Facebook to distract you from its poor track record of anticompetitive behavior and privacy issues as it tries to derail pro-privacy changes from Apple that are bad for Facebook’s business.

Facebook’s campaign is targeting a new AppTrackingTransparency feature on iPhones that will require apps to request permission from users before tracking them across other apps and websites or sharing their information with and from third parties. Requiring trackers to request your consent before stalking you across the Internet should be an obvious baseline, and we applaud Apple for this change. But Facebook, having built a massive empire around the concept of tracking everything you do by letting applications sell and share your data across a shady set of third-party companies, would like users and policymakers to believe otherwise.

Make no mistake: this latest campaign from Facebook is one more direct attackagainst our privacy and, despite its slick packaging, it’s also an attack against other businesses, both large and small.

Apple’s Change​

Apple has deployed AppTrackingTransparency for iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14. This kind of consent interface is not new, and it’s similar for other permissions in iOS: for example, when an app requests access to your microphone, camera, or location. It’s normal for apps to be required to request the user permission for access to specific device functions or data, and third-party tracking should be no different. (In an important limitation of AppTrackingTransparency, however, note that this change does not impact first-party tracking and data collection by the app itself.)

Allowing users to choose what third-party tracking they will or will not tolerate, and forcing apps to request those permissions, gives users more knowledge of what apps are doing, helps protect users from abuse, and allows them to make the best decisions for themselves. You can mark your AppTrackingTransparency preferences app by app, or set it overall for all apps.

This new feature from Apple is one more step in the right direction, reducing developer abuse by giving users knowledge and control over their own personal data.

Small Business and the Ad Industry​

So why the outcry from Facebook? Facebook claims that this change from Apple will hurt small businesses who benefit from access to targeted advertising services, but Facebook is not telling you the whole story. This is really about who benefits from the normalization of surveillance-powered advertising (hint: it’s not users or small businesses), and what Facebook stands to lose if its users learn more about exactly what it and other data brokers are up to behind the scenes.

For many years now, the behavioral advertising industry has promoted the notion that behavioral, targeted ads are better. These are the ads that track you everywhere you go online, with sometimes eerily accurate results. This is in contrast to “contextual” or non-targeted ads, which are based not on your personal information but simply on the content of the webpage you are visiting at the time. Many app developers appear to believe the targeted advertising hype. But are targeted ads better? And for whom are they actually better?

In reality, a number of studies have shown that most of the money made from targeted advertising does not reach the creators of the content—the app developers and the content they host. Instead, the majority of any extra money earned by targeted ads ends up in the pockets of these data brokers. Some names are very well-known, like Facebook and Google, but many more are shady companies that most users have never even heard of.

Bottom line: "The Association of National Advertisers estimates that, when the “ad tech tax” is taken into account, publishers are only taking home between 30 and 40 cents of every dollar [spent on ads]." The rest goes to third-party data brokers who keep the lights on by exploiting your information, and not to small businesses trying to work within a broken system to reach their customers.

The reality is that only a handful of companies control the online advertising market, and everyone else is at their mercy. Small businesses cannot compete with large ad distribution networks on their own. Because the ad industry has promoted this fantasy that targeted advertising is superior to other methods of reaching customers, anything else will inherently command less value on ad markets. That not only means that ads have a lower ad value if they aren’t targeting users, but it also drives the flow of money away from innovation that could otherwise bring us different advertising methods that don’t involve invasive profiling and targeting.

Facebook touts itself in this case as protecting small businesses, and that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Facebook touts itself in this case as protecting small businesses, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Facebook has locked them into a situation in which they are forced to be sneaky and adverse to their own customers. The answer cannot be to defend that broken system at the cost of their own users’ privacy and control.

To begin with, we shouldn’t allow companies to violate our fundamental human rights, even if it’s better for their bottom line. Stripped of its shiny PR language, that is what Facebook is complaining about. If businesses want our attention and money, they need to do so by respecting our rights, including our right to privacy and control over our data.

Second, we recognize that businesses are in a bind because of Facebook’s dominance and the overpromises of the ad industry. So if we want small businesses to be able to compete, we need to make it a level playing field. If one app needs to ask for permission, all of them should, including Facebook itself. This points the way, again, to the need for a baseline privacy law that protects and empowers users. We hope app developers will join us in pushing for a privacy law so that they can all compete on the same grounds, instead of the worst privacy violators having (or, being perceived as having) a leg up.

If we want small businesses to be able to compete, we need to make it a level playing field.
Overall, AppTrackingTransparency is a great step forward for Apple. When a company does the right thing for its users, EFF will stand with it, just as we will come down hard on companies that do the wrong thing. Here, Apple is right and Facebook is wrong. Next step: Android should follow with the same protections. Your move, Google.
 
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aloyouis

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This could end up as an epic battle (pun in there) between two behemoths. Apple is on the right side of this line, IMO.


Amid a barrage of public attacks on Apple from Facebook over privacy measures, Facebook employees have expressed their displeasure with the direction of the campaign in comments obtained by BuzzFeed News.

Last week, Facebook launched a campaign in print newspapers explaining that it was "standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere," and created a website encouraging people to "Speak Up for Small Businesses."

Facebook argues that Apple's privacy changes in iOS 14, which give users the option to opt-out of ad tracking, will harm small businesses that see increased sales from personalized ads. However, some Facebook employees are reportedly complaining about what they perceived to be a self-serving campaign.

BuzzFeed News obtained internal comments from one of Facebook's private message boards and audio of a presentation to Facebook workers, revealing that there is discontentment among employees about the angle used to attack Apple's privacy changes. One Facebook engineer, in response to an internal post about the campaign from Facebook's advertising chief Dan Levy, said:

It feels like we are trying to justify doing a bad thing by hiding behind people with a sympathetic message.
Ahead of an internal meeting to explain the rationale of the campaign against Apple, Facebook employees asked and voted up several questions that focused on the consequences of the campaign on Facebook's public image. The most popular questions asked reportedly all expressed skepticism or concern:

Aren't we worried that our stance protecting [small- and medium-sized businesses] will backfire as people see it as "Facebook protecting their own business" instead?
People want "privacy," Facebook objecting here will be viewed with cynicism. Did we know this would be bad PR, and decide to publish anyway?
How do we pick a message that looks less self-serving?
In response, Facebook vice president of product marketing Graham Mudd said that the company has been "really clear" that Apple's changes do "have a financial impact on us," in addition to small businesses:

We're not trying to sweep that under the rug. We are, you know, a profitable, big company and we're going to get through this and adapt our products and so forth. But the real folks that are going to get hit by this are small businesses, and that's why we made them the focus of the message.
Following the presentation, many Facebook employees were apparently unconvinced. Some did not understand how Apple's changes would negatively affect small businesses, while one highlighted that Apple's privacy changes also prevent "malicious actors" from tracking people:

We're not going to… be the only ones that should be allowed to track people without their consent — any company can do that, even smaller startups and malicious actors.
The same employee launched a scathing attack on Levy's post, accompanied by a popular meme with the text "Are we the baddies?"

The only thing I'm hearing, again and again, is "this is bad for the businesses," and I'd really like someone at the top to explicitly say, "People are better off if they don't know what we're doing, if we don't have to explain ourselves to them, if they don't get a choice to opt-in or opt-out of our practices, if we obscure it as much as possible behind interesting features and then get them to accept surreptitious tracking on the back end as long as we downplay it."
Other critics suggested that Facebook incentivizes opting-in to ad tracking in a positive campaign rather than attacking the notion of a choice to opt-in or out. Levy responded to criticisms explaining that the campaign was simply "not about our business model."

That's Apple's marketing working and convincing you to scapegoat us so they can decide how the internet should work — even beyond their devices. I'm an optimist who works in technology because I think tech can be a lever for democratizing access and giving opportunity. Including for businesses. And if you think this is going to stop with personalized ads... well, then I disagree.
Other comments from employees highlighted that the spirited defense of small businesses was hypocritical because Facebook has repeatedly disabled the ad accounts of small business advertisers by mistake and increasingly uses automated customer support, leading to a plethora of public complaints from small businesses:

[They] highlight that we're probably not doing everything we can to "stand up for small [businesses]" when we don't provide human customer service support to small advertisers.
Facebook spokesperson Ashley Zandy responded to BuzzFeed News, insisting that the stories of small businesses are Facebook's priority:

Since launching this effort we have heard from small businesses literally around the world who are worried about how these changes could hurt their businesses. Because this is such a critical time for [small- and medium-sized businesses], we will continue to share those stories with the public and our employees.
Following the launch of the campaign, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit organization that defends civil liberties in the digital world, called Facebook's criticisms of tracking-related privacy measures "laughable."

 

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Facebook will lose this.

It doesn't take long to go from what they are to MySpace.
 
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aloyouis

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Facebook will lose this.

It doesn't take long to go from what they are to MySpace.
No doubt in my mind at all that FB will lose this if this the direction they continue to take.

But (BUT!), don't overestimate their ability to make policy in the swamp. The current strategy will not work, but they will buy the support they need and it will be up to Apple to carry their conviction forward. I hope they do.
 
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Undertaker #59*

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What it comes down to for me though is people won't drop their $1500 iPhones for Facebook. They will go elsewhere. Perhaps to a new social platform from Apple.
 

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What it comes down to for me though is people won't drop their $1500 iPhones for Facebook. They will go elsewhere. Perhaps to a new social platform from Apple.

I am on several different ones as well as FB. The market will provide the best alternative platform unless the cronyists at FB get their way of buying Congress to shut down competition.

I mean, not all that long ago Zuckerberg called upon Congress for the regulation of social media platforms in a hearing before them.

I want to say he was shooting himself in the privates with that one and he was, but it was mostly to do away with the competition, I think.
 

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I don't know how it is now, but iirc awhile back i think facebook made you install messenger to message people instead of through fb itself. so i installed the app. i then decided i didn't want it and i couldn't uninstall it. it took my getting another phone and not instaling it on there to get rid of it.
yet another reason i hate them.
 
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aloyouis

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I don't know how it is now, but iirc awhile back i think facebook made you install messenger to message people instead of through fb itself. so i installed the app. i then decided i didn't want it and i couldn't uninstall it. it took my getting another phone and not instaling it on there to get rid of it.
yet another reason i hate them.
I remember hearing how bad Facebook messenger was at stealing information over and above Facebook itself and so I never installed it.

on the rare occasion that I’m on my phone and want to see a message on Facebook that somebody has sent to me, I will log out of the app and log into Safari and Facebook messenger is there just like on a computer. No need to install the app.
 
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