Facebook Spies on Everything – Confirmation of Pure Evil

A UK Parliamentary report on internal Facebook documents and found that Facebook was not satisfied with just your information and activity on the social media site and spied on everything you do on your phone.

Facebook Used All of Their Power and Influence to Spy on Everything About Users, All User Phone Activity and Their Friends

The Facebook phone App records your phone calls and texts. They used their dominant position to get App companies to fully trade their customer data in exchange for access to Facebook data. They used an Israeli commercial spying company to find out what apps users downloaded and how they used them.

Here is the Specific Wording of the Summary of the Report

1. White Lists

Facebook have clearly entered into whitelisting agreements with certain companies, which meant that after the platform changes in 2014/15 they maintained full access to friends data. It is not clear that there was any user consent for this, nor how Facebook decided which companies should be whitelisted or not.

2. Value of friends data

It is clear that increasing revenues from major app developers was one of the key drivers behind the Platform 3.0 changes at Facebook. The idea of linking access to friends data to the financial value of the developers relationship with Facebook is a recurring feature of the documents.

3. Reciprocity

Data reciprocity between Facebook and app developers was a central feature in the discussions about the launch of Platform 3.0.

4. Android

Facebook knew that the changes to its policies on the Android mobile phone system, which enabled the Facebook app to collect a record of calls and texts sent by the user would be controversial. To mitigate any bad PR, Facebook planned to make it as hard of possible for users to know that this was one of the underlying features of the upgrade of their app.

5. Onavo

Facebook used Onavo to conduct global surveys of the usage of mobile apps by customers, and apparently without their knowledge. They used this data to assess not just how many people had downloaded apps, but how often they used them. This knowledge helped them to decide which companies to acquire, and which to treat as a threat.

6. Targeting competitor Apps

The files show evidence of Facebook taking aggressive positions against apps, with the consequence that denying them access to data led to the failure of that business.

36 thoughts on “Facebook Spies on Everything – Confirmation of Pure Evil”

  1. I’ve heard from a colleague this also happens with Alexa and Google home devices. They can also monitor television channels, etc.

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  2. It got my attention a couple of years back when I noticed, in a picture of Zuckerberg at home on a laptop, he had the camera taped over.

    Logic of course being that, if even he feels it is a risk . . .

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  3. GoatGuy had it right.
    He didn’t argue to that point, but (I forget the topic) it IMHO led to an inevitable outcome: people are overwhelmed in volume and speed of information and only some sort of personal electronic aids somewhat like a personal AI assistant will fill in for that gap. More likely an improved interface (very ideally like Neuralink) with basic “AI” tools than vice versa.
    Which is actually pretty mundane in terms of progress from what we already have. We just need a better interface with the data out there and the data in our personal storage space.

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  4. I really freak out after seeing ads on topics where I just have a conversation with friend and they start popping up on my feed.Hence I uninstalled my FB andriod app.Seems that they were truly spying . The same is the case with Instagram I guess.

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  5. I thought I was being just a tiny bit paranoid using the old ducktape over the cameras. It seems I may not have been paranoid enough.

    Time for a similar test maybe?

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  6. There is an omelette, a huge, tasty omelette with bacon bits and caramelized onions…

    You don’t get any of it though. Not unless your name is Zuckerberg.

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  7. To be fair, the number of people who bother reading much of the MSM, outside of this weeks sport’s results* is also an ever shrinking minority.

    *I’m counting celebrity s3x scandals as a professional sport, because it is near indistinguishable at this point.

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  8. << I will be modifying my computer so that both video and microphones are switch-disabled. Not sure what to do with phones >>

    Yep. Been taping down all of my cameras and mic’s for a while now. It comes off on the rare occasions I use em. The cell phone I use for phone calls has the absolute bare minimum on it – strictly phone call functionality.

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  9. It’s such a persistent, gaping meatspace backdoor to whatever. How many years have these been written about in MSM? When will people learn about such a wide blind spot?

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  10. As if the overwhelming majority of people who did read every single TOS and EULA they interact with would agree to those exploits. Why do lawyers and doctors and engineers exist if not to lend their expertise to people who don’t have time or ability to judge what’s what.

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  11. Well, that’s sort of the beauty with blockchain tech. It is possible to make the protocols privacy oriented. Everything is governed by math and algorithms in open source, free for anyone to review. Of course, people with poor op-sec will fall pray to phishing and social engineering attacks but at least, these systems are run by math and not corrupted humans. Run the open source software from official sources and the risks should be limited to the remaining bugs and loopholes not yet discovered.

    This is why nations, organizations, financial institutions, politicians, large companies etc. are scrambling to try and find a way to regulate internet and blockchain. They know that it will disrupt their long lasting control of money and information.

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  12. That’s nice, ms. Amb, but there remains nothing at all to prevent an App from looking, smelling, and working like it is totally secure, and still being infested with actual spyware and back-channel communications. You really do not know, even you a very smart person, where the packets your computer’s constellation of software is sending to, receiving from. Do you? I’m modestly smarter than the average bear, and did decades of network packet-“sniffer” analysis, and I assure you, I’ven’t a clue what my smartphone is doing 99.9% of the time. Network-wise.

    That’s the point.
    One can put a face-mask on an pretend to be anything.

    Just as one can walk around in priest’s collars, police uniforms, military apparel, doctors-and-nurses smocks, judges robes, Antifa masks, professorial tweed jackets, or anything else, and pretend to be something different.

    Software is doing this increasingly all the time.

    Just saying,
    GoatGuy

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  13. Meanwhile… on the advertisement on this page, is a story about a superintendent blocking a teacher from returning to class after telling a bunch of grade-school level kids that Santa isn’t real. And an equally eyebrow raising advertisement a few days ago linking to a story where some school principal authorized the display of Satanic Holiday festoons at her school in Michigan. For fairness. Equity.

    We live in dangerous times, folks.
    And I don’t see them getting less dangerous, soon.

    GoatGuy

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  14. The area of social interaction and the problem with someone else gobbling up the data are one of the “killer applications” for blockchain. Interesting alternatives are being worked on everywhere and when the technology matures, there will be distributed systems without middlemen to use. Maybe not for free because everything costs something somehow but the recurring theme is to ensure privacy, authenticity and a self sustaining eco system.
    For example, there is already a blockchain alternative to YouTube: https://bit.tube/dashboard

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  15. Your choice, you dont actually have to read it only agree to it.
    You will still be paying for the free service by way of ads whether you read the tos or not.

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  16. I’m pretty sure that even it is written in the device “terms of service”, there isn’t a bloke or lass in a hundred that reads through the thing, and knowingly signs onto all the provisos and caveats stipulated therein. And even if you are the one-in-a-hundred who does, what are you going to do about it? Either you sign on the dotted line and get a new iPhone, Androidetti, MacBook or SmartWatch, or you don’t.

    Just saying, GoatGuy

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  17. Social networking apps are “social opium”, friend. I’ve watched the transformation of a whole clade of youth go from meeting-and-talking-and-laughing-and-posturing to simply “being present” at events, but entirely engrossed in their little computer screens. Snapchatting. Facebooking. Tweeting.

    This, in only less than 15 years.

    You think you could get a revolution together to take down Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter, all in one fell swoop?

    Your — and your collaborators — heads would be on pikes within 24 hours.

    Just saying, GoatGuy

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  18. Um… do you know (obviously besides yourself) anyone who has actually carefully read through the dozens of pages of densely worded TOS agreements? For every application, every device, they download, purchase, or just use?

    I don’t.
    I know of no one, and I personally used to always try to read the TOS’s.

    Just saying.
    GoatGuy

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  19. Its true. However, for many (and I’m guessing over 70% of the public), social-media interaction is very probably the № 1 reason why they own a smartphone and Facebook or Snapchat (or other) social networking app/account. It also is the № 1 reason why they’ll upgrade, replace, upgrade, replace, endlessly in the future.

    Because 90% of the buying public simply doesn’t have the wetware to assess what their risk is, what the ‘necessity’ is of their dalliance with spyware loaded (cr)aps. The “industry” is definitely parasitically infesting all social apps their vampire taps.

    No good end will come from this.

    My (born before 1960) generation only heard of the American Inquisition of the 1950s, the McCarthy Era. Very few people I know lived under the Old Soviet totalitarianism and report-on-everything-including-your-neighbor state. Where this logically leads … is to a dark, dark end.

    Just saying, GoatGuy

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  20. Pure curmudgeon ahead… 

    So, we love our new, new, new iPhones, Androidettis, notebooks and computers. 95% of us can only afford discounted versions of things. Such deals are loaded with use-me-I’m-kind-of-free-for-now spyware. Some you don’t even see. Thing is, that you, we, are not free anymore. 

    For instance: I’ve artificially tested this, and it is alarming and true.

    My wife and I verbally talked up finding a house someday with an elevator. As we get older and older. She, with her iPhone in her pocket, me with my laptop open. We purposely did NOT google elevators or did any product searches. Lo, and behold. Within 1 day, virtually every website I visited (and her visits too) had copious competing advertisements for new-and-cool in-house elevators. Not a SINGLE keystroke was entered.  

    Understand: you ARE be listened to, even without holding conversations with friends on the phone.  

    I further advanced the experiment. Had a long conversation with a friend about LED lighting. Sure enough, within a day, all the adverts centered on LED lighting.  

    WHO IS DOING THIS?

    I will be modifying my computer so that both video and microphones are switch-disabled. Not sure what to do with phones. We need them to be online almost all the time (unlike the computer, which doesn’t frankly need its mic and vid working all the time).

    Just saying,
    GoatGuy

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  21. And these “juicy stuff” is somehow not compatible with ~”TOS: tracking your preferences and habits to tailor displaying paid ads in your face”?

    A company isnt doing evil just because most of the human race happens to be lazy, ignorant and inept.

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  22. Pretty sure this stuff wasn’t in the TOS, else it would not be coming out when the British Parliament seized documents in someone elses posession and published them. Pretty sure juicy stuff like that is kept out of the TOS or obfuscated in to mealy-lawyer-speak.

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  23. One of the points in the article being that if you have Facebook on an Android phone then they are harvesting texts and calls even though you are not “sharing” them with Facebook. I’m pretty sure you didn’t sign up for that.

    Facebook gets your data even if try to limit what you are giving Facebook.

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  24. I’m not surprised by any of this. I think the same things are also true about Google. You are using these platforms for free. So, they make their money off of you, specifically data about you. This is the only way they can make money. I’m not condoning it. I’m just saying that is what it is. This is why I share very little personal information about myself on either platform. I do use both Google and Facebook with these caveats in mind.

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  25. Stop being irrational, there is no free lunch.
    All users of the web agreed to the terms of usage, if they don’t like the terms-go away.

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