Archive for the ‘Privacy’ Category

Happy? Sad? Excited? … Facebook can tell.

November 8, 2017

And, has been caught doing just that.

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It always amazes me what people post on Facebook. Their daily activities, their deepest emotions – you name it.

By now, every Facebook user should know that FB sifts through their content – posts, pictures, links, emojis – to determine, for example, what topics are hot; what people are doing; which brands people are buying, recommending, trashing or considering; whether users are feeling happy, sad, scared, excited.

The latter is called “sentiment analysis” using computer algorithms to take users’ “emotional pulse”.

Of course, FB promises that they’ll protect users’ privacy and would never even consider divulging that information to outsiders, say, advertisers or political campaigns.

image

Bad news for believers: FB was caught “sharing” sentiment analysis data.

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According to USA Today

Documents leaked to a newspaper, The Australian, indicate that Facebook executives prepared a report for one of the country’s top banks.

The report described how Facebook gleans psychological insights into the mood shifts of millions of young people in Australia and New Zealand by monitoring their status updates and photos.

The 23-page report showed Facebook’s ability to detect when users as young as 14 are feeling emotions such as defeat, stress, anxiety or being overwhelmed … and. other information on young people’s emotional well-being such as when they exhibit “nervous-excitement” are “conquering fears“.

FB claimed that it can track how emotions fluctuate during the week.

Anticipatory emotions are more likely to be expressed early in the week.

Reflective emotions increase on the weekend.

Monday-Thursday is about building confidence.

The weekend is for broadcasting achievements.

At a relatively benign level, advertisers can use that information to target ads to certain age groups … and they can time them to run on a certain day.

That’s apparently what FB got caught doing – revealing anonymous and aggregated data – to a potential advertising client.

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Let’s go a step further…

According to the article: “Facebook has also come under heavy scrutiny in the past for secretly conducting research that manipulated the emotions of users by altering what they see in their News Feed without their consent.”

So, it doesn’t take much creativity to imagine the collection and dissemination of individuals’ sentiment data that could be used to target advertising to specific individuals at specific times – say, when they’re feeling down and are vulnerable to buying certain products geared to giving them a pick-me-up, say, some new clothes, a fancy car or miracle drug.

Pretty unnerving, right?

Of course, FB assures users that it would never consider divulging that sort of data.

Yeah, right.

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Connecting dots

In a prior post, we reported on a study that concluded time on Facebook can be hazardous to your mental health.

For details see Studies: More time on Facebook … and it’s not good for you.

So, being on Facebook can make you emotionally vulnerable.

Facebook can determine when you’re vulnerable.

Facebook can sell that info to advertisers.

But, FB assures us that it won’t sell that data.

Whew … that’s a relief.

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#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

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Happy? Sad? Excited? … Facebook can tell.

May 16, 2017

And, has been caught doing just that.

=======

It always amazes me what people post on Facebook. Their daily activities, their deepest emotions – you name it.

By now, every Facebook user should know that FB sifts through their content – posts, pictures, links, emojis – to determine, for example, what topics are hot; what people are doing; which brands people are buying, recommending, trashing or considering; whether users are feeling happy, sad, scared, excited.

The latter is called “sentiment analysis” using computer algorithms to take users’ “emotional pulse”.

Of course, FB promises that they’ll protect users’ privacy and would never even consider divulging that information to outsiders, say, advertisers or political campaigns.

image

Bad news for believers: FB was caught “sharing” sentiment analysis data.

=========

According to USA Today

Documents leaked to a newspaper, The Australian, indicate that Facebook executives prepared a report for one of the country’s top banks.

The report described how Facebook gleans psychological insights into the mood shifts of millions of young people in Australia and New Zealand by monitoring their status updates and photos.

The 23-page report showed Facebook’s ability to detect when users as young as 14 are feeling emotions such as defeat, stress, anxiety or being overwhelmed … and. other information on young people’s emotional well-being such as when they exhibit “nervous-excitement” are “conquering fears“.

FB claimed that it can track how emotions fluctuate during the week.

Anticipatory emotions are more likely to be expressed early in the week.

Reflective emotions increase on the weekend.

Monday-Thursday is about building confidence.

The weekend is for broadcasting achievements.

At a relatively benign level, advertisers can use that information to target ads to certain age groups … and they can time them to run on a certain day.

That’s apparently what FB got caught doing – revealing anonymous and aggregated data – to a potential advertising client.

========

Let’s go a step further…

According to the article: “Facebook has also come under heavy scrutiny in the past for secretly conducting research that manipulated the emotions of users by altering what they see in their News Feed without their consent.”

So, it doesn’t take much creativity to imagine the collection and dissemination of individuals’ sentiment data that could be used to target advertising to specific individuals at specific times – say, when they’re feeling down and are vulnerable to buying certain products geared to giving them a pick-me-up, say, some new clothes, a fancy car or miracle drug.

Pretty unnerving, right?

Of course, FB assures users that it would never consider divulging that sort of data.

Yeah, right.

========

Connecting dots

In a prior post, we reported on a study that concluded time on Facebook can be hazardous to your mental health.

For details see Studies: More time on Facebook … and it’s not good for you.

So, being on Facebook can make you emotionally vulnerable.

Facebook can determine when you’re vulnerable.

Facebook can sell that info to advertisers.

But, FB assures us that it won’t sell that data.

Whew … that’s a relief.

========

#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

========

Cellphones: “Biggest threat to your cybersecurity”

February 23, 2016

We’re not talking Apple building a backdoor to access your encrypted info, we’re talking ordinary old cyber-criminals intercepting messages, seizing account numbers and passwords, and taking remote control of cell phones.

image

According to Knowledge @ Wharton

By 2015, more Americans are expected to access the Internet through a mobile device than a PC.

And,  45% of surveyed users do not see cybersecurity on their mobile devices as a threat in the same way as they see it on their computers.

The 55% couldn’t be more wrong.

Here’s why …

(more…)

Gotcha: This is an unrecognized computer …

November 9, 2015

If you do any banking online, you’ve probably gotten that message at one time or another.

Maybe it was when you got a new computer … or, when you used a friend’s computer to pay a bill.

You probably didn’t think much of it.

You just answered the security questions and paid your bill.

Bet you didn’t stop to wonder: How did Bank of Boise know that this wasn’t my usual computer?

Better yet, ask: How does the bank know when I am on my regular computer?

Well, now that I’ve aroused you curiosity, the answer is ….

Your computer has its own distinctive “device fingerprints” that make it identifiable on the Net as your computer.

image

I worry about stuff like this.  So, I’d thought about this one.

And, my thinking was wrong.

Here’s what’s going on …

(more…)

Cellphones: “Biggest threat to your cybersecurity”

May 22, 2015

We’re not talking NSA tracking, we’re talking ordinary old cyber-criminals intercepting messages, seizing account numbers and passwords, and taking remote control of cell phones.

image

According to Knowledge @ Wharton

Nowadays, more Americans are expected to access the Internet through a mobile device than a PC.

And,  45% of surveyed users do not see cybersecurity on their mobile devices as a threat in the same way as they see it on their computers.

The 55% couldn’t be more wrong.

Here’s why …

(more…)

What privacy? Apparently teens don’t care …

April 14, 2015

Thanks to social media, today’s teens are the first to have a complete record of their whole lives — their thoughts, their actions, and  their friends.

Eric Schmidt — Google chairman and ex-CEO — worries, however, that they’ll be the first who’ll never be allowed to forget their mistakes.

Schmidt says:  “People are now sharing too much.”

More specifically, privacy pundits say that it just takes your name, zip code and birth date to ID you and start linking your online and offline personal data … forever.

Now, Pew has published a research study re: teen’s online habits .

image

Here are the Pew results …

(more…)

Gotcha: This is an unrecognized computer …

March 26, 2015

If you do any banking online, you’ve probably gotten that message at one time or another.

Maybe it was when you got a new computer … or, when you used a friend’s computer to pay a bill.

You probably didn’t think much of it.

You just answered the security questions and paid your bill.

Bet you didn’t stop to wonder: How did Bank of Boise know that this wasn’t my usual computer?

Better yet, ask: How does the bank know when I am on my regular computer?

Well, now that I’ve aroused you curiosity, the answer is ….

Your computer has its own distinctive “device fingerprints” that make it identifiable on the Net as your computer.

image

I worry about stuff like this.  So, I’d thought about this one.

And, my thinking was wrong.

Here’s what’s going on …

(more…)

Gotcha: This is an unrecognized computer …

November 25, 2014

If you do any banking online, you’ve probably gotten that message at one time or another.

Maybe it was when you got a new computer … or, when you used a friend’s computer to pay a bill.

You probably didn’t think much of it.

You just answered the security questions and paid your bill.

Bet you didn’t stop to wonder: How did Bank of Boise know that this wasn’t my usual computer?

Better yet, ask: How does the bank know when I am on my regular computer?

Well, now that I’ve aroused you curiosity, the answer is ….

Your computer has its own distinctive “device fingerprints” that make it identifiable on the Net as your computer.

image

I worry about stuff like this.  So, I’d thought about this one.

And, my thinking was wrong.

Here’s what’s going on …

(more…)

What privacy? Apparently teens don’t care …

May 30, 2014

 

Thanks to social media, today’s teens are the first to have a complete record of their whole lives — their thoughts, their actions, and  their friends.

Eric Schmidt — Google chairman and ex-CEO — worries, however, that they’ll be the first who’ll never be allowed to forget their mistakes.

Schmidt says:  “People are now sharing too much.”

More specifically, privacy pundits say that it just takes your name, zip code and birth date to ID you and start linking your online and offline personal data … forever.

Now, Pew has published a research study re: teen’s online habits .

image

Here are the Pew results …

(more…)

Hacked: This time it’s personal …

July 31, 2013

Though I’ve on the case re: internet tracking, I’ve gotta admit that I’d been pretty cavalier re: identity theft on a personal level.

Not any more.

I’ve been hacked and “thieved”.

And, take it from me, it isn’t pretty.

Computer hacker

 

Here’s what happened and what I’ve learned that might help you

(more…)

Cellphones: “Biggest threat to your cybersecurity”

June 27, 2013

We’re not talking NSA tracking, we’re talking ordinary old cyber-criminals intercepting messages, seizing account numbers and passwords, and taking remote control of cell phones.

image

According to Knowledge @ Wharton

By 2015, more Americans are expected to access the Internet through a mobile device than a PC.

And,  45% of surveyed users do not see cybersecurity on their mobile devices as a threat in the same way as they see it on their computers.

The 55% couldn’t be more wrong.

Here’s why …

(more…)

Gotcha: This is an unrecognized computer.

June 19, 2013

If you do any banking online, you’ve probably gotten that message at one time or another.

Maybe it was when you got a new computer … or, when you used a friend’s computer to pay a bill.

You probably didn’t think much of it.

You just answered the security questions and paid your bill.

Bet you didn’t stop to wonder: How did Bank of Boise know that this wasn’t my usual computer.

Well, now that I’ve aroused you curiosity, the answer is ….

You’re computer has its own distinctive “device fingerprints” that make it identifiable on the Net as your computer.

image

I worry about stuff like this.  So, I’d thought about this one.

And, my thinking was wrong.

Here’s what’s going on …

(more…)

Gotcha: If you don’t smoke, why are you buying Marlboros?

June 13, 2013

Consumers are signing up to share personal data at an alarming rate via sleep monitors, pedometers and activity trackers, dietary logs, brainwave monitors, grocery and restaurant loyalty cards, credit cards, Foursquare and Facebook check-ins, photo geotagging, and other digital means.

image

As insurers, lenders, and others attempt to manage risk, they will inevitably turn alternative data sources to round out the picture of each consumer applicant –

Here are some ways that companies can (and are) using the data they collect on you.

(more…)

NetTrax Tip: Enable “private browsing” on your iPad …

May 31, 2013

A tip from Business Insider

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* * * * *
Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

What privacy? Apparently teens don’t care …

May 29, 2013

 

Thanks to social media, today’s teens are the first to have a complete record of their whole lives — their thoughts, their actions, and  their friends.

Eric Schmidt — Google chairman and ex-CEO — worries, however, that they’ll be the first who’ll never be allowed to forget their mistakes.

Schmidt says:  “People are now sharing too much.”

More specifically, privacy pundits say that it just takes your name, zip code and birth date to ID you and start linking your online and offline personal data … forever.

Now, Pew has published a research study re: teen’s online habits .

image

Here are the Pew results …

(more…)