Monday, March 26, 2018

Facebook Gave 155 Random Advertisers My Contact Info

I was feeling a bit nosey after reading mainstream media articles referring to horrified Facebook users, sharing skin crawling stories about how this corporation had captured all their contact info, emails outside of Facebook, history of non Facebook activity and pretty much everything they've breathed since becoming a Facebook user. Jumping on the horrified bandwagon without running your own due diligence simply makes you an uneducated sheep.

So I was curious and downloaded my data to see exactly what this current-state crisis business has been doing with my information, what they have and what they should not have. I've not seen anything that's made me projectile vomit so far but then again, I'd need to click each of the messaging files individually for a thorough investigation. I have hundreds of these, yet from clicking random files so far, nothing drastic has come up that's non Facebook communication. I did see a massive list of my phone contact information - a feature I turned off many years ago. That, in itself is a privacy violation yet I have to play devils here that they captured this before I repeatedly kept turning off the feature, when they repeatedly 'bug defect?' kept turning it back on.

But...I did see that Facebook gave my contact information to 155 random advertisers. What contact information? All my contacts, just my name and email, all my data?  Here's the link to the companies that Facebook gladly shared my 'contact' details with. Which may oppose Facebook's terms of privacy.

Not being a lawyer but having great experience in this arena, the word 'sell' is ambiguous in relation to this topic. They state clearly they won't sell my information, but there's no reference about 'giving it away for free.' And the word 'information' is intentionally vague. What information? Then again, Facebook and these 155 advertisers cocked up royally in their next step intentions. They've not targeted me directly, spammed me or caused havoc in my life as a result of having this big data. Every global corporation has admitted they have no idea what to do with big data. It's futile sharing. Then again, I know exactly what to do with big data so I know how to positively make it work.

Facebook has to be free for users to join because it affects their stock value when investors know they have nearly 300m fake user accounts - most likely a great number more. Therefore, their valuation is warped and inaccurate yet investors know this when they're injecting cash. Distortion is part of the game.

If you're going to use a social platform, don't be startled when you download your account and all its bells & whistles of information. Free is never free because users pay a price regardless. To be appalled by what you download means you're naively blind sighted. The moment you signed up to Facebook, you willingly gave them the key to your online & offline life door.

So take it with a pinch of salt. They're screwing up repeatedly at the moment and the can of worms are spilling out at a staggering rate that's truly damaging their brand reputation. But I'd rather have this than join a shyster social platform, that will vanish with my life door key and cash in greatly at my expense. Wouldn't you?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What Do You Get When A Company Admits Data Breach & Hides It...

... Facebook. And they didn't disclose this over two years ago when it took place. They just admitted it today, publicly from the 'notoriously always hide from the public yet demand connectivity' founder: Mark Z. Sending out releases the past few days of this issue is spineless. The statement should have come from the CEO/founder horses mouth...over two years ago. Cowardly at its highest.

And today's Zuck post came ONLY because they've been slammed sideways by the media recently or I highly suspect they'd never have even made a public statement. The post discluded the most important factors: sincere apology, remorse and emotion. What needs to happen now? The full team in charge of crisis PR needs firing.

What should have happened?

The complete posse that were immediately aware of this issue, when Cambridge Analytica had access to dozens of millions of users privacy data, should have spoken directly to Sheryl and Mark. Both of them, with half a brain cell between them (it seems now), should have informed ALL users. Through their own posts, press releases and a Facebook user notification - in case anyone was hiding under a rock and missed the publicity circus. They should have immediately updated users of the situation, how it came about, the instant steps they've taken to revoke 3rd party apps from direct user access & associated friends access. And they should've given at least three more timely updates to all users (through the above methods - in case anyone was hiding under multiple rocks) within 30 days. All those 'should's' never took place.

But what they did was abhorrent on the highest, untrustworthy level

They knew privacy data was breached and refused to tell their own customers for over 24 months. Again, this is a corporation that screams for the world to communicate through their platform, yet no one can ever get hold of them and they lack the basic social skills in even using their OWN platform when it's critically needed: the strongest form of 'connectivity' was ignored by the people that built it. They live in a protective shield, away from the planet and hide in a ridiculous, unnatural bubble. Maybe because since they have over two billion users, a few hundred thousand or few dozens of millions is scraps to them. If so, they then have zero respect for any users.

I haven't posted on Facebook for a long time and the only posts I publish are public. Because I don't trust 'privacy' technology that, within a second, can bug out by an overpaid, under experienced 'tech' kid and the world can see. So I always kept it safe and controlled by posting only publicly, since I gave myself approval to be exposed.

This evening's ignorance & future of FB

Tonight's CNN 360 interview with Zuck will most likely be a replicated, elaborated version of his post today. 360 will try weed out information yet Zuck won't give it, claiming that Facebook has more safety objectives underway...but he can't legally disclose it. Irony at its highest for a business that screams the world must be transparent.

Will users start bailing on Facebook and closing their accounts? Most likely not. Will brands stop using company pages? Most likely not. Will advertisers slow down on spend? Absolutely yes. Will these advertisers spend their budget through Twitter? Absolutely not. Twitter still can't even manage the basics and call their 'now you see who read your DM' as revolutionary. Poor, unimaginative and uncreative sods who are forever 23 steps behind everyone else and never gets their act together. But will Facebook's stock continue to tumble? Absolutely yes. Will it bounce back up again? Yes. But the damage is done. Facebook is officially not to be trusted and their brand reputation is tarnished. Until the next social network totally botches up and gives Facebook a breather to quietly try restore their shattered image. Until Facebook cocks up again and the stupidity cycle continues.

The summary was the whole story... 

But here's the clincher: when Brian Acton tells you to delete Facebook, well, the inner circle is now making it loud and clear they don't even trust the corporation that acquired them. And that's really all you needed to know so you could have just read this paragraph and bypassed the above. But you didn't and you'll never get those minutes back again. Sorry... but not sorry :)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

VC's Are Missing A LinkedIn Chip...

In the past week alone, I've received a flurry of LinkedIn invitations from well known tech industry men. I don't connect with people I don't know (why should anyone?!) and state this clearly on my profile. Every so often, I purge and disconnect old contacts because I'm all about the quality versus the 500+ quantity. This is aside the constant requests from people I have never heard of, that work in professions I can't even pronounce. Sorry, Mary from Wisconsin who is a neurological (big word) director or Boston based Jeff that's an electrical (two bigger words with only one vowel).

Disconnect, Reconnect, Disconnect

Going back to the tech requests, one of the newest ones was a past LinkedIn connection. I disconnected with him a few months back when he didn't reply to a couple of messages I sent, directly related to a feature he was interviewed in. I also messaged the other tech bods with either a 'do we know each other.' I later saw the messages were read but it resulted in white noise nada responses. Another was from way, way, way back in the prior decade when his VC firm was very interested in my start-up. Even though my company was an ideal fit for their portfolio (their words, not mine) and they thought my business was sheer genius (their words, not mine), they declined to invest with zero valid reasons. Typical Sand Hill Road beige emails at its highest. So when this individual sent a LinkedIn invite recently, I messaged him with a 'why?' I saw he read the message but as with the others, he hid in his safe shell in the dark cupboard under the stairs rubbing crackers into his head. These examples, and multiple more of the same variations, are still classed as pending invites. LinkedIn occasionally reminds me to check them with a 'hey, you never know.' I delete those emails because I do know. I know the pattern very well and it's dull, it's non-confrontational hyperbole, a road well travelled by minions, and yes I still write English English with two l's.

Speaking to a Brick Wall

If someone wants to connect with me, then at least have the balls to send a response.This LinkedIn rapport is typical way men in the tech world fail to interact, because anything more than surface chat freaks them out something chronic. I've seen this for over seven years and it deserves a book written about this sole topic. I'd not buy it but I'd certainly get it from the a few years.

Most of these men are regularly Q&A featured in articles about how they're frustrated with the lack of unique innovation and craving to support the next Zuckerberg. Maybe they should check their LinkedIn messages or better yet, their work emails on new pitches. Just a nano thought.

Yet these are the exact same people that, when the idea is slammed in their face, turn a blind eye. So I can only assume that these articles are for their self publicity and they genuinely will crap themselves when they are confronted with pure inventions. Which is why they don't respond to me.

So this Thanksgiving, I give thanks to myself for never backing down and being part of their 'communication'less connections.' I don't do small talk, I don't do fluff chats and I certainly don't connect with people that are mentally & physically unable to spend half a minute in responding.

Happy Thanksgiving! Let the narcolepsy hugs begin, directly followed by the stampedes...