back to article Facebook strips away a bit more of your privacy – but won't say why

Facebook is slurping mobile phone numbers from its users without explaining why, it has emerged. In an upcoming overhaul to the social network's data use policy, Facebook said it had made a number of updates about the information it receives about individuals using the free content ad network. It includes simplifying the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    when Facebook "helpfully"[1] hoovers up all your Hotmail/Yahoo/Gmail contacts data it also hoovers up their associated phone numbers ?

    What a wonderful marketing database they could sell there. *You* may have never given your mobile number to a company. But your friend who had it in their contacts list just has.

    [1]Why has nobody managed to explain to me how Facebook (and LinkedIn) can somehow circumvent the strict warning Hotmail et al have on NOT GIVING YOUR LOGIN DETAILS TO ANYONE ?

    1. Sir Crispalot

      Re: Presumably

      You realise that functionality is optional - you don't have to give Facebook your email credentials. I don't know why anyone would voluntarily do that ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Presumably

        Oh I know, and I am continually ignoring LinkedIns suggestion to trawl through my contacts.

        The point is it's against Hotmails T&Cs, and should be policed more. It's the same legal reason you should never give your boss your Facebook login details.

      2. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Presumably

        Even if I don't volunteer, people who have me in their address book do, and end up giving Facebook and Linked In their address book entry for me, which my include my phone number and street address.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If they want your phone number so bad

      Why not put the number of the White House on your profile. Let Obama take the heat.

  2. Neil Charles

    Hang on...

    I'm not a lawyer but this can't hold up, surely?

    "If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to the terms of this section (and the use of your name, profile picture, content, and information) on your behalf."

    So you, personally, can't legally accept these terms because you're too young, but you are able to confirm that somebody who can legally accept them has done so.

    That's got "Facebook's next appointment in court" written all over it.

    1. Lamont Cranston

      Re: Hang on...

      It's about as robust as the "I am over 18 and legally permitted to view this hardcore smut" button that I, I mean some people, regularly click through without reading.

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Hang on...

        I think they do read that. It is usually written in big enough letters. Whether or not they answer it truthfully is another matter.

    2. LarsG

      Re: Hang on...

      They are just trying it on, throw enough sh*t and some will stick.

      As to that being a valid term, it is not, unless the parent or guardian specifically signs a document agreeing to this, a bit like acting as a guarantor on a loan.

      No court in the EU would agree to this term, also unlikely in the US, but for the canny speculator it might be a good earner. Class Actions, here they come.......

  3. Alexander Hanff 1

    Facial Recognition

    I wrote this in June, seems very relevant with the news today:

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
      Big Brother

      Re: Facial Recognition

      This is why my kids are not allowed to put a photo up on Facebook, or alternatively should post this one.

      I myself will not join (or if I join, it is only to see what the kids are up to). If I do, the obvious mug-shot is the icon beside this post

      1. James O'Shea

        Re: Facial Recognition

        "This is why my kids are not allowed to put a photo up on Facebook, or alternatively should post this one."

        I think that this one expresses my position wrt Facewaste. Step a little closer Zuck, the nice doggie wants to be friends.

      2. Captain DaFt

        Re: Facial Recognition

        Ok, I have a zombie mask, now I just need to buy the T-shirt that says, "This product gave me Cancer!", and there's the perfect picture to use on facebook!

    2. The BigYin

      Re: Facial Recognition

      Non-users too. All it would take is one of my Farcebook using friends to tag me a pow; there goes my privacy.

      1. Daniel Bower

        Re: Facial Recognition

        Can't tag a non-user of facebook - only people in your friends list.

        They could post a picture of you and make reference to you in the comments but not tag you

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Facial Recognition

          You can tag a face with a non-members name. It could still build a database of what non-members look like. So if a search is performed, they know your name and who you are friends with when they want to track you down.

          So many of my friends have a picture of their child/grandchild as their profile picture. My friends list must look similar to Jimmy Savile's

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Evil......Pure Evil.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Evil

      No, not even slightly. Perhaps use a dictionary... evil doesn't mean running questionable practices, just as a moron is not someone who is technically incompetent.

      Dubious, questionable, controversial, worrying, unethical are all terms you could use quite legitimately. Evil is several orders of magnitude above any of those, unless you view that taking liberties with digital privacy is on a par with throwing Jews into gas chambers. If you do, then I'll make an exception against using the term moron.

      1. Maharg
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Evil JDX

        Totally agree, evil seems to be a bit of an over exaggeration, if anything they are bending the law while having a team of highly paid lawyers to say exactly how far they can ‘technically’ go before they will certainly get in trouble. But calling it evil is the same as saying LOL when in fact it your response was more of a wry smile or slight chuckle.

        Evil = what people are doing to each other in Syria

        Greed = what Facebook is doing with information voluntarily given to them by its users to increase ad revenue

        Lust = This picture

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Evil JDX

          Evil does NOT have to come in it's true form. Evil is most effective when it can't be discerned. If Facebook was evil, you both would be fooled.

          No, I don't think FaceB0rk is being evil...but it sure sucks !!!

      2. h3

        Re: Evil

        Producing such information that could be used for great evil could be considered to be evil.

        (It is better than anything Hitler would have hoped for in his wildest dreams. Could even go for people who associated with Jews for example).

        1. Maharg

          Re: Evil

          I think you need to read a bit more history if you think Hitler’s wildest dreams involved using personal information for advertising revenue…

  5. Peter Galbavy

    This will completely fail in the EU.

  6. Tim 11

    ..."such as a brand you like"

    in other words, it doesn't have to _actually_ be a brand you like; your face could end up advertising anything at all without you doing anything or having any say in the matter

  7. Code Monkey

    Shit off Zuck

    ... is my considered response.

  8. Deepthroat


    Interesting piece on consent but it falls foul of EU laws on processing personal information. Because they will know where you are based on the data hoovered up, any advertising served that is "local" to you is using geolocation and the law prohibits that without explicit consent and a user must be able to revoke that consent at any time without charge or loss of service. Making it a condition of taking a service is not explicit nor is it freely given. Of course being American they won't give a damn.

    As for the parental agreement bit - that's no different from a website asking the child to make sure their guardian is OK with it or a phone in saying that they must have the bill payer's permission to use the phone. Not exactly the hardest bar to clear!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So if they will use the fact that you like a product to try to flog it to your friends then surely the answer is to not like any new product and go and unlike any product you have already liked. A huge drop in the number of likes on a commercial product page isn't going to go unnoticed by their marketing people

    1. DJV Silver badge

      I already do

      So far, I've only ever come across one advert on FB that I was remotely interested in. I mark all the rest as spam (or some other inappropriate option from those available).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I already do

        If its a sponsored story in my news feeed I usually post a comment about how I didn't understand why they'd paid Facebook to spam their crap in my news feed. Then I flag the post as spam

    2. Daniel B.

      Done something like that

      I got an XBoxOne Fans page shown as "sponsored". I hate that damn thing, and usually I'd ignore such a group. But by having them slam it on my face... now I've taken into my duty to troll the page and bring in more trolls. And for what I've seen, it seems I'm not the only one with that idea. So it is backfiring already!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Get a life and get off Facebook.

  11. Joseph Haig

    Makes sense now

    Now I understand why they keep telling me that my profile is incomplete and asking for my phone number.

    First rule of Facebook: Don't post anything unless you are perfectly happy for it to become public knowledge tomorrow, regardless of the privacy settings you choose.

    1. The BigYin

      Re: Makes sense now

      Give them your number.

      0871 FUK U ZUK

      (0871 385 8 985)

      1. M Gale

        Screw 0871, 09xx is where it's at.

        Depending on the profitability of an 09xx number, that might tempt me to sign up myself (under a John Doe name and photograph, of course).

        Then leave it on a tape recorded loop of "fuck you, pay me."

        1. Number6

          Re: Screw 0871, 09xx is where it's at.

          "Fuck you, pay me bitch", surely?

          1. Gio Ciampa

            Re: Screw 0871, 09xx is where it's at.

            Or use the number of a PPI claim company?

            So the instant it gets used - the advertiser gets bombarded with cold calls... which has the side benefit of costing the PPI company as well...

            1. D@v3

              Re: Screw 0871, 09xx is where it's at.

              I have a growing amount of numbers in my Spam contact (PPI cold callers and such like) , might be worth putting a few of them to use

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Makes sense now

        Oi, Big Yin

        That's my bloody phone number and it's not stopped ringing all day !

  12. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Existing users will [] simply comply with the new terms, or else ditch Facebook

    I love it when companies adopt the burnt bridges style of public relations.

    Then they get all surprised when the bridges are not burnt in their favor.

    This is the Internet. You might have a billion accounts now, but you're not Google and you're not doing something someone else can't set up just as well.

    And when that happens, your boat will leak faster than a sieve.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: you're not Google and you're not doing something someone else can't set up just as well

      ever heard of Google+? It's Google's facebook alternative that only has decent user figures because Google added all the user accounts from their other services.

      Google are not the internet.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely that should be 'a brand you [quote]like[unquote]'

    E.g. UK readers will be aware of BBC Radio 2. Readers may or may not actually like Radio 2, but some BBC-provided web content now appears to be only accessible if you (a) have a Facebook account (b) click on the "like" button on BBC R2 Facebook page (?) to get access to the protected content.

    Have I understood this right? I don't have (or want) a Facebook account and therefore can't try it for myself.

    Increasing numbers of places I occasionally visit (e.g. chip vendor sites?!?) seem to want either a corporate email address or a FaceBook login for authentication. Wtf?

    I'm all for having fewer usernames and passwords to manage. I don't want FaceBook to be The Chosen One (and I don't want Google either).

    1. Lyndon Hills 1

      Re: Surely that should be 'a brand you [quote]like[unquote]'

      my local chippie just wants cash...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Surely that should be 'a brand you [quote]like[unquote]'

        "my local chippie just wants cash..."

        Thank you, thank you, it's the way he tells them.

        I'll set em up, you knock em down.


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surely that should be 'a brand you [quote]like[unquote]'

      > Increasing numbers of places I occasionally visit (e.g. chip vendor sites?!?) seem to want either a corporate email address or a FaceBook login for authentication. Wtf?

      I've had this from the marketing people here (who've been "informed" by "marketing professionals" elsewhere). They simply want real contact details of real people so they can maximize the effect of the follow-up email spam.

    3. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Seen elsewhere, certainly.

      I mean the exchange of some benefit in return for a Facebook "like" action.

      I don't use FB and they may have a totally different meaning of the word "like", but in its original meaning, I will decide myself what I like, and I will withhold "like" from things that I don't in fact like especially.

      Radio 2 may be an exceptional and allowable case, because if you don't like Radio 2 then you won't be bothering. Unless it's just that you have a thing for sexy sexagenarian Moira Stuart, and otherwise are not bothered.

  14. AMB-York Silver badge

    Good bye

    Nothing of interest in my facebook account. Be even less now. I manage without Google, I'm sure I'll manage without Facebook.

    LinkedIn though - not sure I'd want to lose that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good bye

      Oh com on... thw amount of irrelevant crap that LinkedIn push into your news feed makes Facebook look like rank amateurs

  15. Ted Treen

    I'm glad...

    ...that I resisted when urged on by my colleagues to set up a Facebook page (Why? I'm 63 FFS!) which would permit me to look at their holiday/barbecue/grandchild pictures.

    Apart from the fact that Mr Zuckerberg creeps me out somewhat - oh, all right, rather a lot in fact - the fact that I'm spared the 21st Century equivalent of the 1970's slide show "Here's our holiday photo's" is sufficient in itself to make me want to pat myself on the back.

    I wouldn't say that I ever wondered why Mr Z wanted so much personal info - it's blatantly obvious it's for targeted commercial use - I just have a natural (to me, anyway) reluctance to give any personal info or details whatsoever to an unknown third party.

    Or maybe I'm just an old paranoid cynic...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm glad...

      Not a paranoid cynic at all...just like myself and others in the sort of sameish age bracket, we know what our privacy is like to have and it goads us to see the yoof of today tossing it away for a free item of tat.. I'm glad i wont be around to see the resultant clusterfucking shitstorm that will ensue...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm glad...

        > Not a paranoid cynic at all...just like myself and

        > others in the sort of sameish age bracket, we

        > know what our privacy is like to have and it

        > goads us to see the yoof of today tossing it away

        > for a free item of tat.. I'm glad i wont be around

        > to see the resultant clusterfucking shitstorm that

        > will ensue...

        I'll see your cards, please. You know what "resultant clusterfucking shitstorm" means, but not "goads". Either you are the tossing yoof at whom you malevolently sneer, or you just failed a Turing test.

  16. Miek

    I expect the number may be used as a means of identification. Google sends verification codes to phone numbers to at least tie a user account to a physical phone number. Quite handy sometimes, although a little intrusive.

    An example: In order to upload videos longer than 15 minutes on YouTube; you would need to undergo this phone verification process.

    1. M Gale

      Incorrect. I have never and will never give Google my phone number. If they haven't already inferred it from the Android phone, they can fuck right off.

      And yet I can still upload some quite lengthy videos, should I so choose. They emailed me about it ages ago. Possibly I've just been there for a while and don't have any strikes against the account.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If it's android they probably have your number already. I have an android device that has never been registered with Google Playstore and youtube is blocked on it amongst other things (happened around April). I just use it for (non google) email and reading so it's not too much of a problem, even if I did previously enjoy watching 'people are awesome' videos in the pub. They really REALLY want you to register your device with them. I'm thinking there's probably a reason for that; and it's not one you will necessarily approve of.

      2. Number6

        If you're in the UK, just get a PAYG SIM and stick it in the old phone you don't use any more. I have one of those, it sits on the network receiving junk spams and phone calls from PPI insurance scammers but if I really need to quote a valid phone number for verification I can use it. This obviously doesn't work in backward places where the minutes expire.

  17. Sir Barry

    I don't use Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, all a waste of time in my opinion as I'm a consumer not a product for their advertising chums.

  18. Pen-y-gors

    There's nothing that says the profile picture has to be your picture

    Time to change to to a nice snapshot of Zuck.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's nothing that says the profile picture has to be your picture

      "There's nothing that says the profile picture has to be your picture

      Time to change to to a nice snapshot of Zuck."

      And there's nothing to say its your propfile pic that will be used! It could be any you have uploaded.

  19. Anomalous Cowshed

    How can...

    Please enlighten me: how can a minor VALIDLY represent that his or her parents or guardians consent to his or her image being used by Facebook as advertisements?

  20. Anonymous Coward

    I keep refusing to give FB my mobile phone number....

    I already get enough telemarketing calls on my cell phone without putting the number in Facebook's grubby hands.

    1. an it guy

      Re: I keep refusing to give FB my mobile phone number....

      and I've got a couple facebook accounts. One for Personal and one for work (yes it's part of my job). When I change jobs, I'll hand over the keys to the work one, and create another at my next job.

      And No, facebook, I'm definitely not scanning a copy of my passport/drivers license because you think I've got multiple accounts. My personal facebook should not be up when I'm at work, so I'll create a separate one. The personal one at work? it's distracting, and not good for work, so facebook can work out where to get lost on that one.

      Since they're already fairly lost, they won't have to go far

  21. ItsNotMe

    Once more with feeling...

    If people are STUPID enough to use ANY of these asinine social networking sites...then just STFU and stop whining about your "privacy" being invaded.

    There is no privacy with these sites.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Once more with feeling...

      Once more with feeling...

      If people are STUPID enough to use ANY of these asinine social networking sites...then just STFU and stop whining about your "privacy" being invaded.

      There is no privacy with these sites.

      Who keeps down voting those who make negative comments aobut FAKEBOOK?

      STOP IT!

      Just accept that they are right and you are clearly wrong!

      1. Bod

        Re: Once more with feeling...

        I just downvote people who moan about being downvoted. Much like users of Facebook, if you are STUPID enough to post a comment on El Reg, be prepared to be downvoted.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never give Facebook your real name

    Never give Facebook your real name: Surf under another identity. If you have to have a real facebook page because your friends are idiots then post nothing on that profile and dont surf with that profile up. Log in, post to your friends and then log out.

    1. M Gale

      Re: Never give Facebook your real name

      If your friends insist on you having a Facebook account, are they really friends?

      Whatever happened to knocking on the door and saying hi? Or, you know, a phone call? Email even. IRC if you really want to be hardcore geeky, and USENET if you don't give a shit about the entire world seeing what you just posted.

      I keep hoping that at some point, non-geeks will start to realise their options, and the walled garden of zuck can die a well deserved death.

      (yes, I have an 8 digit ICQ number.. not as leet as the guy I know with a 4 digit one)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Never give Facebook your real name

        M Gale.

        Thanks, you have restored my faith in humanity!

      2. Daniel B.

        Re: Never give Facebook your real name @M Gale

        Hahaha I have a 7-digit ICQ number!

        Point taken, though the thing is that most people are using FB for "personal communications" even if they shouldn't do so!

  23. JDX Gold badge

    Not bothered but...

    I actually don't object to being given a free service in return for using my information, as long as you tell me how it will be used and let me quit if I disagree. Someone has to pay for it...

    However, I would be interested in FB offering a paid membership to opt out of all that crud - give people who object a way to keep using your product and paying the revenue you would have got through ads.

    For now, if I just don't 'like' products and brands the problem seems to go away. The only time I would 'like' is to support a local business or enroll in a contest which I'll then 'unlike' later.

    1. stuff and nonesense

      Re: Not bothered but...

      The problem with Google, Facebook et al is the breadth of information they can acquire and the impunity with which they intend to use said information.

      Remember the "free stuff" you use is paid for by advertisers, in turn manufacturers, in turn retailers and in turn YOU - albeit at pennies in the pound.

      Google and Facebook are advertisement agencies. The free stuff you use is a tool, a hook to entice you to use their "services" in order for Google/Facebook to siphon off any interesting tidbits that you reveal.

      I don't use Facebook, as far as I know I am not tagged on any photos, I have given NO consent for Facebook to use/reuse my image or name (I am probably not that interesting anyhow) but if they were to use my image or name - as indicated in the updated policy they could - where is the explicit permission.

  24. Tanuki
    Thumb Up

    Profit-centre for You!

    Surely this Farcebook/Zoidberg policy of wanting phone-numbers segues nicely with the guy reported yesterday who set up a premium-rate number for cold-callers to call?

  25. Mr C

    Doubt many will notice this

    some people might read about it, but the vast majority will probably say 'whatever' and forget about it altogether.

    Only if there's a major public backlash and subsequent exodus like there was with Instagram will the be reconsidered.

    I doubt that is going to happen, people are too attached to FB to give it up.

  26. Christopher Reeve's Horse

    Our Goal...

    "Our goal is to deliver advertising and other commercial or sponsored content that is valuable to our users and advertisers."

    When did adverts become valuable to users? Am I missing the point?

  27. James O'Shea

    errm... on a point of order

    Cuba is NOT is South America. It's not on the continent; if Cuba counts as being 'South American', then so do Barbados, Jamaica, Haiti, and Trinidad... and I expect that you'd be hearing from them if you tried to lump them in with Columbia et al. Given its location, if you have to make it part of a continent, it'd be part of _North_ America, alongside the US, Canada, and Mexico. And, depending on how you look at it, the Bahamas, Bermuda, and Greenland.

    Cuba _is_ one of the Greater Antilles, in the Caribbean.

    Now, you could make a case for saying that Cuba is part of _Latin_ America, but there's a difference between Latin America and South America. For one thing, Latin America includes Mexico, which even more than Cuba is NOT part of South America. No matter how much certain rednecks in office in the US might wish that it was.

    <writing from just north of the Cuban colony of La Habana del Norte, a.k.a. Miami.>

    1. Boston Yankee in Tampa

      Re: errm... on a point of order

      Here, here!

      Cuba lies almost entirely on the North America tectonic plate:

  28. Gav


    The solution to all this is obvious;

    - don't put stuff on Facebook you wouldn't want them to use

    - don't believe a word Facebook says about your privacy. Anything they say that may be true today, is likely to be false tomorrow.

    - don't "like" anything provided by any commercial company. Or by anyone you don't know personally. If you really like something, and really must tell everyone, write it out in words in a status update.

    - lie to Facebook at every opportunity. Feed them misinformation whenever you can.

    1. Fihart

      Re: Deception

      Having seen the number of cat pix on Zuckerbook I put my account up in my cat's name. It was surprisingly difficult to come up with an original name as so many other people had gone the same way. If Suckerbook ever tried to prune out the fakes, the ad revenue would be hit due to the vastly decreased user base.

      As for asking for phone numbers, they must be kidding. Especially in the US where (I gather) cellphone users can end up paying for calls received !!

      1. Rukario

        Re: Deception

        Phone number:

        0876 369 6369 (087 MEOW MEOW)

      2. Daniel B.

        Re: Deception

        Especially in the US where (I gather) cellphone users can end up paying for calls received !!

        In the US cellphone users are ALWAYS charged for incoming calls. Some of 'em are also charged for incoming SMS as well!

  29. dssf

    Possibly attractive use of fb, maybe, for me...

    If FB offered:

    -- an alternative to indiegogo and the need for a paypal card

    -- an escrow account to hold by receivings

    -- to pay me and only me (based on my passport photo, or my thumbprint if i walk into their office and give a face pic and thumb print), minus a small fee

    -- to help coordinate collection of the taxes for me

    -- to help coordinate matching me with non-predatory investors or donors (donors preferred)

    -- to help me craft an air-tight, ironclad legal contract to protec my intellectual property no matter what kind of counter-offer contract an "investor" (call some of them "end vestors")

    -- to help destitute inventors re-establish creditworthiness, banking accounts, or a FB Debit Card from the Bank of FB (at least where I can use and receive funds -- I definitely would take cash advances/withdrawals to keep certain purchases anonymous, mind you...)

    Then, THEN, boy would I ready to scan in my passport photo and share more info in my profile to more, RELEVANT marketing.

    With all the BILLIONS in the bank FB has, fb, IBM, MS, Oracle, HP, and a slew of others in Silicon Valley could foster even MORE tech boom for the USA, or the USA and the world. The next tech boom might very well be not the cloud, but biotech. Until then, there are many ideas I'm sitting on, and I've be goddamned if I turn them over in a screwy contract, only to see them parsed, hacked up, whored out, and myself screwed out of royalties or future say in their use.

    (C) 2013-08-30 DSSF (This is a summary of something I wrote only a few days ago, out of frustration, but had not made up my mind about where to send it. Thanks, ElReg for your timely artical and forum on this. Maybe it'll help me and countless others if I help facebook?)

    (Yes, this is also a jab at indiegogo and at PayPal).

  30. Flakey

    "Our goal is to deliver advertising and other commercial or sponsored content that is valuable to our users and advertisers" of course it is Zuckertwat, along with furnishing the NSA and all other spook organisations with users personal information. Every time I see a picture of Zuckerbitch I think 'how many times did you get beaten up at school?'

  31. FuzzyTheBear Silver badge

    How long ?

    I do ask .. how long are FB users going to endure the abuse ?

    I shut that down years ago. Lengthy articles keept me informed of their doings , not FB.

    Tired of their shenanigans and being abused ? Shut the f****** thing off.

    I'm so sick and tired of hearing about how they abuse their bit**** , sorry , i meant fine users ..

    Really i don't get how people can stand to be abused like this and not slap back.

  32. LukeLikely

    2-Facebook shadow profiles anyone

    Does anyone know whether 2-facebook still is allowed shadow profiles in the EU or whether they were forced to erase them ? (e.g. if you have had the 2-Facebook app installed or it was installed by your phone manufacturer, even if you NEVER registered with 2-facebook, it still hoovered up your contact details and sent all that information to their servers)

    (The ICON for pilfering through pockets...)

  33. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    I got a

    facebook message earlier stating that they needed my phone number for security purposes

    For security purposes I decided not to give it to facebook

    Therefore I win

    I also have a fake name on facebook, but everyone on my friends list knows my real one and the reason I use a fake.. hahahha I win again

    Give up yet zucky boy ?

  34. Robinson


    Why is anyone still on Facebook?

  35. Cameron Colley

    Has anyone noticed yet?

    I did mention this kind of thing once but the general consensus was that nothing was wrong. Has anyone noticed this is a problem?

  36. MrDamage Silver badge

    Easy Solution

    Make a specific account to combat this.

    Create a profile pic that simply contains the words "This product is crap"

    Have the content read "I purchased this product. Build quality is poor, the batteries started leaking toxic fumes after 3 days of use, and it fell apart after a week."

    Like everything you can find.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's been said many times already but it bears repeating/summarising...

    If you must use Facebook:

    1) Don't use your real name. Use a fake name which sounds plausible. This mitigates somewhat the likelihood of Facebook detecting the fact that you're not using your real name and locking you out of your account. Accept that one day you may be locked out of your account for some other reason and unable to get back in. Alternatively arrange some decent fake ID to ameliorate that consequence. This does mean having at least one true photo of yourself on Facebook. You can however make said photo private.

    2) Sign up with a unique email address, which you use only for this purpose and isn't known by anyone else. This prevents Facebook from linking your details when one of your less security-conscious mates hands over their contacts list.

    3) NEVER give Facebook your phone number (same reason as #2)

    4) Assuming you don't want even your fake profile to be used to sell shit to your mates, refrain from clicking "like" on any product, service, band, movie or place. Ever.

    5) For your own sanity when using Facebook to connect with your friends around the globe (but not Cuba) install FB Purity

  38. Mystic Megabyte

    I have a social network

    It's called a fecking telephone! If you want to chat give me a call.

  39. cyrus

    In my family

    we call it "FaceFuck". I will be happy when social networking does the horrible death it is due.

  40. armyknife

    Titles are for toffs.

    Account permanently deleted, goodbye facebook.

  41. Anonymous Brave Guy
    Big Brother

    What's that sound?

    Oh yeah, its the sound of millions giving FB the middle finger and closing their accounts. Too bad we all know that closing or deleting an account rarely if ever actually deletes it but marks it inactive so they can still data-mine it despite it no longer being updated.

    It's just another Google really, treat them as such, the only winning move is not to play.

  42. RobHib
    Big Brother

    Thank heavens my Facebook and Twitter accounts are dormant.

    From time to time I've had to use social media, Facebook and Twitter etc. but my rules are:

    - always use disposable accounts

    - always link them to disposable email addresses

    - always use aliases, ensure they're unrelated and dissimilar to your real name

    - always clean your browser cache between logins (or when changing accounts)

    - always change your IP address when crossing from one account to another (for those with a dynamic IP address close your ISP connection and restart with a new IP)

    - never fill in the personal details

    - if forced to provide details, put in bullshit

    - if you have multiple interests then always use a different account for each one

    - record the details of what details you fill in, insure the info is different to other accounts

    - never link accounts - use a different account for different groups of friends

    - ensure a different alias for each group

    - if you have to ID yourself, then tell your friends of the alias that you're using via another circuit and get them to do the same.

    It's times like this that I invite the security brigade who are more au fait with social media security issues than me to help me add to my checklist.

    1. RobHib

      Re: Thank heavens my Facebook and Twitter accounts are dormant.

      Oh, I forgot. No user photos with even a vague likeness to reality (pattern-matching you know). And ensure that the image is completely different from account to account.

      Of course, the same care goes with content--no uniquely identifying stuff--photos etc, and avoid detail at all cost.

      Best rule, avoid social media altogether.

  43. dssf

    Do No Evil? This makes it all the more IMPERATIVE

    Do No Evil? This makes it all the more IMPERATIVE that Google rolls out a patch to create a "vault" feature within our contacts.

    Facebook and others should NEVER be allowed to just READ or access or download contact data wholesale. The biggest, most egregious evil google has so far committed is allowing 3rd party apps to read data of this nature, and, worse, that is has so far remained silent on the future of a vault feature. At least from where I'm sitting that what it appears to be.

  44. dssf

    "Check out with facebook"

    BTW, yesterday, I passed a CVS store and saw on the display of at self checkout register "Check Out With Facebook", and thought .....

    1. dssf

      Re: "Check out with facebook" Sorry, correction...

      That is not what the screen message was. It was on a photo print station, not a checkout stand. And, the message was "Print with Facebook".


  45. ysth

    Cuba is in North America.

  46. Idocrase

    Let them tailor ads to me - I only 'like' news articles and humorous stuff, and my photos are cross-posted from Flickr (which has it's issues sure but at least doesn't try to assume my copyright).

    I rarely see adverts online. When i do see them, I know it's time to update Adblock.

  47. croc

    "So presumably a country such as Cuba, for example, will no longer be granted access to Facebook given that the US has maintained an economic embargo against the South American country since 1960."


  48. Snar
    Thumb Up

    I think it's time....

    That we took it upon ourselves to personally crap on Zuckerberg's desk and those of his minions, so he has plenty of personal shit to to sift through.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What have traditionally been the Merkins biggest growth markets?

    Burgers and fast food, pills, shit operating systems and software. Basically junk.

    Now, what is the biggest industry? Ads to sell their Burgers and fast foods.......yadda yadda yadda. Fuck off America - I'm not interested.

  50. Jon Arden

    Ahhhh! That felt good

    I've been putting off deactivating my Facebook account for a long time now. I rarely use it and even then its mainly been to share photos with family. I'll just have to resort to email, phone calls and personal visits, no bad thing

    Free at last ;o)

  51. Andy

    what ads..

    I never see any but of course im using social fixer.. arnt you all???

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Unless you are blocking facebook (scripts, images, etc) while you surf.,they have a pretty complete map of you anyway, even if you are not on facebook. That goes doubly for you people that think you are sticking it to facebook with bogus account info. Also, all it takes is one of you friends to upload their address book to facebook to tag your account with the correct information. As W.O.P.R. says "A strange game. The only winning move is not to play."

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Scripts

      And this is exactly why I use noscript and adblock and will continue to use them.

      I am not on f***book and shall never be. Linkedin is not in my noscript whitelist and shall never be for the same reason. Ditto for google. So they can map diddly squat.

      F***book is also one of the main reasons why all of my household phones are always bought unlocked and only after a double-check that I can unlock the bootloader. Zap cyanogen, rinse repeat.

  53. William 3 Bronze badge

    People get adverts on Facebook

    Not I.

    But then, I don't get adverts full stop.

    All tracking requests get killed at the firewall.

  54. theloon

    my time on FB is over

    These changes are just a step to far. I have accepted up until now that I'm the product, but names and faces to be given out is the end of it for me.

    Instead of everyone bitching about this and that, either get off FB or stay on and shut up. You don't have to be there.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Data Protection Act?

    Doesn't the Data Protection Act apply to them, if they operate in the UK?

    1. Seanmon

      Re: Data Protection Act?

      Yes, unless they make you aware of how your data will be used, and you give consent. Which you do by accepting the T&Cs when you sign up. Gotcha!

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