back to article Drunk on Friday night? Then YOU probably DIDN'T spot Facebook's privacy tweak

Facebook updated its privacy policy on Friday – a day traditionally chosen by politicians and football managers who are keen to bury bad news. While the planned tweakage was widely reported in November, the change came into effect on 30 January with little in the way of reaction from users [sorry, people] on the free-content …

  1. BongoJoe

    Please, do explain

    the photo

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please, do explain

      It's a woman who has just found your secret porn stash and is holding it in her hands and with that disapproving look, she doesn't look best pleased...

      It's a woman who has just been accused of releasing the worst bottom burp imaginable then denying the ability of the female anatomy of being capable of such horrors.

      It's a woman who has been told to frown for a picture to be used by journalists in some attempt to reconcile her expression with a story, a bit like all those naff office pictures, the one's where everyone is happy and smiling at work.

      Slightly unrelated to the story one must admit but as none of the other pictures on el reg these days make sense then I feel obliged to create an unrelated story behind it.

      1. the spectacularly refined chap

        Re: Please, do explain

        It's a woman who has just found your secret porn stash and is holding it in her hands and with that disapproving look, she doesn't look best pleased...

        On a related note they keep using another photo, sorry don't have a link to it right now, of a woman with red-brown hair, hand up to her head on what appears to be a beach... it always looks strangely familiar. I tried a Google image search on it once and only found it on the stock image sites but I could swear I've seen the same model in the same location on one of the porn sites.

        1. VinceH

          Re: Please, do explain

          ICBW, but I think it might be Eva Green.

        2. the spectacularly refined chap

          Re: Please, do explain

          On a related note they keep using another photo, sorry don't have a link to it right now, of a woman with red-brown hair, hand up to her head on what appears to be a beach...

          Found it, it's used on this article among plenty of others. I haven't been able to track down the "other" photos though.

          1. Yugguy

            Re: Please, do explain

            It's so not.

          2. BillG
            Alert

            Re: Please, do explain

            We receive information about you and your activities on and off Facebook from third-party partners, such as information from a partner when we jointly offer services or from an advertiser about your experiences or interactions with them.

            Plain English translation: "We will do as we damn well please."

        3. Rick Giles
          Devil

          Re: Please, do explain

          "It's a woman who has just found your secret porn stash and is holding it in her hands and with that disapproving look, she doesn't look best pleased..."

          If your woman is doing her job, you don't need porn.

          Just sayin'.

    2. Robin

      Re: Please, do explain

      I was wondering that too, so looked at the alt tag.

      "Pretty woman looks miffed."

      Accurate, but unhelpful.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please, do explain

      It exemplifies the "hostile look over your shoulder at something you weren't expecting." Trouble is, it's a highly expectable action for Zuck to take, and anyone that doesn't expect such actions won't be upset at this one, thus the photo makes little sense.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please, do explain

      "Explain? Me? Who the fuck is BongoJoe???"

    5. deshepherd

      Re: Please, do explain

      What photo? ... adblock is not just for ads!

      1. The Alphabet

        Re: Please, do explain

        What do you have to block specifically to get all of them?

        1. Keef
          Joke

          Re: Please, do explain

          Just add:

          http://regmedia.co.uk/SHIT**

          To your filter.

          *Stupid Huge Images Trashed

        2. auburnman

          Re: Please, do explain

          "What do you have to block specifically to get all of them?"

          If you have a dig* through the 'El Reg Redesign' in the El Reg matters forum someone posts exactly what to add to adblock to hide the pictures.

          *And I do mean dig, the thread has more than a thousand comments,** hence I'm not looking for you.

          **Mostly pleas to rollback the horrible redesign to Classic El Reg

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "Hamburg's privacy regulator "

    Not Germany's, Hamburg's. A privacy regulator per city! That's more like it!

    1. seven of five Silver badge

      > "Hamburg's privacy regulator "

      > Not Germany's, Hamburg's. A privacy regulator per city! That's more like it!

      Hamburg is one of the states which constitute the "Federal Repuplic"

      Hamburg and Bremen draw this right from the old Hanse days, Berlin from... uh, somewhere else.

      So it is one regulator per state.

      iirc they only have consulting function anyway, so...

      btw: this results in Hamburg using "HH" as a citycode on the numberplate ("Hansestadt Hamburg") while H went to the much smaller Hanover.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Per state. Hambug is a "Hanse" or trading city and a state in its own right, like Bremen and Berlin.

      The problem in Germany is that Facebook cannot just change the T&Cs and opt everybody in. They have to allow every user to individually opt-in, if they want, or let them continue on the old conditions until the term of the "contract" between Facebook and the user runs out - Facebook not having defined a contract period means that they cannot force any user to ever change to new conditions.

      There were big radio and television campaigns against Facebook in the last several weeks, urging users to delete their accounts before the 30th January deadline.

      I was talking to one of my step-daughters on Saturday and she said that she and her sister have both deleted their accounts.

      Me? I deleted mine back in 2009, when they became too big for their boots.

  3. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Weasel Words...

    It looks like they're weaseling big time with all the variations of third-party, companies owned by, etc. The catch is, they still don't tell you want they do with the data, or how long it's held. I believe that the quote by Zuck in the last paragraph pretty much explains their policy. Maybe that should just be the policy: "If you use us and expect any privacy, you're a dumb fuck".

    Simple, short, and to the point. Maybe the can let Google use it also.

  4. Zog_but_not_the_first
    Devil

    "Be Evil"

    Because the other option had already been taken.

  5. jake Silver badge

    Uh, no. I wasn't drunk on Friday Night.

    Nor did I notice anything on facebook. Not that I ever do.

  6. scrubber
    Coat

    Is this racist...

    Can Germany be trusted with privacy?

    1. Mpeler
      FAIL

      Re: Is this racist...

      The war's over, d*ckhead. It ended 70 years ago.

      The good guys won.

      Please try to keep up.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Is this racist... @Mpeler

        “History is written by the victors."

        Oft used quote, possibly Winston S Churchill, and maybe similar sentiments by others.

      2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: Is this racist...

        "The good guys won."

        Wars are only *ever* won by the good guys. On account of the fact that it's they who write the history books ...

    2. James 51

      Re: Is this racist...

      Given their history with secret police they are all too aware of how stuff like this can be misused and try to stay on top of it so I am going to hazard a yes.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Is this racist...

        It was only the East that had the big problems - as the archive in Berlin ably demonstrates. Parents, children, friends, colleagues etc. were set to spy on each other.

        I have a friend who was a teach in the DDR before the wall fell. She made some comments about shortages in the shops again in the staff room and lost her job and was not allowed to teach children ever again...

        The Staatssicherheit, or Stasi as it is "affectionately" known, also had spies in West Germany, who kept track of politicians and people with friends, relations or business contacts in the East.

        It is for those reasons that modern Germans are very much against spying and one of the reasons why Facebook is currently being reviled in Germany and why Google often gets bad press here. The subject is very sensitive and it is one of the reasons why the German Data Protection Registrars are so active.

    3. sabroni Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Can Germany be trusted with privacy?

      They haven't invaded anyone lately. That in itself is suspicious!! They're up to something!!!

    4. NumptyScrub

      Re: Is this racist...

      Can Germany be trusted with privacy?

      Absolutely. You will actually struggle to find any other country who values privacy as much as Germany, in fact.

      I love going there, the beer is good and the people are awesome (some can be a little stuffy until they get to know you, but that is the same anywhere).

      As noted above, it's the part we gave to Russia that had the problems. You might want to blame Russian influence on the running of East Germany for that whole privacy clusterfuck. The German people who lived through that are still really sore about it, hence a unified Germany taking a pretty dim view of Panopticon style privacy policies ^^;

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: How about a reference link to that "dumb fucks" comment?

      Here's a helping hand

  8. mix
    Stop

    Time to leave

    I've already left but surely its ability to stalk others outweighs their ability to control what you see on the interwebs. Intelligent people will likely delete their profiles or don't have one. Which just leaves zuck with all the dumb fúcks... oh dear.

    All the cool kids have gone to snapchat and whatsapp, it's probably why they bought them out. I'm getting to the point where I want to turn off broadband and wear a tin foil hat.

  9. adnim

    Evolution

    We as a species have evolved to the point where by we are actually manipulating our evolution.

    Darwinism and the selfish gene are no longer the driving force. Ego and ignorance now control human evolution. Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft et al. are the new selfish gene, the progenitors of a new evolution, imho a retrograde evolution.

    Go enjoy and become the product, the victim, whilst you wave your e-penis/e-vagina at all those poor saps who's life is so empty that they are interested in your meaningless existence.

    Now, there is nothing awesome about my existence either, there's nothing at all special about me. (my mother might disagree, but then mothers are like that) It's just that the general mentality of the human race makes me feel like an outsider.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Evolution

      Could you contemplate getting over yourself for a second?

      1. adnim
        Facepalm

        Re: Evolution

        No, like I refuse to contemplate the fact that you actually read this bit...

        "Now, there is nothing awesome about my existence either, there's nothing at all special about me."

        1. ratfox
          Angel

          Re: Evolution

          To be honest, after the first post, I can totally imagine you declaring "I am very modest" with a straight face, and wonder why people laugh.

        2. sabroni Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: No, like I refuse to contemplate the fact that you actually read this bit...

          Yeah, I read that bit, it comes right after:

          Go enjoy and become the product, the victim, whilst you wave your e-penis/e-vagina at all those poor saps who's life is so empty that they are interested in your meaningless existence.

          You can add "of course I'm nothing special" after that, but I'm afraid it doesn't stop you sounding like a pompous prick.

  10. Tim Jenkins

    "...copper-haired boydroid..."

    PLEASE tell me that's his Oculus avatar ; )

  11. sawatts

    users? people?

    I think that the correct term is "commodity" - in that these are what Facebook sell on.

    Credit to whoever made the observation: If you're not paying, then you're the commodity, not the customer.

  12. Chris Sake
    Megaphone

    Timely

    http://saintsal.com/facebook/

    "Get your loved ones off Facebook", dated 25 January.

  13. Nifty Silver badge

    you won't defeat the object

    Hamburg's privacy regulator says “I think it’s problematic that Facebook wants to exchange user data between all of its various units, including WhatsApp and Instagram”

    Err.. that's the whole point of the acquisitions, bozo!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: you won't defeat the object

      I'm not even sure I see what the problem is. They aren't doing anything that evil with them, just targeted advertising and making enough profit to run the service and have a fat wedge left over for Zuck. They don't appear to be selling the data as far as I'm aware, just targetting ads based on information I supplied. In the old days we used to pay for services, we still do pay for a BT phone line and mine still spews adverts at me if I plug a phone in. The question is, how many people would use social media if it cost £15/month just like their phone line? Probably very few. The next question therefore is whether you value what you perceive to be your privacy* more than this service? Personally I quite like the service Facebook provides - it means I'll never lose the contact info of my friends like in the old days no matter how long I leave it between calls. Unless they do something dumb like delete their account out of fear of "privacy issues" of course, then I'll likely lose contact with them and they will feel righteous because the three people they still contact are "close enough friends to stay in contact". Who needs occasional contact with old friends anyway, sentimental nonsense...

      *realistically, your privacy is only compromised if someone other than you has access to data you didn't want them to. Nothing I've seen of Facebook suggests that this might be the case. My data is available to me and my friends only, and advertisers are able to leverage that data to target ads while crucially not actually being able to see that data.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: you won't defeat the object

        They aren't doing anything that evil with them

        As far as you know. That's actually the core problem: if they don't have your personal details then "repurposing" and "sharing with new friends" cannot happen by design or "by accident". If they have your details (and they do, thanks to a gaping hole in Data Protection laws that allows them to steal it off your friends), they can do whatever they want - you are not in a position to even *touch* them legally, and they can pretty much screw over your life by working out who your employer competes with and then sell them endorsements with your name on it (which they can, according to the policy that went live January 1st).

        Do not *ever* make the mistake to assume there is any benign motive behind what companies do with your personal details. This is about control and money, and they have all the tools to fight as dirty as they want.

        Until I see fines that make a difference, I am inclined to believe that the only way to fight is to be careful yourself to start with. And even then they can get to you - via your friends. Or did you think Facebook bought WhatsApp just to blow some loose change?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: you won't defeat the object

          "That's actually the core problem: if they don't have your personal details then "repurposing" and "sharing with new friends""

          But they also couldn't offer me their CORE service of sharing my information with MY friends.

          Do not *ever* make the mistake of assuming that all the other people on the Internet agree with your massively paranoid opinion, or that all companies are somehow evil and out to get you. Sometimes they genuinely are just in it for the money. Facebook don't have any details about me which are not publicly available elsewhere, and there are very few evil things they can do with photos of my evening meal anyway. If I were in some top secret profession then perhaps I'd be a little bit more worried but please get some perspective about how valuable you and your data are for non monetary purposes.

          All this change means is that I will get slightly more targeted advertising, making it more relevant to my life, and that those adverts will appear more consistently across platforms. The world will probably not end and my bank account is probably just as safe as yesterday.

          1. Tom 38 Silver badge

            Re: you won't defeat the object

            But they also couldn't offer me their CORE service of sharing my information with MY friends.

            Facebook's business is monetizing identity. Providing tools that you find useful is a side effect of that.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: you won't defeat the object

            Facebook don't have any details about me which are not publicly available elsewhere, and there are very few evil things they can do with photos of my evening meal anyway

            Well, but that's your CHOICE. Most people are deceived into giving permission, and once they have it, the poor user gets to play a game of whack-a-mole if they ever want to turn back the clock. There is also the fact that, given enough data, you can prove anything by selectively choosing your framing (a pretty standard government and sales trick to massage statistics) - I hope you will never get into the position where someone needs leverage on you because you'll come to regret your "nothing to hide" life then.

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