back to article Facebook brings creepy ’Minority Report’-style ads one step closer

Facebook will nudge the retail industry one step closer to Minority Report-style ads that know who you are, where you are, and blast you with personalized ads that only you can see. We’re still some way from the noir movie vision, but you don’t need to boil a lobster quickly. From Thursday, Facebook will make its users’ …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, I would have watched the Minority Report clip, but it was preceded by an advert …

    1. Steven Roper

      Hmmm, I didn't see any advert.

      I'm not sure which component of my internet armamentarium is responsible for shielding me from that one, although I rather suspect Ghostery is behind stopping YouTube ads more than AdBlock Edge, BetterPrivacy, RemoveItPermanently, uBlock Origin, Self-Destructing Cookies, Disconnect or NoScript.

      So all I can suggest is installing all of the above and hope that one of them does the job - if you don't mind cruising around the information superhighway in what amounts to an Abrams tank!

  2. cat_mara

    It's all well and good (er, probably not) Facebook collecting all this data but the fact of the matter is, if my targeted ads are anything to go by, the only search expression used by advertisers seems to be: if (relationshipStatus == "single"). It's the only explanation for the never-ending torrent of "meet [ethnicity] singles" ads that adorn my Facebook sidebar.

    1. Dazed and Confused

      You mean it's like when you walk down dark side streets in the certain parts of town and men in dirty macs stand there call out "Girls, Girls, nice Girls, I've got nice Girls just for you Sir..." Only they also know your name and your address and can see who your wife, mother and boss are too.

      Creepy!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      f my targeted ads are anything to go by, the only search expression used by advertisers seems to be: if (relationshipStatus == "single")

      It could just be be a hint - for all you know, your mother has bought some targeted advertising to get you out of the house :)

      (that is actually possible - as far as I'm aware, companies like Facebook never make any statements in their T&Cs you can actually pin them down on).

    3. Horridbloke
      Unhappy

      My FB profile has me a lot older than my real age so I see adverts for incontinence products.

      Apparently this is what winning feels like.

  3. Horridbloke
    FAIL

    Facebook...

    I'm constantly amazed how most people fail to think about privacy issues. Several years ago, back when Facebook seemed to email absolutely everything to absolutely everybody by default, I started to get fairly high frequency updates as to the location of a iPhone-carrying friend of mine. I hadn't made any effort to stalk him or anything, I was just getting near-hourly updates as to wherever he had just "signed into" as he went about his work around town.

    Anyway after a couple of days of this I commented on the latest update showing him in a town twenty miles down the road. I asked whether it would be a good time to burgle his house.

    The updates stopped after that.

    1. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge

      Re: Facebook...

      On a related note, there have been a couple of recorded incidents in the UK of enterprising thieves stealing high end bicycles by combining publicly available "map my ride" profiles (to approximate start/stop locations, and other social info.

  4. Just Enough
    Facepalm

    pardon?

    "User’s of the DTEK app bundled with BlackBerry Priv’s phone is revealing the extent of Facebook’s background location monitoring."

    Someone want to give us a walk through on the grammatical structure of this sentence?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: pardon?

      Someone want to give us a walk through on the grammatical structure of this sentence?

      Sssssh, it's an attempt to crash ISP content scanners...

  5. Just Enough

    "One reviewer was typical, discovering that Facebook had accessed their location 561 times in 60 hours. (The same app revealed that Facebook’s WhatsApp app had raided the contacts book almost 30,000 times."

    And this is why neither are installed on my phone. When are we going to get a version of Android that allows you to control this kind of behaviour?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Android

      "And this is why neither are installed on my phone. When are we going to get a version of Android that allows you to control this kind of behaviour?"

      You've clearly forgotten that Android is developed and maintained by one of the largest advertising companies on the planet ...

      1. Michael Thibault
        Facepalm

        Re: Android

        >... is developed and maintained by one of the largest advertising companies on the planet ...

        Shocked? I'm shocked!

        No, not really. That's a lie.

        I'm surprised... that anyone--Open-Sores-aware or not--would have a sense of entitlement that encompasses 'a version of Android that allows you to control this kind of behaviour'.

        Repeat endlessly: "I am the product".

    2. MrWibble

      A month or so ago Marshmallow was released which enables you to block facebook's location / contacts access.

      Oh you mean when will non-Nexus users get it? Maybe in a couple of years, when they upgrade their phone.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There already is a version of Android that allows you to control this. It's called cyanogenmod.

  6. phil dude
    WTF?

    just uninstalled the app....

    you might be thinking it was about privacy?

    Nope. The app was power hungry and actually made my phone *hot* to handle.

    And then tried to install it self continuously...failing at 86% and then filling up the phone free space (internal of course, not the massive SD card).

    So they (Facebook) cannot even write decent software....*sighs*?

    P.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: just uninstalled the app....

      So they (Facebook) cannot even write decent software

      To be fair, that's not the company's focus or even its core competence. Milking you for data is, but as that is a volume game they won't pay attention to the app unless it interferes too much with getting data off you.

  7. Yugguy
    FAIL

    Advertise as much as you like you pricks

    You could spend the entire gdp of the WORLD on adverts but I'd still never drink crappy lager or drive an Audi.

    And from what I've seen during various experiments it doesn't seem to make eff all difference wether you allow targeting or not.

    For instance, the ONLY large spending I do on equipment for my running is on my shoes. So all those targetted ads for stupidly expensive technical fabric clothing acheived eff all.

    Cos I buy all my running clothes from TK Maxx.

    I'm 45 and although I have a decent level of disposable income I already know exactly what I will and won't spend it on.

    Keep your ads for impressionable kids.

    I thank yow.

    1. Dazed and Confused

      Re: Advertise as much as you like you pricks

      > Cos I buy all my running clothes from TK Maxx.

      I remember years ago listening to a program on R4 about advertising and Real Ale and how the advertisers were finding it difficult. Then they interviewed someone from one of the big marketing firms who admitted that they'd spent so long and so much money advertising Larger that everyone who was susceptible to advertising was already a larger drinker while it seemed that everyone who drank real ale consciously disregard any form of advertising. Which made their (the advertisers) life difficult.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Advertise as much as you like you pricks

      Check out the FT article (sorry, registration is I think required) http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/cd1722ba-8333-11e5-8e80-1574112844fd.html - you'll be pleased to hear you're sort of right.

      The data indicates that hyper-targetted advertising and "engagement" with existing customers doesn't work - we don't like brands and we don't like that kind of advertising and it doesn't influence us. And the author reckons that's starting to filter through to the ad industry in terms of their spend. However some of the kinds of ads that initially helped make you aware of TK-Maxx as a brand for low-cost shopping and helps influence those once a year decisions on where we consider going probably still do work. It's an interesting read.

      1. Yugguy

        Re: Advertise as much as you like you pricks

        It's a good point.

        I think I just don't like my intelligence being insulted.

        No, that Samsung phone is NOT going to make me anything like James Bond.

        It does not matter what car I am in, the roads will NOT be as quiet as they are portrayed.

        Etc.

  8. Zog_but_not_the_first
    Big Brother

    Never mind Facebook...

    What about Govbook?

    1. Dazed and Confused

      Re: Never mind Facebook...

      Of course with the new Govbook app you can't uninstall it, you can't even escape by leaving your phone at home. With their network of CCTV cameras they know where you've been, they know ...

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: Never mind Facebook...

        http://apologiesdemanded.blogspot.com/2010/09/kgb-fm-versus-yakov-smirnoff.html

  9. Camilla Smythe

    Could Work in The US...

    "Hi, I noticed you bought some Socks. Want to buy more Socks?"

    "Hi, I noticed you bought some Socks. Want to buy more Socks?"

    "Hi, I noticed you bought some Socks. Want to buy more Socks?"

    "Hi, I noticed you bought some Socks. Want to buy more Socks?"

    -

    -

    "Hi, Would you like some nice Socks to go with your new pump action?

    BLAM!

  10. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    The only thing creepier than Precrime...

    ... is any movie with Tom Cruise in it. I guess I should FB to the shortlist, too.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will it show pron if you walk past a shop of questionable integrity? or advertise condoms where ladies of the night work?

  12. tekHedd

    If they really could predict...

    When I think of Minority Report style ads I think of a system where they just ship you a product and charge your account without asking, because you're gonna buy it anyway. Advertising not necessary.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: If they really could predict...

      It's called LootCrate.

  13. Jamie 14

    If i was at that shopping mall in 2054. Think I would be wearing sun glasses... How annoying!

  14. Marc 25

    So we can now take Fraping our mates to a new level.

    Jump on their Amazon account and view a hundred pages of "adult toys" and then laugh hysterically as they walk through shopping centres surrounded by adverts for butt plugs and pineapple flavoured sex lube.

    YAY!

    The future is now!

  15. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Location, location, location

    obligatory xkcd here

  16. Chris G Silver badge

    Far,far away but not too far

    Into the future Minority Report style ads may be happening in some form. When you look at the companies that the likes of Gargle and Farcebook have purchased; Facial recognition, Conversational analysis, computer vision, speech translation, speech recognition, augmented reality, voice recognition, social prediction, gesture recognition, etc, etc, add to that your online conversations and purchasing history and they will have all the tools to surveil you with and to make an educated guess at what crap to beam at you personally, by then no doubt they will be able to turn on your phone ( possibly can now if they want to) and bombard you with ads for the things your sad little life can't do without.

    So far it doesn't appear that either of them have bought a company developing augmented reality implants but it would not surprise me if they had.

    Just think, getting your Fbook implant free so that you are intimately connected with your 'Friends' at all times and don't even need to carry a phone around.

    They would in return for the free implant have full control over it and just like Fartbook and Titsapp today people would be happy to have no privacy.... 'cos it's free!

  17. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Thank <$DEITY> that I don't use FB and run Ad-Block. Now if I can just figure out why the flood of spam and phoney gift cards started. I don't recall giving my email to anyone in the last 3 months or so.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Add something like Ghostery to that mix. You'll be surprised how much data FB is still getting even WITH an ad-blocker.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Meh

      FB et al

      never having been tempted onto a SocialSite like FB etc I some times wonder where all those invoice emails I keep getting are really coming from, with all the attached viruses

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Belgium rules - We need a few more wins like this...

    "Facebook Inc. lost a fight with Belgium’s privacy watchdog after a court ordered it to stop storing personal data from people who don’t have an account with the social network. Facebook faces a fine of 250,000 euros ($269,000) a day if it doesn’t comply with the ruling, the court said in an e-mailed statement Monday."

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-09/facebook-told-to-stop-storing-personal-data-from-belgian-surfers

    * Just a personal view here... But after two-long-decades living in the mid-west I've become used to having to assemble folders of paperwork to fight corporate abuses on an everyday ordinary consumer basis. There's something fascist about how Corporate America goes about its day and how it routinely treats its workers, consumers, shareholders etc... Wall Street are just the high-achievers here, in reality every US corporation is selling us out big-time, and they'd happily march us into the ovens if it helped the quarterlies... So unless we fight back privacy is dead!

  19. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    "engaged"

    Does that include hurling a mobile through a plate glass window?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Facebook has 48 hours to change tracking behaviour'

    Small win maybe, assuming FB don't successfully appeal:

    http://www.rte.ie/news/world/2015/1109/740729-facebook/

    * Just a personal view... But after two-long-decades living in the mid-west I'm used to having to assemble lots of consumer paperwork to fight corporate abuses. There's something fascist about how Corporate America operates and how it routinely mistreats workers, consumers, shareholders etc. Wall Street are just the high-achievers here, its every US corporation that's selling us out. They'd happily march us into the ovens if it helped their quarterlies... So, unless we fight back privacy is dead!

  21. Ed Mozley

    On the iphone

    Settings . Privacy . Location Services . Facebook . Change always to never.

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