At least our new Social Media overlords don't sent us to Gulags, Vietnam War, Internment Camps, or "Work makes you free" slave factories.
Just examine our privates and spam us.
Facebook is facing an FTC probe after snatching millions of people's phone numbers from its WhatsApp subsidiary. Privacy rights warriors at EPIC have asked the US watchdog to investigate the personal data grab – and the commission says it will look into the matter. In a letter published by EPIC [PDF], the FTC told the privacy …
Easily done. Just stop using Google and Facebook, the latter being easier than the former. I've quit Facebook and my life has improved immeasurably (no longer fiddling around checking for updates, I spend the time in the real world instead). Google is more useful than Facebook, so I'm not ready to go cold-turkey on them yet - but I could if I wanted (there are other options - Duck Duck Go, email from other providers and so forth). I trust Google marginally more than Facebook though. For the time being.
You don't have to "give" them info. They take what they want. They probably know more about you than you think they do. They probably know a lot about those of us who have never even started an FB account from what the reports on this and other sites state. That little innocent "Like Us" button on many sites... it's a clue.
Well they don't have my name, my address, or my phone number. So what do they REALLY know?
Thanks to your use of WhatsApp they also have your FRIEND's details, but without their permission or knowledge. Add to that that for most users blocking SMS is all but impossible, and it's easy to see why any ad-dependent data thief would want those details. Google, LinkedIn and Facebook all have been grabbing mobile numbers as fast as they could get them, ostensibly "for our security" (yeah, right). Zuckerberg simply bought himself more direct access to your address book with WhatsApp, because that keeps him up to date on changes and updates too.
This backdoor grabbing of personal details is IMHO one of the largest holes in Data Protection and privacy regulation. They don't have to ask permission, and they have no obligation to inform you that they have grabbed your details until you ask them directly (and at that point they can simply lie, because who is going to say differently - only Facebook is now exposed because all you have to do is find a friend who uses WhatsApp).
I never installed WhatsApp for the exact reason that my address book has phone numbers of rather interesting people who would not appreciate anyone leaking their number, but Zuck will have that number if anyone else in their circle of contacts has installed WhatsApp.
What's more: install it on a BUSINESS phone without gaining permission of all the customers you have in your phone address book and you may very well be in breach of the Data Protection Act as you have not informed customers beforehand that you're going to share your details with Zuckerberg...
...and again and again and again and...
WhatsApp cost $16 billion dollars. It would be unrealistic to imagine FB would allow users to have any private data or communication at all.
I must admit however, I sort of believed the part about end to end encryption for a short time. I am thinking it's the registration data that went down the rabbit hole, and not just phone numbers. Likely whatever users gave them.
I do wonder how they are capturing, storing and monetizing actual communications. I suppose we will find out in due time.
.... I never give my mobile phone number to anyone unless I'd be happy for them to contact me anytime that my phone is not in Airplane mode. It's not just the phone calls, it's the texts. Even my mobile phone provider spammed me with text messages until I called them several times and told them to f**king well stop or I'd cancel the contract. Everybody else gets my landline number and they can wait and try again or leave a message if I'm not at home.
Have my mobile number, I couldn't give a toss quite frankly! I've made 3 phone calls in the last 4 months ( 2 to the local council ) and sent precisely 8 SMS messages, which were either "What's for tea love?" and "Any danger of a lift?". If you find the fact that that the owner of that mobile number likes Mexican food and is a fat lazy git who hates walking the mile home from the station ( to be frank, that's not diffuclt to work out from the two pieces of info!! ) then you have at it Zuck!
OK, so they now know that you have food with some number X, see that you travel with number Y and you have issues with the council (and probably which department). If the other people have location on then they know where you probably live, can see locations you may have visited. Using those other numbers they can find your possible extended group (true or not) and given your lack of communication you are a suspicious character and perhaps the police or other security services should be notified.
Allah help you if any of those 3 hop relationships happen to be on some watchlist. How's the weather in Cuba this time of year?
There is no silence at all. The EU commissioner for competition, Margrethe Vestager, is already looking into it and "talking to Facebook". Also, at least the German antitrust agency ("Bindeskartellamt") is doing an investigation of the issue, saying, "we have to look in the Facebook engine room to understand the implications for competition".
I'm now moving to Telegram (and probably ICQ too).
The ability to use Telegram on multiple devices and only having it tied to having the ability to receive an SMS, rather than an SMS on the single device you want to use it on is a major advantage. (e.g. personal Telegram on work phone, separating work and personal comms, on one device.)
The reason I started to move was their plan to drop support for old phones. (Half the people I used it for will be cut off.)
However the new privacy agreement has made me remove it from my phone, and put it on my old BlackBerry (until the end of the year), which has minimal contacts in the address book, and I didn't allow the app access to the contacts. This is just to catch any messages.
Funny how one-sided these have all become. Any promises made to the consumer aren't worth the electrons they're written on. They can be changed at any time in any way without notice or redress. Therefore, agreeing to one gives the company eternal and universal immunity, no matter what onerous things they do.
However, WE are expected to be held to the letter of these incomprehensible, legalese-obscured "agreements", and threatened with fines or jail time if we transgress. WTF?
Why aren't our law types working to stop this blatant BS?