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Displaying items by tag: Facebook

anonWith all the news about Facebook today I was reminded of something that was talked about almost a month ago. This is the threat against Facebook from Anonymous stating that on November 5th they will take a social networking giant off of the net. I began to think about the pros and cons of that threat and was wondering if it made any sense to make that claim. On the one hand there is no denying that Facebook is becoming more and more arrogant. They are making changes that are not liked and often implementing services that there is no way to opt out of. This is the type of thing that makes people leave a site like Facebook. We have watched as they, much like Google, have brushed privacy concerns aside and in the case of some features risked the safety of their users (with the auto tagging feature). Yet they have pushed ahead with these things. This all on its own would have provoked many of the Anon clan in to action.

However, on the other hand Facebook represents something that Anon does believe in; Freedom of expression. Sure you cannot post anything you want and there are rules, but it is a form of global mass communication on a scale that nothing else can match. Taking it down would be to go against some of the foundations that Anon stands on; Free Internet, Free Speech and Free Expression.

I would not be surprised to find out that there are some arguments going on right now over if they should or should not take down Facebook on the 5th of November. Remember Anon is not a group but a collective “We are Legion” is in every statement they put out. Lately this statement seems to have broken down as more and more splinter groups pop up with a “leader” These groups are at odds with each other at times and if the rumors are true there is something of an underground war going on in the community. My guess is that some Anon “members” are not happy with the way things are going and what groups like Lulzsec, and others are doing when they release personal information on the families of police officials or informants and put their very lives in danger.  This kind of behavior and this type of in-fighting could be a serious blow to Anon and could in some cases lead to the authorities catching more and more participants.

As for Facebook and the 5th of November… I think they are safe, but not because Facebook is secure or well coded (it is not). It is because Facebook really does represent Freedom of speech and expression; even if the owners are rather arrogant and foolish.

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Published in Editorials
Thursday, 22 September 2011 20:37

Facebook adds more integration

fbmusicFacebook is a force to be reckoned with; we have seen this by the way they knocked the once great MySpace into the “who is that?” category. They have challenged almost all other social networking sites and won (with the exception of some of the *cough* adult ones). However, they have also gotten a bit, or rather more cocky than they should. Facebook has begun to implement changes that do not appear to be what their users want and in some cases risk their users personal privacy.

However, one tool they do have that makes them much more nimble than others is Open Graph. It is Open Graph that allows an almost seamless integration with Facebook for websites and many applications. This is also the tool they are going to use to put one of their boldest plans into action. This is the integration of music and video services right into Facebook.  With this new plug in you will be able to share what you are watching and listening to on services like Hulu, Spotify Rhapsody and more right on your profile page. (Anyone want to bet on how long before RIAA and MPAA chime in on this?)

The service is up and running now globally (although no Netflix for the US due to video sharing laws) so I am sure we will all know what our friends are listening to or watching in short order. With the power of Open Graph we have to wonder what Facebook will integrate next.

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Tuesday, 09 August 2011 23:18

Anonymous goes after Facebook

anonAnonymous has announced they intend to bring the social networking (notworking?) site Facebook down on November 5th.  You might be wondering why Anon would go after Facebook when its founder Mark Zuckerberg has been idolized as a geek and a hacker in many biograph

ies and books.

Plus isn’t Facebook a place where information is freely shared by those that want to share it? Most would have thought that Facebook of all places would be safe. However, it is not and here is why.

This first thing is that Facebook has in the past taken liberty with its user’s images, personal information and has been rumored to pass information along to government agencies in people or groups that may use, let’s say inflammatory language. It has also been rumored (one that no one has been able to confirm) that Facebook maybe allowing advertiser (or governments) to view users preferences and possibly actual pages.  We do know that Anonymous believes this at the very least. Now all of this would be good enough reason for the group of hackers with a cause, but there is more and this is possibly one of the real reasons. You see Facebook is getting ready to launch a facial recognition API that can pull data on people tagged in pictures from sources around the net. It is also rumored to be able to match aliases from dating sites, forums, etc. as long as the API can link the real name with the screen name. This massively privacy invading bit of software has already been declared illegal in Germany and w

e have hopes that other countries will follow.  We believe this is what Anonymous is actually alluding to when they say “for the sake of your own privacy”.  

Much of the rest of their press release (shown in its entirety below) also has truth in it. According to the same German lawmakers that want the Facial Recognition API removed, Facebook makes the removal of the data collected by the software almost impossible to delete even after the image that person was tagged in it removed from the profile.  We think this is what Anon is talking about when they say “your personal info stays on Facebook and can be recovered at any time”, but it is also true that what you put in Facebook stays on Facebook even when you leave.

So will Anon bring down Zuckerberg and his social networking/ information collection site, or is this another threat that the group will lose interest in before the date they have set aside. A date that hold special meaning to the British and which was immortalized in the move “V for Vendetta”. Will Zuckerberg prepare and harden the Facebook servers? I guess we will see on November the 5th.

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Published in News

Facebook-logoThere are times when companies just forget about the impact to consumers. Most times these little oversights are caught and removed before the products or services are dropped on the unsuspecting consumers. Still there are times when these things get pushed out because the company in question is too big or too arrogant to believe they can’t do what they want.

A good example of this is Google Street View. There is nothing like a free service that allows anyone to see your home, the cars you drive etc. Google even had the temerity to send their cars onto clearly marked private roads.

Now let’s move forward to today, Facebook wants to put facial recognition software into their API to quickly tag people in photographs. The problem is that this software collects data about the people in the pictures. There is also no easy way to remove this data by the user. Facebook thinks that collecting this and other data is ok (as it is not in violation of any US law which are notorious for not protecting privacy or fair usage). However, Facebook did not count on some very strict (as they should be) privacy laws in Germany. Germany has actually declared the new feature illegal and is going after Facebook to disable the feature and to remove all data collected by the service.

I only wish that there were laws this protective of the average citizen in the US.

Source Fudzilla

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