facebook is spying on you

Another day, another news story about Facebook’s privacy practices.The list of recent stories should be enough to spell the end for most companies, but Facebook abides.

By now you would have to be a monk living in a cave underneath the lost city of Atlantis to have missed the Cambridge Analytica story, wherein Facebook data belonging to 50 million users was used to influence the United States presidential election.

You may have missed the notifications that Facebook sent users, urging them to agree to a GDPR-averse end user agreement, but that happened too.

And so just when you thought Facebook had done everything short of rummaging through your sock drawer to grab your personal information, along comes a new bombshell: The company also gave mobile phone manufacturers complete and unfettered access to its data.

What’s noteworthy here is that the data in question isn’t limited to Facebook users, but rather everyone with whom they’re connected. The information that was accessed includes relationship status as well as political and religious beliefs.

New York Times reporter Michael LaForgia found that by connecting the Blackberry Hub app to his Facebook account, the app was also able to access information on not just 606 of his friends, but also 294,258 friends of friends.  

“It’s like having door locks installed, only to find out that the locksmith also gave keys to all of his friends so they can come in and rifle through your stuff without having to ask you for permission,” said research and privacy consultant Ashkan Soltani to the New York Times.

Read the initial reports here.