What the Tech: Is Facebook listening to you?

Mindy Sparks
April 15, 2018

Mark Zuckerberg defended Facebook's business model on Wednesday against fierce criticism of how it feeds user data to advertisers, even as he admitted his own personal information had been leaked to outside companies.

Facebook has made changes to the way apps could plug in to the Facebook calendar, wherein users could grant any app permission to access information about the events they hosted or attended.

And it's good news for anyone who owns shares in Facebook, they should be happy as they will be slightly richer also. Others say they worry that broader regulation of people's data would turn technology giants into a regulated monopoly like a utility, giving them even more power - something that was unimaginable when Facebook was a small startup. "I should reasonably expect that that's going to work as it is presented to me".

Larger, more dominant companies like Facebook have the resources to comply with government regulation, he said, but "that might be more hard for a smaller startup to comply with".

Forty-one percent of surveyed Americans said they are somewhat concerned about what Facebook is doing with their private data, and 36 percent said they are very concerned. Seeing my astonishment, one of them said "We don't expect a married guy like you to appreciate this, but in Cambridge all the party invitations come via Facebook, so if you're not on Facebook you go to no parties, you meet no girls, you have no sex, so you have no kids and your genes die out".

With profiling questions coming to the fore lately, Fraser took the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to download his Facebook data. As the Washington Post puts it: 'From the moment the Facebook founder entered the public eye in 2003 for creating a Harvard student hot-or-not rating site, he's been apologizing'. If they can't be trusted to keep your data safe, don't voluntarily give it to them.

"I think you should make that commitment".

Fraser concluded that the 10 companies that got his email address were ad agencies. In some instances, they anxious that Facebook wasn't taking down harmful content fast enough, like fake profiles of people who are stealing pictures from real people, as well as posts seeking to recruit for terrorist ideologies.


Zuckerberg clearly admitted to mistakes and took responsibility.

"We do think the initiative is flawed and hope the Legislature will work out a strong solution to provide consumers the right to know what information is being collected and the ability to decide whether their information may be sold".

He parried questions of how much control people have over their data on the world's largest social media network without a major gaffe, while avoiding being cornered into supporting new government regulation. "I have asked a number of questions on the Cambrige Analytica case".

Academia has indeed got a lot to say about Facebook and privacy, but maybe not the things that Mr Zuckerberg wants to hear.

McKinley asked Zuckerberg about illegal online pharmacies selling illegal opioids on Facebook.

Fraser said it's not clear if more regulation of social networking is necessary.

"We need to care about privacy if you care about a free and democratic society and participation in it", she said.

For many years, some Facebook users claim to have seen ads on the platform related to their recent conversations, leading to the suspicion that the company is surreptitiously listening in on them using a device's mic.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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