Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 19th Oct 2016 20:43 UTC
Internet & Networking

When it was revealed last week that police used a social media monitoring program to track protestors, it inspired outrage, and major tech companies immediately cut off API access for the tool. But at least one of those companies had prior opportunity to know what the tool, Geofeedia, was capable of. According to three former Geofeedia employees who spoke with The Verge, Facebook itself used the tool for corporate security. Facebook, according to two of the sources, even used Geofeedia to catch an intruder in Mark Zuckerberg's office.

Social media companies like Facebook are weird - and incredibly pervasive. Someone I know - I'm not going to be too specific here - once proudly said he/she does not want Facebook to know where he/she lives, so he/she did not fill in that field in his/her Facebook account. I smiled internally and thought to myself "Facebook knows you are at a specific address between the hours of 18:00 and 8:30 every workday and during the weekend - I'm pretty sure Facebook knows where you live".

Comfort levels with social media and technology companies usually come down to fooling ourselves.

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Location?
by Carewolf on Thu 20th Oct 2016 03:52 UTC
Carewolf
Member since:
2005-09-08

Why would Facebook know where I or anyone else are? They don't have geolocation on at all times. Apple and Google knows, but Facebook only knows when you tell them with updates or photos.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Location?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 20th Oct 2016 03:57 UTC in reply to "Location?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Apparently you aren't aware of the state of the art of location tracking possible with a little JS. Trust me they know within 10 miles on a pretty regular basis. Unless you really are paranoid and take proper protections. However, doing so will get your facebook account locked occasionally, if you don't do it right.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Location?
by nicubunu on Thu 20th Oct 2016 06:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Location?"
nicubunu Member since:
2014-01-08

10 miles is a huuuuge margin of error. There are millions of people living in a 10 miles area around me, why should I worry about such imprecise info about me?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Location?
by pysiak on Thu 20th Oct 2016 07:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Location?"
pysiak Member since:
2008-01-01

10 miles is a huuuuge margin of error. There are millions of people living in a 10 miles area around me, why should I worry about such imprecise info about me?

That's the beauty of it. Take 5 imprecise data points to filter down a huge list of people into 1.

Something that opened my eyes one was this. There are about 4 or 5000 tor users in Poland. If I use tor and someone with power asks I gotta tor user from city X. That's far easier to ask the ISP of city X, who's the subscriber.

Same thing with facebook.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Location?
by nicubunu on Thu 20th Oct 2016 09:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Location?"
nicubunu Member since:
2014-01-08

Actually for facebook is different: I *do want* its readers to know I am based in Bucharest so a potential clients may hire me... as a a freelance photographer facebook is an important marketing tool for me. Sure, it does not have my (precise) home address, but when I will get to open a photo studio, it will definitely have its address.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Location?
by sj87 on Mon 24th Oct 2016 15:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Location?"
sj87 Member since:
2007-12-16

You are intentionally withdrawing some of your privacy to also gain something for it. But it's a completely different thing, when people try to hide their address because they want to intentionally protect their privacy... but still unintentionally give it away.

Edited 2016-10-24 15:00 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Location?
by nicubunu on Mon 24th Oct 2016 15:26 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Location?"
nicubunu Member since:
2014-01-08

service providers like Facebook can learn your address in a few ways:
1. you type it with your hands in your profile page, in this case is totally your fault
2. you allow your device(s) (usually phone) to provide geolocation, which is then translated into an address, again entirely your fault
3. you tag yourself or friends tag you in a post geolocated in a specific place, this is partly your fault, partly your friends'
4. the IP you are connecting to can be tied to an approximate location (perhaps the city), which can't be helped, this is the way it is.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Location?
by Seeprime on Thu 20th Oct 2016 08:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Location?"
Seeprime Member since:
2014-05-02

Bill Shooter of Bul: You are correct about them locking an account. I logged onto Facebook a few weeks ago using Opera with VPN turned on. They locked my account until I logged in with Chrome. They are quietly demanding. Unfortunately, Facebook is the only way most family and friends choose to communicate today. Stay in the dark, or suck up to Facebook to some extent.

Edited 2016-10-20 08:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

Security wise, that STILL is THE narrative.

Reply Score: 2