"Facebook's Future Rests on Knowing You Even Better":
We've seen some analysis that within 5 years Facebook will have enough data on the human population to be in a position to offer any government in the world surveillance capabilities on a scale comparable to that of the American NSA but with more granularity.Well since then a few stories have come out that relate to the surveillance proposition.
First up, from Hacker Noon, February 10:
Your Facebook data is creepy as hell
… and why you should really have a look at it.
Since 2010, Facebook allows you to download an archive file of all your interactions with the network. It’s a 5-click easy process that your grandmother can do (more details below).Inside the .zip, lies an ‘index.html’ page that acts as a portal to your personal data. Visually, it looks like an ad-free stripped down version of Facebook that’s actually quite relaxing.
As I’m trying to reduce my exposure to social networks, I decided to take a look at this info. By extrapolating the data of a single individual (me), I might be able to better apprehend the capabilities of the beast. In the end, it all comes down to what is tracked and what can be deduced from that.We all gave up on privacy…… we just don’t fully realise it.
Everything you expect is there: your profile, statuses, messages, friends, pokes (Tinder’s ancestor), photos, videos, comments, events. All of it in a 500mb zip file.There’s a lot of material and you could sift it for hours. Most of the content is unsurprising but there are a few notable facts that are worth exploring.
- Limitless data storage period
Quite simply, Facebook never deletes anything. Unfriended friends, past relationships, former employers, previous names, address book: you name it.I created my account Friday, September 14, 2007 at 10:59am and all my actions have been recorded ever since. I feel that for the first time in history, 10 years of consistent human behavior have been meticulously gathered, stored & analysed.
- Exhaustive photo metadata
Whenever you post a photo to Facebook, it keeps a record of all the data that’s attached to it. That seems quite obvious but I didn’t suspect it was so detailed. Have a look:
Camera Maker, Model, Orientation, Exposure, F-Stop, ISO Speed, Focal Length, Latitude, Longitude & Upload IP Address
- Abundant log-in & session data points
Every time you open Facebook, the time, location, IP address, browser & device have been recorded. If you’re part of the 1.4B people that use Facebook on a daily basis, they have enough data points to determine your everyday life patterns with great accuracy: home and work address, daily commute, wake up & bed time, travel duration & destination, etc.
- Flawless facial recognition
Apparently, Facebook has 232 examples of what I look like.How does it know? Well, every time you tag a photo, you’re adding to an enormous, user-driven wealth of knowledge and data. Everyday, billions of people are telling an algorithm what a human face looks like, from different angles, at different ages and in different light conditions.
The result? Facebook allegedly said that its image recognition models could recognise human faces with 98% accuracy & that it could identify a person in one picture out of 800 million in less than five seconds.
- Detailed contact listWhen you install Facebook’s app on your phone, you give it the right to see your contact list. Once that’s done, Facebook keeps ALL your contacts information forever.
...MUCH MOREThere’s no sneaky move here: the opt-in process on your phone is actually pretty clear about that. But seeing the phone numbers, emails & addresses of everyone you know (or knew) listed on Facebook is a bit disturbing....
And via The Next Web on Feb. 13th:
"Facebook employees are next-level paranoid the company is watching them" (FB)
So that's where we're at as of February 2018.
We have four years-and-51 weeks to hit the analysts' "Better-than-the-NSA" targets.