Facebook Vs. Privacy
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On December 27, 2012, CBS News reported that Randi Zuckerberg, sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, criticized a friend for being "way uncool" in sharing a private Facebook photo of her on Twitter, only to be told that the image had appeared on a friend-of-a-friend's Facebook news feed. Commenting on this misunderstanding of Facebook's privacy settings, Eva Galperin of the EFF said "Even Randi Zuckerberg can get it wrong. That's an illustration of how confusing they can be."
In November, Facebook launched Beacon, a system (discontinued in September 2009) where third-party websites could include a script by Facebook on their sites, and use it to send information about the actions of Facebook users on their site to Facebook, prompting serious privacy concerns. Information such as purchases made and games played were published in the user's news feed. An informative notice about this action appeared on the third party site and allowed the user to cancel it. The user could also cancel it on Facebook. Originally if no action was taken, the information was automatically published. On November 29 this was changed to require confirmation from the user before publishing each story gathered by Beacon.
On September 5, 2006, Facebook introduced two new features called "News Feed" and "Mini-Feed". The first of the new features, News Feed, appears on every Facebook member's home page, displaying recent Facebook activities of the member's friends. The second feature, Mini-Feed, keeps a log of similar events on each member's profile page. Members can manually delete items from their Mini-Feeds if they wish to do so, and through privacy settings can control what is actually published in their respective Mini-Feeds.
Some Facebook members still feel that the ability to opt out of the entire News Feed and Mini-Feed system is necessary, as evidenced by a statement from the Students Against Facebook News Feed group, which peaked at over 740,000 members in 2006. Reacting to users' concerns, Facebook developed new privacy features to give users some control over information about them that was broadcast by the News Feed. According to subsequent news articles, members have widely regarded the additional privacy options as an acceptable compromise.
In May 2010, Facebook added privacy controls and streamlined its privacy settings, giving users more ways to manage status updates and other information broadcast to the public News Feed. Among the new privacy settings is the ability to control who sees each new status update a user posts: Everyone, Friends of Friends, or Friends Only. Users can now hide each status update from specific people as well.[non-primary source needed] However, a user who presses "like" or comments on the photo or status update of a friend cannot prevent that action from appearing in the news feeds of all the user's friends, even non-mutual ones. The "View As" option, used to show a user how privacy controls filter out what a specific given friend can see, only displays the user's timeline and gives no indication that items missing from the timeline may still be showing up in the friend's own news feed.
Some of these memorial groups have also caused legal issues. Notably, on January 1, 2008, one such memorial group posted the identity of murdered Toronto teenager Stefanie Rengel, whose family had not yet given the Toronto Police Service their consent to release her name to the media, and the identities of her accused killers, in defiance of Canada's Youth Criminal Justice Act, which prohibits publishing the names of the under-age accused. While police and Facebook staff attempted to comply with the privacy regulations by deleting such posts, they noted difficulty in effectively policing the individual users who repeatedly republished the deleted information.
Facebook offers privacy controls in order to allow users to choose who can view their posts: only friends, friends and friends of friends, everyone, custom (specific choice of which friends can see posts). While these options exist, there are still methods by which otherwise unauthorized third parties can view a post. For example, posting a picture and marking it as only viewable by friends, but tagging someone else as appearing in that picture, causes the post to be viewable by friends of the tagged person(s).
Quit Facebook Day was an online event which took place on May 31, 2010 (coinciding with Memorial Day), in which Facebook users stated that they would quit the social network due to privacy concerns.It was estimated that 2% of Facebook users coming from the United States would delete their accounts.However, only 33,000 (roughly 0.0066% of its roughly 500 million members at the time) users quit the site. The number one reason for users to quit Facebook was privacy concerns (48%), being followed by a general dissatisfaction with Facebook (14%), negative aspects regarding Facebook friends (13%), and the feeling of getting addicted to Facebook (6%). Facebook quitters were found to be more concerned about privacy, more addicted to the Internet, and more conscientious.
National Journal Daily claims "Facebook is facing new scrutiny over its decision to automatically turn on a new facial recognition feature aimed at helping users identify their friends in photos". Facebook has defended the feature, saying users can disable it. Facebook introduced the feature on an opt-out basis. European Union data-protection regulators said they would investigate the feature to see if it violated privacy rules.Naomi Lachance stated in a web blog for NPR, All Tech Considered, that Facebook's facial recognition is right 98% of the time compared to the FBI's 85% out of 50 people. However, the accuracy of Facebook searches is due to its larger, more diverse photo selection compared to the FBI's closed database.Mark Zuckerberg showed no worries when speaking about Facebook's AIs, saying, "Unsupervised learning is a long-term focus of our AI research team at Facebook, and it remains an important challenge for the whole AI research community" and "It will save lives by diagnosing diseases and driving us around more safely. It will enable breakthroughs by helping us find new planets and understand Earth's climate. It will help in areas we haven't even thought of today".
In December 2018, it emerged that Facebook's mobile app reveals the user's location to Facebook, even if the user does not use the "check in" feature and has configured all relevant settings within the app so as to maximize location privacy.
In February 2019, it emerged that a number of Facebook apps, including Flo, had been sending users' health data such as blood pressure and ovulation status to Facebook without users' informed consent. New York governor Andrew Cuomo called the practice an "outrageous abuse of privacy", ordered New York's department of state and department of financial services to investigate, and encouraged federal regulators to step in.
At the Facebook Connect event in October 2021 (where Facebook, Inc. announced its rebranding as Meta), Zuckerberg stated that Meta was "working on making it so you can log in into Quest with an account other than your personal Facebook account". The new "Meta account" was announced in July 2022 as a de facto replacement for Oculus accounts, which will not be explicitly tied to the Facebook social network, and can be linked with other members of the Facebook Family of Apps. It was stated that Meta Quest users would be allowed to transition to Meta accounts and decouple their Facebook logins from its VR platforms. Ars Technica noted that the new terms of service and privacy policies associated with Meta account system could allow enforcement of a real name policy (stating that users would be obligated to provide "accurate and up to date information (including registration information), which may include providing personal data", and still allowed for "rampant" use of user data by Meta, especially if linked with other Facebook apps. 2b1af7f3a8