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Facebook Inc.
09-02-2019, 12:00 AM. (This post was last modified: 09-02-2019, 12:01 AM by Kaimin.)
Post: #151
RE: Facebook Inc.
(08-02-2019, 01:34 PM)BRT Wrote: article sheds some light on the whatsapp acquisition. overall very interesting read n shows the power of big tech today. facebook keeps with data sniffing n other violations... consumers have to choice but to spectate? get victimized slowly through the loss of control n privacy? even the act of apple "standing up" for consumers and removing disobeying apps from the store is such a powerful one.

"Facebook first got into the data-sniffing business when it acquired Onavo for around $120 million in 2014. The VPN app helped users track and minimize their mobile data plan usage, but also gave Facebook deep analytics about what other apps they were using. Internal documents acquired by Charlie Warzel and Ryan Mac of BuzzFeed News reveal that Facebook was able to leverage Onavo to learn that WhatsApp was sending more than twice as many messages per day as Facebook Messenger. Onavo  allowed Facebook to spot WhatsApp’s meteoric rise and justify paying $19 billion to buy the chat startup in 2014. WhatsApp has since tripled its user base, demonstrating the power of Onavo’s foresight."

https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/29/facebo...ect-atlas/

It's unfortunate, but the modern consumer gives no excrement about data privacy. JP Morgan? Yahoo? Mariott? All hacked - no perceptible effect on consumers. But far worse is that by and large people don't care about companies intentionally abusing their data without telling them. Facebook and Google are the biggest offenders. You can try it out yourself - AdSense will start modelling ads with data from everywhere. I just bought a new Lenovo laptop through their site and boom, Lenovo ads start popping up everywhere. 

Even your ISPs - I was taken for a tour at SingTel once and it was horrific. They told me they were using mobile location to gather data on people's movements and selling them to customers, for example retailers or shopping mall owners. Even the government and especially the government. An industry guy told me about how Planatir has an office in Singapore. This means they have business here. Now according to their website, Planatir does data management and analysis and other corporate jargon, but what it really does as its primary business is sell software to aggregate the vast amounts of electronic data gathered in national surveillance into actionable intelligence. Its a big business. And frankly the Singapore government has unlimited powers to compel everyone from corporations to individuals to hand them data with non-existent oversight. Laws like the Personal Data Protection Act apply to companies, not the government. In the Snowden leaks, Singapore was revealed to be tapping undersea cables. Real time inspection of packets is also a given.

In this day and age, data privacy and security is earned, not given. Here are some tips if you want to keep your data private.

- Assume every piece of data you create and receive is tracked.
- Use incognito mode or the equivalent in your browser, do not log in with gmail on Chrome. Google and other companies will tie your behavior to your IP, but through gmail it can track you anywhere on Earth.
- Whatever you post on social media or corporate sites they can use. Its up to you to decide how much you want to share. These companies business fundamentally rely on grabbing user data so there's really no "private" social media site.
- Duckduckgo is a free untracked search engine. You can also try Yandex, a Russian search engine which has a better reverse image search and as far as I know is not working with Google.
- Mobile data location can be tracked through which base station you're transmitting to, giving away your position within several hundred meters of it. In the US, it was possible for individuals to track other individuals.
- Use end to end encryption if you want your messages secure, virtually any third party can be accessed by state actors both foreign and domestic. valuebuddies for example uses the HTTPS standard (you can see it in the URL) so your traffic is probably secure from even state actors. Traffic between the site and us is encrypted, but not the data on valuebuddies itself. 
- End to end encryption only hides what you are transmitting, not where you are transmitting. IP addresses can be plainly seen in ISPs and even third party software providers like Onavo. Use a proper VPN service - VPN services encrypt your traffic and  bounce your traffic off multiple international servers to hide your destination IP. Many VPN services claim to be trackless (meaning your traffic is deleted immediately), but if you don't trust them you can use TOR. The TOR network is an whole load of volunteer relays internationally that your traffic is routed through, AND the exact path is constantly changing. But while the encryption is secure, your local ISP can still see encrypted traffic is being routed to TOR servers. BUT be aware of the TOR exit node - this is the server where your traffic hits the Internet. If someone has control of this, they can see what your destination IP is (what site you are going to).
- For email there are free end to end encrypters like ProtonMail. Anything email you can read from more than one computer is not end to end.
- Do not use the same password. Sites routinely get hacked and while password storage is supposedly secure, they often are not. It just takes one weak site to lose everything even to random strangers. Is your valuebuddies password the same as any other accounts'? Probably. Don't do this. https://haveibeenpwned.com/ is a free site to check if an email associated with an account has been compromised. Note that in certain cases was the password you used for that site cracked. Most sites store your passwords in one-way encryption, but some like Yahoo used encryption so weak the passwords could be cracked, meaning anyone could see what the password for that account was.
- Read the terms and conditions! Governments are practically extralegal, but companies are still (largely) bound by laws. https://tosdr.org/ is a free site that will read the terms and conditions for you and flag out all the bad parts with a rating.
- The most difficult and troublesome part would be securing your computer. Unfortunately this is tricky and unlikely to stop any state actors because they have the resources to research zero day vulnerabilities - vulnerabilities that no in the world knows about yet and hence cannot patch. Thankfully, you are also unlikely to be the target of any state actors (unless valuebuddies lead more interesting lives that I thought). The basics you can do is install a virus scanner to stop widespread malware. This is however moot if you give administrative access to untrusted programs when installing. 
- Android is a sausage fest of malware even on the PlayStore. Install a virus scanner, I'd recommend VirusTotal or Kaspersky. iOS users can breathe easy, there are no known malware for unrooted iOS phones.

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10-02-2019, 04:52 PM.
Post: #152
RE: Facebook Inc.
It seems that anything that's online or stored on a server isn't safe. Maybe people don't care about their data being stolen/collected because they don't consider themselves and their data important enough to be kept private.

It's hard to divorce from the online world since, even with the exception of social media, there are so many other essential day-to-day apps that people use.

https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/article/2...-can-do-it

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11-02-2019, 10:20 AM. (This post was last modified: 11-02-2019, 10:22 AM by specuvestor.)
Post: #153
RE: Facebook Inc.
Nice write up Kaimin

That's why I don't have FB, instagram etc. People who don't understand tech has no fear. Those who know tech covers their camera and microphones the old fashion analog way ie with tape. Even Jeff Bezos or NASA not spared... why would automobile companies etc be bulletproof?

People embrace driverless cars, targeted marketing, big data etc, even cashless payments. Governments would love to abolish cash and all things go digital so that every cent you spent can be tracked.

I still remember the days when people kick a big fuss about Intel chips having specific identifier. Maybe the perverse positive is that people may be more careful to post fake news.
=========== Signature ===========
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11-02-2019, 10:18 PM. (This post was last modified: 11-02-2019, 10:20 PM by weijian.)
Post: #154
RE: Facebook Inc.
We have heard about how Walmart and Home Depot squeezed their suppliers and many of them out of business. Moving from brick/mortar to online, it is no difference.

The BuzzFeed Lesson

That’s the thing, though: all of the big aggregators have been pursuing similar policies for years. To point to short-term pressure, whether that be falling China iPhone sales or Facebook ad load saturation is to miss the broader point: the more dominant an aggregator the more powerless the supply, and none of these companies are in the charity business.

https://stratechery.com/2019/the-buzzfeed-lesson/

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20-03-2019, 01:48 PM.
Post: #155
RE: Facebook Inc.
Instagram is opening a whole new revenue stream. Now the 130 million people who tap Instagram’s product tags on shopping posts will be able to buy those items without leaving the app, thanks to stored payment info. “Checkout with Instagram” launches today in the U.S. with more than 20 top brands, including Adidas, Kylie Cosmetics and Warby Parker, which will no longer have to direct customers to their websites to make a purchase.

https://techcrunch.com/2019/03/19/instagram-checkout

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20-03-2019, 06:38 PM.
Post: #156
RE: Facebook Inc.
(09-02-2019, 12:00 AM)Kaimin Wrote:
(08-02-2019, 01:34 PM)BRT Wrote: article sheds some light on the whatsapp acquisition. overall very interesting read n shows the power of big tech today. facebook keeps with data sniffing n other violations... consumers have to choice but to spectate? get victimized slowly through the loss of control n privacy? even the act of apple "standing up" for consumers and removing disobeying apps from the store is such a powerful one.

"Facebook first got into the data-sniffing business when it acquired Onavo for around $120 million in 2014. The VPN app helped users track and minimize their mobile data plan usage, but also gave Facebook deep analytics about what other apps they were using. Internal documents acquired by Charlie Warzel and Ryan Mac of BuzzFeed News reveal that Facebook was able to leverage Onavo to learn that WhatsApp was sending more than twice as many messages per day as Facebook Messenger. Onavo  allowed Facebook to spot WhatsApp’s meteoric rise and justify paying $19 billion to buy the chat startup in 2014. WhatsApp has since tripled its user base, demonstrating the power of Onavo’s foresight."

https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/29/facebo...ect-atlas/

It's unfortunate, but the modern consumer gives no excrement about data privacy. JP Morgan? Yahoo? Mariott? All hacked - no perceptible effect on consumers. But far worse is that by and large people don't care about companies intentionally abusing their data without telling them. Facebook and Google are the biggest offenders. You can try it out yourself - AdSense will start modelling ads with data from everywhere. I just bought a new Lenovo laptop through their site and boom, Lenovo ads start popping up everywhere. 

Even your ISPs - I was taken for a tour at SingTel once and it was horrific. They told me they were using mobile location to gather data on people's movements and selling them to customers, for example retailers or shopping mall owners. Even the government and especially the government. An industry guy told me about how Planatir has an office in Singapore. This means they have business here. Now according to their website, Planatir does data management and analysis and other corporate jargon, but what it really does as its primary business is sell software to aggregate the vast amounts of electronic data gathered in national surveillance into actionable intelligence. Its a big business. And frankly the Singapore government has unlimited powers to compel everyone from corporations to individuals to hand them data with non-existent oversight. Laws like the Personal Data Protection Act apply to companies, not the government. In the Snowden leaks, Singapore was revealed to be tapping undersea cables. Real time inspection of packets is also a given.

In this day and age, data privacy and security is earned, not given. Here are some tips if you want to keep your data private.

- Assume every piece of data you create and receive is tracked.
- Use incognito mode or the equivalent in your browser, do not log in with gmail on Chrome. Google and other companies will tie your behavior to your IP, but through gmail it can track you anywhere on Earth.
- Whatever you post on social media or corporate sites they can use. Its up to you to decide how much you want to share. These companies business fundamentally rely on grabbing user data so there's really no "private" social media site.
- Duckduckgo is a free untracked search engine. You can also try Yandex, a Russian search engine which has a better reverse image search and as far as I know is not working with Google.
- Mobile data location can be tracked through which base station you're transmitting to, giving away your position within several hundred meters of it. In the US, it was possible for individuals to track other individuals.
- Use end to end encryption if you want your messages secure, virtually any third party can be accessed by state actors both foreign and domestic. valuebuddies for example uses the HTTPS standard (you can see it in the URL) so your traffic is probably secure from even state actors. Traffic between the site and us is encrypted, but not the data on valuebuddies itself. 
- End to end encryption only hides what you are transmitting, not where you are transmitting. IP addresses can be plainly seen in ISPs and even third party software providers like Onavo. Use a proper VPN service - VPN services encrypt your traffic and  bounce your traffic off multiple international servers to hide your destination IP. Many VPN services claim to be trackless (meaning your traffic is deleted immediately), but if you don't trust them you can use TOR. The TOR network is an whole load of volunteer relays internationally that your traffic is routed through, AND the exact path is constantly changing. But while the encryption is secure, your local ISP can still see encrypted traffic is being routed to TOR servers. BUT be aware of the TOR exit node - this is the server where your traffic hits the Internet. If someone has control of this, they can see what your destination IP is (what site you are going to).
- For email there are free end to end encrypters like ProtonMail. Anything email you can read from more than one computer is not end to end.
- Do not use the same password. Sites routinely get hacked and while password storage is supposedly secure, they often are not. It just takes one weak site to lose everything even to random strangers. Is your valuebuddies password the same as any other accounts'? Probably. Don't do this. https://haveibeenpwned.com/ is a free site to check if an email associated with an account has been compromised. Note that in certain cases was the password you used for that site cracked. Most sites store your passwords in one-way encryption, but some like Yahoo used encryption so weak the passwords could be cracked, meaning anyone could see what the password for that account was.
- Read the terms and conditions! Governments are practically extralegal, but companies are still (largely) bound by laws. https://tosdr.org/ is a free site that will read the terms and conditions for you and flag out all the bad parts with a rating.
- The most difficult and troublesome part would be securing your computer. Unfortunately this is tricky and unlikely to stop any state actors because they have the resources to research zero day vulnerabilities - vulnerabilities that no in the world knows about yet and hence cannot patch. Thankfully, you are also unlikely to be the target of any state actors (unless valuebuddies lead more interesting lives that I thought). The basics you can do is install a virus scanner to stop widespread malware. This is however moot if you give administrative access to untrusted programs when installing. 
- Android is a sausage fest of malware even on the PlayStore. Install a virus scanner, I'd recommend VirusTotal or Kaspersky. iOS users can breathe easy, there are no known malware for unrooted iOS phones.

especially the gov indeed! the sg gov is sooo enticed by the whole smart nation / "data is the new oil" idea i'm quite fearful when things take a wrong spin, as they invariably will. thanks for the tips on how to protect yourself/lead a more data-secure life. those are typically not within the understand of the layman, which is itself a prob, and also shows how far out of the way of the default you got to go to safeguard yourself. brave new world.

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20-03-2019, 10:25 PM.
Post: #157
RE: Facebook Inc.
When used correctly, technology like Social Media is a form of "leverage". Just look at Obama,  Bernie Sanders, and more recently Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. It gives the once powerless (i.e. moneyless) a voice, a way to make a difference to established powers that once, monopolized the mouthpiece (traditional media).

Re-post from my Twitter account (https://twitter.com/Wildreamz/status/106...9422874625):
Quote:Back in 2008, I wrote a paper about how #SocialMedia platforms like #Facebook, #Twitter and #YouTube are essential for democracy. Because social media dramatically lowered the cost for ideas to spread; governments, the rich, and the powerful no longer have a monopoly on public dialogue, and thus, could be kept in check.

Fast-forward 2018, things took a different turn. Many people are rightfully questioning whether social media has broken democracy. As some platforms have become so easily abused by malicious entities (liars, demagogues, foreign governments etc.).

But if it weren’t for social media, would genuine grassroot efforts like the election of Obama, the rise and popularity of Bernie Sanders, or the post-2010s “democracy uprisings” around the world, have happened as easily? What about charitable events that are organized over social media; and socially progressive movements where the public are educated/spurred on by social media?

Throughout history, anything that could be abused, WILL be abused. Let alone something as powerful as social media. Should suicide live-streams, lies, propaganda, misinformation, inciteful messages be protected by the First Amendment? Should enclaves that breed extremist ideas (religious terrorism, neo-Nazism etc.) through lies, misinformation and manipulation be proactively shut down? How to draw the line? Who should draw the line?

How many people would be harmed while we wait for the perfect answers to these questions? Sadly, the world isn’t perfect, we need imperfect solutions to deal with unsolvable problems. Erring on the side of safety, not ideology.

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram are not the only platforms for speech; nor are they government-sanctioned platforms. They're privately owned forums and should have the right to lay their own ground rules. If you don’t like them, leave and make your own forum (there are plenty of tools out there). Sadly, social media platforms are too slow to react to evolving issues; or to come up with good solutions.

For the longest time, Facebook has been sloppy with user data, and slow to react when problems arise; perhaps, even willfully so (management shakeup is necessary IMO; “responsibility” should not be a term used for lip-service only). But at the end of the day, my 2018 self still believe that the world needs social media as a democratizing tool; whether it is by Facebook or someone else.
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“If you buy a business just because it’s undervalued, then you have to worry about selling it when it reaches its intrinsic value. That’s hard. But if you can buy a few great companies, then you can sit on your ass. That’s a good thing.” - Charlie Munger

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15-04-2019, 06:51 PM.
Post: #158
RE: Facebook Inc.
yeah and not just those without traditional capital (i.e. moneyless) but also those lacking in political capital. for the lky house saga, lee hsien yang prob cant utilize traditional media so all his posts are on facebook. which is currently still out of the gov's reach. for now.

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15-04-2019, 07:03 PM.
Post: #159
RE: Facebook Inc.
zuckerberg recently posted "A Privacy-Focused Vision for Social Networking" [a] which touched on what i personally feel are the big 3 issues of tech today (goes much beyond fb), among many others -
1) big tech vs government
2) loss of privacy
3) the right to be forgotten

anyway, some quotable quotes:
"This may seem extreme, but we've had a case where one of our employees was actually jailed for not providing access to someone's private information even though we couldn't access it since it was encrypted."
> wow.

"Secure data storage. People should expect that we won't store sensitive data in countries with weak records on human rights like privacy and freedom of expression in order to protect data from being improperly accessed."
> i wonder how fb feels abt our fake news laws [b] and whether theyre as keen abt building their dc here [c]

[a] https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark-zuck...570096634/
[b] https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/dr...-out-truth
[c] https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/tec...a-10688962

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