Facebook is sharing even more data than we thought...

the social data leech

So the New York Times has reported on more questionable data ethics from Facebook. Basically the social media giant has arranged deals with 60 device manufacturers (can you name them all). Companies such as Apple, Amazon and Blackberry have been implicated in the report and the news is not good!

To summarise the article (it is very well written, if you want more info then you probably should go and check it out), Facebook came to arrangements with the aforementioned device manufacturers to share data about Facebook usage directly with the user's device (you know, like your iPhone, Galaxy, etc). This means that when you use the Facebook app on your phone (even if you refuse to allow it to access your photos, contacts, etc), Facebook shares data about your usage with the device.

This means that device manufacturers such as Amazon, Samsung (or anyone else implicated) are hoovering up your personal data and using it to profile you, all without telling you. Not only that, some manufacturers are also collecting data about your friends and relations as well!

Apparently Facebook is "scaling back" this operation, but it has been going on secretly for 6 years now, unknown to its users.

In the wake of the Cambridge Analyitca scandal, Facebook could already be looking at massive fines (not to mention a load of negative press), this latest story is really not going to help the social media company.

From my perspective though, it really doesn't surprise me. I have slowly distanced myself from Facebook over the years (as have many developers I know), largely for concerns such as this. Really it begs the question, how much is your data worth to you? Or, maybe more importantly, how much do these companies actually know about you?

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