http://facecrooks.com Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:16:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v= Government Requests For Facebook User Data Are Up 13 Percent http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Government-Requests-For-Facebook-User-Data-Are-Up-13-Percent.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Government-Requests-For-Facebook-User-Data-Are-Up-13-Percent.html/#comments Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:16:10 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=9951 The post Government Requests For Facebook User Data Are Up 13 Percent appeared first on .

According to Facebook’s biannual transparency report released this week, government requests for Facebook user data rose 13 percent in the second half of 2015. The number of posts the site censored to comply with local laws around the world also doubled. Facebook received 19,235 requests for user data from the U.S. government, by far the…

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online_privacy_150According to Facebook’s biannual transparency report released this week, government requests for Facebook user data rose 13 percent in the second half of 2015. The number of posts the site censored to comply with local laws around the world also doubled.

Facebook received 19,235 requests for user data from the U.S. government, by far the most from any country in the world. (India is a distant second with a little over 5,200 requests.) Facebook provided the information in about 81 percent of cases, and in about 60 percent of cases the request came with a gag order — meaning Facebook couldn’t tell affected users that their info had been handed over to the government. Interestingly, the nearly-doubled amount of censored posts stem almost entirely from one photo in France in the wake of the Paris terror attacks that needed to be removed.

The site was also quick to emphasize that it does not provide government agencies with direct access to user info, and that it is willing to fight for user privacy when it feels it’s appropriate.

“As we have emphasized many times, Facebook does not provide any government with ‘back doors’ or direct access to people’s data. We scrutinize each request for user data we receive for legal sufficiency, no matter which country is making the request. If a request appears to be deficient or overly broad, we push back hard and will fight in court, if necessary,” Facebook said.

It’s good that Facebook is transparent in its cooperation with the government, but the fact that so much information still gets handed over is troubling, to say the least.


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Facebook Says Its “Empathy” Helps You Stay Secure http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Says-Its-%e2%80%9cEmpathy%e2%80%9d-Helps-You-Stay-Secure.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Says-Its-%e2%80%9cEmpathy%e2%80%9d-Helps-You-Stay-Secure.html/#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 20:24:34 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=9949 The post Facebook Says Its “Empathy” Helps You Stay Secure appeared first on .

Facebook product manager Melissa Luu-Van wrote an article in the Harvard Business Review this week detailing the company’s unique approach to helping users protect their privacy. Instead of focusing solely on the technological aspect of cyber security, Luu-Van says that Facebook also addresses the “human context” of these problems in three empathetic ways.  First, the…

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facebook-security-2Facebook product manager Melissa Luu-Van wrote an article in the Harvard Business Review this week detailing the company’s unique approach to helping users protect their privacy. Instead of focusing solely on the technological aspect of cyber security, Luu-Van says that Facebook also addresses the “human context” of these problems in three empathetic ways. 

First, the site says that it researches consumer challenges and needs. For instance, when it asked several user focus groups of about their biggest security concerns, Facebook learned a few key insights.

“Overwhelmingly, people told us they wanted more control; simply knowing that Facebook was working behind the scenes to protect their accounts wasn’t enough,” Luu-Van wrote. “We learned that many Facebook users were unaware of all the security features we offer to add extra protection to their accounts — but once they learned about them, they were eager to use them.”

Second, Facebook created cross-functional teams for a greater diversity of thought in how to solve security issues. Finally, the site learned to focus on “outcomes”, or how secure its users actually are. Facebook began introducing small tweaks that users could make to protect themselves, and talking about these changes in simple and easy-to-understand language.

“Because online security can be a daunting topic, many people shy away from being proactive about it,” Luu-Van wrote. “So encouraging people to start with small steps can go a long way.”

While there’s no doubt that Facebook could do more to protect our privacy, the simple steps it has taken are quite effective.

Be sure to check out our complete walk-through of the major Facebook privacy and security settings.


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Schools In Florida Are Spying On Students’ Social Media http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Schools-In-Florida-Are-Spying-On-Students%e2%80%99-Social-Media.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Schools-In-Florida-Are-Spying-On-Students%e2%80%99-Social-Media.html/#comments Tue, 26 Apr 2016 19:53:31 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=9947 The post Schools In Florida Are Spying On Students’ Social Media appeared first on .

The school system in Orange County, Florida, renewed a program this week that allows it to spy on students’ social media profiles using monitoring software called SnapTrends. The software, which the school district pays about $18,000 annually to use, “grabs and analyzes” social media messages posted from the district’s campuses. It’s capable of combing through…

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Technology SecurityThe school system in Orange County, Florida, renewed a program this week that allows it to spy on students’ social media profiles using monitoring software called SnapTrends.

The software, which the school district pays about $18,000 annually to use, “grabs and analyzes” social media messages posted from the district’s campuses. It’s capable of combing through thousands of messages for keywords that may indicate trouble, and in the year since the school district first started using it, SnapTrends has led to 12 police investigations.

Acccording to the school district, they are scanning students’ social media posts for cases of cyberbullying, suicide threats or other criminal activity. School security staff reviews flagged posts and then passes them on to police if they deem it appropriate. However, this widespread monitoring has understandably stirred up controversy. Does this kind of spying intrude too much on the students’ right to privacy, and just how far could it reach if unchecked?

“Is this data then gonna be tied to a student’s permanent school record?” privacy and social media attorney Bradley S. Shear told The Washington Post. “Does the company have proper policies in place that delete this data after a certain period of time? These are some questions that need to be asked.”

Shear also said that the money spent on SnapTrends could instead be used for social media education, teaching children how to strengthen their privacy and better protect themselves online.

While the monitoring program’s effectiveness is not in doubt, the question does need to be asked: is it right to do?


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Over One Million Users Are Accessing Facebook With Secure Tor Network http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Over-One-Million-Users-Are-Accessing-Facebook-With-Secure-Tor-Network.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Over-One-Million-Users-Are-Accessing-Facebook-With-Secure-Tor-Network.html/#comments Sat, 23 Apr 2016 13:30:56 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=9945 The post Over One Million Users Are Accessing Facebook With Secure Tor Network appeared first on .

According to Facebook, more than one million people connected to the site in the past month over the secure and private Tor network. Though Tor is often associated with illicit “dark web” activities, it ‘s also a valuable tool for users who want to completely preserve their privacy. The network functions by disguising users’ identify…

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facebook-privacy3According to Facebook, more than one million people connected to the site in the past month over the secure and private Tor network.

Though Tor is often associated with illicit “dark web” activities, it ‘s also a valuable tool for users who want to completely preserve their privacy. The network functions by disguising users’ identify and location, sending their information to a network of servers all over the world.

“People who choose to communicate over Tor do so for a variety of reasons related to privacy, security and safety,” the site wrote in its announcement. “It’s important to us to provide methods for people to use our services securely — particularly if they lack reliable methods to do so… This growth is a reflection of the choices that people make to use Facebook over Tor, and the value that it provides them.”

Facebook also said that its Tor traffic has grown in a “roughly linear” pattern since last June, when it announced that about 525,000 people accessed the site securely every month. That would mean about 50,000 new users start accessing Facebook through this shadowy tool every month.

While Tor may get a bad rap in the mainstream press for its criminal connections, it’s undoubtedly a great way for web surfers to  preserve their privacy.


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Lawyers Accused Of Facebook Spying Could Be Guilty of Ethics Violation http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Lawyers-Accused-Of-Facebook-Spying-Could-Be-Guilty-Ethics-Violation.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Lawyers-Accused-Of-Facebook-Spying-Could-Be-Guilty-Ethics-Violation.html/#comments Wed, 20 Apr 2016 12:25:37 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=9943 The post Lawyers Accused Of Facebook Spying Could Be Guilty of Ethics Violation appeared first on .

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled this week that two lawyers accused of spying on a plaintiff’s private Facebook page can be prosecuted for attorney misconduct. The case began in 2007 when a police officer allegedly hit a pedestrian, Dennis Hernandez, with his car. Hernandez claimed he suffered permanent injuries, and sued the police department,…

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facebook-privacyThe New Jersey Supreme Court ruled this week that two lawyers accused of spying on a plaintiff’s private Facebook page can be prosecuted for attorney misconduct.

The case began in 2007 when a police officer allegedly hit a pedestrian, Dennis Hernandez, with his car. Hernandez claimed he suffered permanent injuries, and sued the police department, the officer and the town. The two attorneys who represented the town told a paralegal to dig up some dirt on Hernandez online, and the paralegal gathered information from his public Facebook page.

However, Hernandez eventually set his profile to a private mode. But that allegedly didn’t stop the two lawyers. They told their paralegal to find a way to access his profile, and she sent him a friend request, which he accepted. The lawyers were then able to view videos and images on Hernandez’s profile that showed him moving around, thereby illustrating that he possibly wasn’t as injured as he claimed. They presented screenshots of his profile in court, which ultimately led to the ethics complaint.

For their part, the two attorneys have denied engaging in unethical behavior, claiming they were “unfamiliar with the different privacy settings on Facebook.” The attorney that represented them in front of the Supreme Court, Michael Stein, made a similar argument.

“We’re trying to apply analog rules to a digital world, and they don’t fit neatly in the environment we’re now operating in,” he said.

There’s no clear-cut legal answer to this case, but if a ruling comes down against the snooping lawyers, it could mean good things for all of our Facebook privacy.


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Facebook Denies Speculation That It Would Influence Election http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Denies-Speculation-That-It-Would-Influence-Election.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Denies-Speculation-That-It-Would-Influence-Election.html/#comments Mon, 18 Apr 2016 20:43:08 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=9941 The post Facebook Denies Speculation That It Would Influence Election appeared first on .

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg raised some eyebrows at the company’s annual F8 developer conference last week, appearing to take a veiled shot at Presidential candidate Donald Trump in his keynote speech. “I hear fearful voices calling for building walls and distancing people they label as ‘others,’” he said. “I hear them calling for blocking free…

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facebook-monthly-fee1-300x202Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg raised some eyebrows at the company’s annual F8 developer conference last week, appearing to take a veiled shot at Presidential candidate Donald Trump in his keynote speech.

“I hear fearful voices calling for building walls and distancing people they label as ‘others,’” he said. “I hear them calling for blocking free expression, for slowing immigration, for reducing trade, and in some cases, even for cutting access to the Internet.”

Then, Gizmodo obtained an alleged screenshot of a Facebook employee poll gauging what questions should be asked of Zuckerberg at an internal company Q&A. The fifth-most voted for question was “What responsibility does Facebook have to help prevent President Trump in 2017?”

All of that led to speculation: could (or would) Facebook actively work to prevent Donald Trump from becoming President? The site would be well within its First Amendment rights to do so; publications are allowed to cover or not cover anything they want. But Facebook responded forcefully to the speculation, denying that it would ever do anything to influence an election.

“We encourage any and all candidates, groups, and voters to use our platform to share their views on the election and debate the issues,” the site said in a statement. “We as a company are neutral — we have not and will not use our products in a way that attempts to influence how people vote.”

While it’s good thing for democracy that Facebook doesn’t want use its power to sway elections, it’s also pretty scary that it could if it wanted to.


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Facebook Wants Its AI To View All Of Your Videos, Auto-Tag You And Your Friends http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Wants-Its-AI-To-View-All-Of-Your-Videos-Auto-Tag-You-And-Your-Friends.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Wants-Its-AI-To-View-All-Of-Your-Videos-Auto-Tag-You-And-Your-Friends.html/#comments Sat, 16 Apr 2016 16:34:04 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=9939 The post Facebook Wants Its AI To View All Of Your Videos, Auto-Tag You And Your Friends appeared first on .

Facebook introduced an Artificial Intelligence-powered auto-tagging feature for video this week at its annual F8 developer conference. The feature will be able to both auto-tag you and your friends, and also log the exact moment they appear in the frame. At the conference, Facebook’s director of applied machine learning Joaquin Quinonero Candela showed an example…

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Technology SecurityFacebook introduced an Artificial Intelligence-powered auto-tagging feature for video this week at its annual F8 developer conference. The feature will be able to both auto-tag you and your friends, and also log the exact moment they appear in the frame.

At the conference, Facebook’s director of applied machine learning Joaquin Quinonero Candela showed an example video featuring two Facebook employees. Their faces were recognized and tagged. Two other people walk by in the background, and their faces were recognized and tagged, too.

“Importantly, the specific frames — the time stamps where they appear — are tagged too,” he said at the conference. “Imagine the power this could give you to search through tens of millions of videos and find specifically the ones that contain the people you’re interested in seeing. And jump straight to the place where they appear.”

What does this all mean? In essence, Facebook’s AI will watch every Live Video in the world, tag it and make it searchable. If you think that sounds a little bit like Big Brother, well… You’re right. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to control who tags you in photos and how you’re tagged with a few simple steps. Check out this blog post to learn how.


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Facebook Promises Messenger Bots At F8 Conference, Raises Privacy Concerns http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Promises-Messenger-Bots-At-F8-Conference-Raises-Privacy-Concerns.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Promises-Messenger-Bots-At-F8-Conference-Raises-Privacy-Concerns.html/#comments Thu, 14 Apr 2016 13:26:40 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=9937 The post Facebook Promises Messenger Bots At F8 Conference, Raises Privacy Concerns appeared first on .

At its annual F8 developer conference this week, Facebook unveiled plans to introduce chat bots onto its Messenger platform — including bots representing many popular brands. There are already bots on Facebook, but the news this week means that anyone can now make a Messenger bot powered by Facebook’s Bot Engine. This kind of “conversational…

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The post Facebook Promises Messenger Bots At F8 Conference, Raises Privacy Concerns appeared first on .

messenger_icon_2At its annual F8 developer conference this week, Facebook unveiled plans to introduce chat bots onto its Messenger platform — including bots representing many popular brands.

There are already bots on Facebook, but the news this week means that anyone can now make a Messenger bot powered by Facebook’s Bot Engine. This kind of “conversational commerce” may be the future, but it also raises some uncomfortable concerns for users who may not wish to interact with a company masquerading as an individual. In addition, this kind of simple-one click buying tool could allow hackers to rack up huge purchases easily on someone else’s dime.

The BBC spoke with Facebook’s head of messaging David Marcus about the issue of hacking, and his response wasn’t exactly reassuring.

“The reality is when you think about the number of people who are on the Facebook platform, and how well protected their account is compared to general practice around the world, we feel good that we have best-in-class protections that will protect those accounts better than most companies at a smaller scale can,” Marcus said. “We’ll continue to build better and better systems.”

In other words: Facebook has pretty good security as it is, so don’t worry about it. Marcus also encouraged users to sign up for two-factor authentication to secure their profiles.

Time will tell if these bots are a security problem, but for now, the site should expect some skeptical users upon its rollout.  


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Facebook Locked In Battle Against Fake News http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Locked-In-Battle-Against-Fake-News.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Locked-In-Battle-Against-Fake-News.html/#comments Wed, 13 Apr 2016 12:03:21 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=9935 The post Facebook Locked In Battle Against Fake News appeared first on .

Facebook vowed last January that it would crack down on hoax news stories with an improved News Feed feature that allowed users to flag them as fake. However, as BuzzFeed News reported this week, these false viral stories are still alive and well on the site. Some of the major fake news distributors, like National…

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Fake signFacebook vowed last January that it would crack down on hoax news stories with an improved News Feed feature that allowed users to flag them as fake. However, as BuzzFeed News reported this week, these false viral stories are still alive and well on the site.

Some of the major fake news distributors, like National Report, saw engagement take a hit in 2015. However, according to data analyzed by BuzzFeed News, those figures were already rebounding by the end of last year.

Of course, Facebook has good reason to want to get rid of these sites. They take advantage of users’ curiosity by getting them to click to a link, generating ad revenue for the hoax story provider. Not only do these fakes go viral naturally, but they’re also often promoted by celebrities and radio stations. This lends them a convincing legitimacy.

All in all, it may be an uphill battle for Facebook to entirely rid itself of fake news. As National Report creator Allen Montgomery explained, even if Facebook shuts down one provider, there will always be more waiting to take its place.

“They can shut down National Report. Of course they can do that,” he said. “But I could have 100 domains set up in a week, and are they going to stop every one of those? Are they now going to read content from every site and determine which ones are true and which ones are selling you a lie? I don’t see that happening. That’s not the way that the Internet works.”


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Hackers Will Break Into Your Facebook, Other Accounts For Only $129 http://facecrooks.com/Scam-Watch/Hackers-Will-Break-Into-Your-Facebook-Other-Accounts-For-Only-129.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Scam-Watch/Hackers-Will-Break-Into-Your-Facebook-Other-Accounts-For-Only-129.html/#comments Mon, 11 Apr 2016 23:30:09 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=9932 The post Hackers Will Break Into Your Facebook, Other Accounts For Only $129 appeared first on .

According to a new report from Dell SecureWorks, anyone can hire a hacker to break into a Facebook, Gmail, Yahoo or other account for just $129. Just like any other business market, Dell says that these hackers provide expert service to differentiate themselves from the competition. (Some even offer after-sales support.) The going rate for…

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skeleton_hackerAccording to a new report from Dell SecureWorks, anyone can hire a hacker to break into a Facebook, Gmail, Yahoo or other account for just $129.

Just like any other business market, Dell says that these hackers provide expert service to differentiate themselves from the competition. (Some even offer after-sales support.) The going rate for hacking a work email is about $500, while some services provide a DIY hacking tutorial for anywhere between $20 and $40. A malicious spender could even “dox” someone (have a hacker dig up and release the targeted individual’s personal information) for only $19.99.

“Prices and goods are not the only way sellers are distinguishing themselves. There also continues to be a focus on salesmanship,” Dell said. “Compared to the report last year, our security experts noted this time around that many hackers were expanding their working hours to include weekends and even promising to be available 24 hours a day.”

It’s a scary world out there, but as long as you secure your Facebook with all of the privacy tools the site provides, you should be fine. Of course, if someone wants to hack you to this degree, it’s pretty hard to stop — but you can at least safeguard yourself enough to slow down an attempt.


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