http://facecrooks.com Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:57:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v= Germany Wants Facebook To Toughen Up On Hate Speech http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Germany-Wants-Facebook-To-Toughen-Up-On-Hate-Speech.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Germany-Wants-Facebook-To-Toughen-Up-On-Hate-Speech.html/#comments Fri, 28 Aug 2015 18:41:12 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=9525 The post Germany Wants Facebook To Toughen Up On Hate Speech appeared first on .

This week, Germany’s minister of justice and consumer protection wrote a letter to Facebook’s European public policy director urging the site to crack down harder on racist hate speech language. The minister, Heiko Maas, wrote the letter shortly after riots erupted in Germany at a neo-Nazi protest of a refugee shelter. Maas was critical of…

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facebook_censorThis week, Germany’s minister of justice and consumer protection wrote a letter to Facebook’s European public policy director urging the site to crack down harder on racist hate speech language.

The minister, Heiko Maas, wrote the letter shortly after riots erupted in Germany at a neo-Nazi protest of a refugee shelter. Maas was critical of Facebook’s fast response to censoring content that’s sexual in nature, but its slow and sometimes inconsistent policing of racist posts.

“Facebook users are, in particular, complaining increasingly that your company is not effectively stopping racist ‘posts’ and comments despite their pointing out concrete examples,” he wrote. “Photos of certain body parts are automatically deleted because of moral concerns, yet racist and xenophobic statements aren’t immediately removed.”

Though Facebook’s Community Standards do ban hate speech of any kind, the site tends to err on the side of free speech rights and can let some pretty offensive language and content remain posted. However, the site has expressed interest in meeting with the German minister to discuss the issues he raised.

Some offensive content is always going to slip through the cracks with a website the size of Facebook, but there’s no doubt that the site needs to do a better job of policing itself and rely less on users to report it.



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Court: Facebook Can Be Used As Evidence In Custody Battle http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Court-Facebook-Can-Be-Used-As-Evidence-In-Custody-Battle.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Court-Facebook-Can-Be-Used-As-Evidence-In-Custody-Battle.html/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 14:33:33 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=9520 The post Court: Facebook Can Be Used As Evidence In Custody Battle appeared first on .

The whole idea of social media sites like Facebook is to create a reflection of your real life online and display it to your friends. However, your friends aren’t necessarily the only ones who can observe your lifestyle and behavior. One woman found that out the hard way this week when her Facebook profile was…

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Technology SecurityThe whole idea of social media sites like Facebook is to create a reflection of your real life online and display it to your friends. However, your friends aren’t necessarily the only ones who can observe your lifestyle and behavior. One woman found that out the hard way this week when her Facebook profile was used as evidence against her in a custody battle.

The man in the case, Anthony DiMartino, argued that his estranged wife’s Facebook page would show that she was frequently out of the country while he was responsible for raising their four-year-old child by himself. But the mother, Christina Antoine, said that her profile information is private, and that she unfriended her husband when they split. There wasn’t a precedent for Facebook being used as evidence in cases like this, so Antoine thought she was in the clear. However, in what could prove to be a landmark ruling, the court agreed with DiMartino and ordered Antoine to turn over her Facebook log in information by September 14.

“I think that as they begin to understand what a treasure trove of data there is, and as they begin to understand the technology behind it . . . it gets treated like any other evidence assuming it’s reliable,” lawyer Michael Stutman told the New York Post.

It’s sad but true: even seemingly innocuous Facebook posts – like pictures of where you’ve traveled – can come back to haunt you. To best protect yourself,  be careful what you post on the site in the first place. Even if you set your privacy settings appropriately, a judge’s order could force you to reveal information you once thought private.



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Facebook Accused Of Censoring Immigration Job Data http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Accused-Of-Censoring-Immigration-Job-Data.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Accused-Of-Censoring-Immigration-Job-Data.html/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 19:17:45 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=9516 The post Facebook Accused Of Censoring Immigration Job Data appeared first on .

Facebook was again accused of censoring political-minded content on its site this week when it temporarily banned users from posting reports from immigration watchdog group the Center For Immigration Studies. The center, which leans politically to the right and often publishes information used by anti-immigration advocates, released a study this week indicating that many open…

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facebook_blackbg_logoFacebook was again accused of censoring political-minded content on its site this week when it temporarily banned users from posting reports from immigration watchdog group the Center For Immigration Studies.

The center, which leans politically to the right and often publishes information used by anti-immigration advocates, released a study this week indicating that many open job positions in the United States are filled by immigrant workers. However, when Facebook users tried to share the study on their profiles, they were told that the content was “abusive” and they could not share it.

Facebook later reversed its stance and apologized for blocking the content, but many still felt that the move constituted political censorship from the Silicon Valley company.

“The poor job market is one of the most important issues confronting the country. It is extremely troubling that Facebook would block studies that simply report government data on how immigrants and natives are faring in the U.S. job market,” said Steven Camarota, the center’s director of research. “These reports have received a good deal of attention from various media outlets and have been discussed by members of Congress. It is absurd to suggest they are ‘abusive.’”

Even though the blocked content was likely an honest mistake, the speed with which people leapt to the conclusion that Facebook was up to something fishy shows just how little trust users have in its intentions.



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Update: Harvard Student Fires Back After Losing Facebook Internship http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Update-Harvard-Student-Fires-Back.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Update-Harvard-Student-Fires-Back.html/#comments Mon, 24 Aug 2015 14:14:28 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=9512 The post Update: Harvard Student Fires Back After Losing Facebook Internship appeared first on .

Harvard student Aran Khanna was supposed to begin a summer internship with Facebook when he had the position abruptly taken away from him in May. Why? Because he created a Google Chrome browser extension that highlighted a major privacy flaw on the site. The student’s tool, Marauder’s Map, allowed users to see the geolocation of…

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padlock_blue_whiteHarvard student Aran Khanna was supposed to begin a summer internship with Facebook when he had the position abruptly taken away from him in May. Why? Because he created a Google Chrome browser extension that highlighted a major privacy flaw on the site.

The student’s tool, Marauder’s Map, allowed users to see the geolocation of other users they communicated with on Facebook Messenger. Facebook didn’t take kindly to the tool, first asking him to take it down, then stripping him of his internship. At first, the site said he scraped user data from the site, but when Khanna said all of the information was publicly available, they told him that he had “misused” the information. Now Khanna has fired back at the site in a highly public way: with a column in TIME Magazine.

“So much of our lives have shifted online so quickly that it is not always clear how much data we are making accessible to others,” he wrote. “Moving forward, will companies like Facebook be more aware of privacy concerns and more proactive in patching them? Or must we continue to rely on privacy guardians affecting change from the outside?”

Though a Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider that Khanna did not lose his internship because of the exposed privacy flaw, from an outside perspective it certainly seems as if that’s the case. But there is a silver lining: Facebook did fix the loophole, and users must now opt in to location sharing on Messenger.



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Hacker Pleads Guilty For Massive Facebook Scam http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Hacker-Pleads-Guilty-For-Massive-Facebook-Scam.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Hacker-Pleads-Guilty-For-Massive-Facebook-Scam.html/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2015 15:44:29 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=9510 The post Hacker Pleads Guilty For Massive Facebook Scam appeared first on .

A New York hacker pleaded guilty this week to running a massive spam bot program that infected Facebook-connected PCs. The man, Eric Crocker, was charged along with nearly a dozen others for participating in a hacking forum called Darkode. Together, Crocker and others used a spam program called Facebook Spreader to infect PCs that were…

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like_buttonA New York hacker pleaded guilty this week to running a massive spam bot program that infected Facebook-connected PCs.

The man, Eric Crocker, was charged along with nearly a dozen others for participating in a hacking forum called Darkode. Together, Crocker and others used a spam program called Facebook Spreader to infect PCs that were connected to Facebook. From there, the program seized control of the victim’s infected machine and turned it into a bot. The virus would spam messages to an infected user’s friends, and once the link was clicked, it would then infect the message recipient.

According to Reuters, Crocker and the other hackers on the Darkode forum were paid between $200 and $300 for every 10,000 infected computers. That means the group of hackers likely earned over $21 million. Now Crocker faces three years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.

“This operation is a great example of what international law enforcement can accomplish when we work closely together to neutralize a global cybercrime marketplace,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said.

Though it’s a good thing this particular hacker ring was caught, there are many more just like it operating all over social media. To make matters worse, they are often based overseas and not so easy for U.S. law enforcement officials to catch. But there’s really only one surefire way to avoid falling prey to scams like this: don’t click on suspicious links in the first place.



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Harvard Researchers: Facebook’s Privacy Policies Have Become Much Worse http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Harvard-Researchers-Facebook%e2%80%99s-Privacy-Policies-Have-Become-Much-Worse.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Harvard-Researchers-Facebook%e2%80%99s-Privacy-Policies-Have-Become-Much-Worse.html/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 02:56:09 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=9508 The post Harvard Researchers: Facebook’s Privacy Policies Have Become Much Worse appeared first on .

Two Harvard undergraduates published a study last week showing that Facebook’s privacy policies have gradually become much worse since the site’s founding in 2004. The students, Jennifer Shore and Jill Steinman, reviewed old copies of Facebook’s privacy policies from 2005 to 2015. They then ranked each of the site’s privacy policies from 0 to 4,…

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facebook-privacyTwo Harvard undergraduates published a study last week showing that Facebook’s privacy policies have gradually become much worse since the site’s founding in 2004.

The students, Jennifer Shore and Jill Steinman, reviewed old copies of Facebook’s privacy policies from 2005 to 2015. They then ranked each of the site’s privacy policies from 0 to 4, with 0 indicating that a policy didn’t meet a basic privacy criteria and 4 indicating that it was fully met. Overall, the students found a decline in 22 of the 33 standards they measured, including whether the site described the Internet monitoring technologies it used, whether the site disclosed the external use of your personal data, and whether or not the policy clearly described how users could change or better control their own privacy settings.

The research also found that Facebook’s privacy standards dropped precipitously in 2009 after making a brief rebound, and with Facebook’s massive growth since then, any kind of marked improvement seems unlikely.

“Our findings suggest decreased accountability and transparency in Facebook’s privacy policy over time, including the part of the policy referring to personal data that the company may share with third parties,” the students wrote.

While it certainly seemed in the moment like each Facebook privacy policy became more confusing and less helpful, it’s still shocking to see the decline spelled out in such a clear-cut manner.



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Woman Fined For Posting Picture Of Cop Car On Facebook http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Woman-Fined-For-Posting-Picture-Of-Cop-Car-On-Facebook.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Woman-Fined-For-Posting-Picture-Of-Cop-Car-On-Facebook.html/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 14:14:40 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=9506 The post Woman Fined For Posting Picture Of Cop Car On Facebook appeared first on .

A woman in Spain was ordered to pay an €800 fine after she took a picture of a police car illegally parked in a handicapped parking spot and posted it on Facebook. The fine, which seems outrageous to anyone familiar with the concept of freedom of speech, is the result of a controversial law passed…

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facebook-general-3A woman in Spain was ordered to pay an €800 fine after she took a picture of a police car illegally parked in a handicapped parking spot and posted it on Facebook.

The fine, which seems outrageous to anyone familiar with the concept of freedom of speech, is the result of a controversial law passed on July 1 called the “Citizens Security Law,” or, unofficially, a “gagging law.” It prevents the unauthorized use of images of police officers that might “jeopardize their safety,” though many privacy advocates are questioning whether such an innocuous post was really worthy of such a heavy punishment—or any punishment at all.

“The case…is the result of an absurd and arbitrary application of an unnecessary and extremely vague provision of the law,” Lydia Vicente Márquez, executive director of Rights International Spain, told Newsweek. “The behavior of the woman, in a democratic society, is not deserving of an administrative sanction or fine.”

 

The police said that they had to park in the handicapped spot because they were in a hurry to catch nearby vandals, though a police spokesman also said that the cops levied a fine because they felt their “honor” had been impugned.

 

While American legislation thankfully protects the speech of its citizens, this is still a scary reminder that what you post on Facebook can come back to haunt you—even at the hands of law enforcement.



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Update: Facebook Responds To Creepy Phone Number Search Capability, Says User Privacy is “Extremely Important” http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Update-Facebook-Responds-To-Creepy-Phone-Number-Search-Capability-Says-User-Privacy-%e2%80%9cExtremely-Important%e2%80%9d.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Update-Facebook-Responds-To-Creepy-Phone-Number-Search-Capability-Says-User-Privacy-%e2%80%9cExtremely-Important%e2%80%9d.html/#comments Sat, 15 Aug 2015 14:44:15 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=9504 The post Update: Facebook Responds To Creepy Phone Number Search Capability, Says User Privacy is “Extremely Important” appeared first on .

A UK security researcher recently uncovered a big flaw in Facebook’s user protection that allowed him to find a user’s name, pictures locations and more simply by sending their cell phone number to Facebook’s API developer tool. Facebook responded to the criticism this week saying that they have strong security measures in place to protect…

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facebook-privacy-200A UK security researcher recently uncovered a big flaw in Facebook’s user protection that allowed him to find a user’s name, pictures locations and more simply by sending their cell phone number to Facebook’s API developer tool.

Facebook responded to the criticism this week saying that they have strong security measures in place to protect users from being taken advantage of by this program.

“The privacy of people who use Facebook is extremely important to us,” the site said in a statement. “We have industry-leading proprietary network monitoring tools constantly running in order to ensure data security and have strict rules that govern how developers are able to use our APIs to build their products.”

However, critics of the site aren’t satisfied with the explanation, and many believe that Facebook won’t change it because of its business model of collecting user data.

“The privacy risks of compiling massive publicly-accessible databases of personal information should be obvious to anyone who’s actually thought about privacy,” Cybercrime journalist and blogger Stilgherrian wrote. “This warning should be as obvious as saying ‘Hey guys, maybe stop piling up all those cans of gasoline next to the open fireplace?’ But no, we’ve built an entire industry on this risky practice.”

Even though Facebook says it can protect users from potential privacy violations resulting from this phone number look-up loophole, it’s troubling the site doesn’t seem to think it’s an issue at all.



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Facebook Cancels Student’s Internship Because He Pointed Out A Security Flaw http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Cancels-Student%e2%80%99s-Internship-Because-He-Pointed-Out-A-Security-Flaw.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Cancels-Student%e2%80%99s-Internship-Because-He-Pointed-Out-A-Security-Flaw.html/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2015 03:09:23 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=9502 The post Facebook Cancels Student’s Internship Because He Pointed Out A Security Flaw appeared first on .

A Harvard student named Aran Khanna lost an internship position with Facebook because he created a Google Chrome extension that pointed out a major privacy flaw in the site. The tool, called Marauder’s Map, used location data gathered through Messenger’s Android app. Though many users didn’t know it, Messenger shared detailed location information whenever a…

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facebook_blackbg_logoA Harvard student named Aran Khanna lost an internship position with Facebook because he created a Google Chrome extension that pointed out a major privacy flaw in the site.

The tool, called Marauder’s Map, used location data gathered through Messenger’s Android app. Though many users didn’t know it, Messenger shared detailed location information whenever a message was sent. Khanna’s program simply grabbed that data and charted it, showing a clear and scary map that was able to closely track users in real time—and in the real world.

“I decided to write this extension, because we are constantly being told how we are losing privacy with the increasing digitization of our lives, however the consequences never seem tangible,” he wrote at the time.

However, his actions would have consequences. Within three days of creating the extension, he had lost his internship with the company, and within nine days, Facebook updated its location sharing in Messenger. At first, Khanna said that Facebook told him he lost his position because he had scraped the site for data, but when he countered by telling them that he’d only used publicly available data, the site said he’d actually violated Facebook’s “high ethical standards” with his post describing the tool.

Even though Khanna lost his internship position and seemingly got screwed over by Facebook, at least something good came out of the whole ordeal: Facebook finally updated its location tracking capabilities on Messenger.



Recommended Resources

Blur is the first all-in-one solution that protects your passwords, payments, and privacy. It gives power back to people making it simple to choose what amount of their personal information they are OK providing to any website: no matter a) what they are doing- surfing, creating a new account, or shopping, or b) what device they are using – mobile phone, browser or tablet.

bitdefender trafficlightBitDefender Traffic Light is a free cross-browser add-on that intercepts, processes and filters all Web traffic, blocking any malicious content and taking browser security to new levels.

System Mechanic 14 – Make your computer run like new. Winner of 200+ Editor’s Choice awards!

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How To Keep Companies and Apps From Tracking You On Facebook http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/How-To-Find-Out-What-Companies-Are-Tracking-You-On-Facebook.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/How-To-Find-Out-What-Companies-Are-Tracking-You-On-Facebook.html/#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2015 14:20:38 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=9496 The post How To Keep Companies and Apps From Tracking You On Facebook appeared first on .

Whether you know it or not, many companies are likely tracking you across the web both on and off Facebook. How can they do that? Simple: when you download and use their apps on Facebook, you’re granting them many more rights and permissions than you might know. Even when you sign into a website using…

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online_privacy_redbuttonWhether you know it or not, many companies are likely tracking you across the web both on and off Facebook. How can they do that? Simple: when you download and use their apps on Facebook, you’re granting them many more rights and permissions than you might know. Even when you sign into a website using your Facebook login, you could be giving that company a peek into your Facebook profile.

Thankfully, it’s easy to both turn off ad tracking and to find out which companies are following you. First, to turn off the tracking, click on the down arrow in the upper right corner of your Facebook profile. From there, click on the “Ads” button and change the “Pair my social action with ads” tab to “no one.” While you are here, check out the last section and follow the link to the Digital Advertising Alliance. Here you can opt-out of their interest based advertising.

Now, for the more interesting part: finding out what sites/apps  have access to your info. First, click on the lock icon in the upper right of your page and look for the Privacy Checkup tool featuring an image of a blue dinosaur (you may have to click the “more settings” link. From there, go to the “Apps” section. You can also follow this link to be taken directly there. Now you will see the entire list of apps with your info. Here, you can edit the permissions or remove the application. You can also disable the application platform entirely for added privacy. To disable the platform, click on the ‘edit’ link in the ‘Apps, Websites and Plugins’ section.

Lastly, you’ll want to go to

While Facebook is free, it does come with a cost…your personal information. They are primarily an advertising platform, and you are the product. For further privacy protection consider using a browser plugin that blocks web trackers. We highly recommend Blur, from our friends and sponsor Abine.

Hardcore privacy enthusiasts also recommend using a VPN (virtual private network) and using a dedicated browser just for Facebook.



Recommended Resources

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Blur is the first all-in-one solution that protects your passwords, payments, and privacy. It gives power back to people making it simple to choose what amount of their personal information they are OK providing to any website: no matter a) what they are doing- surfing, creating a new account, or shopping, or b) what device they are using – mobile phone, browser or tablet.

System Mechanic 14 – Make your computer run like new. Winner of 200+ Editor’s Choice awards!

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