How does Facebook collect data on people who aren’t signed up for the service?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Rogifan, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. Rogifan macrumors Core

    Rogifan

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    Nov 14, 2011
    #1
    In questioning on Capitol Hill today Mark Zuckerberg said: "In general we collect data on people who are not signed up for Facebook for security purposes."

    Can someone explain what this means? If you don’t have a Facebook account why would Facebook be collecting data on you for security purposes? What security is he referring to? At first I thought maybe he was referring to using Facebook to log into other apps/services but in order to do that you have to have a Facebook account (even if you never post stuff to it). Also, how does Facebook get data from someone who doesn’t have an account. If you see Facebook content on another website do you even have the ability to ‘like’ something without having an account and being signed in? I’m confused as to how Facebook can get information on non-users outside of buying it from a 3rd party source (which Zuck claims they no longer do).
     
  2. curmudgeonette macrumors 6502

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    #2
    See the Facebook icon in the top right corner of this page? Loading the icon lets Facebook know that someone viewed this page. With cookies, they can track people across the internet. This lets Facebook build a profile even of people who aren't signed up.
     
  3. samcraig macrumors P6

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    USA
    #3
    Click on a link/watch a video that was sent to you or in a forum, via a news site or on twitter?
    Ever share one of those links?
     
  4. Rogifan thread starter macrumors Core

    Rogifan

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    Nov 14, 2011
    #4
    Well cookies certainly aren’t unique to Facebook. What exactly do they collect about me when I type macrumors.com into my browser tab? And what in the world does it have to do with security?

    These hearings were garbage. Congressmen/women had only 4 minutes each so by the time they got done preening for the camera/pontificating there was little time for Zuckerberg to actually answer the question. And when he did speak he did a horrible job of explaining what was going on.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 11, 2018 ---
    How do you share something to/with Facebook if you’re not on Facebook in the first place?
     
  5. samcraig macrumors P6

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    USA
    #5
    If something was shared with you
     
  6. ericgtr12 macrumors 65816

    ericgtr12

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    #6
    The first thing the app does when it installs on your phone is integrate with your contacts, unless you go through a bunch of convoluted settings to turn it off. It's safe to assume it collects every bit of information from each contact. I've had many friends ask me to help them turn this "feature" off because they couldn't figure it out. If you don't want your information propagated, don't use FB.
     
  7. Rogifan thread starter macrumors Core

    Rogifan

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    #7
    OK maybe I’m really being dense but how does someone share something with me if I’m not on Facebook? Or are we back to cookies tracking your web browsing which isn’t specific to Facebook.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 11, 2018 ---
    Right but if you never download the app? Again what security required Facebook to collect information from/on people who haven’t downloaded the app or gone to facebook.com in a browser tab?
     
  8. ericgtr12 macrumors 65816

    ericgtr12

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    #8
    What they do with it is really up to them, but they do capture it. So even though you may have never used or downloaded the app (or even if you don't have a FB account) but a friend did and you are in their contacts, they'll at least have all of your personal info like number, address, etc and in some cases text messages. Remember, any information shared with other contacts is only as secure as the least protected person.
     
  9. Tech198 macrumors G5

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    Mar 21, 2011
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    Australia, Perth
    #9
    If you delete cookies before and after the visit, or your private browser, but still close your browser after a visit, to/from Facebook, less tracking can be done.

    At least Facebook would know which site you clicked the icon, but that's it... they wouldn't be able to track, across browsing sessions.
     
  10. Rogifan thread starter macrumors Core

    Rogifan

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    Nov 14, 2011
    #10
    So basically they’re getting info about you from other people who use the service. I still don’t get what he meant by security. Why would Facebook need to collect information on a non-user for security reasons?
     
  11. tshrimp macrumors 6502

    tshrimp

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    Mar 30, 2012
    #11
    You can always run wireshark or a TCPdump and see all sorts of good things going in and out of your computer.
     
  12. chown33 macrumors 604

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    betwixt
    #12
    Personally, I'd treat that as a security theater term. One can justify nearly anything by saying it's for security reasons, including refusing to discuss how something being done actually relates to security. I could say more, but, um, it's against security policy.
     
  13. LizKat macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    #13
    There's all kinds of ways you end up "in" Facebook without having an account, and the contacts upload from a real friend's contacts file is one of them. Another is having Facebook account holders upload and "tag" photos from some real social encounter like a family reunion or a beach party etc.

    Yep, there's Lizkat, see her in that photo at the picnic next to FB_user_23784572? Et voila, I'm not only on the internet safe in the loving hands of Facebook but I've been photographed and named. "It's magical." Not too much sleuthing later, a complete name can be figured out and then hooked up to my contact info which FB already has thanks to all my idiot real friends who are on Facebook, and so maybe Facebook even has a photo of me from the contacts file one of my real friends maintains. Maybe from notes in contact files FB even knows what my second cousin's former boyfriend's previous phone number was before he moved to Hilton Head... and the fun thing is, that guy can't do a damn thing about hiding his previous phone number from the skip tracers now, can he...​

    Bit by bit by bit we get assembled in virtual representations by overall results of different scripts accumulating parts of the 29000 bits of data someone noted tend to be aggregated about an individual by time all these data miners get done with us.

    The only way any of this is likely to change is if someone doxxes all of Congress, and even then not sure it would make a differerence. Who's tech savvy enough to know whether new rules or laws are actually being observed,,, until the breach of them is noticed, and then, of course, it's too late.
     
  14. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

    BoxerGT2.5

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    #14
    How there isn't a bigger national push to dump facebook is beyond me. Some guy makes an advance at a woman that she didn't want and break out the pitchforks. A company literally raping and pillaging your online life and it's relatively silent.
     
  15. Rogifan thread starter macrumors Core

    Rogifan

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    Nov 14, 2011
    #15
    One thing that came up numerous times in the Zuck hearings is the pro-Trump duo Diamond & Silk being censored by Facebook ostensibly because Facebook has a liberal bias. Diamond & Silk keep claiming that no one from Facebook reached out to them. They’ve repeated this claim several times on Fox News shows. What we now know is Facebook did reach out several times and got no response. Facebook admitted a mistake was made as a result of newsfeed changes they implemented last September. Facebook said once they realized they made a mistake they reached out to Diamond and Silk and worked to rectify the situation. During this time Diamond and Silk’s Facebook page remained up and received likes and comments.

    https://www.themaven.net/theresurge...book-and-facts-YyKgydIgM0K1ZwIy6nBFrg/?full=1

    It’s just embarrassing that Republican congressmen/women pushed this without confirming if it was true. Diamond and Silk are wacky YouTube stars who have pushed looney things like Pizza gate in the past. I don’t think they should be censored but I also don’t think they’re very credible. This is all about publicity for them.
     
  16. LizKat macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    #16
    I think maybe what Zuckerberg was trying to suggest there was that FB needs to look out for hackers, spoofers, people who aren't members but show up as viewers, or people using an IP addr that's signed into FB but the login's not fresh, etc., some sort of "know your customer" gig that Congressmen might appreciate from dealing with banking laws. FB do need to secure their stuff but that's not what their tracking the whole planet is about. Scare mongering to Congress? "ISIS in library!!!" I dunno. Basically what they really do is just try to connect casual page viewers, who seem not to be members, to data uploaded about them by other members via contacts info. Can still market to them then on other platforms, or make money permitting others to market to them better by providing those others with some info they mined off tracking our viewing.

    Facebook are not the only ones who do that kind of stuff. They just happen to do it with a third of the people on the planet, and by "six degrees of separation" with contacts uploaded from them, they probably have info on the rest of us if we connect to the net.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 12, 2018 ---
    The "right people" haven't been injured yet by loss of privacy to Facebook? It's like a dead man's curve on a state highway where dozens of people are killed over the years taking it too fast in winter, and finally some state assemblyman's kid hits black ice on it and one axle of his truck ends up in a tree 12' off the ground and then they fix the curve. We're not there yet.

    I don't see how they're going to fix this though. Horses are out of the barn a long time. Forcing opt-in defaults upon establishing an account is the only way really. Lots of sites default you to what they want in the instant after you hit enter in creating your account. Then you fix your profile but they already took whatever you gave them and somewhere in their TOS it says "it may take x amount of time to implement your preferences". Meanwhile they're selling you to their affiliates and third party business-to-business connections.

    Fighting this stuff is wearisome and in the USA the government is not yet on our side. A lot and maybe even most people give up and just try to keep their security software patched and don't bother fighting the marketers. How many of your friends bother with putting tracking control extensions into their browsers, or try to minimize tracking in other ways? Not many of mine do and they're all different ages and tech experience.
     
  17. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

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    May 18, 2008
    #17
    Because “security” sounds nice when explaining your surveillance apparatus to a room full of technologically illiterate politicians and the know-nothing’s reporters.

    In other words, a red-herring.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 12, 2018 ---
    Because then we’d take the next step and realize corporate surveillance is literally the funding mechanism for the vast majority of the internet...
     
  18. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #18
    Imagine that there was a beacon at each place you visited in your town and a single company was able to track you from place to place as you go about your business, imagine what you could do with that data and then pretend it's all digital and then stop pretending because it's actually happening.

    Oh yeh and they cooperate with the NSA.
     
  19. dogslobber macrumors 68040

    dogslobber

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    Oct 19, 2014
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    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #19
    The Zuck is talking utter cack as he's simply a liar. These shadow profiles know everything about you: your name, address, phone #, photos to ID you, what you do across the internet, everything. It's all hooked back into your FB rap sheet.
     

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18 April 11, 2018