Facebook Makes A Huge Data Grab By Aggressively Promoting Photo Sync
It’s a race between Facebook and Google to see which company can own us… the implications are HUGE. It’s about time I started to write about some of the fundamentals of cybersecurity that I have studied this semester. I’m a beginner – but my eyes are WIDE-OPEN now and I think that “what you don’t know WILL hurt you” in the long run. Data exploitation for any (almost) infinite number of uses – ranging from semi-legit to insidiously unethical and even criminal – has only JUST begun.
It’s the beginning folks… I am not being paranoid. I’ve just started to put two and two together from what I see and from what I’ve learned, and I hardly know a thing yet!
Here’s the reality – you have NO idea (most of y’all) just how profoundly vulnerable we have ALL become. I mean businesses and individuals. Let’s face it. People can’t even begin to fathom (clearly) what it means that we are currently sending 2 million emails PER SECOND – 99.999% of which are sent in cleartext across unsecured networks.
The points of potential vulnerabilities are STAGGERING.
There is an answer – but it is about 5 years (at least – is my guess) beyond what is happening. It’s simple.
It’s called ENCRYPTION!!!!! It’s simple, yet absurdly complicated in some ways (because to be a simple matter-of-fact implementation that everybody uses ALL of the time we need better, more user-friendly tools).
It’s NOT going to happen with the tools I’ve seen out there now. And it’s not going to happen, unfortunately, until a critical mass of people are, in fact, exploited in every way, shape and form. This goes back to my basic working hypothesis about human nature and our species.
WE are a reactive, rather than proactive, species. We’re great at coming together and reacting to all kinds of natural and man-made disasters and scenarios of every kind. We SUCK at anything resembling planning, foresight, prevention, and thinking about our impact on the future (most of all). It may be hard-wired. I don’t know.
All I do know is that this kind of news is not going to have the slightest impact on current behavior. Because people have NO clue as to its real implications. People have known for years and years now that Google is the (can they hold the lead?) largest data-mining operation in the history of our species. Or do they know that? I don’t think the average person actually does know that – it doesn’t sink in. It doesn’t mean anything when you say “data mining” to most people. They just laugh.
It won’t be cute in the long run though when people see that the rabbit-hole doesn’t have a bottom and you don’t have ANY control over where your information is stored and how it is used. Obviously it has no meaning – or umpteen millions of us wouldn’t have all KINDS of Google apps we use – some of which we don’t even KNOW we’re using!
For most of us – it is, in a sense, far too late (I think). Our information – so much of it personal and confidential (if we were asked) – is already out there and irretrievable. YOU CANNOT DELETE IT PEOPLE! It’s stored on servers all over the world in bits (pardon the pun) and pieces… and it can all be (quite simply) collected and stored for uses that haven’t even been THOUGHT of yet.
But – mark my words – don’t for one single second think that these companies– who employ the BEST and BRIGHTEST minds (and I mean that) aren’t thinking of ways of using that data, and yes, selling that data, in whatever way they can think of that serves THEIR end. NOT yours.
They’re not evil – they’re just morally and ethically neutral vis a vis their impact. Their focus is purely profitability and potential profitability. That is the true nature of corporations and we have seen evidence of that time and time and time again. Are there exceptions? OF COURSE! Always. But they’re exceptions!
Again – we’re just seeing the TIP of the iceberg – and most people don’t even have ‘clue one’ as to the implications of the tip- let alone the iceberg.
Encryption is there and can actually put a stop to MOST of this. Algorithms and encryption methods that are so strong that they are virtually unbreakable. I do know that much. But it’s going to take more than a village. It’s going to take a village on FIRE before people start protecting themselves against an enemy that they don’t even really know exists yet.
And, to come full circle here – they need to STOP posting anything that they don’t want carved in PERMANENT (yet infinitely accessible) STONE. There used to be a lot of joking around about the FBI and CIA having all of this ‘information’ about us… very cute… but so “pre-Google” era.
In my estimation, the reality is that the power of these companies already FAR exceeds the resources of these relatively small government agencies. I’d bet my left arm that if anything, these agencies are in fact using things like Google and Facebook and the data that is streaming in to them in amounts that simply defy quantification- of at least numbers that most people can understand!
Why wouldn’t they? (again – they’re just doing their job with whatever tools present themselves).
Facebook was already taking in 300 million photos a day, and that rate is about to dramatically increase. It’s now ushering users onto its background uploads feature Photo Sync with a big banner at the top of its mobile apps’ news feed. Just two taps and your last 20 photos plus every one you take in the future are auto-uploaded to a private album from which you can share and Facebook can mine metadata.
The rollout of Photo Sync that started yesterday is perhaps the biggest thing to happen to Facebook photos beyond friend tagging and manual mobile uploads. Friend tagging jumpstarted Facebook’s growth with a jolt of narcissism over a half decade ago. If someone tagged you in a photo, you likely checked it out the second you got the notification, along with all the other photos in the album. Later it began offering photo sharing from mobile, but…
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