Last month we called Zuckerberg a boob; corrected: in fact, he and his Facebook are just a fucking shame

Original author: Kieren McCarthy
  • Transfer

When he said that 5% of the users of his application, which sucked out the personal data of users, were children, in fact, he meant much more



Analysis


The last number in a seemingly endless series of half-truthful statements, the Facebook social network admitted that it was deceiving the public, saying that only 5% of users of the banned mobile application were teenagers.

In fact, this number, which the Silicon Valley child prodigy later admitted to US Senator Mark Warner, was almost 4 times greater: 18%.

This was not the only false statement made by Facebook when it revealed that this anti-social network secretly circumvented the restrictions.access to personal data accepted in the App Store. She used her industrial developer certificate to create an iOS application that used a VPN to suck out users' personal data, and paid adults and teens money to track their online activity. Such a certificate can only be used to sign and release applications for internal use that are not intended for the general public; otherwise, these apps must be tested and approved by the App Store.

At that moment, the other half-truthful statements were exposed, and this incorrect figure was corrected only a month later, and only in response to a request from Senator Warner, who requested additional information on the case.

“When we stopped using the Facebook Research App on Apple’s iOS platform, less than 5% of users sharing their data were teenagers,” Facebook explained in a letter that was first written about TechCrunch . “The analysis showed that if you take into account the entire lifetime of the program, and add people who stopped using it and deleted it, then this figure will be approximately 18%.”

This answer is completely different from what Facebook gave to TechCrunch for its first requests. That answer clearly implied that the journalist describing the situation specifically ignored critical details. Then Facebook wrote:
Key facts related to this market research program are ignored. Despite earlier statements, there is nothing “secret” about it: it was literally called the “Facebook Research App” [Facebook Research App]. She did not “spy” on people, because everyone who signed up for the tests, firstly, went through a clear process in which the application asked for their permission for all actions, and secondly, they received payment for participation. Finally, less than 5% of people who choose to participate in this study were teenagers. All of them had documents signed by their parents.

And all parts of this statement are false.

Go


Firstly, although Facebook claims to have openly talked about its “research application”, in fact - as she later admitted to Warner - she used third-party services that invited people to participate in a paid study. Third parties called the social network only “our client”, and, importantly, demanded that the participants first sign non-disclosure documents, and only then informed them that this was a Facebook network project.

The documents contained the following: “By installing a research application, you agree to maintain the confidentiality of the existence of this application and your participation in it, and you will not disclose any information about this project to third parties.”

In other words, yes, it was a secret project, and the participants were required to not tell anyone about it.

Facebook said that "less than 5% of people who choose to participate in this study were teenagers."

No matter how you read this proposal, it will not be true. In fact, 18% of the people who “decided to participate in this study” were teenagers. And it is likely that this figure was even higher: Facebook asked users to independently confirm that they were under 18 years old. The company provided Warner with a few screenshots from the installation of the application, but there is not enough information on how the confirmation of age went.

Given Facebook’s willingness to lie about everything that harms the image of the company, it’s likely that the network simply asked children and adults to click on the button confirming that they were already 18. And, despite the fact that the recognition of minority required an additional step - to receive a certificate of approval from parents on the part of Filkin, even without a signature - 18% of the participants confirmed that they are not 18 years old.

Apparently, they could just click on the button "I'm over 18", and the process would continue without additional checks. It is also possible that users could just click “Back” and say that they are still over 18 - we don’t know this, and Facebook won’t tell us.

Facebook does not disclose details about what instructions these third parties received who were paid to search for possible candidates for their marketing research with surveillance. It is impossible to imagine that the company did not inform these third parties about who is considered their target audience. So the question is: did Facebook target teens under 18 specifically?

And the answer will be in the affirmative, because research companies are very careful about whether the people they interview are adults. Not everyone wants to take such a risk as Facebook.


Trust Facebook? Of course, why don't you trust her?

Trust us


Further, Facebook stated that: “She didn’t“ spy ”on people, because everyone who signed up for the tests firstly went through a clear process in which the application asked for their permission for all the actions, and secondly, they received participation fee. "

From this point of view, the screenshots provided to the senator seem to confirm the statements: at several stages the users were offered to agree with the program, which basically truthfully described what the “research application” would do.

Here is one example: “By clicking OK, you agree to establish a research VPN, and give Facebook the right to collect data from your phone. The data will help us understand how you surf the sites, use the capabilities of installed applications, and how people interact with the content that you send and receive. ”

And although these carefully verified words are chosen in such a way as to represent, in fact, full access to your phone in a favorable light, they demonstrate that Facebook, at least openly, announced that it was going to make the application.

Or not? Because in response to a Senator request, Facebook mentions another catch. Before the screenshots, she notes that “although the labels on the screens have changed over time, the following paragraphs describe an example of this process, and the screenshots shown show examples of how the process of agreeing to the conditions is running on iOS”.

So:

  • The inscriptions have changed.
  • Examples of the process are given.
  • Sample screenshots.
  • Examples of conditions.

What Facebook did not say: “Here is the signing process.” What she said: “Here are some examples of what people saw, and by the way, the inscriptions were different.” If a company was actively promoting a 5% number, knowing that in fact it was 18%, it is easy to assume that it can also distort what happened during the registration process.

Agreement


Despite this, Senator Warner, apparently, was satisfied with this answer, and told The Register: “I was pleased to know that Facebook made its role in this study explicit. I’m still seriously concerned about how Facebook used the Onavo research application and VPN to track potential competitors, and in ways that were unexpected for users. ”

However, before sending this file to the ever-growing Facebook Lie folder, what about the statement that all people under the age of 18 received permission from their parents? Yes, this is also bullshit.

“Less than 5% of people who choose to participate in this study were teenagers. All of them had documents signed by their parents, ”said the tech giant.

In fact, in response to a request from Warner, Facebook discovered that obtaining parental consent was that the user left an email address tied to a Paypal account, to which the company transferred $ 20 / month "in exchange for their inclusion in the study groups." In other words, the children had to provide the email address of their parents so that they received money, and that’s all.

By the way, they were not included in any of the “research groups” - Facebook simply sucked data from their phones. Facebook also paid the participants not directly, but through third parties hired by it to search for candidates.

But how can you equate the provision of an email address associated with a Paypal account with “parental consent”? According to Facebook: “Paypal requires that the user is over 18 years old, or he has reached the age of majority according to the laws of the country of residence.”

Of course, it’s quite simple to create a Paypal account if you are under 18: you need information about a bank account or a bank card. Then you can receive money for this record and spend it on any site that accepts payments from Paypal without contacting the traditional banking system.

The idea that providing a single email address is equivalent to the written consent of the parents is so ridiculous that it is unbelievable that Facebook dared to say the opposite. And, of course, there is another inconvenient fact - people who said they were over 18 also provided an email address linked to Paypal in order to receive payment from Facebook.

It turns out that there was practically no difference between people who have reached or not reached the age of 18, and that Facebook created a completely misconception about the work of the now banned program. Who would have thought that a company led by a liar, and where the dishonest liars are teeming with swarms , could go down so low?

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