Johnathan.org

September 27, 2018

Gizmodo: “Facebook Is Giving Advertisers Access to Your Shadow Contact Information”

Kashmir Hill writing for Gizmodo:

They found that when a user gives Facebook a phone number for two-factor authentication or in order to receive alerts about new log-ins to a user’s account, that phone number became targetable by an advertiser within a couple of weeks. So users who want their accounts to be more secure are forced to make a privacy trade-off and allow advertisers to more easily find them on the social network.

The researchers also found that if User A, whom we’ll call Anna, shares her contacts with Facebook, including a previously unknown phone number for User B, whom we’ll call Ben, advertisers will be able to target Ben with an ad using that phone number…about a month later. Ben can’t access his shadow contact information, because that would violate Anna’s privacy, according to Facebook, so he can’t see it or delete it, and he can’t keep advertisers from using it either.

As it turns out, advertisers have the capability to track and advertise to you based on your phone number. You don’t even have to provide said number to Facebook, either.

And they’re not even denying it:

“It’s likely that he was shown the ad because someone else uploaded his contact information via contact importer,” a Facebook spokesperson confirmed when I told the company about the experiment.

Facebook did not dispute any of the researchers’ findings. “We outline the information we receive and use for ads in our data policy, and give people control over their ads experience including custom audiences, via their ad preferences,” said a spokesperson by email. “For more information about how to manage your preferences and the type of data we use to show people ads see this post.”

As Facebook would like to put it: sucks to be you!

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September 26, 2018

Dear Young People: Don’t Vote

Everything’s fine the way it is.

Young people make up 31% of the electorate (as of 2016) and always say they’ll vote, but they generally don’t. This ad is a great demonstration of reverse psychology, but is also painfully true. 

The government would look a lot different if the population that makes up 1/3 of the electorate by itself actually voted.

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Comcast Will Soon Own the Majority of Sky

Sara Fischer, Axios:

21st Century Fox says will sell its minority stake in Sky Broadcasting to Comcast.

Comcast just won a dramatic settlement auction over the weekend to buy a minority stake in Sky for roughly $40 billion dollars. Now, they’ll own a majority stake in the European Pay-TV and streaming company, which will dramatically increase their international footprint.

This is an interesting turn of events. This makes me wonder if we’ll see Sky make its way over the Atlantic to the United States as what I’m sure would be a part of a premium channel lineup that costs a lot of money. 

As it stands right now, one can watch Sky News for free already on some streaming platforms here in the United States (I can do so using the Sky app on my Roku). 

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How to Stop a Wildfire

This is such a good video. The science behind fighting wildfires is really quite fascinating.

(h/t: John Saddington)

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The History of Electric Guitar Distortion

Ever wondered how that crunchy electric guitar sound came to be and ended up so popular? Polyphonic dives in and explains all.

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Johnathan Lyman
Kenmore, WA,
United States
 
blogging, design, technology, software, development, gaming, photography