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Facebook Tracks Users It Deems Threatening

Updating your location on social media can let your friends know where you are, but they may not be the only ones keeping up with you. According to a CNBC report , Facebook tracks users it deems threatening through a “Be On the Lookout” or BOLO list. Facebook looks through its social network for any potentially threatening comments, as outlined by the report. Those can be nonspecific threats to a Facebook office or one actually targeting specific people. Created in 2008, the BOLO list now contains hundreds of people and is updated about once a week, four former Facebook security employees told CNBC. When placed on the list, Facebook can track users’ locations using their smartphone’s location data collected by the app or their IP address collected by Facebook’s website. Tracking threats is reasonable, but there are no clear outlines as to what a ‘credible’ threat is. For example, the report said a vague complaint like “Fuck you, Mark” could get you placed on the list. Users aren’t...

Feb 19, 2019

Facebook Accused of Not Protecting Private Health Information in Its Groups

A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint filed in December is alleging that Facebook failed to protect private health information in its groups. The complaint– which was recently made public–alleges that Facebook leaked data about individuals in their patient support groups. These groups are dedicated to providing a sense of community for those who share the same medical conditions. BRCA and NGLY1 community advocates helped file the complaint. BRCA is a genetic mutation that has been linked to breast cancer, while NGLY1 is a rare genetic disorder. “Facebook offers the illusion of control but ignores and obscures privacy decisions,” the complaint said. The complaint alleges that Facebook was deceptive in using the terms “safety” and “control” for its medical support groups while giving users the ability to download personal information about group members. Support group members could have their names, phone numbers and email addresses downloaded which would link them to specific...

Feb 19, 2019