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Facebook Is Paying Users To Let Them Track Their Phone Usage....Again

Facebook wants to pay users in exchange for tracking their data. The company released a new, invite-only app called Study as part of its Facebook Study Program to consensually collect information on users’ phone habits. Study will only be available to Android users and will track everything from the amount of time users spend in apps, to their locations and which apps they are using. Facebook will not have access to user messages, photos, IDs and passwords. The company said it wants to collect data to “helps us learn which apps people value and how they’re used,” and to figure out how to improve its products. Facebook also ensures that it will not sell the information to third-parties. Users will have to verify their age and PayPal accounts to be a part of the study. The company is using PayPal as its payment method, which is why it is asking for those accounts to be verified. The program comes after another notable scandal that landed Facebook in hot water. Earlier this year,...

Arriana McLymore

Jun 12, 2019

Facebook Is Finally Getting Rid Of Personality Quizzes

Personality quizzes on Facebook are now a thing of the past. The company announced in a blog post that it is banning the quizzes , which have helped third-party developers collect information on its users. This comes nearly a year after its Cambridge Analytica scandal exposed many of Facebook’s data and privacy issues. The update also bans apps from asking for data that doesn’t “enrich the in-app, user experience.” In addition to its ban on personality quizzes, Facebook also said that apps that had not used or accessed previously approved user permissions in the past 90 days would expire. Facebook is removing access to a number of Application Programming Interfaces for existing apps in July.  New apps won’t have access until after April 30. Although Facebook did not explicitly say that Cambridge Analytica is the reason for the updates, it is clear that it was the main catalyst for the changes. This announcement is part of a week full of ups and downs for the already embattled...

Arriana McLymore

Apr 26, 2019

New York Attorney General Letitia James Says It's Time To Hold Facebook Accountable

Facebook has had a hard week, and New York’s Attorney General isn’t looking to make it any easier. AG Letitia James has opened an investigation into Facebook over the company’s email contact collection. Facebook uploaded more than 1.5 million users’ contacts without their consent, marking yet another data scandal for the company. “Facebook has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of respect for consumer information while at the same time profiting from mining that data,” AG James said in a Twitter statement. BREAKING: We're launching an investigation into Facebook's unauthorized collection of 1.5M of their users’ email contact databases. Facebook has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of respect for consumer information while at the same time profiting from mining that data. — NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) April 25, 2019 If you’ve been under a rock for the last year, Facebook has been on a joyride collecting, distributing and mishandling its users’ data. Just this year, the company admitted...

Arriana McLymore

Apr 26, 2019

Facebook’s Ad Targeting Feature Discriminates, Even When Advertisers Don't Want It To

Facebook has had a lengthy list of privacy and advertising scandals within the last year. Recently, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is charging Facebook for housing discrimination in its ads. HUD alleged that Facebook’s ad platform “discriminated in the terms, conditions, or privileges of the sale or rental of dwellings because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin or disability.” Now, a recent report from Cornell University shows that Facebook’s ads can discriminate against groups even when advertisers don’t want them to. “Advertising platforms can play an independent, central role in creating skewed, and potentially discriminatory, outcomes,” the report said. The report found that the lower the daily budget an ad had, the fewer women saw it. The content of an ad can also skew the types and amount of people who see it. Researchers used public voter records in one test, resulting in the post being delivered to specific audiences, even...

Arriana McLymore

Apr 5, 2019