As many of you who have known me for awhile know, I quit Facebook two years ago because of how flatly nefarious they are. The thing that threw me over the edge wasn’t really their sharing of data with the NSA, nor the algorithms they run to effectively become one with the Department of Precrime, but the fact that the extrapolation of “people of interest” in any “investigation” was extrapolated out to a factor of 6 between Facebook “friends”. So, say the Powers that Shouldn’t Be were looking at yours truly for thinking unregulated thoughts, they would include my “friends”, and their “friends, and the “friends” of those “friends, and the friends of the friends of the friend’s friends” all the way out to a factor of six friends away. Frankly, that just creeped me out. We are simply reaching entirely too much singularity and the burden of proof of innocence in any “crime”, be it real or imagined, has become one wherein you must prove your innocence against potentially digitally created guilt.
It’s enough to make one want to go Amish. But I don’t think I could blend…And there are other things, too. So that really isn’t an option. I could almost be a Luddite, too. But I’m not a technophobe, nor am I a technophile. I just believe that technology should serve us and that it can be used for greatly positive enhancements to the human experience. But if you take human dignity and accountability for preserving that dignity out of the equation, we become chattel to the entities controlling the pseudo reality in which we virtually live.
I digress. And no, it isn’t difficult to get me to digress when we are talking about such an invasive and pervasive thing as the issue of human privacy and dignity in the age of technocracy. So, without further adieu, here is the article I wanted to share with you:
Ever written out a status update or comment but decided against posting it? One techie has discovered Facebook collects this content, despite the company’s claims to the contrary
Facebook collects all content that is typed into its website, even if it is not posted, a tech consultant has discovered.
In December 2013, it was reported that Facebook plants code in browsers that returns metadata every time somebody types out a status update or comment but deletes it before posting.
At the time, Facebook maintained that it only received information indicating whether somebody had deleted an update or comment before posting it, and not exactly what the text said.
However, Príomh Ó hÚigínn, a tech consultant based in Ireland, has claimed this is not the case after inspecting Facebook’s network traffic through a developer tool and screencasting software.
‘I realised that any text I put into the status update box was sent to Facebook’s servers, even if I did not click the post button,’ he wrote on his blog yesterday.
Referring to the GIF he created below, he found that a HTTP post request was sent to Facebook each time he wrote out a status, containing the exact text he entered.
‘This is outright Orwellian, and inconvenient,’ he said. ‘Since I am now aware of this, I am more cautious about what I enter into the text area.
‘However I can’t help but notice the adverse effect of my new found awareness ― am I experiencing the censorship of my own thoughts because of a faceless entity such as Facebook that doesn’t care about you? I very much believe that is the case.’
There is nothing in Facebook’s Data Policy that directly alludes to the fact that it collects content that is written but not posted.
However, the general ambiguity under the heading ‘What kinds of information do we collect?’ makes it unclear, such as: ‘We collect the content and other information you provide when you…create or share. This can include information in or about the content you provide.’
One thing is certain: most Facebook users do not expect the company to collect the text they decided against sharing.
The company faced a backlash in 2009 when it removed part of a clause that promised to expire the license it has to a user’s ‘name, likeness and image’, which it uses for external advertising, if they remove content from the site.
Information Age has contacted Facebook for comment.