SOURCE: BOING BOING

Back in 2010, the video-game designer and scholar Ian Bogost created Cow Clicker, a withering satire of Farmville and other clicker games that were, at the time, wildly popular on Facebook. (Wired wrote an excellent story about it, worth reading.)

As he developed Cow Clicker, Bogost quickly discovered something: Facebook gave app developers a lot of data about users. He was able to get each user's unique Facebook ID (Zuckerberg's is"4", as it turns out); and without even him asking for it, Facebook sent him "affiliation" info about users' schools, workplaces, and other organizations they belonged to.

In essence, Facebook at that time outgassed info so readily that it was almost hard to avoid building profiles of people. But of course, it made it insanely easy for something like Cambridge Analytica to happen, as Bogost notes.

He wrote an engrossing piece for the Atlantic about the experience, and it's the best thing I've yet read that walks you through how Cambridge Analytica got its hands on so much data. You hear phrases like "50 million Facebook profiles", but it can seem awfully abstract. When Bogost describes precisely what Facebook offered him as he dev..., you understand much more deeply what's at stake.

And of course, as he notes, a) there were oodles of people developing apps and games at that point for Facebook, and b) they probably all still have that data, as he does:

But because I stored the numerical identifiers for user affiliations, I still have them. Until 2016, I could use a database-query tool called FQL, Facebook Query Language, to retrieve the details of those networks, and correlate them back to my users. Had I wanted to, I could have recombined that information with other data and used it for retargeting.

 

Cow Clicker’s example is so modest, it might not even seem like a problem. What does it matter if a simple diversion has your Facebook ID, education, and work affiliations? Especially since its solo creator (that’s me) was too dumb or too lazy to exploit that data toward pernicious ends. But even if I hadn’t thought about it at the time, I could have done so years later, long after the cows vanished, and once Cow Clicker players forgot that they’d ever installed my app.

This is also why Zuckerberg’s response to the present controversy feels so toothless. Facebook has vowed to audit companies that have collected, shared, or sold large volumes of data in violation of its policy, but the company cannot close the Pandora’s box it opened a decade ago, when it first allowed external apps to collect Facebook user data. That information is now in the hands of thousands, maybe millions of people.

Views: 68

Latest Activity

oldranger_68 favorited Diana's photo
2 minutes ago
Chris of the family Masters's video was featured

The Left Hypes Mosque Massacre, But Ignores Thousands of Christians Killed By Muslims

Last week, a man walked into a mosque and killed 49 Muslims during prayer. Also last week, 69 Nigerian Christians were killed by Islamic militants while a Je...
12 minutes ago
James T. Kirk's 2 videos were featured
14 minutes ago
Mrs. Tif Morgan replied to Raz Putin's discussion ActivistPost:" President Trump, FCC Chairman, Ivanka Trump Promote Forced 5G Installation Despite Lawsuits, Municipal Opposition and No Studies Showing 5G Is Safe"
"Can't wait to see what you do with the INFO!!!!!!!!!!!! and Got more stuff thats all true"
20 minutes ago
Chris of the family Masters replied to Raz Putin's discussion "Chinese City Pays $1,500 To Snitch On Christians"
"Followers of Stasi doctrine..."
21 minutes ago
Raz Putin replied to Raz Putin's discussion ActivistPost:" President Trump, FCC Chairman, Ivanka Trump Promote Forced 5G Installation Despite Lawsuits, Municipal Opposition and No Studies Showing 5G Is Safe"
"Thanks for this info TIF cheers."
32 minutes ago
Central Scrutinizer favorited Diana's photo
1 hour ago
Nazda Pokmov commented on Sweettina2's video
Thumbnail

#389 We Never Went to the Moon? What do you think?

"We never went to the moon literally as there is a dome over the firmament that keeps us from leaving the earth.  The earth is flat anyway....but lots of idiots think it's a globe.  Tell me how does water cling to a ball hurtling…"
1 hour ago
Nazda Pokmov commented on Sweettina2's blog post $5.7 Million in Taxpayer Funds for Study to Justify Sterilizing Children Who Are Gender Confused
"Why steralize them?  They can't reproduce anyway if they have their dicks chopped off and they have a dick surgically sewn on.  They won't have the proper hormones to do anything with.  On the other hand....they all need to…"
1 hour ago
Diana favorited Raz Putin's discussion "Chinese City Pays $1,500 To Snitch On Christians"
2 hours ago
Diana favorited Raz Putin's discussion "Dancing On The Crumbling Precipice" by Jim Quinn
2 hours ago
Chris of the family Masters favorited Raz Putin's discussion "Chinese City Pays $1,500 To Snitch On Christians"
3 hours ago
Raz Putin posted discussions
3 hours ago
Chris of the family Masters favorited Less Prone's photo
3 hours ago
Raz Putin favorited Diana's photo
3 hours ago
Diana's 3 photos were featured
3 hours ago

Please remember this website is supported by your donations...

© 2019   Created by truth.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

content and site copyright 12160.info 2007-2015 - all rights reserved. unless otherwise noted