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: 47

Latest Activity

Central Scrutinizer posted blog posts
1 hour ago
raymond moody posted a photo
1 hour ago
Chris of the family Masters replied to skip barker's discussion Coming to your neighborhood soon
"Going door to door they will be trespassing on private properties. When ordered to stop and disregarding order, they will be acting as armed robbers. I would advise assholes about it."
6 hours ago
Chris of the family Masters favorited skip barker's discussion Coming to your neighborhood soon
6 hours ago
Central Scrutinizer commented on truth's group DEMAND 9/11 TRUTH NOW !
"9/11: What 17 Years of Lies Have Done to Us (Richard Dolan Intelligent Disclosure)"
8 hours ago
dogitydog posted a photo
8 hours ago
dogitydog commented on Raz Putin's blog post Thank you Toronto, Canada for not feeding these animals."Bill and Hillary Clinton Speak to Hundreds of Empty Seats in Toronto on First Night of Tour"
"I'm gonna go ahead and blame it on the Russians, what the hell. First they stop people from voting for Hillary, now they're blocking ticket sales. Lets get Mueller on the case. He's good at this stuff."
8 hours ago
dogitydog commented on Old Denmark's video
Thumbnail

You Filmed me in Public you can't Leave now I will follow you, 911 called Twice

"The kind of help that guy needs he can't get from the police. "
9 hours ago
Central Scrutinizer commented on truth's group DEMAND 9/11 TRUTH NOW !
"That's why we're here NavyDoc....glad to be of assistance sir ;)"
9 hours ago
NavyDoc commented on truth's group DEMAND 9/11 TRUTH NOW !
"In our government that is...sorry;^\"
9 hours ago
NavyDoc commented on truth's group DEMAND 9/11 TRUTH NOW !
"Where in the h e double hockey sticks have I been. Thanks Central Scrutinizer for these! I just watched the video on the shanksville flyover! I’ve always thought there was something screwy about that particular so called crash site! Absolutely…"
9 hours ago
jim commented on jim's blog post Sen. James Inhofe Bought Defense Stock Days After Pushing For Record Pentagon Spending—Then Dumped It When Asked About It
"Looks like the Snake got caught with the goods then dropped them.This no good S.O.B. pushed for more defense spending then cashes in when it happens. Making America Great Again. For the Rich not us. This asshole has been a Oklahoma senator as long…"
9 hours ago
jim posted blog posts
9 hours ago
dogitydog replied to Chris of the family Masters's discussion TERRAFORMING has begun: “Global dimming” is a plot to EXTERMINATE humanity by terraforming the atmosphere with SMOG pollution, killing Earth’s food crops and unleashing ecological collapse
"So the geniuses that are destroying our climate (but denying it) want to fix our climate by destroying it even more. Brilliant! Where do they find these braniacs? Emerging from the climate think tank is the brilliant idea of putting plastic trees…"
10 hours ago
Central Scrutinizer commented on truth's group DEMAND 9/11 TRUTH NOW !
"A RARE VIEW OF GROUND ZERO ON 9-16-01-"
10 hours ago
Central Scrutinizer posted videos
10 hours ago

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

© 2018   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