What You thought You were Getting
What You Got
where memes come to die
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The Canadian Access to Social Media Information Project has a clear look at the Privacy Policies of 20 of the top ‘social’ media sites.
hattip Naked Security
Remember Fantasy Island? The Magical Place with umbrella drinks and a staff who sorted out the problems you didn’t know you had while you were on vacation?
Yep Boys and Girls, The CLOUD!!, the latest nonsense from the freaks and geeks inhabiting the basements of Software Marketers, Social Media and their red headed stepchildren, the Internet Identity folks.
In a nutshell cloud computing means having files located on a computer somewhere else and making them available to you wherever, and whenever you are connected to the Internet.
The theory is that having your files located in the cloud, your company can be more productive, folks can work from anywhere, and hand over the hassle of managing your companies data, applications, and business information, both public and private to a third party who promises to make them secure, lower the cost of ownership, and have rainbows shooting out of your ass at the next shareholders meeting.
Microsoft has a strong vested interest in getting companies into the cloud as they are trying to move the core office applications to the internet like Office 365, moving everyone they can to Outlook.com in an attempt to keep the revenue up as personal computing sales have dropped, Windows 8 can be characterized as either Vista2, or BOB 3,(BOB 2 being Windows Me) depending on how far back your memory goes. Subscriptions are the new green at Microsoft. They are not alone. Google, Amazon, and others are offering you the cloud also.
Think about having your companies data on a computer located outside of your control, on the internet, which has a nasty habit getting broadcast far outside your network. Can you say Wikileaks?
Doc Searls who I know and love, has spent probably longer on the web than I have, whose work on Digital Identity and VRM is second to none, recently introduced the concept of the Personal Cloud.
Doc’s perspective on Digital Identity and VRM Vendor Relationship Management is filtered by his earlier life owning and running an Advertising Agency. He views the Internet as a place where we should be in charge of our Digital Identity and through that mechanism also Manage Relationships with Vendors aks companies that want to sell us stuff. We just disagree on how to manage those relationships.
Doc and I agree that our digital identity has to be under our control. Establishing a Bombproof Digital Identity is an enormously thorny problem, technically. The best and brightest are working on it.
The Cloud are your files located somewhere else addressable across the internet. Sort of like this website. More on that in a minute.
Which brings us to The Personal Cloud.
Let me see…..
Holy Crap Pixel Man!
See! we already have personal clouds. Mine probably isn’t as fluffy as most, but hey its mine.
Previously I shared my favorite add-ons for browsers to surf ad free
The Browser Makers are getting on the privacy train.
Here are some guides to secure your browser from tracking.
When you venture out on the web, and go places like here, you are a guest. Normally guests are treated with respect, and are not subject to ID checks, cavity searches, pickpocketing or data theft.
Commercial websites do not treat you like a guest, but rather squeeze you for every morsel of information they can grab from your computer to sell you shit you can probably do without.
Advertisers, Marketeers, and websites that are supported by advertisers think that your personal information from your IP address to your browser history, cookies, Local Storage Objects and other information on your personal computer is theirs for the taking.
The current scheme is having a Third Party manage advertising is what is creating this crisis in privacy.
You have the choice to deny info thieves anything but what you choose to share.
Privacy is not the default setting in your browsers. Although that is changing. But there are things that you can add to deny data collection, tracking and restrict invasion of your privacy.
I like to call it Advertiser Rights Management. ARM
This is your internet. Take it back from the pricks who think that you are fodder for marketing.
OMG!!! Instagram the internet mobile phone photo sharing site has changed it terms of service and has the interweb media in an uproar!!!
There is no FREE on the internet!
When you signed up you agreed to:
Let’s look at this…
Remember they did say it was Free. Is your ass beginning to itch yet?
use, modify, delete from, add to
publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content
including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels
Yep they added sub-licensable to be able to sell your ass to ad networks and Facebook. And they say that they can take money for selling your ass to advertisers to support themselves disclosing your username, likeness, photos as part of the bargain.
The sneaky bit that the digerati has missed so far is (along with any associated metadata)
So you are thinking so what? You can see jacks bar in the photo.
By now your ass should be bleeding profusely and there should be sirens screaming in your lizard brain, because as sure as you are reading this, someone will figure out how to fuck you with this.
Yeah, I am a glass half empty sort of guy, because I know There is no FREE on the internet!
I pay for my internet connection, hosting and my time posting this. You pay for your internet connection and your space if you have any, and your attention reading this.
Facebook is an Online Social Network. Requires a connection to the Internet. That is about it.
Across the interwebs is the Facebook’s One Billion Members announcement. Let me try to count the ways this is a bullshit number.
One Billion? Really? Are there really that many folks shoveling shit in the Facebook room hoping to find a pony?
First up is Internet Accounting. IA is where you count the user names in an ever ascending number. Subtraction is strictly forbidden. Nobody adjusts for people who leave, quit, and just stop playing.
Let’s do the Math…
So we are down to 900 million, which is a lot but doesn’t quite have that zing that a billion does.
Does the ‘billion’ include the accounts created by Facebook who are not official members but are created by cookie tracking on pages that have Facebook badges/Like buttons?
So we are down to 877 million. Here the math is much less certain as there is no verifiable data but what the hell.
Next let’s chop out the company accounts, brand accounts, business accounts, marketing accounts, PR flack accounts, and the rest of the Social Media Marketeer’s crap. Companies and Brands are not people and have no pulses so they get the ax. Real Names Policy doesn’t cover this bit so well. But then a Business Account is a different animal. Like George Orwell said in Animal Farm,”some animals are more equal than others’.
702 million plus or minus.
Facebook defines an active user as someone who’s logged in at least once in the previous 30 days. According to Experian in Sept 2011 which is the most recent number I could find says that folks are on Facebook between 18-38 minutes per session. Doing the math here should send every company CEO screaming about lost productivity, brain drain and sapping the potency and creating moral degeneration like email did a few years ago.
702 million. Are there really that many people shoveling shit looking for a pony? Don’t get me started on what Facebook is doing with your information while you are shoveling.
Bonus Link Facebook’s 10-Q Quarterly Report
Today it seems that having a Facebook page is the height of cool. It is not. First a little trek down memory lane.
With each iteration the number of participants has increased by orders of magnitude making your coolness less valuable and harder to find. With each new communication channel(email, website, blog) companies and advertisers want you to buy their stuff. As the population has grown and the internet has supplanted print, radio, and television in delivering raw numbers of prospects, or suckers depending on your viewpoint, Advertisers have and are betting big on getting you to ‘Yes’ from email,banner ads,websites and now Facebook pages. Using other peoples money to make a living selling you shit is as old as the first print advertisement. This is not a new business model. The FB mission is to deliver eyeballs to advertisers in exchange for money.
Facebook membership is a suckers bet. Here is a piece of poker player wisdom; ”If you look around the table and can’t spot the sucker, than you are the sucker.” If you are under the illusion that Facebook is about sharing and caring about you, I would like the opportunity to offer you either a piece of the London Bridge or a square inch of the Moon.
Facebook is arguably the current darling of the internet with a ‘reported’ 900 million users, whose sole function is to encourage members to provide information by ‘sharing’ yourself with others for the marketing machine that is Facebook. This is not a new business model. However with web beacons, third party advertising companies and Facebook’s ‘like’ buttons infecting the web,(Imagine being an alcoholic and going to the local mall and every store is a bar or liquor store.) data mining, collection and data sales has gone into overdrive.
Facebook has become the internet’s Digital Plantation and its members are all sharecroppers slaving in the digital fields living in the company town, buying ‘cred’ from the Plantation owner, and in the big house there is a giant party as the ‘bosses’ buy and sell attention data, your data.
I mentioned before that this is not a new business model, but a 21st century feedlot(fattening the cattle before sale and slaughter) that has attracted the attention of advertisers and companies in a big way.
In October 2007 was this quote in a Wired Article
As I mentioned earlier Facebook is generating revenue by selling advertising and data to companies who have been sucked into the Social Media Kool Aid. On the back of a matchbook, the ability to reach up to 900 million ‘customers’ would seem to be a great bet. Since you can sell almost anything on the web from abacuses to zebras. Almost.
GM’s Drive By Shooting
Once more folks figure this stuff out, ad revenue will plummet, people will demand more accountability from these networks, and the death spiral of irrelevance will suck Facebook into another What Happened to…. article on the back side of the web.
Source: The Ad Contrarian
Imagine ad men running after you with stencils and cans of spray paint hoping to ‘brand’ you in hopes that your scarlet letter will get all your faceyspacey ‘friends’ to buy shit you probably don’t need, or want.
The latest discovery in Facebook Privacy Violations is the Facebook ‘like’ button seen on websites. Over at Thinq.co.uk is this article:
Facebook’s ‘Like This’ button is tracking you Whether you click it or not
The argument that this is not malware, but merely marketing data, is bullshit in my view. History tracking is no different than keystroke logging, or user name password theft. The idea that they should be happy just visiting their sites instead of thieving from us like an electronic TSA strip search, genital grab shows how far the web has been corrupted by marketeers. The standard disclaimer by websites that they are pure as the driven snow, and it is those third party sites who pay them money are to blame is also bullshit, because this is not passive information, but aggressive theft and privacy violation. Because at the end of the day, this information’s value is not to enrich your experience on the web, but is all about spending the least amount of money to sell you shit you can probably do without.
Arnold Roosendaal, a Dutch university researcher, is the author of the paper that this article is based on and is available here. [PDF]
Next up is this gem from Forbes.
This is not limited to rogue sites running home brewed scripts, but some of the major destinations on the web.
I had to laugh reading that. First they get caught, then they admit that they don’t trust what they paid for, and then they run their scripts without telling folks. Here is company using these privacy violating scripts to ‘check’ the data that they are buying from companies that are selling this data out the back door while posting signs on their front doors saying that they do not sell this data.
The one thing that both of these articles have in common, is links to source material used to write these stories. This is the new face of journalism web style.