Maybe If Faceberg Had An Index Card Saying,


“…I hear you,” his apology module might have sounded less like a Marco Rubio AI demo. Faceberg’s media tour doesn’t change the fact that Facebook’s core business model relies on data mining.

Everything Faceberg said on his Don’t Blame Me Tour has to be counterbalanced against what he wrote from his dorm room in 2004:

“I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS. People just submitted it. I don’t know why. They ‘trust me.’ Dumb fucks.”

The essential thing you have to know about Faceberg is that he is one of the few human beings whom we would all be more sympathetic to if—like so many socially awkward engineers I worked with in Silicon Valley—there was such a thing as late-onset Asperger’s Syndrome Spectrum, but alas! he’s just an asshole and sociopath. And we apologize to Aspies everywhere for comparing them to Faceberg.

Anyway, the MIT email thingie has a good round-up of where we are today:

Asking for it: On Wednesday, Zuck told CNN that “I’m not sure we shouldn’t be regulated.” Yesterday, COO Sheryl Sandberg said to CNBC that “Mark has said, it’s not a question of if regulation, it’s a question of what type.” But it’s a tough question.

Lots to choose: As Wired points out, data regulation varies massively around the world—from outright app bans, through highly prescriptive laws, to, well, nothing. 

New proposals: Senator Ed Markey told NPR there should be a “privacy bill of rights.” Slate says rules for prompt reporting of data losses would be useful (and adds that meanwhile the Federal Trade Commission ought use more of its muscle).

FB way: Zuck told Wired that “guidelines are much better than dictating specific processes.” Sounds slippery, but he may have a point: laws on tech date quickly.

Bottom line: Regulating Facebook might be necessary—but it won’t be easy.


The privacy bill of rights sounded intriguing:

MARKEY: Yes. And there is clearly a Dickensian quality to the Internet. It’s the best of technologies and the worst of technology simultaneously. It can enable and ennoble, but it can also degrade and debase. We need rules and regulations that reduce this degradation and debasement of the political process but of privacy protections for Americans in general. So we do need a privacy bill of rights that we pass through Congress and that would guarantee that every American know when information is being gathered about them, know when that information’s being re-used for purposes other than which the consumer wanted it to be used. And third and most importantly, they have a right to say no. And we have to enshrine that as the law in our country.

GREENE: That would be enforceable – some sort of bill of rights, like, that it wouldn’t just be stating, this is what users should know – that it’d be something enforceable, that Facebook could be punished somehow if they allowed something like this to happen.

MARKEY: That is correct – that it’d just be the law of the land, not just for Facebook, for – but for any of these online companies. This is the moment of reckoning. This is the time that has finally arrived where we need a national debate about the values that we’ve had in the real world but not in the online world in terms of protection. And ultimately, the Federal Trade Commission did, in fact, reach a consent decree with Facebook back in 2011 which required Facebook to obtain explicit permission before sharing data about its users. As a result, Facebook is already on a privacy probation. But it’s clear here that the protections were not put in place.

I would add that the YUGE data breaches at the banks, credit monitoring companies, Yahoo, etc., all fall into that same bucket. That they offer us—the freakin’ victims of their lax ways—a free credit monitoring account for 6 months after nearly 50% of the country had their identity stolen and which cost them nothing does absolutely nothing to insure that it never happen again. It’s now just a cost of doing bidness.

There must be a real penalty that makes these imbeciles stay awake at night.

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9 Responses to Maybe If Faceberg Had An Index Card Saying,

  1. There must be a real penalty that makes these imbeciles stay awake at night.

    making their Alexa/Google home/Homepods play a loop of the soft ‘shhhhhhhhHHHK! shhhhhhhhHHHK! shhhhhhhhHHHK!’ of the guillotines being sharpened would do for a start.

    Except I’m pretty damned sure none of them let those invasive abominations into their houses.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Feline Mama says:

      I really believe now, bdr, that humans have proven themselves to be the most destructive, narcissistic, animal form on this planet today!! For decades, PSA’s have been warning us about identity theft, SSN’s, bank info, etc., but, bye gollee, we’ve got to get in touch with Who Knows Who., & Why, & SHARE!!!!!!!
      And like humans, we ALWAYS close & lock the barn door, AFTER the horses escape.


      • Ten Bears says:

        We are Death, Destroyer of Worlds.


      • Honestly, though, Facebook has zero to do with any of those issues, and neither does our natural human gregariousness (the reason social apps are so powerful is that we’re a social species)

        Facebook, Google and the rest want to sell us stuff. That’s why they want to know all about us, so they can be more effective at selling us stuff. The reason they have to be so deep about it is that we’re always getting better at resisting the sales pitch.

        Identity theft, SSN’s, bank info, etc are a problem of banking and financial regulation not social media. THAT is an entire kettle of horses of a different color. Companies like Equifax traffic in our financial details, and this is where the serious pain should be inflicted over breaches. Equifax should not now exist as a corporation and it’s directors and executives should be facing trial, like Enron. THAT is the kind of stuff that makes ’em “stay awake at night”. Like Facebook though, they’ve gotten away with figurative murder because the people their lapses harm aren’t their customers, it’s us, their product.

        You can, with justification, argue that our digital lives are far too complex for us to manage effectively, but these are not insoluble problems.

        Liked by 1 person

      • tengrain says:

        BDR –

        Just a couple of corrections: Google/FB/Twitter do not sell us anything. They sell our data to advertisers. There is a difference.

        Anyway, I do lump the data breaches into the same pot only because it is again Our Data getting into the hands of someone We Did Not Authorize.

        It is not too complicated to solve, but it does involve giving control of our digital lives back to us. And anyone who lets that genie out of the bottle needs to pay for it, and dearly.




      • tengrain says:

        Also/Too: Elon Musk just deleted Facebook Pages for his companies, Tesla and Space X.




    • roket says:

      Correctomundo. Only an idiot allows a Spybot to have a front row seat on their coffee table.


  2. Ten Bears says:

    My grandson accepts your apology, via Facebook.


  3. Osirisopto says:

    Big data. Like slots the only way to win is to not play.

    But never fear Faceberg owns Instagram. So, he won’t be missing any meals brcause he’s already selling you to who ever cares who’s shirt you wear, if you like Thai food and if you think spiders are cool or creepy if you have second cousins with red hair parted on the left, and green eyes living in KC.


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