Facebook and free services very good to be true

Where does Facebook's data go, and others'” services? Companies are known to sell cell phone location data. The following fact has been revealed in recent days in the US: This information was not only sold to advertisers but also to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a government agency known for keeping immigrant children in cages.


According to her publication Journal, η ICE και γενικότερα το Υπουργείο Εσωτερικής Ασφάλειας (DHS) αγοράζουν και χρησιμοποιούν τις πληροφορίες τοποθεσίας από “εκατομμύρια” phones to track down and arrest illegal immigrants from Mexico.

This move seems to be legal, but like he says the WSJ, "The use of this data by the federal government for law enforcement purposes has not been reported before."

The experts told the newspaper that it was one of the "biggest concerns about massive data exploitation by the US authorities".
Venntel, a company that has provided the data in recent years to DHS, which operates ICE is affiliated with mobile ad company Gravy . Public records show that Venntel has also signed a contract with the DEA, the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

"This is a violation of immigrant rights and data privacy rights," said Adam Schwartz of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

"Our society has failed to protect consumers from companies that collect and sell personal information, along with sensitive location data. "Now, according to information, the federal government has bought access to this data and is using it to locate and deport immigrants."

He added: "This is another reason why we need strong laws to protect the privacy of consumers."

Note that although the data does not include personally identifiable information, such as a username, but an anonymous alphanumeric identifier, there is a problem. A New York Times survey of this type of data late last year found that it is quite easy to figure out who is on a site.

If one person for example is in a certain location at night and in another 8 o'clock in the morning, we can understand where the of and where he works. Using this two pieces of information, and linking them to others circulating on the internet, we can understand who we are talking about.

"Although they say the data is anonymous, analyzing different data sets gives us a very detailed picture of who you are, better than you know yourself." he says in Recode, Dragana Kaurin, a researcher at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

"These data can be used to distinguish people by race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or bourgeois-social class."

And as the title suggests, free software like weather or games and Facebook on your phone is not free.

Data from "free" services, antivirus software, weather applications etc, are circulating on the internet and there are many buyers. In other words, "free" software has a significant cost to your privacy, and the terms are deeply embedded in privacy policies we've never read.

Plus now we don't just have to worry about Facebook and the but also for the authorities.

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Written by giorgos

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