The following is excerpted from Bob Hoffman's often humorous and always informative The Ad Contrarian newsletter.
Facebook advertised their app on services beloved by teens, like Snapchat and Instagram, seeking participants between the ages of 13 and 35. The sign-up process required minors to get parental consent. (How rigorous? Users simply had to scroll down and click on a check box.)"
The story gets juicier as Apple, pissed off about Facebook's abuse of one of its product to conduct this espionage, entered the fray and crippled Facebook's internal communication and information networks. "This is because the same (Apple) certificate that authenticated the research apps was also used in the key internal Facebook apps its tens of thousands of employees use every day," says Business Insider.
If that wasn't enough to grind your gears, there's this. This week it was reported that Facebook had crippled transparency tools by ProPublica and other user-friendly organizations that allow consumers to see how Facebook's advertisers are targeting them.
Senator Mark Warner said, “This is very concerning...Investigative groups like ProPublica need access to this information in order to track and report on the opaque and frequently deceptive world of online advertising.”
One would think that the last thing Facebook needs at this point is headlines about new secret spying schemes and efforts to thwart transparency. But, one would be wrong. Here's why Facebook and the rest of the online ad industry continue to go all-in on surveillance and don't give a flying shit about privacy ...
...this week, Facebook reported record profits of almost 7 billion dollars as revenue grew 30% this quarter.
Are they crazy, or are we?