Facebook Still ‘Secretly’ Tracks Your iPhone This Is How To Stop It

Despite Apple’s public crackdown on Facebook data harvesting, the social media giant will store your iPhone’s location even when you have set it “never” to do that. Now you can stop Facebook in its tracks, ensuring your phone can’t be secretly tracked.

Facebook is reeling as it becomes clear that Apple’s privacy innovations are throttling some of its most lucrative revenue streams. But while stopping cross-app and cross-site tracking is a huge plus for a billion-plus iPhone users, when you use apps provided by the likes of Facebook and Google, you still share way too much of your data.

This should be well understood—there have been enough warnings. But even when users think they’ve done the right things—changed settings to opt for privacy, there are still backdoors, such as with private photos you upload to Facebook and Instagram.

The photos you take on your iPhone include metadata, data about the photos that is embedded into the photo file itself. When you send the photo in its original form, the metadata goes along. That data includes the model of your phone, the way your camera was set up, the date and time the photo was taken, and, critically, where it was taken.

That location data is very precise—and it’s very useful, because you can search photos on your phone by place, logically collating your memories. But when you upload photos to Facebook or Instagram, that metadata is stripped away. If you save photos from either back to your device, you’ll see that there is no embedded location data.

So, does Facebook delete the location data after it has been stripped? No, of course not. Why would the world’s most avaricious data harvester throw away valuable information that it can use to monetize you even further? Facebook stores the data in its multi-billion-dollar data vault, against your profile.

No surprises there. What is surprising, though, is that Facebook strips and stores this data even when you’ve told the platform (both online and on your iPhone) “never” to track your location. Why Facebook thinks this is okay, I fail to understand.

You can see this for yourself. If you upload a photo to Facebook and then download “your Facebook information,” you will see Facebook has stored the exact GPS location stripped from the photo, as well as your IP address when you uploaded the image.

The data “we collect,” Facebook says in its privacy policy, “can include information in or about the content that you provide (e.g., metadata), such as the location of a photo or the date a file was created.” This location data is used “to provide, personalize and improve our products, including ads.

Until now, fixing this issue has been painful. You need to either disable your iPhone camera’s photo location tagging or use a third-party app to strip the metadata before uploading images. Thankfully, Apple has just fixed the problem.

In your photo album, swipe up any image or select the “i” in the bottom menu bar, and select “Adjust.” You can then change the location to one of your choice or delete it.

This isn’t just a great option for Facebook, of course. While many messaging apps, including WhatsApp and Signal, strip (but don’t save) metadata, iMessage and email attachments retain embedded data, as do photos added to shared albums.

If you’re sharing photos, there are many reasons you might not want to share the exact location. Putting safety aside, many a person has been caught out by inadvertently revealing where they are (and where they are not) via this invisible metadata.

I have warned on this Facebook and Instagram loophole before, and when I have asked Facebook about this, it has confirmed that the platform “collects and processes” such data. When asked if this is used for advertising, “regardless of the privacy settings selected by a user,” I was told it was fine to proceed with those assumptions.

Facebook has enough of your data. This is a great example of where you can hold something back without any detrimental impact to you whatsoever. If you’ve taken the trouble to stop Facebook capturing your location, make sure it’s doing as it’s told.

Zak is a widely recognized expert on surveillance and cyber, as well as the security and privacy risks associated with big tech, social media, IoT and smartphone platforms. He is frequently cited in the international media and is a regular commentator on broadcast news, with appearances on BBC, Sky, NPR, NBC, Channel 4, TF1, ITV and Fox, as well as various cybersecurity and surveillance documentaries.

Zak has twenty years experience in real-world cybersecurity and surveillance, most recently as the Founder/CEO of Digital Barriers, which develops advanced surveillance technologies for front line security and defense agencies as well as commercial organizations in the US, Europe and Asia. The company is at the forefront of AI-based surveillance and works closely with flagship government agencies around the world on the appropriate and proportionate use of such technologies. As well as analyzing security and surveillance stories, Zak is co-creator of Forbes’ award winning Straight Talking Cyber video series. Zak can be reached at zakd@me.com.

Source: Facebook Still ‘Secretly’ Tracks Your iPhone—This Is How To Stop It

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Zuckerberg Grows $5.1 Billion Richer After Judge Throws Out FTC’s Antitrust Case Against Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Testifies At House Hearing

A federal judge has given Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook investors a trillion or so reasons to smile.

Judge James E. Boasberg on Monday tossed aside several antitrust cases brought by the FTC and state authorities, turning away the most concerted campaign yet to police the social network. The decision sent Facebook’s stock sharply higher, allowing the company to cross the $1 trillion threshold in market value for the first time. These rising shares were a boon for common shareholder and billionaire alike: The 4.1% in stock price during after-hours trading added $5.1 billion to Zuckerberg’s fortune.

Boasberg’s decision—and the stock movement—underscore the complexities about Facebook’s future. The social network has developed a wide swath of critics from both sides of the political spectrum and received a major black eye for its handling of user data.

Led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, some of the company’s opponents had hoped antitrust legal action might deliver what they’ve long craved: A blow to Facebook to reduce its ballooning scale and importance and deliver a measure of regulation. The antitrust case revolved around Facebook’s 2012 acquisition of Instagram and its WhatsApp purchase two years later.

But bringing Facebook to heel won’t be as easy as its detractors might’ve hoped. Boasberg dismissed the states’ case over timeliness, saying it too much time had elapased since those acquisitions. Meanwhile, Boasberg tossed out the FTC’s argument and argued in a 53-page opinion that regulators hadn’t produced enough facts to support their argument. The FTC could still tak

The other thing is: Despite a steady drum beat of negative news for much of the past four years, Facebook’s stock has been a winner. Its shares have doubled since March 2018, when the full ramifications of the Cambridge Analytic become public, igniting this new era in Facebook’s history. Over that period, the S&P 500 went up less than 60%—while Zuckerberg, his position at the company bolstered by the company’s increasing share prices, has watched his fortune go from less than $60 billion to nearly $100 billion.

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I’m a senior editor at Forbes, where I cover social media, creators and internet culture. In the past, I’ve edited across Forbes magazine and Forbes.com.

Source: Zuckerberg Grows $5.1 Billion Richer After Judge Throws Out FTC’s Antitrust Case Against Facebook

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Critics:

An antitrust suit against Facebook by the FTC and several states had the wind taken out of its sails today by a federal judge, who ruled that the plaintiffs don’t provide enough evidence that the company exerts monopoly control over social media. The court was more receptive, however, to revisiting the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, and the case was left open for regulators to take another shot at it.

The court decision was in response to a Facebook motion to dismiss the suit. Judge James Boesberg of the D.C. circuit explained that the provided evidence of monopoly and antitrust violations was “too speculative and conclusory to go forward.” In a more ordinary industry, it might have sufficed, he admits, but “this case involves no ordinary or intuitive market.”

It was incumbent on the plaintiffs to back up their allegation of Facebook controlling 60 percent of the market with clear and voluminous data and a convincing delineation of what exactly that market comprises — and it failed to do so, wrote Boesberg. Therefore he dismissed the complaints in accordance with Facebook’s legal argument.

The company wrote in a statement that it is “pleased that today’s decisions recognize the defects in the government complaints.”

On the other hand, Boesberg is sensible that lack of evidence in the record does not mean that the evidence does not exist. So he his giving the FTC and states 30 days to amend their filing, after which the complaints will be reevaluated.

Facebook Unveils Section Dedicated To Debunking Coronavirus Misinformation

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Facebook announced Wednesday it would launch a section that will be devoted to debunking common myths about coronavirus, as it aims to combat criticism that its been too lax about misinformation on its platform.

KEY FACTS

Called “Facts About Covid-19,” the new section will appear under the Covid Information Center part of the site that features local and national updates about the pandemic as well as suggestions of pages to follow for more information.

In an example of what the section will look like that was posted to Twitter on Wednesday, tabs appeared to show information to dispute common myths repeated throughout the pandemic, like how hydroxychloroquine is not generally recommended as a preventative or treatment for the virus, along with consuming bleach or disinfectants.

The aim of the section is “to further limit the spread of misinformation,” the social media giant said in a tweet Wednesday.

The company also announced that both Facebook and Instagram will feature new alerts to remind users to wear face masks.

On Thursday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg will interview Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease official, including about the country’s efforts to slow the pandemic, how close a vaccine could be and what everyday people can do to pitch in—all to be livestreamed on Facebook, of course.

Zuckerberg has invited Facebook users to submit questions they would like to see Fauci answer.

KEY BACKGROUND

Facebook has recently taken steps to curb misinformation on the platform in a change of course for Zuckerberg, who just months ago criticized Twitter for its decision to fact check President Donald Trump’s tweets. “Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online,” Zuckerberg said to Fox News anchor Dana Perino in a May interview. However, by April, Facebook announced that users who engaged with posts flagged as containing misinformation about coronavirus would get a notification to direct them to the World Health Organization’s information about the virus.

Last month, Zuckerberg finally followed Twitter’s lead to flag political figures’ posts that violate Facebook policies but are considered newsworthy. Last week, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said the firm “has to get better at finding and removing hateful content,” after a campaign called Stop Hate For Profit called on companies to boycott advertising on the site until Facebook addresses the “hate and disinformation being spread” on the platform.

Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus

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I am a Texas native covering breaking news out of New York City. Previously, I was a Forbes intern in London. I am an alum of City, University of London and Texas State University.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Power Move May Be The Biggest Game Changer For The Job Market

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Facebook has a history of either copying or acquiring their competitors. This isn’t meant to be a slight; it’s smart. Facebook has the war chest, talent and billions of global visitors to its platforms. There’s no need for them to keep reinventing the wheel.

It didn’t come as a surprise when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg copied Jack Dorsey, the dual CEO of Twitter and Square. Dorsey previously announced that he’d allow his employees to continue working from home “forever.” Dorsey said, “We want employees to be able to work where they feel most creative and productive.”

On the heels of Dorsey’s announcement, Facebook said this week that it would permit its employees to work remotely too. Zuckerberg isn’t known for being warm and cuddly. He’s viewed as a brilliant and tough business person. He clearly sees the trend and benefits of allowing employees to work from home and jumped on the bandwagon. The massive, forced remote-work experiment made by major corporations, during the pandemic, proved a great success. The workers didn’t have to be subjected to long, time-wasting commutes. They were able to take care of and teach their children, as their schools closed, and available to help sick or needy family members.

Companies recognize that their costs will appreciably drop if they’re no longer required to lease pricy real estate in big, overcrowded cities that have high tax rates. They also understand, from a public relations standpoint, that less people driving or taking busses to and from work cuts down on pollution and saves the environment. We’ve all seen by now the before Covid-19 and after photos of cities showing the improvement of the air quality.

Zuckerberg anticipates that a large percentage of his people will work remotely and said, “We’re going to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale.” While this sounds noble and magnanimous, there’s an underlying threat to workers.

At first blush, Facebook, Twitter, Square and other employees who’ve been offered the chance to work remotely will be delighted that they don’t have to commute, deal with annoying co-workers, endless in-person meetings and their bosses glaring at them.

Some will say that it’s not worthwhile to live in San Francisco, Silicon Valley or other cities where rentals and houses cost a fortune. The taxes and cost of living are also too high. Many will leave the cities and move to places that offer more affordable housing, along with a better quality and higher standard of living. This can be boom for many suburbs and warm, sunny low-tax states and a detriment to the cities that throngs of people escape from.

Here’s the Facebook catch: employees will have to tell their boss if they move to a different location. According to Zuckerberg, those who flee to lower-cost cities “may have their compensation adjusted based on their new locations.” He ominously added, “We’ll adjust salary to your location at that point. There’ll be severe ramifications for people who are not honest about this.”

It’s becoming clear that the “gift” of remote work may be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Let’s face facts, Zuckerburg and Dorsey didn’t become multimillionaires because they’re nice. They are sharp, aggressive, genius wolves dressed in T-shirts, jeans and hoodies. They know that a person can work from home in San Francisco, North Dakota, Iowa, Utah, England or India. It’s been proven that the available technology, such as Zoom videos, Slack and other products, make it easy to work from anywhere in the world and seamlessly connect with co-workers and managers.

Zuckerberg can now scout for talent all over the country and world. This could be the worst trend for workers, as CEOs arbitrage the best, cheapest job seekers globally. Facebook will source job applicants who possess all of the right skills and experience and live in lower-cost places and pay them less money then they’d receive working in San Francisco. Dorsey was upfront about this stating, “We can get talent anywhere. There’s a lot of folks out there that do not want to move to San Francisco. They feel comfortable working in a much smaller office or just home.”

This will cause a ripple of serious repercussions. Salaries for workers in San Francisco and other large cities may fall due to the introduction of job seekers that weren’t previously considered. Compensation may also be suppressed due to the overhang of over 39 million Americans who are out of work.

It’s also telling that Facebook just launched a new group video chat product, Messenger Rooms.This looks like it’s specifically designed to compete against Zoom, Skype, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams. Conveniently, Facebook’s own employees can create a video chat room and invite up to 50 people to join a video call. It will make it easier for their remote workers and also steal market share from Zoom, which has become the Covid-19 breakout success story.

A large number of companies, including Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Capital One, Amazon, Microsoft, Zillow and others have all announced that they’ll extend their work-from-home programs. They most likely will follow Zuckerberg and Dorsey’s lead by seeking out talent that live in lower-cost places, so they can bring down their costs. In light of the economic hit companies have taken due to the effects of Covid-19, saving money has become a top priority.

On the flip side, there is some positive news. Job seekers will have more opportunities—albeit along with greater competition—as they can apply to jobs anywhere in the United States. If you see a job advertisement for a position outside of where you reside, feel free to submit your résumé. The odds are that most companies will adopt this remote-work strategy and consider candidates from various locations. This trend will free you from being relegated to only applying to jobs within commuting distance.

This power move by Zuckerberg could be the biggest game changer for the job market coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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I am a CEO, founder, and executive recruiter at one of the oldest and largest global search firms in my area of expertise, and have personally placed thousands of professionals with top-tier companies over the last 20-plus years. I am passionate about advocating for job seekers. In doing so, I have founded a start-up company, WeCruitr, where our mission is to make the job search more humane and enjoyable. As a proponent of career growth, I am excited to share my insider interviewing tips and career advancement secrets with you in an honest, straightforward, no-nonsense and entertaining manner. My career advice will cover everything you need to know, including helping you decide if you really should seek out a new opportunity, whether you are leaving for the wrong reasons, proven successful interviewing techniques, negotiating a salary and accepting an offer and a real-world understanding of how the hiring process actually works. My articles come from an experienced recruiter’s insider perspective.

Source: https://www.forbes.com

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he expects 50% of the company’s employees to work from home over the next five to 10 years. The social media giant will embrace remote work, even after coronavirus restrictions end, with Facebook limiting offices to 25% capacity when workers return in July. The company has 48,000 employees in 70 offices around the world Subscribe to The Guardian on YouTube ► http://is.gd/subscribeguardian Facebook expects half of employees to work remotely over next five to 10 years ► https://www.theguardian.com/technolog… Support the Guardian ► https://support.theguardian.com/contr… Today in Focus podcast ► https://www.theguardian.com/news/seri…

Facebook Used to Be an Essential Marketing Tool. These CEOs Are Doing Just Fine Without It

In 2013, AHS Consulting founder Amna Shah started boosting her business’s presence on Facebook. She and her employees worked to build out a page with information about the Chattanooga, Tennessee-based company, and posted new content multiple times a week. To attract potential customers, staffers crafted ads and paid to boost exposure of posts.

Shah knew consumer-facing brands may be better suited for Facebook’s advertising and paid marketing, but assumed hers, too, could find an audience. Some existing customers interacted with the brand, and likes piled up. But Shah says no one new from Chattanooga or the nearby Atlanta region seemed to be finding her consulting firm through the platform–only some individuals from India and China.

https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/simgad/16268205965370515636“Over time, we started to think these were fake profiles,” she says. “We got no new business out of Facebook, ever.” Halfway through 2018, the company stopped putting effort into Facebook marketing.  Shah is far from alone. In a November survey, Inc. asked CEOs and other high-ranking executives from fast-growing companies what they think about Facebook from a business perspective. Thirty-two percent said they are now getting less for their marketing dollars with Facebook than they used to, while 27 percent said they mistrust Facebook’s use of their business data. In follow-up interviews, several of the survey takers said they have slowed their use of Facebook marketing and advertising. A few, meanwhile, have pulled the plug altogether.

  • Shannon Hulbert, the CEO of Opus Interactive, a cloud-services provider in Hillsboro, Oregon, had been spending hundreds of dollars a month on Facebook advertising, but said her company cut back dramatically in 2018. The following year Opus removed Facebook from its marketing budget entirely. The social network had stopped driving business, Hulbert says, as Opus had itself grown to cater to much larger businesses.
  • Moira Vetter, the founder and CEO of Modo Modo Agency in Atlanta, says a decade ago it felt like every business needed to be on Facebook and Twitter. Recently though, her creative agency–an Inc. 5000 honoree the past three years–has shifted its focus to producing content and promoting its work on Instagram and LinkedIn. “I feel that Facebook has run its course,” she says. “It’s not somewhere people in our industry are spending time. In fact, it’s become less and less of something I even think or talk about.”
  • Bubba Grimsley says he’d just cut off his Fairhope, Alabama-based company Liberty Rent’s Facebook presence in November, due to concerns about data privacy within his industry, which works with real-estate rentals and financing. “I don’t even know why we were doing it,” he says of the company’s Facebook efforts, which included paying to boost exposure of its content. “I don’t think I was finding any customers.”

For years Facebook has poured energy into targeting and educating small businesses, growing a team of publicists and outreach employees. As of 2018, more than 140 million businesses globally used Facebook, at least 90 million of which were small and midsize businesses, according to the company. Veronica Twombly, the head of communications for Facebook Small Business, says SMBs are a “top priority” for the platform.

“We are trying to elevate our free and paid solutions to make sure these small- and medium-size businesses know all of the tools at their disposal to help grow their customers,” Twombly tells Inc. The company offers digital training for businesses, and held more than 100 in-person training sessions in the United States in 2019.

Facebook in the past has acknowledged the growing cost of its advertising for business, even as user growth has slowed. Finance chief David Wehner said in an investor conference call that in the fourth quarter of 2017 alone, the average price per ad climbed 43 percent, while the number of ad impressions served increased just 4 percent. Still, Twombly says the company is continuing to see growth in monthly active advertisers.

Several of the executives who told Inc. they have stopped advertising on Facebook over the past year were from business-to-business companies, which often can find customers more reliably on LinkedIn or through other marketing channels. But others outside of the B2B realm have followed suit. One example is Jack Wight, the founder of an electronics reseller that advertised aggressively to individuals on Facebook in 2018 but pulled the plug on the effort the following year.

“We weren’t making any money on those people by the time we paid for the advertising,” says Wight, the chief executive of Buyback Boss, which is based in Tempe, Arizona. “The marketing cost was just higher than other channels.”

Wight estimates his company spent about $20,000 on Facebook ads over the course of a year, before giving up on Facebook about seven months ago. For 2020, his company is using a strategy of SEO and Adwords to find people who type in, for example, “sell my iPhone 10” on Google.

A Buyback Boss employee who had been handling the company’s Facebook presence and advertising now focuses on search marketing. Wight says he’s open to resuming ad spending on Facebook–but only after he’s scaled the other marketing channels he’s found more effective.

“We put some money into it, we risked some money to experiment,” he says, “and it just didn’t work.”

By Christine Lagorio-Chafkin Senior writer, Inc. @Lagorio

 

Source: Facebook Used to Be an Essential Marketing Tool. These CEOs Are Doing Just Fine Without It

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