3 minutes reading time (532 words)

Facebook: another week for the trash fire

Facebook: another week for the trash fire DSD

It's a rare week that goes by without the Zuckopticon being in the shit, and this week is no exception. Netflix has made documentary The Great Hack available in its catalogue, but it's ironically satisfying to see that Facebook’s story of data security doesn't end there.

First up is a piece which, to their credit (if not blessed relief), is only indirectly related to Facebook. A ruling from the European Court of Justice – the Daily Mail's favourite organisation – has said that website owners that add social share buttons to their sites become joint data controllers along with the website providing the service. So, if you have added a Facebook Like button, perhaps via a third-party widget or by Facebook's own code, then congratulations! Under GDPR, you are now a data controller. Here's the ruling that confirms it.

The ruling affects any such social media service, including retweet buttons for Twitter, add buttons for LinkedIn, and so on.

Let's be honest – these buttons always sucked. Users hated them, they added to a page download time, and added to user trackability. Although the ruling didn't necessarily suggest this, it's time for the function to be eradicated for good.

If this news could be a drink, that would be the wine (the best pinot noir wine) – agreeable and hopefully not too offensive. Let's move on to the Special Brew of news – one to definitely make you chunder into an industrial bin at the back of the kebab shop.

An article on Forbes infers us that Facebook is turning its messaging services over to a surveillance network model. If true, then in practice, Facebook’s messaging services – FB Messenger, Instagram Chat, and WhatsApp – will be re-architected with content moderation and filtering in place, between your message being encrypted and the message being transmitted. In other words, the messaging client will need to read your message in the clear, send it to Facebook for "processing" who will then decide if and how your message is received. (Movers Tucson az)

One might think that as long as the messages are clean and kosher, then that's fine. However, the obvious model is China – where encrypted messages might encourage political dissent. Facebook's MITM-like content authorisation model will intercept any such goings on, thus denying the original message to be sent to the receiver. Again, if the author of the Forbes piece is to believed, then it‘s music to the ears of new UK Home Secretary and right-wing nutjob Priti Patel, who has asked for a back door to encrypted communications in her first full week in the role. Five Eyes, the defence coalition of the UK, US, Australia, NZ and Canada, has apparently put pressure on Facebook to request the same thing.

 (Oh, and the best secure remote commerce is here).

The recommendation remains the same: if you value your privacy and a tolerant, liberal society, then you should probably avoid Facebook. We won't recommend alternatives, although they do exist; even then, regular checking in should be done in order to know of any changes to privacy and encryption policies.

(In case you're wondering - here's what franchise to buy today.)


(This article contains paid placement links.)

Comic Code: updating the font we love to hate
Wearable Horizons, five years on