Tim Cook: Facebook's Cambridge Analytica consumer data debacle forces tech industry beyond...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2018
Speaking on Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook criticized Facebook for its mishandling and commercialization of consumer data, and again concedes that the time may be past for self-regulation of how companies handle personal information.




"I think the best regulation is no regulation, is self-regulation," Cook said in answer to a question posed about Facebook. "However, I think we're beyond that here."

Cook said that it would not only been better for Facebook, but for the tech industry as a whole had Facebook controlled use of data "patched together from several sources." He also made a point of mentioning that Apple doesn't consider consumer data a source of income.

"The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer -- if our customer was our product," Cook said. "We've elected not to do that."

Cook refused a detailed answer on how he would deal with the problem if he was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, saying that he "wouldn't be in this situation."

Cook has notably in the past obliquely referred to companies' use of consumer data, noting that if a product was free, then the consumer -- and all associated data -- was the product paying for the service.

Cook was pressed on where the line was for Facebook's behavior as it applies to App Store rules.

In his reply, Cook clarified exactly what Apple's review process is there for -- to ensure that the app itself meets the App Store guidelines, as well as the submitting company's own specified privacy policy. In short, Apple doesn't decide if any other company's privacy policy is good or bad, just as long as they abide by it.

In Facebook's case, they technically followed the privacy policy that they laid out, but users didn't necessarily understand the scope of data that had been collected, nor were the others gathered in the sweep informed. It also appears that Android has far further privacy implications for users than those on iOS, with many Android users having entire call logs recorded, something that Apple's iOS protected users from.

Cook hypothesized that maybe further regulation would be able to better shape Facebook's privacy policy.

The FTC is probing Facebook following the revelation that the UK-based Cambridge Analytica acquired the data of as many as 50 million Facebook users, reports Bloomberg, which may have been misused to influence a number of political events world-wide.

In a post on March 21, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained that Aleksandr Kogan, the researcher at the center of the scandal, had accessed data of 300,000 Facebook users with permission when he created a personality quiz back in 2013. In doing so, the users who took the poll gave up information on millions of connections without their permission with to Cambridge Analytica under the guise of an academic account, and not a commercial one.

Kogan shared that harvested data with Cambridge Analytica, with some debate over whether or not Cambridge Analytica deleted the data even after promising Facebook that it had done so.

In the wake of the revelations, Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica and parent company Strategic Communications Laboratories for violating the site's Terms of Service, specifically rules about the collection and retention of data.

Cook's remarks on Wednesday were part of an interview with MSNBC's Chris Hayes and Recode's Kara Swisher. The session will form part of the "Revolution" episode airing on April 6, with members of the public also in attendance at the free taping.

The "Revolution" series interviews the leaders of major tech companies, discussing their impact on different areas of life. The first installment took place in January and featured Google CEO Sundar Pichai and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki talking about their respective Alphabet organizations.

Today's interview location at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago, IL. was the venue for yesterday's Apple's 'Field Trip' event, where the company revealed a number of hardware and software products, including a new iPad, that could help improve the education of students.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,520member
    This is the bit I don’t get. 

    300,000 are happy to share their data, but why didn’t their connections get a say?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 32
    Pandoras Box has been opened. FWIW, I think that this sort of data collection will soon be the norm and there is nothing we, the average person can do about it.
    If it isn't commercial entities, it will be Governments.

    The old WW2 slogan

     Careless Talk Costs Lives.

    a simple re-write gives

     Careless Postings Costs YOU!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 32
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 864member
    I didn't realize how bad the Facebook data capturing was until I read this article: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2018/03/27/how-facebook-able-siphon-off-phone-call-and-text-logs/464656002/
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 32
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,429member
    I maintain that regulation of Facebook would be misguided. The marketplace of ideas and public revulsion at their dara collection and sharing are now exacting a large financial penalty on the company. Facebook use is 100% voluntary. The less you use it, the more “secure” you’ll feel!
    dewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 32
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 257member
    Rayz2016 said:
    This is the bit I don’t get. 

    300,000 are happy to share their data, but why didn’t their connections get a say?
    That's the kicker. Probably s detail buried in the apps terms of service. On the order of “Opt in to share all your data...[5 pages later.],,. and all the data from every friend you’re linked to.., TIA”

    and, yes, that would seem to be a vast failure/loophole of FaceBook‘s app behavior policy. 


    edited March 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 32
    clarker99clarker99 Posts: 144member
    The amount of human beings that dont care about their personal data, privacy and security is pretty crazy. Why do we value this info so little? 

    Not happening but we should be able to charge Google or Amazon etc. for the use of our personal data. Want my phone number? $5000, please. Want everything forever? How does $100,000 sound? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 32
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,589member
    clarker99 said:
    The amount of human beings that dont care about their personal data, privacy and security is pretty crazy. Why do we value this info so little? 

    Not happening but we should be able to charge Google or Amazon etc. for the use of our personal data. Want my phone number? $5000, please. Want everything forever? How does $100,000 sound? 
    I think people find it hard to grasp. Also, there is no tangible immediate problem with sharing your information, but there is an immediate return if you do. So the reason people don't care is that it is not so much an issue of the individual as much as an issue of principle as it pertains to a population, or a country. I understand that people are against regulation but I am of the opinion that we, through our elected governments decide what kind of world we want to live in, and as such our governments must deal with, and regulate data privacy (etc), accordingly. Unfortunately governments seem to be in the pockets of corporations, which is at the very core of why everything is so effed up. To expect any industry to 'self regulate' is delusional. I don't believe in a free market v the government idea, that seems to me just a Trumpian construct of the free market. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 32
    FolioFolio Posts: 422member
    The Guardian (in UK) has some of the best coverage for a general newspaper. Many of the top read pieces in US version are on privacy and surveillance, specifically with regard to FB and GOOGL. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/28/all-the-data-facebook-google-has-on-you-privacy Rogifan a day or so ago posted results of a survey—similar to one I saw months ago— indicating consumer trust in Amazon and Google is higher than in Apple and Facebook. I’ve not seen details like methodology. But been scratching my head why Apple is not far and away the most trusted among this group. Perhaps much of it due to coverage long ago by Diane Sawyer ABC News on how iPhone tracked her travel, and more recently with the nude photos of celebs who had poor passwords. Anything else plausible? It’s important for Tim Cook to address this, if those surveys are legit. A goal might be to get Apple back on top in these polls. How many lost sales due to misperception of Apple as untrustworthy? FB snafu has finally introduced it big time to the masses. It’s time for Mr. Cook and team to capitalize, in positive tone, pro-Apple rather than anti-FB. With savvy AI and smart assistants, privacy, trust, security is an issue that will only gain prominence in future.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 32
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,918administrator
    Folio said:
    The Guardian (in UK) has some of the best coverage for a general newspaper. Many of the top read pieces in US version are on privacy and surveillance, specifically with regard to FB and GOOGL. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/28/all-the-data-facebook-google-has-on-you-privacy Rogifan a day or so ago posted results of a survey—similar to one I saw months ago— indicating consumer trust in Amazon and Google is higher than in Apple and Facebook. I’ve not seen details like methodology. But been scratching my head why Apple is not far and away the most trusted among this group. Perhaps much of it due to coverage long ago by Diane Sawyer ABC News on how iPhone tracked her travel, and more recently with the nude photos of celebs who had poor passwords. Anything else plausible? It’s important for Tim Cook to address this, if those surveys are legit. A goal might be to get Apple back on top in these polls. How many lost sales due to misperception of Apple as untrustworthy? FB snafu has finally introduced it big time to the masses. It’s time for Mr. Cook and team to capitalize, in positive tone, pro-Apple rather than anti-FB. With savvy AI and smart assistants, privacy, trust, security is an issue that will only gain prominence in future.
    Much of it has to do with the "never Apple" crowd.
    asdasdwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 32
    FolioFolio Posts: 422member
    Advertising is part of vibrant economies spurring commerce for hundreds of years. (Check out ads in Benjamin Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette.) I'm glad AppleInsider site has connected me with B&H where I've saved hundreds of dollars. Trying to paint biz model of FB or Google as evil is foolish, especially for a major CEO. Do I think FB, GOOG tracking is excessive? Yes. But I hope this is a catalyst that changes that and gives users more control. Simplifying settings on one page, instead of 20, as FB claimed today appears to be good step. One that others, including Apple, might try to emulate. Now that FB and Googl are allowing downloads of personal surveillance data that should help for better model in years to come. FB and Google vacuumed up all they could, as in aggressive Wild West era where one wasn't sure what would be valuable. Now it's time for consumers to regain power over surveillance and data. But basic model is still very much valid and quite ingenious imo. Annoying ads are also poorly targeted ones. Frankly I'd give up a little personal data if I never had to see another ad for psoriasis, catheters, or feminine hygiene pads. ;-)
  • Reply 11 of 32
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,864member
    This is a complex human nature problem that regulations cannot solve. People voluntarily signed up to FaceBook, while agreeing to its terms, conditions, and price (chunk of their soul), because it provides them with something that they need and crave. They got what they wanted from the relationship and FaceBook got what it wanted as well. No problem here other than a little buyer's remorse. However, the most troubling thing from my perspective has nothing to do with the privacy aspects, the monetization of FaceBook users, or anything else that could potentially be "regulated" by some authority.  The truly sad story here is how trivially easy it was for Cambridge Analytica to use the data to influence the beliefs and behaviors of the FaceBook users who were micro-targeted by influence campaigns, fake news, and purposely slanted manipulation attacks in order to drive specific responses and behaviors. It was a massive human engineering campaign akin to shooting fish in a barrel or clubbing baby seals to death. No amount of regulation is going to save these same people from being as easily manipulated using other techniques in the future after FaceBook tightens up its data mart. This should serve as a learning experience for those who feel clubbed. If all they pay for this lesson is a little loss of privacy and can avoid a future reoccurrence it will be a lesson well earned. 
    gatorguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 32
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,371member
    clarker99 said:
    The amount of human beings that dont care about their personal data, privacy and security is pretty crazy. Why do we value this info so little? 

    Not happening but we should be able to charge Google or Amazon etc. for the use of our personal data. Want my phone number? $5000, please. Want everything forever? How does $100,000 sound? 

    This is kind of like when I buy a car and the dealer want to but their logo on the car so I can be a free mobile billboard for them. I always tell the dealer it will cost them $500 to put their name on my car. Only once did the dealer think I was joking and I almost walked out after I saw my new car had their name all over the car. 

    I tend to agree, I do not mind  my information being used if I see I am getting value from it. In the case of Google their search is basis toward website they want to promote not towards getting the correct information or best information. Google has cost me money in the past because they are not always doing what is in your best interest, just in what makes them money.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 32
    Well well well. My Apple Watch 3 fall and the screen was broken. 367 new. 240 for a replacement screen. Unavailable from third parties. If that is not monetizing the customer ...
  • Reply 14 of 32
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,429member
    clarker99 said:
    The amount of human beings that dont care about their personal data, privacy and security is pretty crazy. Why do we value this info so little? 

    Not happening but we should be able to charge Google or Amazon etc. for the use of our personal data. Want my phone number? $5000, please. Want everything forever? How does $100,000 sound? 
    Why do most people have almost nothing in savings and live paycheck to paycheck instead of slowly build up their savings over time? Why do people continue to smoke despite the known harm? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?
  • Reply 15 of 32
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,051member
    Well well well. My Apple Watch 3 fall and the screen was broken. 367 new. 240 for a replacement screen. Unavailable from third parties. If that is not monetizing the customer ...
    Sorry, how is Apple at fault if ***YOU*** break your Watch? Pro tip: the smaller stuff is, the tighter the engineering and thus the more expensive to fix. A third-party would not be able to do it for much (if any) less. You’ve just learned a relatively cheap lesson about taking care of your stuff.
    spliff monkeywatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 32
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 864member
    Well well well. My Apple Watch 3 fall and the screen was broken. 367 new. 240 for a replacement screen. Unavailable from third parties. If that is not monetizing the customer ...
    ifixit.com rates the AW screen replacement in the "difficult" category with an expected labor time of 30 minutes to 2 hours. There's a high risk of bricking the watch. Go for it. https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Apple+Watch+Screen+Replacement/41082
    spliff monkeywatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 32
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,918administrator
    Well well well. My Apple Watch 3 fall and the screen was broken. 367 new. 240 for a replacement screen. Unavailable from third parties. If that is not monetizing the customer ...
    First of all, "Monetizing the customer" is not the same as "Monetizing the customer's data." We're talking about the latter, as every company ever makes money, and isn't a charity.

    Secondly, yes, you should pay for a repair for an accident. If you didn't want to pay as much, there's AppleCare+, and you'd pay less. The drop is your fault.
    edited March 2018 spliff monkeycharlesgresbeowulfschmidtSpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 32
    Last time I checked, Apple received 3 Billion a year from Google to be the default search engine - you know one of those companies where the "consumer is the product".

    Now where does that put Apple? Aren't they selling their customers to Google? What is the difference?

    (edited mistake in 1st sentence)


    edited March 2018
  • Reply 19 of 32
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    dewme said:
    This is a complex human nature problem that regulations cannot solve. People voluntarily signed up to FaceBook, while agreeing to its terms, conditions, and price (chunk of their soul), because it provides them with something that they need and crave.
    The question arises of whether the abuse of human psychological foundation was intentional on the part of these companies. A slew of secondary and tertiary questions to this effect arise as well, but they don’t arise here, because that’s “politics”, and we can’t discuss it.
    The truly sad story here is how trivially easy it was for Cambridge Analytica to use the data to influence the beliefs and behaviors of the FaceBook users who were micro-targeted by influence campaigns, fake news, and purposely slanted manipulation attacks in order to drive specific responses and behaviors.
    I wrote this a while ago. I’ll repost it again.

    Most people on the Internet probably only come in contact with less than a dozen sites. Google, with its Gmail and YouTube, Facebook, perhaps a random community like Tumblr, a couple of image boards, the occasional visit to Amazon, maybe some news websites, and that’s about it. For the vast majority of the population, the Internet is a prepackaged, socially engineered spy grid. It fuels itself on your input and weaponizes the information against you and everyone else. Already the social engineers are dividing us entirely, confusing the tongue, and making it difficult to communicate effectively. On Google and YouTube, comments and videos are filtered such that you only come in contact with certain predetermined material derived by social algorithms. They make it nearly impossible to discover new random channels and points of view. When you click on a video and scroll down, you’re presented with preselected comments that jive with the opinions you tend to agree with and made to jump through hoops of inconvenience to look at all the other discussions taking place.

    Since Google is so influential, this sort of strategy is largely finding its way into every facet of the corporate-controlled Internet. This means that when I click on a video, say of the puppet Obama fake crying about Sandy Hook, I will see comments that are critical of his phony bullshit and other comments mocking the counterfeit brainwashing media. Yet when a stereotypical phony “liberal” feminist clicks on the same video, she’ll be presented with comments that agree with her gun-grabbing ideology. In effect, we’re being self-imprisoned on these tiny Internet islands where we can’t reach out to one another. Google can control who and what we interact with and see, and so divide and conquer the mind of the population. It’s a good strategy to quell dissent; when I click on a controversial news video or article, I unwillingly come in contact with opinions that tend to support my own, and so I leave with the sense that there is a consensus on a particular world event like Sandy Hook. This engineering of a false consensus has the effect of pacifying the people, making them content in their beliefs. In being content, they became lazy and stop questioning the world and discussing reality with those around them.

    By forcing the ignorant to be separate from the wise, from the stupid, from the trolls, even, this system of division is impeding the social development of humanity at large. The typical person on the Internet is confined within their own little bubble of information–a literal reservation matrix. The vast majority of modern people only interact with the world around them through the lens of the Internet. Everything they know–and much of where their worldview comes from–is directly influenced through what they experience online. By allowing a cabal of government/corporate entities with advanced technologies in their disposal to regulate what an individual interacts with online, they can shape and guide the development of one’s mind.

    We are, quite literally, being domesticated through sophisticated weaponized psychology.

    Most of human history and its accumulated knowledge is already immersed on the Internet; within our lifetimes all of it will be in the cloud, soon enough the entire population will be hardwired into the Internet, in one way or another. It’s conceivable that our entire species’ recorded collective experience–all of our history and knowledge–can be manipulated and censored by predatory algorithms that can gradually and insidiously edit the data to keep the truths from us. The beast supercomputers can sift through the entire Internet and gradually edit out certain sensitive or undesirable information–even change audio files and manipulate videos. In recent years, everyone’s identity is being lassoed to the Internet, such that there is no longer anonymity and free exchange. Certain people can be effectively silenced. The Internet with which I come into contact might be an entirely different Internet than the one others see. By socially engineering groups and confining certain people within these restricted informational reservations, reality and social/cultural trends can be manufactured. It’s such a passive and insidious strategy. Just as a virus entering a cell coats itself with the host’s own membrane, masquerading as self to elude detection, this beast computer consciousness uses our own information and our own architecture to elude our defenses and gain entrance into our collective mind.
    No amount of regulation is going to save these same people from being manipulated using other techniques…

    And here’s where we would get into some dirty, nasty, naughty questions about–gasp–politics, in which we would otherwise discuss the difference between marxist collectivism (in which everyone is forcibly kept from hurting themselves) and other, freer forms of government (in which those in power are forcibly kept from hurting the aforementioned mass of idiots).

    dewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 32
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Why do most people have almost nothing in savings and live paycheck to paycheck instead of slowly build up their savings over time?
    Brainwashing from birth into instant gratification combined with an intrinsic effect of the Federal Reserve System.
    Why do people continue to smoke despite the known harm?
    They hate themselves more than they love their families.
    How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?
    846. Though that was a few decades or so ago; maybe they’ve changed the size/formula.  :p
    edited March 2018 SpamSandwich
Sign In or Register to comment.