An in-depth critique of Mark Zuckerberg’s hearing before the US Congress by one of the privacy industry expert insiders Cliqz.com dots the I s and crosses the T s and presents some eye opening statistics.
That Facebook (and Google and Youtube, etc.) are probably evil would meet with general agreement after reading this post.
To take your privacy back from these evil players on the Internet you would be well advised to install browser software (and extensions) that is especially designed to do just that: protect your privacy.
While there are a number of options available out there, I have been test-driving the Cliqz browser with the Ghostery extension for some time both on the desktop and on the mobile. While I have not examined the data-stream between the browser and the Internet, the Cliqz browser has restored my confidence that my Internet activities are private as they should be.
Both Cliqz and Ghostery are available as extensions for other web browsers like Firefox and Google Chrome so you can stay on familiar territory but now in the knowledge that your data is safe.
— Barefoot Warrior, editor
The #Facebook CEO claims to know nothing about shadow profiles. We at #Cliqz consider this statement to be not very credible and ask him to respect everyone’s privacy in an open letter.
Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill April 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. This is the second day of testimony before Congress by Zuckerberg, 33, after it was reported that 87 million Facebook users had their personal information harvested by Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm linked to the Trump campaign.
At a hearing before the #US_Congress Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that he did not know anything about shadow profiles. Cliqz now confronts him with this obvious lie in an open letter that has appeared in leading German and European media today:
DEAR MARK ZUCKERBERG,
Some lawmakers embarrassed themselves when they questioned you in front of the US Congress. It was a bit like watching one‘s grandparents trying to be cool on social media. At times the ladies and gentlemen there seemed a little out of their depth, there were a few awkward moments – in fact the entire event could have been quite amusing, and you and your shareholders had every reason to feel relieved.
However, upon a closer look, none of it was funny. What you told the world was a lie. You evaded the question about the fact that Facebook has us all under #surveillance, regardless of whether we are actually signed up to Facebook or not by claiming some obscure “security purposes”. That is one conscious aspect of your business model which is not funny at all.
Let us look forward to a better future. You have told the media that this is what you intend to do. You have been given a chance to do things better. Keep your word! Prove that you really intend to implement the changes to your company you have promised to the public. Show your users some respect – and respect everyone’s privacy.
AND IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW PRIVACY WORKS, ASK US. WE’RE REALLY GOOD AT IT.
Dr.-Ing. Marc Al-Hames
CEO Cliqz GmbH
CEO Cliqz GmbH
Zuckerberg’s statements are not very trustworthy
With the #Cambridge_Analytica scandal, Facebook came into the public eye as one of the actors of the otherwise covert #surveillance_economy. At first glance, users of the major Internet platforms only see a social network, a search engine, a map service, a video portal. In the background, however, data is collected and turned into money. It was long overdue that the data collection practice of Facebook – representing all major advertising-funded Internet giants – was put to the test.
Asked about #shadow_profiles by Congressman Ben Lujan, Zuckerberg said: “I’m not familiar with that.” Shadow profiles are the data that Facebook collects and stores even about those Internet users who never signed up to Facebook or who deliberately left the network. The founder of the Social Network allegedly knows nothing about this practice? Pretty unlikely!
Zuckerberg actually knows very well that Facebook’s tracking scripts are integrated into thousands of websites. They even allow Facebook to see what we are all doing outside its platform. This data is an essential part of their business model. The information reveals a lot about what we want to buy or where we will travel to – ideal for targeting for marketing purposes.
Facebook tracks nearly 30% of global website traffic, as a study by Cliqz and #Ghostery shows. The evaluation of “only” one third of all the websites we visit is enough to know more about us than our closest relatives do: whether we have debts, suffer from a serious illness, cheat on our partner, look for a new job, and what political attitudes and sexual preferences we have – our Internet history reveals it all.
This is how privacy works!
Cliqz respects and protects your privacy. The anti-tracking technology built into our Cliqz and Ghostery browser products reliably prevents you from being tracked across the web. Tracking scripts are either blocked from the outset or the personal data they request is replaced by a generic placeholder. With this combination of blocklist-based anti-tracking and the #AI-powered removal of user identifiers, Cliqz is the innovation leader.
In addition, Cliqz only stores strictly anonymous, merely statistical data on its servers without any reference to individual users. This anonymous statistical data is the foundation of our independent web index, used by our quick search engine that is built into the Cliqz Browser, among others. Nevertheless, Cliqz is able to individualize services. But all data related to individual users always remain on the user’s device, in their possession and under their control. This client-side data aggregation is the privacy-friendly counter model to storing profiles on servers in data centers.
Cliqz’s business model MyOffrz also follows the principle “the browser knows everything, we know nothing”: Cliqz users see attractive offers based on the websites they visit and the search queries they enter. The matching of interests and offers takes place locally in the browser on the user’s device; no data related to individual users is sent to the Cliqz servers. This innovative technology, called Browser-based Performance Marketing, is a proof of concept for a consistently privacy-friendly business model of the future. It proves that no profiles need to be stored on servers to build an ad-based business model.