Watch the hearing about Facebook’s alleged spying below:
PJ Media reported:
“There’s been various speculation about the fact that Facebook can, through the Facebook app on your smart phone, listen in to what people are talking about and discussing and using that to prioritize the advertising as well,” Collins said. “Other people would say, no, they don’t think it’s possible. It’s just that the Facebook system is just so good at predicting what you’re interested in that it can guess.” He asked for Wylie’s thoughts on the possibility.
“On a comment about using audio and processing audio, you can use it for, my understanding generally of how companies use it… not just Facebook, but generally other apps that pull audio, is for environmental context,” Wylie said. “So if, for example, you have a television playing versus if you’re in a busy place with a lot of people talking versus a work environment.” He clarified, “It’s not to say they’re listening to what you’re saying. It’s not natural language processing. That would be hard to scale. But to understand the environmental context of where you are to improve the contextual value of the ad itself” is possible.
Wylie continued: “There’s audio that could be useful just in terms of are you in an office environment, are you outside, are you watching TV?”
Christopher Wylie went on to make even more frightening allegations against his company, and said that people who worked at Cambridge Analytica were in fear for their lives. He said:
“My predecessor was found dead. One of my former coworkers had a massive head injury and is missing part of his skull. People do get hurt at this firm.” He added that people are afraid to come forward to talk about the company “because it’s that intimidating.”
Cambridge Analytica responded Tuesday, and stated:
Meanwhile, Facebook users have said that they have noticed some major coincidences that indicated that they were being spied on, due to major coincidences.
For example, PJ Media revealed that:
‘Users have raised concerns about the practice after observing that they’ve been targeted with ads for products they’ve never expressed an interest in online. Many Facebook users have reported examples and alleged evidence that the app is listening in on their conversations.’
Facebook denies that they spy on users with their app in order to target users with customized advertisements, but as evidence begins to emerge, things don’t look good for Zuckerberg or Facebook. In fact, 37 state attorney general’s pounced and the Federal Trade Commission launched its own investigation into the company’s data privacy practices, as well as, a number of privacy groups have sued.
In addition to the spying controversies, it also has become evident that Facebook likely violated Election laws as well. One such instance is in 2012, when Facebook is reported to have voluntarily handed over private data on millions of its users to help re-elect then President Barack Obama. An act that would be a major violation of federal campaign finance laws. A law that bans corporations from making “direct or indirect” contributions to federal candidates. It is a law that extends beyond cash contributions to “any services, or anything of value.” In other words, corporations cannot provide federal candidates with free services of any kind.
For example, if a corporation decided to offer a presidential candidate free office space, that would violate federal law. Corporations can certainly offer their services, including office space, to federal campaigns. But the campaigns are required to pay the fair market value for such services or rental properties.
Fox News reported that:
According to Carol Davidsen, the former media director for Obama for America, Facebook gave the 2012 Obama campaign direct access to the personal data of Facebook users in violation of its internal rules, making a special exception for the campaign. The Daily Mail, a British newspaper, reported that Davidsen said on Twitter March 18 that Facebook employees came to the campaign office and “were very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side.”
Therefore, Facebook is reported to have given the Obama campaign free unfettered access to user data and information. Information that now looks like it could include what sites users went onto, what purchases they made, who they speak with, what they say, phone conversations, text conversations, and any other data and information that would be a blatant violation of American’s privacy rights.
Currently, the Mainstream Media is reporting how the Trump campaign is being investigated by Mueller for hiring Cambridge Analytica, and using Facebook data for their campaign. However, Fox News reported:
The Trump campaign hired Cambridge Analytica to do political research on voters and reportedly to “help the campaign target specific voters with ads and stories.”
The real controversy now involving the Trump campaign deals with exactly how Cambridge Analytica obtained the data it used for the campaign. A CNBC report says that Cambridge Analytica bought the data from Aleksandr Kogan and his company, Global Science Research, which obtained the data through an app and a psychological test taken by Facebook users.
The amounts paid by the Trump campaign to Cambridge Analytica for its services – and the use of the Facebook data – are listed in its spending reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. This proves that the Trump campaign paid for services in the same way that campaigns routinely hire and pay direct mail marketers. So the Trump campaign did not get an illegal corporate contribution from Cambridge Analytica or Facebook when it received free access to very valuable data.
Whether or not Global Science Research and Cambridge Analytica violated any Facebook rules regarding this data is not the responsibility of the Trump campaign. From the standpoint of federal campaign finance law, the Trump campaign met its obligation to pay for and report this spending and did not violate the ban on corporate contributions.
Interestingly, Facebook went much further with the Obama Administration and mined data that went above and beyond legal bounds, all the while, handing the Obama campaign vast amounts of information for free, in order to help him win the election.
As a result of the corruption accusations and investigations into Facebook’s dealings, their stock has lost more than $70 billion in market value over the past few weeks, while Facebook shares fell by 6.5 percent on Monday alone. Consumer trust and confidence in the platform has plummeted, and a majority of users are now considering leaving the platform over privacy concerns. On Tuesday, Facebook shares tumbled another 4.9%, and now Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to testify on Capitol Hill.
Other problems Zuckerberg is facing include the fact that as Facebook Inc. Chief Executive, he saw his net worth decline by more than $5 billion since Monday, but it could have been worse. Just prior to one of Facebook’s worst one-day decline since 2012, Zuckerberg had been busy selling stock. So far this year, he has sold more than 5 million shares. Disposing of those Facebook shares before Tuesday ended up saving about $70 million, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
Now, Facebook investors are alleging in a recently filed class-action lawsuit that CEO Mark Zuckerberg had inside information that the company’s stock was overvalued and dumped shares ahead of their post-IPO plummet.
According to TMZ, the suit alleges that Zuckerberg knew Facebook shares had been valued too high ahead of the company’s historic IPO and sold off a large chunk as the price dropped following their debut.
Ultimately, Facebook will be faced with a growing backlash from its users as word spreads of their lies, deceit, and blatant violations of personal privacy come to light. In the meantime, Zuckerberg and his company will struggle to keep the Social Media giant from sinking. A company that has already been in the line of fire for pushing the Progressive-Socialist agenda, targeting christians and conservative voices, and all in an attempt to silence Progressive-Socialist opposition. In the meantime, as users abandon a sinking ship, one big question remains. Will another, more transparent, and more unbiased social media giant fill the void?