OMG: Your private Facebook info isn’t so private …

And, to boot, there’s some clear evidence of collusion.

Loyal readers know that I’m not a big fan of Facebook.

I’m amazed by the amount of sensitive information that people post and, for most, the  lack of interest (or sophistication) in protecting the privacy of that information.

So, I wasn’t surprised when yesterday’s “shocking” headlines started rolling about FB’s massive data breach.

By mid-day, the previous “no big news” climate shifted to near market hysteria


Bang … a Trump connection headlined in the NY Times:


In a nutshell, a data outfit called Cambridge Analytica “harvested” the personal information of more than 50 million Facebook users … and fed the information to Trump digital campaigners.

OK, data breaches are bad … it’s horrible to have your private info fall into the wrong hands (i.e. Trump’s)


But, Trump and his supporters are all Neaderthals, right?

How did they do it … and where did they get the idea?


This is where things get interesting ….

Turns out that the data fetching is pretty simple:

Just offer people a free app … disclose (in the very fine print) that – unless they opt out — you’ll be grabbing their personal information from Facebook, including their list of friends.

Tech Note: This technique is analogous toe email phishing.

Then, contact the folks on the friends’ list … and repeat the process until you’ve got data on a few million people.

Then, mine the data and use it to do creative, targeted campaigning.

The gall of those Trumpsters, right?

So, we ask again: where did these techno-neophytes get the idea?

For the answer, we have to flashback to 2012:


Hmmm … What was the Obama campaign up to?

According to Time:

The Obama team had a  Facebook application that will transform the way campaigns are conducted in the future.

For supporters, the app appeared to be just another way to digitally connect to the campaign.

But to the Windy City number crunchers (working for Obama), it was a game changer.

That’s because the more than 1 million Obama backers who signed up for the app gave the campaign permission to look at their Facebook friend lists.

In an instant, the campaign had a way to see  young voters (and connect directly with their friends)

“Who do they trust? Their friends.”

For the collusion angle, just ask Carol Davidsen, former director of integration and media analytics for Obama for America,.

In a weekend tweet storm,  said proudly that:

“Facebook knowingly allowed us to mine massive amounts of Facebook data — more than they would’ve allowed someone else to do — because they were supportive of the campaign.”


I’ve been following the news all day today.

None of the MSM networks and rags are reporting on the genesis of the data grab.

Wonder why?

I guess when some people mine your supposedly private info it’s cool, hip, and  leading-edge.

When others do the same thing, it’s outrageous, dastardly and crude.

It just depends.
See, Say. Hear, DO !
Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

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