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DATE 2019-04-01

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MESSAGE
DATE 2019-04-28
FROM Ruben Safir
SUBJECT Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] facebook - email - spying - nys attorney general
New York Attorney General to Investigate Facebook Email Collection
Image
Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook. The new inquiry
concerns a practice in which Facebook harvested the email contact lists
of some new users who signed up after 2016.CreditCreditMarcio Jose
Sanchez/Associated Press

By Mike Isaac

April 25, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO — The New York State attorney general’s office plans to
open an investigation into Facebook’s unauthorized collection of more
than 1.5 million users’ email address books, according to two people
briefed on the matter.

The inquiry concerns a practice unearthed in April in which Facebook
harvested the email contact lists of a portion of new users who signed
up for the network after 2016, according to the two people, who spoke on
condition of anonymity because the inquiry had not been officially
announced.

Those lists were then used to improve Facebook’s ad-targeting algorithms
and other friend connections across the network.

The investigation was confirmed late Thursday afternoon by the attorney
general’s office.

“Facebook has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of respect for consumers’
information while at the same time profiting from mining that data,”
said Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, in a statement.
“It is time Facebook is held accountable for how it handles consumers’
personal information.”

Facebook said the unauthorized practice, first reported by Business
Insider earlier this month, was “unintentional,” a mistake resulting
from a method the company once used to verify the identity of new users
that required sending Facebook your email password. Though that practice
— which security experts said left users vulnerable to identity theft —
ended in May 2016, Facebook continued to gain access to the email
address books of at least 1.5 million new users.

Users were not notified that their contact lists were being harvested at
the time. Facebook shuttered the contact list collection mechanism
shortly after the issue was discovered by the press.

Facebook said it was in touch with the attorney general’s office and was
responding to questions about the issue.

The attorney general’s investigation will focus on how the practice came
about, and whether or not the email contact collection spread to
hundreds of millions more people across the social network, according to
the two people. Nearly 2.4 billion people use Facebook each month, with
1.56 billion people visiting the site at least once every day.

The investigation comes on the heels of a difficult year for the social
networking giant, which has been rocked by a series of scandals
regarding how it handles user data and privacy. In March 2018, The New
York Times reported how a third-party political firm, Cambridge
Analytica, harvested and exploited the personal information of millions
of Facebook users.

Last fall, Facebook announced it had fallen victim to the largest data
breach in the company’s 15-year history, exposing the accounts of tens
of millions of its users. And more recently, Facebook admitted it had
stored the passwords of hundreds of millions of its users in
“plaintext,” a security practice frowned upon by industry experts.

The attorney general’s action is the latest in a string of such moves by
lawmakers and regulators, many of which have set their sights on Big
Tech over the past two years. In December, the attorney general of the
District of Columbia sued Facebook for its role in the Cambridge
Analytica scandal and for its failure to protect the privacy of its users.

And on Wednesday, Facebook announced it expected to pay a fine of up to
$5 billion to the Federal Trade Commission for its privacy violations,
the biggest penalty ever imposed by the agency on a technology company.
It was the latest sign that Washington, after years of ignoring the
growing power of Silicon Valley, is taking tech regulation more seriously.

--
So many immigrant groups have swept through our town
that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological
proportions in the mind of the world - RI Safir 1998
http://www.mrbrklyn.com
DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS - RI Safir 2002

http://www.nylxs.com - Leadership Development in Free Software
http://www.brooklyn-living.com

Being so tracked is for FARM ANIMALS and extermination camps,
but incompatible with living as a free human being. -RI Safir 2013
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  5. 2019-04-03 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Oh look webadmin is a security flaw
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  8. 2019-04-04 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society <noreply-at-embs.org> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] EMBS News and Events
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