Mark Zuckerberg admits Facebook scans the contents of all private Messenger texts

“Facebook scans the contents of messages that people send each other on its Messenger app blocking any that contravene its guidelines, it has emerged,” Tim Collins reports for The Daily Mail. “The scandal-hit firm, still reeling from revelations surrounding Cambridge Analytica, checks images and texts to ensure they are in line with its community standards.”

MacDailyNews Take: Whose “community standards?”

“Facebook is also facing criticism for collecting years of data on call and text histories from Android users,” Collins reports. “CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the policy during a podcast interview with Vox’s editor at large, Ezra Klein.”

“Zuckerberg told his host a story about receiving a phone call from staff at his Mountain View firm.
He was informed that their systems had blocked attempts to send sensational Messenger instant messages about ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. About the experience, the 33-year-old billionaire said: ‘In that case, our systems detect what’s going on. We stop those messages from going through,'” Collins reports. “One Twitter user, Kevin Chastain, claims to have experienced Messenger texts being used to target advertising, tweeting: ‘So I was messaging my wife about dinner tonight mentioned a particular place on Facebook messenger and then opened up Facebook about to see an ad for that restaurant.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Of course they do. You’d have to be a blooming idiot to use Facebook Messenger for anything you’d like to keep private.

Facebook to warn 87 million users that their data ‘may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica’ – April 4, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg and the never-ending stench of Facebook – April 2, 2018
Apple may be the biggest winner from Facebook’s data scandal – April 2, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg blasts Apple CEO Cook’s criticism of Facebook as ‘extremely glib and not at all aligned with the truth’ – April 2, 2018
Apple CEO Cook: Facebook should have self-regulated, but it’s too late for that now – March 28, 2018
U.S. FTC will investigate Facebook over privacy or lack thereof – March 26, 2018
Apple CEO Cook calls for more data oversight, ‘well-crafted regulation’ after Facebook debacle – March 26, 2018
Facebook has been collecting call history and SMS data from Android devices for years; Apple iOS devices unaffected – March 25, 2018
Apple CEO Cook ramps up pressure on Facebook, calls for more regulations on data privacy – March 24, 2018
Steve Jobs tried to warn Mark Zuckerberg about privacy in 2010 – March 23, 2018
Facebook has gotten too big, too powerful, too influential for Mark Zuckerberg to handle – March 23, 2018
How to block Facebook completely from your Mac – March 22, 2018
How Facebook made it impossible to delete Facebook – March 22, 2018
What to expect from Facebook’s Zuckerberg if he testifies before Congress – March 21, 2018
Why Facebook’s blatant disregard for users’ privacy could be very good for Apple – March 21, 2018
Facebook’s surveillance machine – March 21, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg AWOL from Facebook’s damage control session – March 20, 2018
U.S. FTC reportedly probing Facebook’s abuse of personal data as UK summons Zuckerberg for questioning – March 20, 2018
The problem isn’t Cambridge Analytica: It’s Facebook – March 19, 2018
Apple: Privacy is a fundamental right – September 27, 2017

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Bill” for the heads up.]


    1. Exactly! Anyone who isn’t surprised by the depths to which FB (and Google, the reigning champion of privacy invasion) collect, parse and share your data is a fool. The only surprise is how much data FB let third parties grab without fully monetizing it. FB knew that the user data was there for the taking…they apparently did not realize the extent to which third parties were collecting it. Oh, the lost revenue…

      Once the data is collected, you may as well assume that it is shared and sold past any hope of recall or deletion. How can anyone possibly verify that improperly collected data and any associated data analysis products are deleted? Once the data goes into the wild all control is forever lost.

      I take pride in the fact that I strictly minimize my direct exposure to Google and FB. But, even so, I recognize that there are many indirect paths that feed the data collection conduits for these corporations. Google has infested the vast majority of websites with its data miners by paying bribes to the website hosts. And Google has demonstrated on multiple occasions its willingness to violate the rules and bypass privacy protections to collect the user data it covers. Just ask Apple about Google’s trustworthiness (or lack thereof).

      1. All true. That’s why trust in any cloud computing is low.

        We should be suspicious of Apple as well. We know they capitulated to the Chinese government for back doors. We know they outsource iCloud. How much data theft could a bad actor at Apple cause? If you don’t personally hold the encryption keys to your data, there is no reason to believe that data mining isn’t happening on Apple networks too.

        1. Every website collects data (MDN for instance) on every user that visits.

          I see the URLs that flash by in the bottom of my Firefox browser window before the MDN page loads and it is one hell of a lot of “analytics” companies slurping up data.

          I don’t know of a single company who says “Our website supplies data on every visit you make to our website to X, Y & Z analytics companies.”

          Most of the time it is “page views” for advertising revenue, but how much more than that?”

          Hey, how about total transparency and MDN tells us?

        2. “Every website”…?

          Really? I must own the only website on the planet that doesn’t. I don’t collect such data. I don’t have Google Analytics installed. There is NO collecting going on.

          I would guess that huge numbers of micro-business owners don’t. For a start, I can say that the vast majority of my clients would have to idea how to do that. Many are still at the level of barely being able to send an email.

          So that statement is just silly.

        3. I apologize & correct my statement.

          “Every website that relies on 3rd party ads to support it.”

          There is a need to generate income to support a site, so I have nothing against the analytics engines including those on MDN.

          I have a beef with sites that supposedly keep things private when they really don’t, however.

        4. Bo, there is a difference between basic analytics and some of the more personal data you either voluntarily or must disclose to a website — for example, to crate this comment, my Email is “required”. There is no reason MDN should pass that on, and I would not be happy if they did (one reason I use one of my more generic addresses for things like this anyway).

          But browsing analytics are fairly (I hope) anonymous, and they are captured at a server level anyway. So, John Smith, you may not consciously capture it with your website, but it is likely there are server logs with your hosting account control panel that have all kinds of data, regardless of whether you set up Google and optimize on a page by page basis.

          You will often see complete visitor data on times, IP/country, device, OS, browser, pages, visited, referring URL, etc. Just like Google Analytics, without all the pretty graphs.

          That stuff is there, whether we like it or not. If you don’t, always use a VPN

  1. “We’ve always had a very different view of privacy than some of our colleagues in the valley. We take privacy extremely seriously. We worry a lot about location in phones, and we worry that some 14-year-old is going to get stalked, and something terrible is gonna happen because of our phone. As an example: before any app can get location data, we don’t make it a rule that they have to put up a panel and ask, because they might not follow that rule. They call our location services, and we put up the panel saying, “this app wants to use your location data is that okay with you” every time they want to use it. We do a lot of things like that to ensure that people understand what these apps are doing. That’s one of the reasons we have the curated App Store. We have rejected a lot of apps that want to take a lot of your personal data and suck it up into the cloud, a lot. A lot of people in the valley think we’re really old-fashioned about this, and maybe we are, but we worry about stuff like this.
    Privacy means people know what they’re signing up for in plain english and repeatedly, that’s what it means. I am an optimist I believe people are smart and some people want to share more data than other people do, ask them, ask them every time, make them tell you to stop asking them if they get tired of you asking them. Let them know precisely what you’re going to do with their data, that’s what we think.”

    Excerpt From: Owens, J.T. “Steve Jobs Bio: The Unauthorized Autobiography.”

  2. That’s why they push you to use the damn app. Without the app, you can’t use messenger on mobile. It blocks you from “request desktop site”…and is why I never use it. Not installing a separate app for messaging (and don’t have the main app installed either).

  3. I wonder if sending the private message with the contents “Zuckerberg is a fucking asshole” contravenes their guidelines. People should just flood their servers with that message.

  4. Speaking of scanning: so does Google, and Amazon, and and and. They all do, Facebook is far from alone in this. Forget about Cambridge Analytica, nothing Facebook offers will ever protect you from Facebook itself. Likewise Google, or Amazon, or or or (and their subsidiaries and companies they are parent to). You are naked online until you put your own security measures in place.

  5. thinking about human history, all the wars, the skirmishes, militaristic imperialism, the rise and fall of great civilizations. it makes me sad that in our modern world we still see vacancy of character such as this, people of position, stature and prestige so utterly uninspiring. i don’t count myself as anyone to be measured against but even i, lowly me, can lament this i see, the rise and fall of a tech luminary

    1. Grasshopper, it is this very vacancy of character that creates the vast chasms you lament. Of the primates that ascended to dominance, which did so by virtue of sterling character? Not one, not a single one. God only knows who acts righteously, and she wisely says nothing. We must work out our own destiny.

      1. i know you’re right. my idealism has become a burden. i must cry for awhile and become a realist. i may keep just a little, though, repackaged, repurposed, for what good it may serve me. maybe, this is the cry i’ve been waiting to have. :/

      1. Microsoft to ban ‘offensive language’ and monitor private data to ‘investigate’ users

        MacDailyNews Note: On March 21, 2018, EFF wrote:
        Today was a dark day for the Internet.
        The U.S. Senate just voted 97-2 to pass the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA, H.R. 1865), a bill that silences online speech by forcing Internet platforms to censor their users. As lobbyists and members of Congress applaud themselves for enacting a law tackling the problem of trafficking, let’s be clear: Congress just made trafficking victims less safe, not more.
        The version of FOSTA that just passed the Senate combined an earlier version of FOSTA (what we call FOSTA 2.0) with the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA, S. 1693). The history of SESTA/FOSTA—a bad bill that turned into a worse bill and then was rushed through votes in both houses of Congress—is a story about Congress’ failure to see that its good intentions can result in bad law. It’s a story of Congress’ failure to listen to the constituents who’d be most affected by the laws it passed. It’s also the story of some players in the tech sector choosing to settle for compromises and half-wins that will put ordinary people in danger.
        Read more in the full article here.

        1. What’s BS is if you think Apple won’t comply withthe law. Just ask the Chinese. Also do you think MS wants to play cop?

          Finally, I put out a hypothesis based in precedent. Your denialist based on monkey crap.

        2. discussing any subject. You posted BS and I was right that it was BS. You also made more than a couple typos. You made several typos. Learn the language and maybe you will be able to communicate your BS better. You aren’t fooling me. I caught your BS and called it out. By the way, it was you that raised the subject of typos. I did not do that, you did. Buh bye loser. See what I did there?

        3. I gave evidence of precedent all you gave is English teacher commentary from a “denialist” position. You offered zero evidence of why it can’t happen that Apple will do so. None!

  6. Oh please MDN you know very well what community, you know the traitorous one, the one that’s nearly always at war, the one the slanders others so that they can invade others, the one that circumvents the Geneva conventions by re-branding prisoners of war into enemy combatants, the one that uses the universal declaration of human rights as toilet paper and tortures others into wiping their ass, the gutless cowardly one that takes no responsibility for their actions.

    You know, that community.

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