Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Facebook Privacy Boosted As Private Message 'Leak' Is Dismissed

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the check-the-foundation-for-rot dept.

Facebook 44

judgecorp writes "Claims that old private Facebook messages have been leaking onto people's Timelines have been dismissed by the French privacy watchdog, CNIL. Apparently, as many concluded early on, the "leaked" messages were just old Wall-to-Wall posts, that users had mistakenly believed were private. Given the lack of user understanding, now is a good time for Facebook to revamp its privacy help pages. Let's hope users pay attention, and Facebook genuinely resists exploiting their naivety." Update: 10/04 17:42 GMT by T : Maybe we shouldn't be so hard on Facebook; Mark Zuckerberg says keeping up with a billion users makes it tough to follow all that data.

cancel ×

44 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Facebook Privacy Controls (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41549731)

How many people came over from facebook just to read this message?

Re:Facebook Privacy Controls (1)

PieDude (2745317) | about 2 years ago | (#41549753)

I did. Facebook nicely announces new posts on Slashdot on my wall.

Good thing (1, Funny)

Anubis350 (772791) | about 2 years ago | (#41549777)

this post on /. is private. Now i can discuss CmdrTaco's sexual proclivities without embarrassing him!

Re:Good thing (1, Flamebait)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#41549849)

this post on /. is private. Now i can discuss CmdrTaco's sexual proclivities without embarrassing him!

So is that why you chose a nickname that contains the words 'anus' and 'bi'?

Re:Good thing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41549925)

So is that why you chose a nickname that contains the words 'anus' and 'bi'?... SIG: -- "I like to lick butts!" by MobileTatsu-NJG (#32700246) (Score:5, Informative)

Looks who's talking.

Re:Good thing (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | about 2 years ago | (#41549951)

this post on /. is private. Now i can discuss CmdrTaco's sexual proclivities without embarrassing him!

So is that why you chose a nickname that contains the words 'anus' and 'bi'?

Perhaps, but I find I generally like tacos better :-p

Re:Good thing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41550133)

MobileTatsu is an anagram for "Ultimate SOB". Fitting.
And it also contains the words 'lube', 'moist', and 'bi'.

Re:Good thing (0)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#41550459)

Ultimate SOB? Wow.. I'm kinda proud of that!

Anonymous Coward: Acronym Anus Wood

"STFU and spread!"

Ha.

"Boosted"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41549815)

Facebook is a publicly traded corporation. Their product is you. They gather info on you, your friends, your family, your buying habits, political affiliations, pet peeves, pets and sell that to advertisers and government agencies.

the question is "Boosted from what?". A terribly intrusive data-mining operation?

Re:"Boosted"? (4, Interesting)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#41549871)

Boring generic anti-Facebook tirade aside, you do raise an interesting question: Facebook's privacy didn't change, it just failed to be breached. So what got 'boosted'? Your perception of it?

Re:"Boosted"? (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#41550015)

Facebook's privacy didn't change, it just failed to be breached. So what got 'boosted'? Your perception of it?

Facebook unintentional (i.e. the kind that doesn't make them money) privacy breach has been proven false.
Facebook intentional privacy breach (i.e. turn sharing of everything on and either move around or completely remove the means of disabling such sharing) is their whole mode of operation

So their legal defense against the potential lawsuit got boosted a little.

Re:"Boosted"? (1)

admdrew (782761) | about 2 years ago | (#41550099)

turn sharing of everything on and either move around or completely remove the means of disabling such sharing

Are you referring to anything specific?

Re:"Boosted"? (3, Interesting)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#41550349)

Are you referring to anything specific?

I do not use facebook much, but I tend to notice things when I do. For example, the chat feature had been enabled on my behalf. I do not want people to see that I am "currently online" and by now I have disabled that feature more than once, since it somehow magically gets reset to "enabled"

Then there is this tendency to allow indirect access. See here [growmap.com] . Basically, applications may access your information by your friend's permission instead of yours.

Finally, see a quote from this article [readwriteweb.com] . It is from 2009, but I think it is very representative of Facebook attitude. Most of the time you _can_ keep your setting private, but _only_ if you are actively tracking how facebook re-enabled access by default and proactively re-disabling that in settings.

Facebook announced this morning that its 350 million users will be prompted to make their status messages and shared content publicly visible to the world at large and search engines. It's a move we expected but the language used in the announcement is near Orwellian. The company says the move is all about helping users protect their privacy and connect with other people, but the new default option is to change from "old settings" to becoming visible to "everyone."

Re:"Boosted"? (1)

admdrew (782761) | about 2 years ago | (#41550805)

I have disabled that feature more than once, since it somehow magically gets reset to "enabled"

This I don't understand - I, too, dislike/don't use facebook chat, but I have turned it off once and haven't had it reset on me. Also, it appears to be a server-side setting, as logging in with other browsers/other machines keeps me offline with the list minimized. If yours keeps getting reset, that's a perfect time to open a bug with facebook devs (which is easy, and they amazingly do respond).

I'm not really arguing in defense of facebook (I wholeheartedly agree that users are the actual 'product') - I just think that users need to adopt some responsibility for managing their own privacy, which includes both staying on top of the service's privacy controls, and being aware of what you're posting.

Re:"Boosted"? (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#41550975)

This I don't understand - I, too, dislike/don't use facebook chat, but I have turned it off once and haven't had it reset on me.

Maybe it was an accident for me. I wouldn't say that it happens every time - just once or twice. I was very surprised though when it did.

I just think that users need to adopt some responsibility for managing their own privacy, which includes both staying on top of the service's privacy controls, and being aware of what you're posting.

No, no, NO (well, I agree on "being aware of what you're posting" part)
I should NOT "stay on top" of the privacy controls. You make it sound like an arm race, in which user should be participating. Privacy settings should stay put! I should not spend my time doing research to see how they may have changed settings behind my back. It's not a fair fight - facebook could just reset me to "all public" every day and require me to login and change it back.
One should be aware of their privacy settings, yes -- but I don't see why one should be working hard to maintain them where they are.

Re:"Boosted"? (1)

lofoforabr (751004) | about 2 years ago | (#41551121)

This I don't understand - I, too, dislike/don't use facebook chat, but I have turned it off once and haven't had it reset on me. Also, it appears to be a server-side setting, as logging in with other browsers/other machines keeps me offline with the list minimized. If yours keeps getting reset, that's a perfect time to open a bug with facebook devs (which is easy, and they amazingly do respond).

Excuse me, but how do you open a bug with facebook devs?
A couple months ago, a website of mine was being hit by facebook bot about a hundred times per second, all asking for the same url.
I tried to find a way to contact them, but couldn't.. the only form I found was not working (the ajax loader popped when submitting, and then it wouldn't complete).
I managed to work around it by banning facebook bot with an apache rule, but that wasn't ideal.

Re:"Boosted"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41556721)

A couple months ago, a website of mine was being hit by facebook bot about a hundred times per second, all asking for the same url.

There is no such thing.

Why so late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41549947)

Why did this take so long to get put on slashdot? This was figured out... the day it happened? Thanks, French agency! Timely, as always!

The comment : "Let's hope users pay attention," is an absolute fantasy. People spend more time on "computers" (aka interfacing with a "smart device" to check facebook 24/7) than I do, and I make games!

Re:Why so late? (1)

hovelander (250785) | about 2 years ago | (#41552863)

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/09/27/035231/facebook-denies-leak-of-users-private-messages [slashdot.org]

I look forward to Slashdot posting this Facebook story as old news about old news again next week.

And again the week after next,
and again the week after that,
and again the week after that,
and again the week after that,
and again the week after that,
etc...

Sad enough to not even care about the smell of the tangential dupe to the tune of 38 posts. Who is the tech equivalent of Justin Timberlake to buy the hulk that is Slashdot with that old Myspace feel?

Taco, you got out at the right time, my brother. Cheers and thanks.

their help pages? (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#41550051)

Their help pages? THEIR HELP PAGES? How about they just change their policy on collecting as much data as they can from their users and then selling it to anyone anywhere ever or governments, in which case it's free and more extensive.

Some people still don't believe it (2)

admdrew (782761) | about 2 years ago | (#41550053)

When this first started being posted around facebook, I had a few friends that insisted their actual private messages were being displayed, even after being presented with evidence to the contrary.

I do find it interesting that so many of us users have essentially forgotten or misremembered how our facebook socializing has changed with updates over the years.

Re:Some people still don't believe it (1)

GigsVT (208848) | about 2 years ago | (#41550327)

The UI was, and still is, terrible. I'm a web designer and I still can't tell you why there's two different ways to view your own profile.

Facebook really succeeded in spite of itself, I can easily say it's probably the worst design for a major website in a long time.

Re:Some people still don't believe it (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 years ago | (#41550633)

To be fair, it only had to be better than myspace.

Re:Some people still don't believe it (1)

admdrew (782761) | about 2 years ago | (#41550819)

there's two different ways to view your own profile.

Whoa, really? What are the two ways? I haven't run into this before.

Re:Some people still don't believe it (1)

lofoforabr (751004) | about 2 years ago | (#41551143)

He's probably talking about the old profile vs the new timeline.

1 billion users says you are wrong (1)

beanpoppa (1305757) | about 2 years ago | (#41551569)

The fact that there are +/- 1 billion users would say that maybe, as a web designer, you are wrong in your assessment about what makes for a good UI.

Re:1 billion users says you are wrong (1)

tattood (855883) | about 2 years ago | (#41552347)

People don't join Facebook because they like the UI design. They join because all of their friends are on, and they want to keep in touch with them.

Re:Some people still don't believe it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41551509)

"I do find it interesting that so many of us users have essentially forgotten or misremembered how our facebook socializing has changed with updates over the years."

Most seem to forget how their privacy options have changed with updates over the years as well. If they've "revamped" privacy options again, I guess it means I'll have to sign in again and see what they've flipped public on me this time.

Re:Some people still don't believe it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41590371)

No, private messages WERE on timelines, not just wall to wall.
I know this to be 100% true.

"Facebook" and "privacy" in the same sentence (4, Insightful)

logicassasin (318009) | about 2 years ago | (#41550073)

Surely we can all agree that "Facebook Privacy" is an oxymoron.

Re:"Facebook" and "privacy" in the same sentence (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#41550371)

Surely we can all agree that "Facebook Privacy" is an oxymoron.

Exactly. "Privacy" esttings are really just a scam to get people to reveal more information than they normally would.

The age-old saying of "Don't post online what you don't want the world to know" holds truer than ever before. As long as what you're sending is handled by a third party, there are no guarantees. Just like there are no guarantees what the recipient of your message may do with your message as well (perhaps they have no privacy compunctions and decide to make it public?).

Heck, the "Only Me" privacy setting on FB is already full of fail - if the information was truly private, perhaps the better way to do it is to... not post it?

Online privacy is basically like telling a secret. It ain't a secret.

An easily disproven claim (2)

psiphiorg (566033) | about 2 years ago | (#41550161)

I remember checking into the claim of a security change when the claim was first made. It was easily disproven by checking my Facebook E-mail notifications from 2007. Every message that had been identified as a private message was not on my wall, and every message that was on my wall had been identified as a wall post.

Slashdot Private Message (5, Funny)

cerberusss (660701) | about 2 years ago | (#41550181)

Hi Rob,

God you really got out of this hell hole on time. That cocksucker from Dice Holdings walks around like he's the king or something. Chrissake he told me to come on time tomorrow! And of course sourceforge is acting up and the guys over there aren't so chummy anymore, we're just another user to them.

Say, do you remember where we put the design document on the private messages system? There's several bugs open, but CowboyNeal wrote that module so you probably have an idea of the "quality" of the code. He's a fucking monkey felcher and you know it.

Anyway, see you Saturday in town. We can talk about Kathleen and Jeff, and again, I'm sorry you had to go through her email to find out about them. I'm going to fucking kill that asshole.

Cheers
Timothy

Re:Slashdot Private Message (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41550333)

Oh god this made me lol.

Push the Button, Max... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 2 years ago | (#41550375)

Where is the single Make Everything Private Now and Forever button? I keep looking for it without success.

Or do only FB stockholders get that one--as long as they promise never to sell?

Re:Push the Button, Max... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41551847)

Where is the single Make Everything Private Now and Forever button? I keep looking for it without success.

Oh, sorry, we changed the text on that label. It's called the Don't Ever Use Any Public Service Or Talk To Any Of Your Neighbors Ever And Hide In Your Basement Like A Hermit Until You Eventually Die Then Make Sure Your Entire House Self-Destructs Vaporizing Everything You Ever Owned As Well As Most Of The Neighborhood So All Your Privacy Will Forever Be Preserved In A Flash Of Superheated Plasma button now. We renamed it after we got enough complaints from similarly confused people like yourself bitching about how things you post on a public forum aren't "private". We asked them to define "private" for us, but kept getting conflicting answers that made us wonder why they were posting on Facebook in the first place, or why they even typed in their private data in if they're so concerned about it.

Re:Push the Button, Max... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41552313)

It's labeled "Deactivate your account".

Re:Push the Button, Max... (1)

Keen Anthony (762006) | about 2 years ago | (#41554229)

Nope. It'll still be there. No one can see it, but it's there and will come back the moment you log back in. The only way to win is not to play!

Relentless banality of FB privacy stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41550735)

I'm amazed that anybody cares (and judging from the number of comments, nobody does). Not even an update to the platform to go with this story? How is this news, or even interesting information, for that matter?

Users have to know basics (1)

DavidinAla (639952) | about 2 years ago | (#41551213)

If a user is too stupid to understand the difference between a private message and a message posted to a Facebook wall (or timeline, now), he doesn't need to be using Facebook. In fact, someone who doesn't understand that distinction probably isn't bright enough to be online in the first place. There are a lot of potential problems with Facebook, and I don't like some of the company's practices. But this is a case in which the company did nothing wrong and Facebook-haters leapt on it in an effort to find SOMETHING to blame the company for. This one isn't close. A user needs to know the difference between a private message and a wall post on a website -- or else get off of the site.

Re:Users have to know basics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41554091)

Well, what really changed is Facebook. I wouldn't necessarily assume that everyone was an idiot. There's a big difference between a message posted to a facebook wall in 2006 and what a wall-post is now on a timeline. There was a time that users had a lot more granular control over what was broadcast to all and sundry, and thus it was possible to have facebook wall messages were neither private nor public. The stuff I'd post to a wall back before the feed was implemented (or even when you could say "don't publish wall messages to the feed") and back when the only people who could access my profile had to a) know to look for me and b)go to my school....well, that's a lot different than now, when everyone and their brother is on facebook and facebook tries to make as much public as possible and also handily likes to broadcast everything you do. Way back when, posting on someone's wall was like writing a note and sticking it on their door. Not exactly secret, but not the same thing as taking out a half-page in the local paper. So at least for me, the tone and content of what I say on FB has changed a great deal.

Facebook Glossary (1)

guttentag (313541) | about 2 years ago | (#41551709)

Apparently, as many concluded early on, the "leaked" messages were just old Wall-to-Wall posts, that users had mistakenly believed were private.

facebook user. n, /fsbook yoozr/
A person (living, deceased, real, fake or other) who mistakenly believes they have any measure of control over information they provide to facebook.

facebook shareholder. n, /fsbook SHe()rhldr/
A person (wealthy, poor, playing with someone else's money, possibly underwater or other) who understands the definition of a facebook user, believes such creatures will continue to flourish, and believes shareholders have any measure of control over the company.

Mark Zuckerberg. n, /märk Sookrbrgh/
A person (genius, swindler, dumbass kid in a hoodie or other) who understands both of the above definitions and whose fortunes depend upon his ability to keep moving terms, conditions and settings around while presenting the illusion of continuity by wearing the same shirt every single day.

In other news... (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 2 years ago | (#41552713)

Claims that old private telephone calls have been leaking onto people's Timelines have been dismissed by AT&T. Apparently, as many concluded early on, the "leaked" messages were just old calls recorded in room 614A - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A [wikipedia.org] , that users had mistakenly believed were private. Given the lack of user understanding, now is a good time for AT&T to revamp its privacy help pages. Let's hope users pay attention, and AT&T genuinely resists exploiting their naivety.

Someone help out ole schmuckerberg, will you (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41554353)

"Maybe we shouldn't be so hard on Facebook; Mark Zuckerberg says keeping up with a billion users makes it tough to follow all that data."

Somebody should show him how to use a computer. I think if he learned how to do that he might have a fighting chance!

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>