Showing posts with label Facebook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Facebook. Show all posts

Friday, 20 July 2018

Slowly but surely Russian connections between the UK Brexit referendum campaign and the US presidential campaign are beginning to emerge


“We have concluded that there are risks in relation to the processing of personal data by many political parties. Particular concerns include: the purchasing of marketing lists and lifestyle information from data brokers without sufficient due diligence, a lack of fair processing, and use of third party data analytics companies with insufficient checks around consent….We have looked closely at the role of those who buy and sell personal data-sets in the UK. Our existing investigation of the privacy issues raised by their work has been expanded to include their activities in political processes….The investigation has identified a total of 172 organisations of interest that required engagement, of which around 30 organisations have formed the main focus of our enquiries, including political parties, data analytics companies and major social media platforms…..Similarly, we have identified a total of 285 individuals relating to our investigation.” [UK Information Commissioner’s Office, Investigation into the use of data analytics in political campaigns: Investigation update, July 2018]

Slowly but surely the Russian connections between the UK Brexit referendum campaign and the US presidential campaign are beginning to emerge.

The Guardian, 15 July 2018:

A source familiar with the FBI investigation revealed that the commissioner and her deputy spent last week with law enforcement agencies in the US including the FBI. And Denham’s deputy, James Dipple-Johnstone, confirmed to the Observer that “some of the systems linked to the investigation were accessed from IP addresses that resolve to Russia and other areas of the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States]”.

It was also reported that Senator Mark Warner, vice chair of US Senate Intel Committee and Damian Collins MP, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee inquiry into “fake news”, met in Washington on or about 16 July 2018 to discuss Russian interference in both British and American democratic processes during an Atlantic Council meeting.

UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), media release, 10 July 2018:

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has today published a detailed update of her office’s investigation into the use of data analytics in political campaigns.
In March 2017, the ICO began looking into whether personal data had been misused by campaigns on both sides of the referendum on membership of the EU.

In May it launched an investigation that included political parties, data analytics companies and major social media platforms.

Today’s progress report gives details of some of the organisations and individuals under investigation, as well as enforcement actions so far.

This includes the ICO’s intention to fine Facebook a maximum £500,000 for two breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Facebook, with Cambridge Analytica, has been the focus of the investigation since February when evidence emerged that an app had been used to harvest the data of 50 million Facebook users across the world. This is now estimated at 87 million.
The ICO’s investigation concluded that Facebook contravened the law by failing to safeguard people’s information. It also found that the company failed to be transparent about how people’s data was harvested by others.
Facebook has a chance to respond to the Commissioner’s Notice of Intent, after which a final decision will be made.

Other regulatory action set out in the report comprises:

warning letters to 11 political parties and notices compelling them to agree to audits of their data protection practices;

an Enforcement Notice for SCL Elections Ltd to compel it to deal properly with a subject access request from Professor David Carroll;

a criminal prosecution for SCL Elections Ltd for failing to properly deal with the ICO’s Enforcement Notice;

an Enforcement Notice for Aggregate IQ to stop processing retained data belonging to UK citizens;

a Notice of Intent to take regulatory action against data broker Emma’s Diary (Lifecycle Marketing (Mother and Baby) Ltd); and
audits of the main credit reference companies and Cambridge University Psychometric Centre.

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said:
“We are at a crossroads. Trust and confidence in the integrity of our democratic processes risk being disrupted because the average voter has little idea of what is going on behind the scenes.

“New technologies that use data analytics to micro-target people give campaign groups the ability to connect with individual voters. But this cannot be at the expense of transparency, fairness and compliance with the law.

She added:
“Fines and prosecutions punish the bad actors, but my real goal is to effect change and restore trust and confidence in our democratic system.”

A second, partner report, titled Democracy Disrupted? Personal information and political influence, sets out findings and recommendations arising out of the 14-month investigation.

Among the ten recommendations is a call for the Government to introduce a statutory Code of Practice for the use of personal data in political campaigns.

Ms Denham has also called for an ethical pause to allow Government, Parliament, regulators, political parties, online platforms and the public to reflect on their responsibilities in the era of big data before there is a greater expansion in the use of new technologies.

She said:
“People cannot have control over their own data if they don’t know or understand how it is being used. That’s why greater and genuine transparency about the use of data analytics is vital.”

In addition, the ICO commissioned research from the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the independent thinktank DEMOS. Its report, also published today, examines current and emerging trends in how data is used in political campaigns, how use of technology is changing and how it may evolve in the next two to five years. 

The investigation, one of the largest of its kind by a Data Protection Authority, remains ongoing. The 40-strong investigation team is pursuing active lines of enquiry and reviewing a considerable amount of material retrieved from servers and equipment.

The interim progress report has been produced to inform the work of the DCMS’s Select Committee into Fake News.

The next phase of the ICO’s work is expected to be concluded by the end of October 2018.

The Washington Post, 28 June 2018:

BRISTOL, England — On Aug. 19, 2016, Arron Banks, a wealthy British businessman, sat down at the palatial residence of the Russian ambassador to London for a lunch of wild halibut and Belevskaya pastila apple sweets accompanied by Russian white wine.

Banks had just scored a huge win. From relative obscurity, he had become the largest political donor in British history by pouring millions into Brexit, the campaign to disentangle the United Kingdom from the European Union that had earned a jaw-dropping victory at the polls two months earlier.

Now he had something else that bolstered his standing as he sat down with his new Russian friend, Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko: his team’s deepening ties to Donald Trump’s insurgent presidential bid in the United States. A major Brexit supporter, Stephen K. Bannon, had just been installed as chief executive of Trump’s campaign. And Banks and his fellow Brexiteers had been invited to attend a fundraiser with Trump in Mississippi.

Less than a week after the meeting with the Russian envoy, Banks and firebrand Brexit politician Nigel Farage — by then a cult hero among some anti-establishment Trump supporters — were huddling privately with the Republican nominee in Jackson, Miss., where Farage wowed a foot-stomping crowd at a Trump rally.
Banks’s journey from a lavish meal with a Russian diplomat in London to the raucous heart of Trump country was part of an unusual intercontinental charm offensive by the wealthy British donor and his associates, a hard-partying lot who dubbed themselves the “Bad Boys of Brexit.” Their efforts to simultaneously cultivate ties to Russian officials and Trump’s campaign have captured the interest of investigators in the United Kingdom and the United States, including special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Vice News, 11 June 2018:

Yakovenko is already on the radar of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, after he was named in the indictment of ex-Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos….

Banks, along with close friend and former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, was among the very first overseas political figures to meet Trump after his surprise victory in November 2016.

It also emerged over the weekend that Banks passed contact information for Trump’s transition team to the Russians.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

"Bad actor" Facebook Inc given £500,000 maximum fine - any future breach may cost up to £1.4bn


The Guardian, 11 July 20018:

Facebook is to be fined £500,000, the maximum amount possible, for its part in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the information commissioner has announced.

The fine is for two breaches of the Data Protection Act. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) concluded that Facebook failed to safeguard its users’ information and that it failed to be transparent about how that data was harvested by others.

 “Facebook has failed to provide the kind of protections they are required to under the Data Protection Act,” said Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner. “Fines and prosecutions punish the bad actors, but my real goal is to effect change and restore trust and confidence in our democratic system.”

In the first quarter of 2018, Facebook took £500,000 in revenue every five and a half minutes. Because of the timing of the breaches, the ICO said it was unable to levy the penalties introduced by the European General Data Protection (GDPR), which caps fines at the higher level of €20m (£17m) or 4% of global turnover – in Facebook’s case, $1.9bn (£1.4bn). The £500,000 cap was set by the Data Protection Act 1998.

As one of the IT whistleblowers described the situation...

Sunday, 1 July 2018

So what has Facebook Inc been up to lately?


Everything from admitting to further data breaches, to altering images, to supressing legitimate content, to considering payment for access, to shareholder revolt, it seems......

The Herald Sun reported on 9 June 2018 at p.59:

Facebook is ­embroiled in another data privacy scandal, confirming a software bug led to the private posts of 14 million users being made public.

According to Facebook, the bug was active from May 18 to May 27 and changed the privacy settings of some users without telling them.

“Today we started letting the 14 million people affected know — and asking them to review any posts they made during that time,” Facebook chief privacy officer Erin Egan said.

“To be clear, this bug did not impact anything people had posted before, and they could still choose their audience just as they always have.” It was unclear yesterday how many Australian users were affected. Facebook said the bug occ­urred during the development of a new share function that ­allowed users to share featured items on their profile page, such as a photo.

“The problem has been fixed, and for anyone affected, we changed the audience back to what they’d been using before,” Ms Egan said.

Facebook has urged affected customers to review posts made between May 18 and May 27 to see if any private posts had been automatically made public.

The latest issue comes as Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg faces the prospect of a public grilling before the Aus­tralian parliament’s intelligence and security committee.
Facebook admitted this week it had struck data partnerships — where it shares the personal data of people on the social media platform — with at least four Chinese electronics companies, including Huawei Technologies.

Huawei has been barred from a series of major projects in Australia over concerns about its close links to the Chinese government.

Members of the parliamentary intelligence and security committee want Mr Zuckerberg to come to Australia and answer questions about the data-sharing pact.

On 18 June 2018 The Sun reported that Facebook Inc had begun to manipulate images – effectively producing ‘fake images’ that were being passed off a real.

Then on 20 June 2018 Facebook Inc. declared its intention to charge certain private group users for participation on its platforms:

Today, we’re piloting subscriptions with a small number of groups to continue to support group admins who lead these communities.

This world-wide social platform apparently expects that if it formally launches this access fee (reportedly up to $360 a year) then these costs to be passed on as subscription fees – with Facebook  letting administrators charge subscription fees from $4.99 to $29.99 each month to join premium subgroups containing exclusive posts.

Presumably, if the market responds in sufficient numbers then Facebook will change the rules and demand that private groups hand over a percentage of subscription fees collected.

The Guardian, 24 June 2018:

George Orwell wrote in his essay Politics and the English Language: “In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics’. All issues are political issues.” 

When Facebook constructed a new archive of political advertising, had it thought a little more about this concept of what is “political”, it might have more accurately anticipated the subsequent Orwellian headache. As it is, journalists are finding their articles restricted from promotion because they are lumped in with campaigning materials from politicians, lobby groups and advocacy organisations.

The new archive of ads with political content, which Facebook made public last month, has become the latest contested piece of territory between platforms and publishers. The complaint from publishers is that Facebook is categorising posts in which they are promoting their own journalism (paying money to target particular groups of the audience) as “political ads”. Publishers have reacted furiously to what they see as toxic taxonomy.

Mark Thompson, the chief executive of the New York Times, has been the most vocal critic, describing Facebook’s practices as “a threat to democracy” and criticising the platform in a recent speech to the Open Markets Initiative in Washington DC. “When it comes to news, Facebook still doesn’t get it,” said Thompson. “In its effort to clear up one bad mess, it seems to be joining those who want to blur the line between reality-based journalism and propaganda.”

At a separate event at Columbia University, Thompson and Facebook’s head of news partnerships, Campbell Brown, fought openly about the initiative. Thompson showed examples of where New York Times articles, including recipes, had been wrongly flagged as political. Brown emphasised that the archive was being refined, but stood firm on the principle that promoted journalism ought to be flagged as “paid-for” political posts. “On this you are just wrong,” she told Thompson.

Publishers took to social platforms to question the labelling and representation of their work. One of the most egregious examples came from investigative journalism organisation Reveal. Last week, at the height of the scandal around the separation of undocumented migrant families crossing the US border, it published an exclusive story involving the alleged drugging of children at a centre housing immigrant minors. It was flagged in the Facebook system as containing political content, and as Reveal had not registered its promotion of the story, the promoted posts were stifled. Facebook did not remove the article, but rather stopped its paid circulation. Given the importance of paid promotion, it is not surprising that publishers see this as amounting to the same thing.

And trust issues can be found both inside and outside Facebook's castle walls.....

Business Insider, 24 June 2018:

A Survata study, seen exclusively by Business Insider, asked US consumers to rate big tech companies from one (most trusted) to five (least trusted). Survata surveyed more than 2,600 people in April and May. It’s the first time Survata has carried out the survey.

The results show that Facebook is nowhere near as trusted as Amazon, PayPal, or Microsoft – but that people do trust it more than Instagram. Instagram, of course, is owned by Facebook.

Here’s the top 15 in order of most to least trusted:
1 .Amazon
2. PayPal
3. Microsoft
4. Apple
5. IBM
6. Yahoo
7. Google
8. YouTube
9. eBay
10. Pandora
11. Facebook
12. LinkedIn
13. Spotify
14. AOL
15. Instagram

Business Insider, 26 June 2018:

Shareholders with nearly $US3 billion invested Facebook are trying to topple Mark Zuckerberg as chairman and tear up the company’s governance structure.

Business Insider has spoken with six prominent shareholders who said there was an unprecedented level of unrest among Facebook’s backers following a series of scandals.

They are in open revolt about Zuckerberg’s power base, which gives him the ability to swat away any shareholder proposal he disagrees with.

 One investor compared him to a robber baron, a derogatory term for 19th-century US tycoons who accumulated enormous wealth.

Facebook says its governance structure is “sound and effective” and splitting Zuckerberg’s duties as chairman and CEO would cause “uncertainty, confusion, and inefficiency.”

Finally, it was reported on 29 June 2018 by IT News that, you guessed it, yet another Facebook sponsored personality test was allowing data to be extracted without the users knowledge or informed consent:

A security researcher has found that a popular personality test app running on Facebook contained an easily exploitable flaw that could be used to expose sensitive information on tens of millions of users.

Belgian security researcher Inti De Ceukelaire joined Facebook's bug bounty program, set up by the giant social network after the Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal and tried out the NameTests.com's personality test app developed by Social Sweethearts.

De Ceukelaire discovered that when he loaded a personality test, NameTests.com fetched his personal data from Facebook and displayed it on a webpage.

He was shocked to see that users' personal data was wrapped in a Javascript file by NameTests.com, which could be accessed via a weblink over the plain text HTTP protocol.

This meant that any website that requested the file could access the personal information retrieved from users' Facebook accounts.

The security researcher tested this by setting up a website that connected to NameTests.com and was able to access Facebook posts, photos and friend lists belonging to visitors.

Information leaked included people's Facebook IDs, first and last names, languages used, gender, date of birth, profile pictures, cover photo, currency, devices used, and much more.

Worse, De Ceukelaire found that NameTests.com doesn't log off users which means the site would continue to leak user data even after the app was deleted.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Away from the spotlight of congressional hearings Zuckerberg and Facebook Inc. show their true colours – implementing weaker privacy protection for 1.5 billion users


The Guardian, 19 April 2018:

Facebook has moved more than 1.5 billion users out of reach of European privacy law, despite a promise from Mark Zuckerberg to apply the “spirit” of the legislation globally.

In a tweak to its terms and conditions, Facebook is shifting the responsibility for all users outside the US, Canada and the EU from its international HQ in Ireland to its main offices in California. It means that those users will now be on a site governed by US law rather than Irish law.

The move is due to come into effect shortly before General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in Europe on 25 May. Facebook is liable under GDPR for fines of up to 4% of its global turnover – around $1.6bn – if it breaks the new data protection rules.

The shift highlights the cautious phrasing Facebook has applied to its promises around GDPR. Earlier this month, when asked whether his company would promise GDPR protections to its users worldwide, Zuckerberg demurred. “We’re still nailing down details on this, but it should directionally be, in spirit, the whole thing,” he said.
A week later, during his hearings in front of the US Congress, Zuckerberg was again asked if he would promise that GDPR’s protections would apply to all Facebook users. His answer was affirmative – but only referred to GDPR “controls”, rather than “protections”. Worldwide, Facebook has rolled out a suite of tools to let users exercise their rights under GDPR, such as downloading and deleting data, and the company’s new consent-gathering controls are similarly universal.

Facebook told Reuters “we apply the same privacy protections everywhere, regardless of whether your agreement is with Facebook Inc or Facebook Ireland”. It said the change was only carried out “because EU law requires specific language” in mandated privacy notices, which US law does not.

In a statement to the Guardian, it added: “We have been clear that we are offering everyone who uses Facebook the same privacy protections, controls and settings, no matter where they live. These updates do not change that.”

Privacy researcher Lukasz Olejnik disagreed, noting that the change carried large ramifications for the affected users. “Moving around one and a half billion users into other jurisdictions is not a simple copy-and-paste exercise,” he said.

“This is a major and unprecedented change in the data privacy landscape. The change will amount to the reduction of privacy guarantees and the rights of users, with a number of ramifications, notably for consent requirements. Users will clearly lose some existing rights, as US standards are lower than those in Europe.

“Data protection authorities from the countries of the affected users, such as New Zealand and Australia, may want to reassess this situation and analyse the situation. 

Even if their data privacy regulators are less rapid than those in Europe, this event is giving them a chance to act. Although it is unclear how active they will choose to be, the global privacy regulation landscape is changing, with countries in the world refining their approach. Europe is clearly on the forefront of this competition, but we should expect other countries to eventually catch up.” [my yellow highlighting]

NOTE:

The Australian Dept. of Human Services still continues to invite those who use its welfare services to visit its five Facebook pages on which it will:


* post about payments and services 

* answer questions 
* give useful tips 
* share news, and 
* give updates on relevant issue

All associated data (including questions and answers) will of course be captured by Facebook, then collated, transferred, stored overseas, monetised and possibly 'weaponised' during the next election campaign cycle which occurs in the area visitors to these pages live.


Sunday, 15 April 2018

It is getting harder and harder to believe Facebook Inc's denials of intentional harm


The fact that Facebook Inc. re-named the street in which it is headquartered "1 Hacker Way" should have been a clue to this social media giant's business ethos but it obviously didn't register with national governments and everyday Internet users. 

By the time All tech reported this on 11 November 2016 we were all a little more informed, but Facebook was still trying to pull the wool over our eyes:

Mark Zuckerberg says the notion that fake news influenced the U.S. presidential election is "a pretty crazy idea."

The Facebook CEO is finding himself in a unique position in this election cycle. Many news organizations have come under fire for their coverage of the campaign. Now Facebook is getting it too, as a modern media company that does not vet fake news from its News Feed and that, critics argue, allows users to stay in information bubbles that reinforce existing prejudices.

Zuckerberg took both these criticisms head-on yesterday, at a conference called Techonomy. (You can find the full interview on his Facebook feed.)

He says hoaxes existed before his platform was created. They aren't new, and people who say misinformation is why Donald Trump won simply do not get it. "There's a profound lack of empathy in asserting that the only reason why someone could have voted the way that they did is because they saw some fake news," Zuckerberg says.

He also says his company has studied fake news and found it's a "very small volume" of the content on Facebook. He did not specify if that content is more or less viral or impactful than other information.

Denials of a dangerously lax attitude to risk in Facebook Inc.'s business model continued to be made as more information surfaced......


BuzzFeed, 30 March 2018

The Age, 31 March 2018:

In a 2016 employee memo that was leaked this week, a Facebook executive defended the company's questionable data mining practices and championed the growth of social media at any cost - apparently even death.

Users in the US sue Facebook for not protecting personal data of the 50 million social network account owners whose data ended up at the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

"Maybe it costs a life by exposing someone to bullies," company vice president Andrew Bosworth wrote in the memo, according to BuzzFeed News, which published it Thursday. "Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools. And still we connect people. The ugly truth is that we believe in connecting people so deeply that anything that allows us to connect more people more often is *de facto* good."….

Bosworth, who oversaw Facebook's advertising and business platform at the time and is now in charge of the company's virtual reality department, has acknowledged writing the message but said he intended only to start a debate. "I didn't agree with it even when I wrote it," he wrote on Twitter after BuzzFeed published its report.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, who is already facing a public relations crisis over accusations that the company mishandled millions of users' private data, disavowed the memo.

"Boz is a talented leader who says many provocative things," Zuckerberg said in a statement, using Bosworth's nickname. "This was one that most people at Facebook including myself disagreed with strongly. We've never believed the ends justify the means."…….

The 418-word memo is framed around Zuckerberg's often-stated mission to connect the entire world through Facebook, which Bosworth cites as the company's ultimate and unchangeable goal - whether those connections let users fall in love, attack each other or, in the memo's most extreme example, coordinate a terrorist attack.

"That's why all the work we do in growth is justified," Bosworth wrote. "All the questionable contact importing practices. All the subtle language that helps people stay searchable by friends. All of the work we do to bring more communication in. The work we will likely have to do in China some day. All of it."

BuzzFeed noted that the memo was written almost immediately after a man was shot to death while streaming live video of himself with Facebook Live, and a few days before a Palestinian teenager was accused of killing an Israeli girl after praising terrorists on Facebook.

These deaths were a prelude to a string of other gruesome and violent incidents that appeared in videos and live streams on the social network. A man posted a Facebook video of himself killing someone last April. A month later, a man soaked himself in kerosene, lit himself on fire and used Facebook Live to stream video of his self-immolation.

Then we saw Zuckerberg donning a suit as he did the rounds in Washington DC. Appearing before a Joint Senate Committees on the Judiciary & Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s  Facebook, Social Media Privacy, and the Use and Abuse of Data hearing and a House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee's Facebook: Transparency and Use of Consumer Data hearing.

There was an expectation that during these hearings Zuckerberg would reveal the full extent of Facebook's data collection and retention, as well as explain why he allowed third party apps to collect data without the knowledge and/or fully informed consent of up to est, 2 billion Facebook users.

His disingenuous witness statement published ahead of his appearances contains this gem:

Facebook is an idealistic and optimistic company. For most of our existence, we focused on all the good that connecting people can bring.....
But it’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy. We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here. So now we have to go through every part of our relationship with people and make sure we’re taking a broad enough view of our responsibility.

However, if one reads through the full witness statement it is clear that Facebook Inc. is not responding out of a genuine realisation of its ethical failures or wrongdoing, but is essentially responding to the sharp fall in its stock value which began last month.

It clearly intends to still allow third party apps access to Facebook user accounts and there is no guarantee that the amount of personal data that can be extracted by these apps will be limited to a digital version of 'name, rank and serial number' or that Facebook users will have given fully-informed consent for this data extraction.

This reading of Facebook Inc.'s intentions was reinforced by Mark Zuckerberg testimony before both the Senate and House committees.

He came obviously rehearsed by lawyers and tightly scripted......

Time Magazine, Facebook aide closing notes during hearing recess,11 April 2018
Brief summary of Mark Zuckerber notes here.

Although in his spoken testimony Zuckerberg commenced with yet another apology, in my opinion he frequently dissembled, mislead, misdirected, contradicted a number of his own and Facebook management's public previous statements, lied by omission and sometimes almost defiantly told what appeared to be bald-faced lies.

NOTEReaders can form their own opinion of Zuckerberg's testimony courtesy of The Washington Post at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/04/10/transcript-of-mark-zuckerbergs-senate-hearing/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.032d3cf2a0e8 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/04/11/transcript-of-zuckerbergs-appearance-before-house-committee/?utm_term=.cd5f1228fec4.

However Facebook Inc. is not just relying on its founder and CEO's recent testimony to ward of further regulation of its businss practices.

Since 2011 Facebook Inc. has had a registered Political Action Commttee (PAC) which has donated to the 2012, 2014, and 2016 US election campaigns. 

As well as in-house and paid lobbyists who spent in total US$11.5 million in 2017 alone fighting against further Internet regulations including any proposed strengthening of privacy protections. Add that to the company's US$8.6M lobbying spend in 2016, $9.8M in 2015, $9.3M in 2014, $6.4M in 2013, $3.8M in 2012, $1.3M in 2011, $351,390 in 2010 and $207,878 in 2009 and one can see that Facebook Inc. is increasingly determined to have the ear of US lawmakers.

Although how successful the social media giant's lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill will be in 2018, it is clear that in has been partially successful in protecting the market value of its shares.

To date this year Facebook Inc.'s ordinary share price has gone from a closing high of US$193.09 (01.02.18) to a low of $152.22 (27.03.18) in the wake of revelations about the company's business practices and, then gradually climbed over the course of 17 days by $12.3 to close at $164.52 (13.03.18), according to Yahoo! Finance.

As for the number of active Facebook users - only time will tell if current figures hold over time. With trust in Facebook Inc. at a new low it will not be surprising to find the number of accounts showing daily activity falling over time as users become more wary of this platform.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Tweets of the Week




Quotes of the Week



“We have the right to store a copy of your  [personal e-health] record and we are the only ones in the market to have this level 4 certification.”  [Romain Bonjean, co-founder Tyde, app developer registered portal operator with Australian Government Digital Health Agency & My Health Record, quoted in the Australian Financial Review on 6 April 2018]

“Life is short and shorter for smokers. Just legalise vaping.”  [Andrew Laming MP, Dissenting Report, submitted to Australian HoR Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport, March 2018]

“When we kick their ass they all like to claim we’re drunk. I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass. Busy working; preparing.”  [St. Louis radio host Jamie Allman threatening anti-gun activist & highschool student David Hogg, as reported by Snopes, 9 April 2018]


“They promised us a grilling. We got PR.”  [UK journalist Carole Cadwalladr tweeting about US Senate hearing at which Facebook founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared on 10 March 2018]

“I start to wonder if, in fact, how the developers mine money for Facebook has become a bit of a mystery to Zuck.”  [IT journalist Richard Chirgwin opining on Facebook founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter, 12 April 2018]