BetaNews: Facebook has been paying people to install a VPN that harvests data about them. “An investigation has revealed that Facebook has been paying people aged between 13 and 35 to install a data harvesting VPN tool. The ‘Facebook Research’ VPN was offered to iOS and Android users who were paid up to $20 per month — plus referral commissions — to provide the social network with near-unfettered access to phone, app and web usage data (a Root Certificate is installed to give a terrifying level of access).”
The Daily Dot: Facebook is helping husbands ‘brainwash’ their wives with targeted ads. “Imagine you’re married. Maybe you’ve been going through a stressful couple of months. Perhaps you’ve lost your job, or your current job is a nightmare, and maybe you’ve suffered from poor health and fallen out with long-term friends, so that you hardly ever see anyone but your husband and kids. Now imagine that, understandably, your libido has fallen through the floor during this difficult period, so you don’t even think about sex anymore. And finally, imagine that your husband has begun targeting you with online ads intended to ‘brainwash’ you into having sex with him, since he can’t think of any other way of restoring your interest in lovemaking.”
Tip o’ the nib to Jonathan B for this one from Gizmodo: How Cartographers for the U.S. Military Inadvertently Created a House of Horrors in South Africa. “The visitors started coming in 2013. The first one who came and refused to leave until he was let inside was a private investigator named Roderick. He was looking for an abducted girl, and he was convinced she was in the house.”
Gulf News Asia: Philippine passport maker ‘runs away’ with data of applicants. “If you’re a Filipino applying to renew your Philippine passport, authorities may require you to bring your original birth certificate. The reason: the previous outsourced ‘passport maker’ contracted by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila ‘took away’ all the applicants’ data, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said.”
New York Times, and I’m so mad about this I could spit: As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants. “For years, Facebook gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it has disclosed, effectively exempting those business partners from its usual privacy rules, according to internal records and interviews.” If you want to try another social media platform, check out MeWe: https://mewe.com/i/taracalishain . I have no connection to them except I’m on the platform, they don’t know me from Adam’s house cat, do not taunt Happy Fun Ball, etc.
Stuff New Zealand: What happened when Google Maps said my family home was a public park. “Google Maps is one of the greatest innovations of our time. Maps of the entire world, on demand, for free, in your pocket any time you want it. Can you even imagine how jealous Burke and Wills would be of that? Unfortunately, maintaining an accurate map of the entire world is complicated, especially during a housing boom. The world steadfastly refuses to stay the same, and some areas are just wrong.”
The Intercept: Google Suppresses Memo Revealing Plans To Closely Track Search Users In China. “ON AUGUST 16, two weeks after The Intercept revealed the Dragonfly plan, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the company’s employees that the China plan was in its ‘early stages’ and ‘exploratory.’ However, employees working on the censored search engine were instructed in late July, days before the project was publicly exposed, that they should prepare to get it into a ‘launch-ready state’ to roll out within weeks, pending approval from officials in Beijing.”