Facebook: Trying to Monitor Your Vitals & Meddling with Messages?

by: The Knowledge Group

April 10, 2018


Facebook has been talking to Stanford’s med school and the American College of Cardiology about sharing anonymous patient records. Though the sharing of profiles would start off in anonymity, the medical groups and Facebook would have been alerted when a patient’s data matched a specific Facebook profile.

The company only hit the pause button when the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke.

Safety at the Expense of Privacy?

Facebook has, at times, won plaudits for offering channels for people share information to find their way out of physical danger. On the other hand, Facebook has lost credibility for its data-sharing agreements. It’s one thing for people to share information to help each other. It’s another thing when Facebook itself initiates data-sharing without users’ awareness.

The “Facebook health” group, which operates in several cities, will host a presentation at a June 2019 conference with a marketer for the drug Allergan. The theme: pharmaceutical corporations’ potential to use Facebook to find potential drug consumers.

Can users shield our accounts from corporations bent on targeting advertising to us? Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, says it might become an option—but we’ll need to pay for those private subscriptions.

Facebook’s “Two-Tiered” Message Security System

You can’t “unsend” messages you’ve sent to others on Facebook. But Facebook’s CEO can.

Mark Zuckerberg can send you a message, regret it, and erase it.

Facebook has deleted a number of Zuckerberg’s messages without disclosing the function. After TechCrunch exposed this, Facebook claimed it created the special ability after the 2014 Sony Pictures hack, which leaked Sony executives’ embarrassing messages. In the wake of the TechCrunch report, Facebook announced it will roll out an “unsend” function to all account holders.

Still More Privacy Issues

Watchdogs filed a complaint that Facebook’s use of facial recognition software compromises user privacy. Meanwhile, billions of Facebook users have had their information “scraped” by unidentified actors.

Facebook has much to answer for when its CEO speaks to Senate committees today, April 10, and to the House Energy and Commerce Committee April 11.

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