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    1. #1
      Im The Truth's Avatar
      Im The Truth is offline Organizer

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      Facebook is Big Brother! Don't Believe, Read!

      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      Four senators ask Facebook to make privacy fixes to new features
      They object to the social networking site sharing users' personal information with other websites without the explicit consent of the users.

      April 27, 2010|By Jessica Guynn, Reporting from San Francisco

      Four senators ask Facebook to make privacy fixes to new features - Los Angeles Times

      Lawmakers and privacy watchdogs are asking Facebook Inc. to roll back a new feature that they say invades the privacy of the popular online social network's more than 400 million users.

      Adding to controversy over the new feature, four U.S. senators objected Tuesday to Facebook sharing users' personal information with other websites without the explicit consent of the users. They want Facebook to ask users to "opt into" the feature that personalizes content on three other websites rather than "opt out" of it.

      "Social networking sites have become the Wild West of the Internet," Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a letter he wrote Tuesday with three other senators — Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Al Franken (D-Minn.). The letter was addressed to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. "The innovation they represent is welcome but users need to have the ability to control their private information and fully understand how it's being used."

      A privacy watchdog group, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, also said it was preparing to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. The group is calling for greater scrutiny of how Facebook uses the data that the privately held company has amassed over its six-year history and for clearer privacy guidelines for all social networks.

      Google Inc.'s launch of social networking service Buzz and Facebook's recent moves have intensified the public debate over online privacy. They have drawn scrutiny from regulators in Europe and Canada.

      "Facebook has to address privacy on a global scale. It's part of the burden it carries to achieve what it wants to achieve," Forrester Research analyst Augie Ray said.

      The privacy blowup comes as millions of people share a wealth of personal information with an ever expanding network of friends, giving social networking sites enormous reach and moneymaking opportunities. Yet there are no guidelines for what sites like Facebook can do with that information.

      A Facebook spokesman said Tuesday that the Palo Alto company gave users unprecedented control over their data and that it only shared what they have agreed to make public. He said Facebook was also strict about what information it allowed other websites to access.

      "Our highest priority is to keep and build the trust of the more than 400 million people who use our service," Facebook Vice President Elliot Schrage said in a letter to Schumer.

      More links on the subject:

      Facebook slammed over privacy concerns - San Jose Mercury News

      US senators demand Facebook privacy changes - Telegraph

      Facebook privacy: Bloggers on 'instant personalization' and the blurred line between public and private on the internet |
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    2. #2
      Pragmatic's Avatar
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      Number of African-Americans on Facebook Mirrors US Makeup

      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

      by Angela

      Facebook’s Data Team released a very interesting post on Facebook’s blog late last night that reviled the ethnic make-up of Facebook as well as trends in adoption over the past several years. How you ask, especially when Facebook doesn’t request demographic information from it’s users upon registration? They used a mixed modeling method based on surnames. The whole experiment was started to answer the question “How diverse are the ethnic backgrounds of the people using Facebook?” In the blog post they explain more about how surnames we used to determine race:
      Comparing people’s surnames on Facebook with data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, we are able to estimate the racial breakdown of Facebook users over the history of the site.
      They are calling this “Friendship Diversity.” They outlined the methodology in the post as well:
      The U.S. Census Bureau’s Genealogy Project publishes a data set containing the frequency of popular surnames along with a breakdown by race and ethnicity. These data are the key to our analysis, so we will spend some time describing them in some detail. An example of the raw data is shown below for the three most-frequent surnames in the census: Smith, Johnson and Williams. These data provide the rank in the population, the total count of people with the name, their proportion per 100,000 Americans, and the percent for various races: White, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, American-Indian/Alaskan Native, two or more races and Hispanic respectively [1]. This data set allows us to predict what a person’s race is based solely on his or her surname. While these predictions will be often be wrong, in aggregate they will be correct. For example, suppose you select 10,000 people with the name Smith from the U.S. population at random. The data above suggest that 7,335 of them will be White, 2,222 will be Black and so on. Certain names will be more predictive of a certain race, while others will predict a wide array of ethnic backgrounds. The table below shows the top three names within the top 1,000 ordered by the percent in a given group. It shows that some ethnicities have distinctive surnames while others do not. For instance, 98.1% of individuals with the name Yoder are White while the most predictive name for American Indian / Alaskan Native individuals only has 4.4% in that group. For this reason, we will only look at White, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic predictions in our analysis….Finally, we adjust the estimates in our analyses with Internet adoption rates based on values from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration report on the Networked Nation. We use the percent of households with Internet access as a proxy for the addressable Internet population of each race or ethnicity.
      That’s a mouth full. You can read more on their methodology on the original blog post from the data team there. What is interesting is the results. Facebook’s users are 11% African-American and saw a surge in adoption in 2009, up from 7% in 2005. The African-American US population is 12%. When measuring Latinos using this methodology it was a bit more off. Currently they make up 15% of the US population, on Facebook they represent 9%. In late 2005 Latino’s represented 3% of Facebook’s users. Pew recently released a study saying 44% of Twitter’s users are African-American and Latino.

      The data team at Facebook plans to use First names in the future as well as friend connections the get a better understanding of the “diversity of interpersonal relationships.”

      Lynn J. replies:

      I think I'm having a problem with the idea of last names being used to determine race. It's fine to do a mathematics model based on what's been held to be true, but within what percentile is there certainty and accuracy in this data? I guess I have to read the FB blog post to really understand what they're saying here. I don't think they can claim their ethnic makeup of users within 100% of accuracy given the model.

      Peace be upon you


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