Twitter “Unintentionally” Used Your Phone Number for Targeted Advertising

Twitter “Unintentionally” Used Your Phone Number for Targeted Advertising By Gennie Gebhart and Jacob Hoffman-Andrews Stop us if you’ve heard this before: you give a tech company your personal information in order to use two-factor authentication, and later find out that they were using that security information for targeted advertising. That’s exactly what Twitter fessed up to yesterday in an understated blog post: the company has been taking email addresses and phone numbers that users provided for “safety and security purposes” like two-factor authentication, and using them for its ad…

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Fixed? The FTC Orders Facebook to Stop Using Your 2FA Number for Ads

Fixed? The FTC Orders Facebook to Stop Using Your 2FA Number for Ads By Gennie Gebhart Since academics and investigative journalists first reported last year that Facebook was using people’s two-factor authentication numbers and “shadow” contact information for targeted advertising, Facebook has shown little public interest in fixing this critical problem. Subsequent demands that Facebook stop all non-essential uses of these phone numbers, and public revelations that Facebook’s phone number abuse was even worse than initially reported, failed to move the company to action. Yesterday, rather than face a lawsuit…

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Don’t Let Encrypted Messaging Become a Hollow Promise

Don’t Let Encrypted Messaging Become a Hollow Promise By Andrew Crocker and Gennie Gebhart Why do we care about encryption? Why was it a big deal, at least in theory, when Mark Zuckerberg announced earlier this year that Facebook would move to end-to-end encryption on all three of its messaging platforms? We don’t just support encryption for its own sake. We fight for it because encryption is one of the most powerful tools individuals have for maintaining their digital privacy and security in an increasingly insecure world. And although encryption…

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A Privacy-Focused Facebook? We’ll Believe It When We See It

A Privacy-Focused Facebook? We’ll Believe It When We See It By Gennie Gebhart In his latest announcement, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg embraces privacy and security fundamentals like end-to-end encrypted messaging. But announcing a plan is one thing. Implementing it is entirely another. And for those reading between the lines of Zuckerberg’s pivot-to-privacy manifesto, it’s clear that this isn’t just about privacy. It’s also about competition. The Proof is in the Pudding At the core of Zuckerberg’s announcement is Facebook’s plan to merge its three messaging platforms: Facebook’s Messenger, Instagram’s Direct,…

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