What is the Internet Party position on Facebook

internut-party

We all know the Internet Party is for more privacy on the Internet.  In fact, they want the GCSB dealt to, because they look closely into several dozen people a year (with a search warrant).

So you’d think they might have a position on this

FACEBOOK has been forced to defend a “creepy” new feature that allows it to activate your smartphone’s microphone and listen in.

The announcement of the feature has sparked an online backlash, with users mobilising in an effort to get the social media giant to kill off the development.

In what objectors have described as a “Big Brother move”, the feature turns on the phone’s mic and picks up on what is happening, such as music or a TV playing in the background.  

Facebook will then automatically add at the end of their status update something like “Watching Game of Thrones” or “Listening to Coldplay”.

The feature, which works in much the same way as song-identification app Shazam, freaked out a number of Facebook users and an online petition is gathering steam.

It had received 542,544 signatures as of this morning.

“Facebook just announced a new feature to its app, which will let it listen to our conversations and surroundings through our own phones’ microphone. Talk about a Big Brother move,” the petition reads.

“Facebook says the feature will be used for harmless things, like identifying the song or TV show playing in the background, but by using the phone’s microphone every time you write a status update, it has the ability to listen to everything.

“Not only is this move just downright creepy, it’s also a massive threat to our privacy. The feature is opt-in, but many won’t even read the warnings. If we act now, we can stop Facebook in its tracks before it has a chance to release the feature.”

Most smartphone software requires permissions to access parts of your data or your device that are potentially problematic.

This is why you need to be able to trust the people who make the software to do the right thing.

For example, the NZ Herald Android app needs permission to your camera.  It doesn’t say why.  Why would anyone need access to your phone camera to read news stories?  The absence of a good explanation drops your ability to trust that particular organisation.

It’s not that they will, but they certainly can.  And in the absence of a sensible explanation, you tend to err on the side of caution.

Facebook has had privacy and trust problems throughout its history.  Giving it access to your microphone to see what you’re up to seems to be a more severe invasion of privacy than the GCSB going after terrorists or other serious threats to national security with a warrant.

Not that the Internet Party would back that idea.  After all, they want more of Facebook, and less GCSB.

 

– news.com.au


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