Is Your Privacy Worth A Cookie?

It Explains A Lot

As long as there are people willing to give away their data for the taste of a cookie (or selfie with one), I will no longer wonder how some apps and social media platforms continue to attract users regardless of their privacy stands – or even ethics.

Maybe, you wonder if there really are some people who don’t care about their data or who they give it away to.

This link should help you wonder no more:
How Much of Your Data Would You Trade for a Free Cookie? – ProPublica

Enjoy your cookies folks, but please stop wondering why companies seem so successful in monetizing our data – we let them and there are those who are more than willing to let them.

Boss or Leader?

There’s a difference

The Difference

I just wanted to share the above link to a tweet where @therealbanksy provides a nice visual explaining the difference between a boss and a leader.

Oodbye Ello, Oodbye Facebook Newsfeed

A Double Oodbye This Week

First, Ello

[Update]: I’ve returned to Ello after they reached out to me and explained that my signup email had a typo in it. Although an email verification process linked to the invite email should have prevented this in the first place, I’m giving them a free pass. They appear to be trying to do good even if I still can not fully recommend Ello for business use just yet. I love Markdown and they support it – so there’s that. See my post at Giving Ello Another Greeting

The new social net that has been marketed as a privacy conscious alternative to Facebook has not earned my confidence. Buggy and not responsive to users, it gets my first Oodbye – later gator.

We can expect bugs in a beta release, and one that is invite only reinforces that expectation, but Ello is more Alpha than Beta ready. Very few features exist on Ello that make it a viable alternative to Facebook. Only two options to organize friends (one is called noize), no lists, no real privacy options except for some minor settings, no help / support / feedback method, along with many other missing features, outweigh the promise of no ads. After I signed up, fed it some of my data, and logged out, it forgot my password. When I tried a password reset, Ello told me that my email address could not be found – the same address Ello sent my invitation to and that I registered under. Without a feedback or contact method on Ello’s website, I reached out to Paul Budnitz (@paulbudnitz) on Twitter a couple of times, but have not received a reply at the time of this post.

So Ello, can I have my data back before the exit door closes? Oodbye.

Second, Facebook Profile Newsfeed

This by far was my biggest Oodbye this week. When Facebook made this Meet the new Atlas | Atlas Solutions announcement, I personally reached a tipping point.

Ars Technica summed it up best with their article title:
Facebook’s ad platform will know who you are, what you buy, even offline – Ars Technica

What Atlas / Facebook calls people-based marketing and sees as “bridging the gap between online impressions and offline purchases” – a technical challenge to be overcome – I see as yet another attempt to push user tracking to new levels. Facebook wants to own all of us.

Some attempt to water this announcement down by telling us that Facebook is not revealing our identity to marketers. The real question for me though is:

Do we really want Facebook to be the holder of all of our on-line activity and off-line purchase data?

Marketers will benefit from Atlas, but Facebook walks away with all of our data and the capability to own tons of data more than it currently does.

For me, Facebook has not earned the right to that data. It has disrespected users on every corner that it turns. From treating users like modern day guinea pigs with so called emotional contagion studies that legal experts call Illegal, Immoral, and Mood-Altering, to tracking everything users do in it’s Facebook Messenger (FBM) app, to now wanting to know what we do offline to better serve us its ads, Facebook is not a brand that earns my trust.

That being said, I’ve made the personal decision not to feed my Facebook Profile Newsfeed.

I made this post on Facebook:

Request: Please don’t tag me, check me in to locations, or Facebook message me.
My activity here is primarily business / Page related and Facebook has been pushing tracking to new levels lately.
Thank you for your understanding. I still enjoy seeing you around and may occasionally lurk and respond with a Like or emoticon.

I continue to be found on the edges of Facebook providing support for social media campaigns and Page activities because my opinion is simply mine and not reflective of the bigger game in today’s social sphere.

Everyone has a tipping point though. Maybe others will become fed up with this new tracking effort or some other future decision by Facebook.

For me, my Facebook Profile Newsfeed is a zombie, existing mostly in a coma state – occasionally fed something (probably a repurposed tweet) – there, but not really there.

If enough people starve their FB newsfeeds – the bread and butter of FB – eventually the last person will be forced to turn off the light on their exit.

Again this is just my personal opinion worth about 2 cents.

Maybe, if I don’t see you on Facebook, we can connect on Ello – oh right.

Oodbye.

(p.s.) Connect with me on Twitter @teaneedz.

Facebook and OkCupid Psych Studies Are Illegal

Not Just Unethical

We aren’t saying that companies shouldn’t do experiments. We’re just saying that when companies do experiments, they must do them ethically. Informed consent and IRB review aren’t just the right thing. They’re the law.

This is a must-read article on why Facebook’s and OkCupid’s psych experiments on their users were not only unethical, but illegal.

As a former product guy, I’ve seen through the strawman reasoning from companies trying to convince us that this is all normal A/B testing. It is not.

Now here is the legal reasoning why it’s illegal:

Illegal, unethical, and mood altering

I hope that every board member, C-suite exec, and Product Manager takes the time to read the article linked above. It’s time for companies to educate themselves on what responsible research looks like and what the law permits.

Don’t fb.me on Twitter

It’s Gawky

Awkward; ungainly – tweet sense deficient. Twitter is not Facebook and sharing content from Facebook to Twitter or sprinkling Twitter timelines with Facebook seasoning just doesn’t quite send a positive message about your social media prowess.