Facebook RX

Okay, folks … I want you to be sure that you are sitting down for this one.  Sitting?  Good.  Now, take your left hand and firmly cup your jaw so that it cannot fall to the floor.  Ready?

Facebook had plans to take health records – such as a patient’s age, prescriptions and number of hospital visits – and link it to their Facebook data. Facebook had already approached hospitals and health organizations with the idea, touting that it could (somehow?) help improve patient care.  “For example, the Facebook data might reveal that a patient did not have many friends or did not receive many messages, so might need a nurse to visit them at home. It might also reveal that a patient did not speak English as their first language, which would help the hospital plan the person’s care.”  Pardon, but wouldn’t the hospital already be aware that the patient does not speak English???

EXCUSE ME?!?!?!!  Has Mark Zuckerberg and his gang never heard of a little thing we have here called HIPAA?  Back in the day (1996 and after) “bean-counter Jill” was responsible for paying all the company employees medical premiums.  I did not have access to their medical records, but simply because I paid their premiums, by law I had to take some 30 hours of HIPAA training so that I would understand patient privacy laws!  I have since forgotten more than I knew, but having a daughter who is an RN, one thing I do know, and that is that patient information is to be strictly guarded, and even a family member may not gain access to it without the express, written consent of the patient.  But Facebook, the company who allowed the data from some 87 million users to be breached and harvested, might have gained access to our medical information???

Cathleen Gates, from the American College of Cardiology, said it had been “engaged in discussions with Facebook” concerning the use of anonymized data to further scientific research. Facebook said the work had “not progressed past the planning phase” and said it had “not received, shared or analysed anyone’s data”.

The plan has been put on hold indefinitely, given that Facebook is currently under intense fire for its ties to Cambridge Analytica and the date breaches that occurred during the 2016 election.  Now, I ask you, if Facebook couldn’t even protect our ‘name, rank & serial number’, do you really want them to know about your latest gall bladder surgery, miscarriage or toenail fungus medication?

Facebook says the project is on ‘hiatus’ while they focus on their latest trials and tribulations, but the mere fact that this project was even conceived of and apparently taken seriously by at least some hospitals and medical organizations, that medical facilities were considering contributing our private data, is highly disturbing!  More than once in the past year, I have considered quitting Facebook for a myriad of reasons, but have always stopped short, for it is the best means I have for staying in touch with friends, nieces and nephews who live hundreds of miles away.  But at this latest, at the very thought that Facebook might have attempted such an invasion of our privacy, I am seriously re-considering.

One question I have … Facebook says it asked the hospitals to share only “anonymized” data, but they would then match it to specific users.  Obviously, if they would be able to match it to a specific user, it wasn’t to be anonymized after all.  Facebook says the data would have been used only for research conducted by the medical community. Mmm hmmm. 🙄   And I’ve got a great little bridge for sale in Brooklyn, too.

Trust, folks, is a funny thing.  It can take years and years of hard work, whether we are talking about a relationship between two people, or between a business and its customers, to build the walls of trust.  And with just one breach, a single lie, the walls can come crumbling down.  Facebook has lost the public trust, and at best, it may take them a decade or better to re-build it, if it can even be rebuilt.  For me, the medical community lost my trust years ago, but with HIPAA, I at least felt my personal/medical information was secure.  Apparently, once again, I was wrong.


Note to Readers:  Just as I finished this post and was about to schedule it for this morning, I realized that it would be Saturday morning.  I haven’t the energy to write another tonight, so we will have Saturday Surprise on Sunday this week!  

116 thoughts on “Facebook RX

  1. Some people need to realise that you cannot do EVERYTHING! Stick to what you do best, and do it WELL. It already has trouble handling the current workload and now healthcare?? Mark Z is so far away (in wonderland) from what his executives are REALLY doing on his platform.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There is sooo much of this going on, and not just with facebook. Although, facebook has been the worst, especially now with the noncompliance to HIPAA laws. We are all used to having this instant form of communication that we haven’t been willing to drop it, me included. I don’t know what the answers are. There is a really good alternative to twitter, but no one is switching. I would if everyone I knew would go over. Maybe they’re thinking that too? Should we all go back to Myspace? Even so, how will we ever know if we will retain privacy with any social media outlet? Yes, this is all very disturbing.

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    • Like you, I don’t know what the answers are, but we need some injection of sanity into the social media mess! I don’t advocate shutting it down, for that would be a mistake, but some changes need to come, and soon!

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      • The entire medical info thing, and also spying on people’s private info, is against the law. If any of us went and stole someone’s private health info, would we be in trouble? It’s so frustrating that people with money and power don’t ever have to pay the same consequences. I read that Zuckerberg is testifying in front of a committee of representatives that he contributed money to. Convenient. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/04/04/facebook-gave-most-contributions-house-committee-question-zuckerberg-also-got-most-contributions-fac/486313002/

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        • You are quite right. My daughter is an RN, and recently a local newscaster was a patient of hers, but though I already knew this, she did not give me any details, for it is her job to uphold the patient’s right to privacy. But hey … you know the rules don’t apply to the rich, right?

          I do think, however, that Zuckerberg may get his feet held to the fire, and rightly so. Time will tell. I haven’t read the details yet, but I hear that Ted Cruz, of all people, gave him quite a grilling.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Yes, I saw that with Ted Cruz and also Dick Durbin. Two normally quite opposing people. Wouldn’t it be great if an issue finally brought people together in agreement for once? Maybe they could get something done.

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                • Well, we should each do our own research and draw our own conclusions, and for that I applaud you. My mistrust stems primarily from two things: his blind hatred toward and lies & conspiracy theories about President Obama, and his boot-licking attitude toward Donald Trump. Frankly, I hope he is voted out in November, but I’m not holding my breath.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • In doing my research, I can see that those things you’ve claimed of Cruz don’t exist. There is plenty of evidence out there to find if someone is lying or telling the truth. The thing is, we have to be prepared to sometimes find truth we might not want to know. I recently learned that a candidate I despised and railed against, is actually not what I thought, because I did some deep researching. I wish that more people really would look deeper instead of believing what we’re told. The media gets on my nerves, so I go out there and find things for myself.

                    I don’t usually talk politics in the blogging forum. I didn’t mean to get into this with the facebook thing. I do believe that people may have a lawsuit against facebook, especially those who never gave permission. I don’t use facebook apps, so if another friend gave them permission to get my info, I didn’t agree to that. I would think that is a violation and could be means for a lawsuit.

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  3. Facebook is no more evil or good than any other human activity. It supplies millions of people with pleasure and large numbers with employment . Like all human endeavours it has its snags . Motor cars are evil because they kill people and pollute the atmosphere; a true statement but only half the story.

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    • Possibly, but when a persons medical information is placed in a database in a social media venue, I see a problem. Think of that, and then think of the Equifax data breach last year. Nothing and nobody can guarantee internet security, and until they figure out how to do so, I think there need to be some strict boundaries for social media. Keep it ‘social’, in other words, not political and definitely not invasive into the private lives of its users.

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      • What worries me about all the uproar and fuss about my personal information is does anyone really care ? Am I that important ? Just who do I think I am ? It seems to me if I was Donald Trump or Mr Putin it’s possible that some might be interested in what tablets I’m taking and who my close friends are, but that’s the price of fame . It’s curious how fame makes us think those who possess it are some how set apart , sort of super human , worth knowing , important ; although I fear many are intent on shooting down our famous icons and raising up their own .
        ‘ Tired with all this for restful death I cry
        Save that to die I leave my love alone. ‘

        Liked by 1 person

        • Y’know … you make a good point there … who really cares? I can think of a few situations, though. You apply and interview for a new job, and the employer does a background check, which has become, in the last 20 years, fairly standard practice here. And he finds out that you have some costly disease that will likely cause the group insurance rates to go up, or that may cause you to need extra time off work. Or he discovers that you are Facebook friends with Attila the Hun. Or that you are an atheist, a communist … none of which should be a job-disqualifier, but might become so. I already consider it invasive that a potential employer can do the background check, as I have known of cases where a qualified applicant was turned down for a job based on financial problems that were discovered during the background check. You are right that for the most part … nobody cares, but I still see potential for harm.

          The quote at the end of your comment … so relatable! What is it from?

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          • It’s the first and last line of Shakespeare’s sonnet 66, he penned 154 sonnets. I understand your example but suppose a teacher was applying for a job and he had pedophilia in his background? If we keep shouting about a free press and transparency should it not apply to us as well? If we hide our background are we being transparent? but I know the press can engage in a witch hunt. The old saying is gold dust again ‘ what’s sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose.’

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            • Ah yes, many different ways to think about it all. Perhaps there need to be layers of background checks, whereby potential employers can access felony records, but not financial or other, non-criminal records, such as political or religious affiliations, etc.

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  4. Pingback: Has Facebook Gone too Far? – In the Net! – Stories of Life and Narcissistic Survival

  5. This is disturbing news and another reason for me to discontinue any usage of FB at all. When FB was a purely social network it was a good way (IMHO) to stay in touch with people you didn’t get to see IRL (in real life) very often, or whom were internet friends to start with. And to me? Only an idiot shares private information on a public website, regardless of how ‘secure’ it’s supposed to be. So I never worried a whole lot about being exposed. Those who needed to know who I ‘really’ was did. The others knew me by a pseudonym. Kinda like here actually. Yesterday I got a message from a family member about the fact that FB is going to start charging a fee for every message one receives UNLESS one is in some kind of special club where they are so popular that they don’t have to pay. Sounds stupid and confusing, but since i don’t use Messenger anyway…no biggie. However, this combined with the news you shared, tells me that for folks like me, it’s time to start looking around for some where else to meet & greet those people I socialize with…digitally any way. Discouraging.

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    • I agree … those who need to know more about me, already do. As to the notice that they are going to start charging … that one has been making the rounds for years now and is not true. At some point, if FB really wants to do a better job of being more secure and less obnoxious, they may impose a subscription fee, but even that is doubtful, for most, I think, would thumb their noses at that idea. I’m not sure if Facebook can turn this around or not, but they have certainly lost a lot of goodwill that they will need to work hard to regain.

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  6. ‘Here at Facebook we care about you, that’s why we’re sharing this memory of two years ago when you had your colonoscopy..’ Perhaps some Facebook friends of mine would enjoy sharing; after all, they put up pictures of themselves in hospital and one old chap put a picture of his wife in intensive care, with exclamations at how many tubes she had attached to her – she was not pleased, when she recovered enough to find out…

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        • I think technology, if used for good, is a great thing. Unfortunately, there will always be those who find nefarious uses for it. Seems to be the trend these days, doesn’t it? Just because we CAN figure out how to do something … doesn’t mean we SHOULD. Sigh.

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          • If we survive this Congress is going to have to pass a law that will allow us to remove rogue presidents; especially when we know that their campaign as president was illegally funded by an enemy nation. I’m sickened by the moral squalor of this man we call President. But, that’s a problem with narcissist in general; they make even one affected by them sick.

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            • I hope that if we survive this, the lesson will long remain in our minds about even electing such a buffoon! That said, I do think it’s past time to implement some additional criteria in order to qualify to run for president. I’m sure that will meet with opposition, and I don’t expect to see it happen in my lifetime, but I think it’s time. This man should never have even been allowed to run.

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              • Certain jobs can’t be done by everyone. A man we can hear on tape bragging about rape is a rule out for the chief executive in every civilized nation in the world. If Americans can get back to civility a big chunk of the problem is solved. I Every state should pass a law that requires a candidate for President to show us his taxes.

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                • Definitely, at a minimum! Taxes, background check … I mean, who votes for a president who has been involved in some 4,000+ lawsuits??? And at least SOME combination of relevant experience and education! A business degree from Wharton does not, obviously, prepare one to deal with international relations!

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      • It’s horrible. Twitter is also a battleground but Putin doesn’t limit the scope of his army of trained propagandists. I see them commenting all the time on WordPress. Their comment is always cynical in tone, and carries a message false moral equivalency between right and left and the ever useful whataboutism.

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    • Yes, there was so much potential for good there, but … they blew it and I don’t know if they will ever be able to regain the trust. However, from the looks of it, there are a lot of people who just don’t seem bothered by it all, for they keep on posting and posting endlessly.

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      • What bothers me is that some dingbats post inappropriately personal things that you might confide in a close friend. They have no sense of boundaries, so why would they worry about Facebook selling their rubbish? End of rant…;)

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        • ‘Twas a lovely rant and you are 100% right! Who, really, needs/wants to hear a play-by-play of a person’s stomach virus, or their latest fight with hubby? You remember the song from the ’60s … Dionne Warwick, perhaps … titled Walk on By …? When I’m on Facebook I sing that song as “Scroll on by …” 🙂

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                • I used to have WordPress post to Facebook, but I didn’t like the way it formatted them … the pictures didn’t always come out nicely, so now I just do it myself. I have a handful of people who will read them if they see them on Facebook, but won’t go to the trouble to sign up for email notifications. I can understand why Anne is addicted … I used to be … thought I had to see every post friends made. Now? I just don’t care, and it annoys me to no end, so I stay away.

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  7. Jill, two comments. First, unless Facebook changes its model to a subscription approach, their business model will be to use your data to enable companies to market to you. That is how they make money, So, my suggestion is to be mindful of what you disclose.

    Second, although it is still a young company, they have corporate-speak down pat. Their leaders have been too coy with their responses and reactions. They were told to fix some privacy concerns several years ago and did not do so. They failed to heed the misuse of their platform for election influence and only now are doing things about it.

    We must be the guardians of our own information and what we read. Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    • As you know, I am ALWAYS cautious in what I share or disclose online … I’ve been stalked before and don’t intend to have that repeated ever! I don’t know anymore what I think about Facebook. I once greatly respected Zuckerberg, but after the recent data breach and Cambridge Analytica fiasco, I’m not sure. I wonder if they will be able to make a comeback in the public trust after all this. For me … I still debate whether the value of Facebook, the benefit, outweighs the downside.

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      • Jill, companies and governments have been spying on us for years. Now, it is like shooting fish in a barrel, which is why malevolent person like Putin can take advantage of the tools. I am reminded of the retailer who was sending coupons for baby clothes, diapers, wipes before the pending mother told anyone she was pregnant. That was before social media. Now, it they can send you stuff based on your age, how long you have been married, the fact your sister has young kids, that your looking at a bigger house, and so on. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • You know what galls me about that? I get tons of junk like that in the mail every day, and it goes straight into the trash … I don’t even open it, even if it says “Urgent … your immediate response required”, as so much of it does. It is usually oversize (to get attention), some is glossy (expensive) and I, like most others throw it away. So, the few people who do buy their product are paying for them to waste all that money sending crap to people who do not want it. Make sense to you?

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    • This is true … there are better ways … but I have so many that are busy with their lives, raising children, jobs, etc., that I always found it easier to use Facebook to keep up with them. Obviously, I am re-thinking that now. And of late, Facebook is more an annoyance than anything else anyway.

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  8. Hi Jill, and if I may, having made this suggestion on other blogs who complained about Facebook but “could not leave” for the same reason you post here. Here’s how easy it is to have nothing to do with Facebook. If you have an ISP, then you have a non-web based email address-mine for example is with Telus. Yours could be with Comcast or some such. This means you can so easily set up an email group using, for example Thunderbird email, probably the best email program anywhere, and open source. All you friends and relatives can then join this group, setting up their own at their end and each time you send messages to your group they automatically go to everyone in the group – and no one else. Now that’s pure common sense and it’s how we used to do it before Facebook and its clones. Sometimes in the face of mounting invasion of privacy and insulting behaviour on the part of the corporate sector, we the sheeple need to counter back and the only thing we have is numbers. I boycott Facebook, Amazon and a select number of Internet media giants. When Gandhi was campaigning to rid India of the hated and oppressive British Raj he developed a concept called satyagraha: non-violent non-cooperation. It works, but only when enough numbers join the process.

    However, people are always their own worse enemy. As the rebel woman says in “The Milagro Bean Field War” – why is it that every time we’re mad at them we end up shooting each other?

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  9. God, and to think that I used to work for the American College of Cardiology! The shame!

    I just finished reading, and maybe you’ve already read, Matt Taibbi’s big takedown of Facebook at Rolling Stone: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/taibbi-facebook-can-we-be-saved-social-media-giant-w518655. It’s horrifying. And he thinks the only solution is to break up Facebook like AT&T was broken up. As he puts it: “When a tumor grows teeth and hair, you don’t comb the hair. You yank the thing!”

    I’m not on Facebook, except as an author with a “fan page,” but no way would I ever open a regular account now. Orwell had no idea …

    Liked by 4 people

    • I had not seen the Rolling Stone piece … thanks for the link! It’s a shame that something with the potential to be such a good thing has given into greed and ruined it for all. I only use it now to post my blog and receive messages. Otherwise, I avoid it like the plague. I find it annoys me more than anything, and ever since learning of the huge data breach, I have no trust. Technology … could be good, but it seems that more are using it for nefarious purposes than anything. Google is just as bad. Sigh.

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      • And people are way too eager to be in “the portal” for medical records access. Be wary folks. In the right circumstnces it allows all your doctors access to your information. You do realize that doctors are not the ons looking at info right? It is their assistants and whomever then deem qualified. I work in the field and see the competence level of too many employees to trust just anyone with my health records. Also remember, physician access can often include insurance access when the insurance and medical system that covers you are connected. I’m hounded enough by those extortionists already. I don’t want them telling me when and what kind of check ups I need. Last year my hubby’s plan wanted to setup appointments for someone to come to our home to monitor his health. He is not even sick! 😡

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        • During my recent series of eye surgeries, I had some 15 appointments with the eye doctor, and I ultimately came to wonder why a doc was even required, for the techs did all the work, took the measurements, did the testing and answered the questions.

          And yes, my insurance company has requested scheduling a ‘visiting nurse’ for no good reason, but I am of a mind that in the case of medical treatment/monitoring, less is better. My personal philosophy is that I will see a doc when and if I think I may otherwise be dead inside 24 hours! My daughter is an RN and frankly, the tales she tells do nothing to increase my confidence in doctors!

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  10. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    What the heck? .. for real?
    ‘Facebook has lost the public trust, and at best, it may take them a decade or better to re-build it, if it can even be rebuilt. For me, the medical community lost my trust years ago, but with HIPAA, I at least felt my personal/medical information was secure. Apparently, once again, I was wrong.’

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I cannot say that I am surprised.

    Personally, I don’t use facebook. But, as a person who works with computers, I see that facebook has an appalling record on user privacy. Their entire business model seems to depend on violating user privacy.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It’s sad, for Facebook has the potential for being a really useful communication tool for friends/families to stay in instantaneous contact if needed or wanted. But greed for all those lovely advertising dollars got in the way and corrupted it like anything else. Sigh.

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  12. I use FB so, I guess I am stupid? While I do use it, apart from my name and early schooling have never entered any info.Despite the pleadings and subtle inference that I need to; have not entered any more. Can I be tracked? Sure. Then anyone may be by authority. The assault on us, the sheeple, is ongoing. I imagine wordpress also plays a part? Really one of the few ways to stop the tracking, is to not use the internet for anything. Each connection has a unique number, so run and hide. Me? I have no fear, nor do I care much. We are living in a surveilled world now. Just most do not realize. And FB? It plays a part but is not the whole story. Be circumspect. Decide what info you reveal, anywhere to anyone. It just makes sense … Cheers Jamie

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    • Overlook Jack … he’s just having a hard time at the moment and didn’t mean it. No, you’re not stupid, for I use it too, though very little anymore. I find it more annoying than not these days. Cheers!

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  13. HIPPA would NOT apply as NO personal identifiers would be disclosed. HOWEVER, that being said, matching the clues with other data sources WOULD, in fact, allow them to figure out who you are by matching other info, like, you visiting that same hospital and using their internet access to use FB. Network location, GPS, searching for info on physicians, visiting hours, purchases of flowers from hospital gift shop, cafeteria…etc. FB could match all that data in a hot second. Then inundate you with ads from pharmacies, physicians, home care, you get the idea. They would learn everything in your health record without running afoul of HIPPA!

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    • If no personal identifiers were used, then how would the data be linked to Facebook data. There must be at least one commonality. The legality of such a move is, I think, very questionable, but that aside, to me it is an unconscionable breach of my security, my privacy. Sometimes just because something CAN be done, doesn’t necessarily mean it SHOULD be. Whether it technically runs afoul of HIPAA or not is not for me to decide, but it certainly runs afoul of good sense! I foresee lawsuits tying up the courts for years if this ever happens.

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  14. This is really shocking. I don’t know how on earth the medical profession can let this go on without even alerting patients they are considering it. It seems not only is democracy in the U.S. eroding but the protection of our personal files as well. Are idiots running things? In some cases, we now know they are of course. Is this another plan with its roots in the Republican Congress? I hate like heck to leave Facebook because like you I connect with my daughter and others through it. I have never given my telephone number or address but maybe they already have it in some way. Who knows? There are some real weirdos out there and I don’t want them contacting me. I did have to unfriend a few people and am now really, really, careful who I friend. Mr. Zuckerberg needs to sincerely get to work on building confidence. He’s made some big mistakes, some real lulus. 😦 — Suzanne

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    • Like you, I keep my personal info to a minimum, for I just don’t trust anybody anymore. They do have my phone number, for they send me a text anytime there is an attempted login from anywhere other than my laptop, and if I log in from another computer, say Chris’, they send a text to my phone with a passcode. Supposed to be an added layer of security, but is is really?

      As for the medical thing … that just floors me. Without even our consent? They better work on cleaning up their mess with Cambridge Analytica and the data security breach and then stick to the basics of providing a safe environment for people to stay in touch with each other. Greed seems to have gotten in the way of good judgment.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I used to spend an hour or more a day on Facebook, responding to everything any friend posted, but lately I only use it to post my twice-daily blog posts and check on a friend who is dying. Five minutes a day, tops.

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      • I must confess I check Facebook a few times a week. It helps me keep up with former students and tennis players. It has also made possible the reconnecting with old friends I have lost touch with. I have weeded out the political and commercial elements and only check on friendly posts. And I have given them very little personal information.But this is not a defense of what you are talking about.

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        • Not wanting to throw out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak, I admit that Facebook can be fun and has some value, if used both sparingly and cautiously. I find that much depends on my mood of the moment. Sometimes I am cheered to see my friends Rachel & Rob post about their son’s soccer triumphs, and other times I think to myself, “Don’t these people have anything more important to think about? Are they blind to what is going on in the world?” And that is my fault and mine alone … I am turning into a curmudgeon. And in my really darkest moments, when a friend posts what they had for supper, I bellow, “Who gives a S@#%???”, and slam the lid down on the Baby Dell, storm off into some murky place in my mind, and rumble for a while. Methinks the problem is me. 😥

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          • For the real news we must turn to the press or TV eh?but Facebook is the news the public want at least what a friend sups on is not fake news.
            Facebook fills in the minutiae of our lives , what matters to the millions who use it.
            Many years ago a man where I worked would bring in his holiday photos and a groan would go up among us all at the very thought , but we wronged him they were his treasure and meant so much to him and I had to grow up to learn that truth. So next time that crazy notice comes up ‘ what’s on your mind ‘ put something specially for Mr Zuckerberg.

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            • You are right in that Facebook fills in the minutiae of our lives … and I used to enjoy that, but in truth, these days I have neither the time nor desire for minutiae. Nor the patience. Seven moggies, a daughter and granddaughter provide just about as much minutiae as i can handle on any given day. Wrong of me? Perhaps in many people’s view, but there are only so many hours in a day, and we each prioritize what matters most to us. Facebook serves a purpose, but … not for a credible news source, and part of the problem is that some … perhaps many … believe every single thing they read on social media. One small example: do you know how many times it has been reported on Facebook that Jackie Chan died a horrible death? That one has been making the rounds for years, and the poor man is still very much alive. Same with Betty White. But every time, people post, repost, say prayers and are awed by the ‘news’. Sigh.

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  15. My only hope now is that Facebook goes the way of Geo Cities and Myspace, /soon/. Unfortunately, Facebook is simply the most brazen con artist on the internet. Google, Twitter and every other large and not so large company is doing exactly the same thing. And they all share data. May I humbly suggest that if you have GPS on your mobile phone, you turn it off. There’s also a search engine called ‘DuckDuckGo’ that is based on the simple premise that they do NOT track their users. I’ve been using DDG for almost a week now and I haven’t missed Google at all.

    Liked by 4 people

    • It’s a shame, really, for Facebook could be such a positive tool. Unfortunately, they began, I believe, pandering to their advertisers and then got greedy. I don’t know where they will end, but on the dung heap if they don’t make some 180 degree changes very quickly. I always keep my GPS turned off unless I am traveling in territory I’m not very familiar with.

      I checked into DuckDuckGo and will definitely give it a try. I am dreading the 23rd, when the repeal of net neutrality takes effect, for I’m still uncertain what direct effect it will have.

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      • To be honest I’ve never liked Facebook, and I believe Zuckerberg has been tracking our data right from the beginning. That said, the idea of being social online is positive, but perhaps, like access to the internet itself, we get what we pay for. And that may be more prophetic than I like to admit. Net neutrality was for our benefit. Taking it away is for the benefit of the very companies that have already corrupted the internet experience. I wouldn’t trust any of them to be ethical if they can get away with being money grubbing snake oil salesmen. 😦

        Liked by 2 people

        • You are so right … the repeal of net neutrality was, as everything else the federal government has done since January 2017, not for us, but for the benefit of Trump’s wealthy backers and supporters. The donors, as it were. I just wonder how much more difficult it will be to find credible information and how much more time (and money) we will be forced to invest. It could have a real effect on those of us who blog to inform, who seek out facts.

          You are right, also, about social media and its uses. I have always urged caution in how much one puts out there, but some people do not listen. I refuse to make any purchases through social media, for I know that Facebook has enabled various breaches of peoples’ financial data. Heck, I don’t even fully trust my bank via online banking, for they were once breached by employees during a transition! Trust … a thing of the past? Maybe.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Even a month ago, I would have thought your opinion of social media too ‘extreme’. Today, I wonder if it’s extreme enough. All the internet based companies are tracking us and using that data to create profiles of our behaviour. Bombarding us with advertising is literally the most benign use to which those profiles can be put. If at all possible, try not to allow your credit card, social media and phone data to be tracked. When all three are analysed together they can stalk us in the real world. 😦

            Liked by 2 people

            • I did a search the other night, just to see what information Google has on me, and it was positively chilling! As I said earlier, I keep my GPS off on my phone unless I’m traveling. Google had a list of every single stop I had made last time I went up to Pennsylvania to visit my friend Herb, every restaurant we had eaten in … my jaw dropped.

              Another example … a few months ago, I was having a discussion with a friend about hot water heaters. Curious about something, I Googled “hot water heaters”, found the information I was looking for and thought no more of it. Until the next day, when suddenly my Spam box was filled to the brim with ads for water heaters and plumbing services! I use a very strict ad blocker and receive almost no ads as I travel about online, and I also use an excellent spam filter, so I am not bothered by ads in my inbox, but still …. this is all just too creepy!

              I think that it may well take a boycott of the internet to get these things stopped, and we both know that would never happen. Sigh.

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              • I don’t want to frighten you, but if you bought anything on each of those travel stops, that’s probably recorded somewhere too. This is what I meant about putting all the data ‘together’.
                When I travel I use a street directory because I find GPS instructions stressful. On a phone, they’d be even worse. Invest in a road map. Honestly. 😦
                Change will come eventually and in 100 years, people will read about the early beginnings of internet connectedness and shake their heads in disbelief that we allowed our data to be stolen. Until then though, I have a spare tin hat I can lend you. 😦

                Liked by 2 people

                • Oh, but you just have no idea what you are saying when you tell me to use a m-a-p. I am map-challenged! Herb has tried for 4 years to teach me to read a map, and I’ve gotten so lost that I almost ended up on your side of the pond! So, finally, it was decided that a lady talking at me saying “take a right at the next light” was the best solution. 🙃 🌏 If I bought anything, it was nothing more than a cup of coffee and perhaps a granola bar, and I would have paid in cash, so I don’t really care if the whole world knows about that. But yeah, I do understand your point. It’s invasive and offensive. Sigh. Yeah, perhaps I’ll take you up on the offer of a tin hat.

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                  • LMAO! Oh that gave me such a giggle. I’m the exact opposite. Someone says ‘Turn next right’ and I’m like ‘What? into that driveway?’
                    I do tend to take things a bit too literally. At least it’s nice to know we both get lost in different ways. 😀

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • If THAT gave you a giggle, you’ll LOVE this one. Last trip to Pennsylvania in August … GPS is all set for the end destination, and all I have to do is follow the yellow brick road, right? But … remember that at that point, I was legally blind, yet still driving, and have always been 80% deaf. So, I’m driving along, listening to some tunes on the radio, pondering the meaning of life, and suddenly a VOICE comes from the passenger seat that is empty except for cell phone and a bag of popcorn. I grab the phone and yell, ‘WHAT???” Silence. “Repitate, por favor!” ( I revert to Spanish when stressed) More silence. GAWK!!! Which lane should I be in? How far until I am supposed to … WHAT??? Exit left? Exit right? Speed up? Slow down? Run down a construction worker??? WHAT????

                      And now you have an idea how Ms. GPS and I get along. I am convinced that I would do better with a male voice! By the end of my 500-mile, 9-hour journey, I had called her a bitch more than 50 times!!! But, in the end, I arrived safely in Mt. Holly Springs, Pennsylvania with only one minor out-of-the-way detour, so I suppose I cannot complain.

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                    • -giggles- yes! you need a man with a nice soothing, baritone voice. 😀 Or failing that we both need robot cars [NOT the kind that crash].
                      Anyway, how is your sight? You sound pretty chipper?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I cannot tell you how many times I have called the voice in the phone a bi%&#! 😀

                      No robot cars, but I’m thinking a hovercraft might not be bad …

                      The eyes are pretty good! Not perfect, but I can see so much better!

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                    • A couple of inches off the ground is okay. Any more than that and I’d be a mumbling mess.

                      So glad your eyes have improved so much. We are all such visual beings. Losing our sight is a nightmare. -huge hugs-

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Agreed, for I am no fan of heights either! In fact, if I look up at a tall building, I start having pain in my arms and chest! But I think a hovercraft would be fun, at least in theory and as long as ours were the only two. Can you imagine if hovercraft became a common mode of transportation for the masses??? 😱

                      Like

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