One day in early 2016, when I tried to log into my Facebook account, I was informed that my account was frozen "for security reasons." They didn't say what security reasons.
Facebook then asked me to identify a bunch of people by their photographs, "to prove that it was my account."
That was impossible. I have between 700 and 800 Facebook "friends", and I don't know who they are. I just approve everybody who asks. It doesn't matter whether they are enthusiastic supporters of the Orange Papers, or bitter critics, I just approve all friend requests. I really don't have the time or energy to do background checks on all of the people who ask to be my friends, so I don't know who they are. I just approve them.
So it was impossible for me to identify a bunch of people by their photographs.
Next, Facebook demanded that I send them photographs of my government-issued identification cards. They promised to delete the photographs when they were done with them, whatever that means. Done doing what?
No way in Hell. What a setup for identify theft. Facebook did not say what they would do with my I.D. cards. They did not promise anything, like that they wouldn't sell them to Cambridge Analytica or let hackers steal copies. Or sell copies to spammers like Yandex in Russia, or any of their other "partners". They promised nothing and did not say what they would do with my I.D. cards.
Not gonna happen.
So that's where things stand. Notice that there is no way to appeal; there is no way to contact Facebook. Facebook is a faceless corporation that makes demands and won't answer questions. Try to find a phone number or an email address to talk to. They don't publish any such thing.
In a way, I'm glad that I've been blocked out of Facebook for the last few years. Cambridge Analytica didn't get information on me, and neither did the other customers of Facebook who buy the files on us.
I still have a Twitter acount. I guess that will do. (Try @Orange_Papers )
And I have a MySpace account, just for the heck of it:
Have a good day now.
Now I hear on the news that Facebook has had strange deals going on where device manufacturers, like the Chinese cell phone and networking equipment manufacturer Huawei, have been given direct access to all of many millions (probably billions) of users' personal information, and also all of their friends' information too. You can be spied on by a Chinese company just by being the friend of someone who has a Chinese-made cell phone and who uses Facebook, even if you don't ever log into Facebook. And Huawei has been flagged by the U.S. Government as a security threat, because of their close connections to the Chinese government and the Chinese oligarcs who run the government, and their ability to put spyware microcode into anything and everything that they manufacture.
See the classic paper by the Unix guru Ken Thompson, "Reflections On Trusting Trust", where way back in the nineteen-eighties he predicted problems with viruses getting implanted in the computer's operating systems at the factory, and even being hidden inside of the microcode that is inside the ROMs and and in the CPUs themselves. He said that it would be very, very difficult to detect the presence of such viruses. Welcome to the future.
Outrageous, and I think it should be illegal. I get the feeling that Facebook may have done me a favor by freezing my account and blocking me out. But I notice that those "data sharing" deals have been going on since 2010, so they may have spied on me and my 800 friends, too, already.
And to think that Facebook wants me to send photographs of my government-issued I.D. cards so that the Chinese can have a copy... No way José.
Last updated 14 April 2019.
Copyright © 2019, A. Orange