The Contrarian

“In the investment markets, what everyone knows is usually not worth knowing.”

Facebook Revelations Keep Growing

The Pandora’s Box of Facebook misconduct keeps on revealing new things every day. The tech firm is embroiled in scandals and it turns out that their data misuse scandal was worse than was originally reported.

It has emerged that instead of 50 million Facebook (FB) clients’ data being misused, it is 87 million. Oh, what’s a difference of 37 million between friends!

We also just heard that FB is on the verge of starting a program with hospitals in which FB will collect patient data and compare it with FB data on these people. This means they would have a more complete record on each person, including their very sensitive and private medical history. In our opinion, this is outrages. It makes all of the apologies of FB’s top executives and meaningless. hollow, meaningless, and a sham. Read this CNBC report about it:

Facebook’s pitch, according to two people who heard it and one who is familiar with the project, was to combine what a health system knows about its patients (such as: person has heart disease, is age 50, takes 2 medications and made 3 trips to the hospital this year) with what Facebook knows(such as: user is age 50, married with 3 kids, English isn’t a primary language, actively engages with the community by sending a lot of messages). –CNBC

As recently as last month Facebook was discussing the program with several health organizations – including Stanford Medical School and American College of Cardiology.

The company says that the shared data would have personally identifiable information obscured – such as a patient’s name, and that they were thinking of using a technique known as “hashing” to match an individual’s medical data to their social media information.

The project to share medical-related data was led by Freddy Abnousi, an interventional cardiologist whose role is described on LinkedIn as “leading top-secret projects.” The program operated out of Facebook’s “Building 8,” an experimental projects group headed by Regina Dugan prior to her October 2017 departure.

Our view:  This has to stop, and apparently the U.S. Congress is the only one that can, by passing appropriate legislation on disseminating client information without the clients’ permission.

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