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Facebook says it didn’t Violate user Privacy

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Facebook says it didn’t violate user privacy. But its definition of ‘permission’ is loose - National
Facebook gave companies such as Apple, Amazon and Yahoo extensive access to users’ personal data, effectively exempting them from the company’s usual privacy rules, according to a New York Times report .

Facebook enabled partners to offer services that tap into Facebook accounts and features. For example, Spotify was able to offer a feature that lets a user share song lists with his or her Facebook friends. But to do that, Facebook had to give Spotify the user’s list of Facebook friends.

Facebook says it didn’t violate its users’ privacy in doing any of this. But Facebook has a history of playing fast and loose with the word “permission.” That appears to be the case here, too.

A look at the claims:

Facebook: “To be clear: none of these partnerships or features gave companies access to information without people’s permission.” — from a blog post late Tuesday by Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, the company’s director of developer platforms.

The facts: In this case, the company says that its “integration partners” — such as Amazon, BlackBerry or Microsoft — had to get authorization from people to turn on these features. Users would have done this by using their Facebook account to log in to the other services, which, technically, counted as giving permission. But people may not have realized just what they were granting permission for.

In addition, according to the Times report, Facebook from its early days formed key data-sharing partnerships with companies, sometimes giving them special access to data — without asking for users’ permission.

For example, according to the report, the company used contact lists from “partners” such as Amazon, Yahoo and China’s Huawei to suggest potential Facebook friends to users. Facebook argues that its partners are essentially an extension of itself, as service providers, and thus they don’t need to get permission from users as long as they limit data use to providing Facebook-related services.

In all, the report says, more than 150 companies benefited from Facebook’s data-sharing practices. While most were technology companies, there were also automakers and media organizations. Some, the Times notes, were still in effect this year.

The permissions issue came up earlier this year, when Facebook was found to have been collecting call and text histories from Android users. The company said at the time that it got permission from users to do this. Nonetheless, many users, including the New Zealand man who discovered the practice after downloading his Facebook data in March, were surprised that the company was logging this data.

According to internal emails made public as part of a lawsuit , the company was aware that the Android data collection could look bad. A product manager, Michael LeBeau, wrote in a February 2015 email that the permissions feature — which prompted users to grant access to call logs and text-message history — is “a pretty high-risk thing to do from a PR perspective.” But, he added, “the growth team will charge ahead and do it.”

Facebook: “Nor did they violate our 2012 settlement with the FTC,” or Federal Trade Commission. — from the same blog post.

The facts: As part of the settlement, Facebook is required to obtain people’s “affirmative express consent” before making changes that override their privacy preferences. This could apply to sharing the content of private messages, friends’ lists and other information that Facebook gave its partners access to.

Thus, Facebook’s assertion that most of its data-sharing partnerships were exempted is on shaky ground.

The FTC’s former chief technologist, Ashkan Soltani, and three former employees of its consumer protection division told the Times that the data-sharing deals probably violated the agreement. One said the partnerships seemed to give third parties permission to harvest data without users being informed of it or giving consent.

Facebook argues that it subjected those partners to its own rules about data use. But the Times report raises questions about how well Facebook managed those partners’ access.

The matter could ultimately be decided by the FTC. The agency said in March it was looking into whether Facebook engaged in unfair acts that might have violated the decree.

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One may think that successful machinery transport is just as easy as shipping other items. Though moving them from one place to another indeed follows the same shipping principles applied globally, there are still some exceptions, especially for some heavy machinery. With that being said, any organization needs to be aware of the important practices that encompass machinery shipping. Machinery Transport 101: How to Transport Machinery and Their Parts Successfully shipping any type of machinery and its parts require individuals to determine the proper mode, carrier, and packaging needed to transport such materiel. The following practices always take precedence when transporting such assets: • Apperceiving the machinery for transport. An initial assessment of the machinery to be transported must be completed before the transport itself takes place. The clients must take note of any features that could affect freight capacities like weight and dimensions. The key here is to understand the type of machinery that needs to be shipped. Researching how other clients and carriers have moved them in the past can ensure a shipment’s success. • Packing the materiel accordingly. Transporting heavy machinery cannot be compared with regular freight movement where small items are packed in boxes filled with protective material such as bubble wrap. It often brings with it more machinery shipping packaging regulations compared to regular transport. Planning and proper handling of heavy machinery are indeed needed. There is a delicate balance to maintain between a client’s shipping needs and the carrier’s packaging requirements. Some carriers have strict regulations, requiring every machinery fit for transport to be stored in container vans, which adds rental costs to the client’s expenses. Aside from that, knowing the kind of work needed to load the equipment is necessary as well. For instance, loading docks and cranes might be needed to get heavy equipment on the back of a trailer truck. • Determining the Suitable Mode. Knowing the difference between FTL and LTL is important for determining the appropriate mode to use. FTL (full-truckload) service means that an entire truck is necessary to fully transport the cargo, while LTL (less-than-truckload) means that the shipment can be moved using a relatively smaller vessel. With that said, clients must consider their preferred mode for transporting their machinery. • Selecting the “Right” Carrier. Now, this one is a combination of what the sender currently knows about shipping machinery and the most relevant carrier available to them. Depending on the type of machinery a client or a company wants to ship, finding the right freight movement company could prove to be difficult. Regardless, the aim is to find a carrier that’s specialized and known for reliable machinery transport and especially the particular machinery they need transported. For instance, shipping heavy machinery would be handled better by international carriers who specialize in the movement of heavy machinery like bulldozers, backhoe loaders, heavy hydraulics, etc. The efficiency and rate of shipping success increase exponentially with these specialized carriers, not to mention they also reduce the risk of unanticipated costs and damages. Knowing the Different Shipping Modes Since we’ve previously talked a bit about the shipping modes, let’s go through all of them and compare what each can provide clients. It’s vital to know about the various shipping modes because they’re all dependent on timing, cost, and size of the shipment. Taking the time to read through each mode would help you decide which one is the most suitable in your case. • Full Truckload (FTL) – This mode necessitates the use of a whole trailer, with the shipment’s overall weight reaching over 6,804 kilograms (15,000 pounds). • Less than Truckload (LTL) – This mode is used when the shipment weighs between 68 (150 pounds) and 6,804 kilograms but doesn’t need a full trailer. • Partial Truckload (PTL) – This mode is used when the shipment’s weight is over 2,268 kilograms (5,000 pounds). However, you may need to split the expenses of a truck with other clients. • Intermodal – This mode is used when there’s a need (or preference) for combining various transportation modes such as rails, trucks, or ships. One could say that this works best for reliable machinery transport overseas, in vast territories such as Australia. • Expedited – This mode is used when time is of the essence for shipping heavy machinery. Keep in the mind that additional costs may arise from selecting this mode. • Flatbed – This mode is used when the shipment must be loaded from the side or needs dimensional flexibility. Evaluate the Machinery’s Extent of Liability In every shipment that carriers make and every mode of transport, there is a limited liability coverage set for moving all kinds of freight. Both the client and the freight service must come to an agreement to evaluate this extent. The liability coverage is determined by the carrier and is reliant on the type of commodity to be moved. For example, LTL covers a fixed amount of payment per kilogram of shipped freight. Keep in mind that understanding a carrier’s liability for loss of cargo and the limits of their liability coverage offers are good practice. It helps you get a better picture of how they run things and if they’re the right carrier for you. 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The key here is to understand the type of machinery that needs to be shipped. Researching how other clients and carriers have moved them in the past can ensure a shipment’s success. • Packing the materiel accordingly. Transporting heavy machinery cannot be compared with regular freight movement where small items are packed in boxes filled with protective material such as bubble wrap. It often brings with it more machinery shipping packaging regulations compared to regular transport. Planning and proper handling of heavy machinery are indeed needed. There is a delicate balance to maintain between a client’s shipping needs and the carrier’s packaging requirements. Some carriers have strict regulations, requiring every machinery fit for transport to be stored in container vans, which adds rental costs to the client’s expenses. Aside from that, knowing the kind of work needed to load the equipment is necessary as well. For instance, loading docks and cranes might be needed to get heavy equipment on the back of a trailer truck. • Determining the Suitable Mode. Knowing the difference between FTL and LTL is important for determining the appropriate mode to use. FTL (full-truckload) service means that an entire truck is necessary to fully transport the cargo, while LTL (less-than-truckload) means that the shipment can be moved using a relatively smaller vessel. With that said, clients must consider their preferred mode for transporting their machinery. • Selecting the “Right” Carrier. Now, this one is a combination of what the sender currently knows about shipping machinery and the most relevant carrier available to them. Depending on the type of machinery a client or a company wants to ship, finding the right freight movement company could prove to be difficult. 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