February 8, 2023

New Study Analyzing Political Advertising on Facebook, Google, and TikTok

By Orestis Papakyriakopoulos, Christelle Tessono, Arvind Narayanan, Mihir Kshirsagar With the 2022 midterm elections in the United States fast approaching, political campaigns are poised to spend heavily to influence prospective voters through digital advertising. Online platforms such as Facebook, Google, and TikTok will play an important role in distributing that content. But our new study […]

No boundaries for Facebook data: third-party trackers abuse Facebook Login

by Steven Englehardt [0], Gunes Acar, and Arvind Narayanan So far in the No boundaries series, we’ve uncovered how web trackers exfiltrate identifying information from web pages, browser password managers, and form inputs. Today we report yet another type of surreptitious data collection by third-party scripts that we discovered: the exfiltration of personal identifiers from […]

Engineering around social media border searches

The latest news is that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is considering a requirement, while passing through a border checkpoint, to inspect a prospective visitor’s “online presence”. That means immigration officials would require users to divulge their passwords to Facebook and other such services, which the agent might then inspect, right there, at the […]

On the Ethics of A/B Testing

The discussion triggered by Facebook’s mood manipulation experiment has been enlightening and frustrating at the same time. An enlightening aspect is how it has exposed divergent views on a practice called A/B testing, in which a company provides two versions of its service to randomly-chosen groups of users, and then measures how the users react. […]

Privacy Implications of Social Media Manipulation

The ethical debate about Facebook’s mood manipulation experiment has rightly focused on Facebook’s manipulation of what users saw, rather than the “pure privacy” issue of which information was collected and how it was used. It’s tempting to conclude that because Facebook didn’t change their data collection procedures, the experiment couldn’t possibly have affected users’ privacy […]