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For Your Eyes Only. Are there alternatives to the consensual exploitation on social media? Vincent Toubiana (Bell Labs France). How to prevent content exploitation on Facebook?. There is a really simple solution. Copy/past that text. Reflect some growing concerns

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For your eyes only

For Your Eyes Only

Are there alternatives to the consensual exploitation on social media?

Vincent Toubiana (Bell Labs France)

How to prevent content exploitation on facebook
How to prevent content exploitation on Facebook?

  • There is a really simple solution.

    • Copy/past that text.

  • Reflect some growing concerns

    • Focused on User Generated Content,

    • Addressed to agencies/institutions,

    • The new one mentions commercial use.

June 2012

November 2012

Facebook privacy trends
Facebook Privacy Trends

  • List of Facebook main criticisms:

    • News feed (September 5, 2006)

    • Beacon (November 2007)

    • Content ownership (February 2009)

    • Default setting modification (December 2009- May 2010)

    • Open graph protocol (April 2010)

    • Micro targeting (October 2010)

    • Tracking cookies in Like button (October 2010)

    • Facial recognition (June 2011)

    • Timeline (September 2011)

    • Custom audience (September 2012)


Default settings

Like button

Content ownership




Tag suggestion


  • Most of these features only aim at increasing user participation to the social network and develop user base.

  • As a side effect users are paying less attention to Facebook tracking.

How are private data used for monetization
How are private data used for monetization

  • What information Facebook uses to target ads

    • Targeting options too accurate (Micro-targeting [1]),

    • Retargeting based on email address, phone numbers,

    • Uses of applications and likes.

  • Advertising is not based on Generated Content but on declared data and Web-tracking.

  • Use of private messages to inflate ‘Like’ [2]

    • Done via personal message sharing,

    • Did not seem to violate user expectations.

[1] Korolova, Aleksandra. "Privacy violations using microtargeted ads: A case study." Data Mining Workshops (ICDMW), 2010 IEEE International Conference on. IEEE, 2010.

[2] How private are your private messages?

Existing alternate business models
Existing Alternate Business Models

  • Facebook does not rely exclusively on advertising

    • Payment generates 14 percent of the revenue in 2012.

      • With facebook connect used everywhere, could Facebook become a new paypal?

    • Facebook Gifts represents promising source of revenue.

      • Significant impact on Facebook share.

      • Facebook knows what you could offer to your friend,

        • Avoid providing unwanted recommendations (Target mistake).

Existing alternate business models1
Existing Alternate Business Models

  • Service subscription:



  • Pay to follow


    • User pay to subscribe to others feed

      • Mostly useful for celebrities.

      • How to handle content duplication?

      • Users unlikely to pay for subscription at this point.

Existing alternate business models2
Existing Alternate Business Models

  • Linked-In subscriptions:

    • Provide premium access to some services

    • Offers for recruiters & job seekers

      • 13 subscription plans (5$ - 299$/month),

      • Enable premium access to user profiles,

      • More frequents updates.

Technical solutions to the ownership problem
Technical Solutions to the Ownership Problem

  • Distributed social networks

    • Enforce User Control over their data,

    • Specific Business models.

      • Pay to host

      • Advertising chosen by your friends to target you

    • Address vertical privacy issues,

    • Address some “lateral privacy” issues (i.e. settings update),

    • Create other issues, and not simple to use [1].

  • Obfuscation

    • Pollute the service provider with limited effect on your social-network,

    • Possible by combining Access Control Policy.

  • Privacy Friendly widgets

    • Alternatives to the like button that track you only when you click on it,

    • Mozilla Social API could preserve users' privacy.

  • [1] Narayanan, Arvind, et al. "A Critical Look at Decentralized Personal Data Architectures." network 25: 8.

    Go viral to enforce user privacy
    Go viral to enforce user privacy

    • People are looking for simple solutions

      • Example: Privacy notice

        • Interestingly, 1M+ people had that notice posted publicly on their timeline or info page,

        • Users are looking for simple solutions.

      • Could work in some cases, ask user to change settings, vote

        • Disable public access to your data,

        • Limit instant-personalization [1].

    • Effects of viral posts:

      • Regulation,

      • Competition between social network

        • See Facebook changes after the release of Google+

    [1] Arvind Narayanan, “The Anatomy of a Privacy meme”,