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I don’t know if Facebook’s manipulation of users’ news feeds was appropriate or not. But I think many consumers were surprised to learn they had given permission by agreeing to Facebook’s terms of service.

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Sen. Warner Raises Questions About Facebook Experiment to Influence Users’ Emotions

Facebook’s infamous psychological experiment attracted attention from Congress today, as Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) appealed to the FTC for more information surrounding the ill-received newsfeed operation. In the experiment, hundreds of thousands of users were monitored as Facebook aimed to see if moods and emotions could be transferred between users via social media.

“I come from the technology world, and I understand that social media companies are looking for ways to extract value from the information willingly provided by their huge customer base,” he said. “I think the industry could benefit from a conversation about what are the appropriate rules of the road going forward.”

Manipulation of user feeds prompted public outrage over the use of personal data for undisclosed company use. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg publicly apologized for the incident last week, saying the experiment was “poorly communicated”.  

“This was part of ongoing research companies do to test different products, and that was what it was… We never meant to upset you.”

In his letter, Sen. Warner proposes that the experiment may have violated user agreements and possibly Section 5 of the FTC Act.

"It is not clear whether Facebook users were adequately informed and given an opportunity to opt-in or opt-out," he said.

Read the full PDF version here.

(via cnbc)

ALERT: Microsoft, Adobe Push Critical Fixes

If you use Microsoft products or Adobe Flash Player, please take a moment to read this post and update your software. Adobe today issued a critical update that plugs at least three security holes in the program. Separately, Microsoft released six security updates that address 29 vulnerabilities in Windows and Internet Explorer.

Dear NSA, Privacy is a Fundamental Right, Not Reasonable Suspicion
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