"Flickr and Yahoo are now part of “Oath” blah blah" ...implications?
August 18, 2017 8:23 AM   Subscribe

Logging in (I'm old school) to Flickr, where I'm a Pro user, now gives a new message: "Flickr and Yahoo are now part of “Oath” and are members of the Verizon family of companies. Beginning 15 September 2017, we plan to share some user information within our new family. Learn more" - what's the implications of this in real, concrete, no PR terms?

I've read the linked page, though my eyes started to glaze over with this kind of detail which I find it difficult to focus on. The core of it seems to be:

"We will share the same information that our companies have previously collected and used for the development and operation of our products and services. This may include your account registration information (such as your user ID, gender, name, email address, postcode & age), your content and advertising interests, content associated with your account, the types of services you use and how you engage with them, cookie and device IDs, IP addresses, geolocation information and activity information from across our websites, apps, software and other services. All of the information that we collect about you may be shared across the various Oath brands and within our Verizon family of companies."

The implication being from the first sentence that nothing different will happen, but from the rest that a bazillion companies (well, 50 or so) will have access to a pooled amount of data about me(?) Are there any tangible differences in what information the various companies will have about me, and how will it affect - in real terms, not speculation or fears - my privacy online?
posted by Wordshore to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
What does the Yahoo-Verizon deal mean for users of Flickr, Tumblr and other services? (LA Times, June 13, 2017)
What about privacy?

Yahoo had a poor record of protecting user information, as seen in security breaches that affected more than 1 billion accounts. While Verizon may be more equipped to keep consumer data safe from hackers, it may also be more willing to share that data with advertisers.

Verizon’s privacy policy says it “does not identify Verizon customers individually,” but some consumer advocates worry this isn’t completely accurate. They argue that digital ad campaigns have become so highly targeted to individual users that the data being shared is in effect no longer anonymous.
And by "share data," they mean "sell your information."

Yahoo Mail and Tumblr and Flickr: What Happens Now? (New York Times, July 25, 2017)
Will Verizon share data about my cellphone use to Yahoo’s advertisers and will Yahoo use what it knows about my web surfing to sell ads on my phone?

The Federal Communications Commission fined Verizon in March for tracking people’s cellphone browsing habits without their consent. Now the company is banned from sharing data across its business units unless it gets the user’s permission.

But the F.C.C. is considering broader rules to govern such data sharing, and Verizon is one of several companies lobbying to loosen the restrictions.
That last point is probably key - they may be limited currently, but that may change in the near-term.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:40 AM on August 18, 2017 [4 favorites]

All of the information that we collect about you may be shared across the various Oath brands and within our Verizon family of companies.

Here's Oath's "brands" and Crunchbase's list of Verizon acquisitions going back to 2005, which is actually a shorter list than I had imagined (and also more infrastructure-related than I had imagined with the list of Oath brands).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:11 AM on August 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Just putting this here: Yahoo owned Flurry now Verizon does. Check out the part were it says that Flurry tracks data on 150 BILLION application sessions per month. I would say that between Flurry, Facebook and Google more than 80% of everything that you do on a smartphone or computer that results in communication over the internet is being tracked and correlated.

Yahoo's user and behavior tracking tech is fucking intense. It is their entire multi billion dollar a year business model. Verizon's is even more intense. Make no mistake: they are going to make all this stuff work together to the limits that are allowed by law and human creativity. These limits allow a lot of stuff already and are going to be broader. There is a lot of money to be made.

Also: Verizon, AOL and Yahoo! all worked with NSA on the programs that Snowden leaked that we're all so upset about.

If you are very concerned with your privacy you simply should not be using image/mail/messaging platforms that are owned by large multinational corporations... full stop. You should also not be using a smartphone. This is the world that we live in... it is increasingly all in or all out. For what it is worth, though, all of these services would be pretty expensive if you were paying the real price. They are heavily subsidized by the biz model that profits from their tracking you.

You could buy a synology NAS and install it in your home, use it for mail, dropbox, photo sharing, etc. and probably be more secure and private. The services are not as nice, you have to set it up and maintain it yourself, but you are running your internet stuff on premises, on your hardware.

Me? I care but don't care enough. I maintain a list of things that I'm worried about and keep it in priority order. I never get anywhere near my worries about internet privacy. If I had been stalked or something like that it would be higher up on my list for sure I would exit all these things, use a synology, VPN, etc.
posted by n9 at 9:41 AM on August 18, 2017 [9 favorites]

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