The Hearings

“I think I’ll take a little nap.”

If you pay attention to technology news, political news, or even fake news, you no doubt heard about the data-mining over at Facebook. I was considering explaining how a few thousand people trying to figure out what Norse god or comic book hero they are most related to, morphed into 50 million peoples’ privacy being abused. However, that involves math, and I did math last Monday.

While we don’t know for sure how this will all play out, it seems likely that someone from Facebook is going to be invited to testify before Congress. Also, there is talk about developing regulations regarding the privacy of personal data. I thought I’d give you a sneak peek into that testimony:

C: “Our research shows that you knew you were sacrificing the privacy of your users when you allowed certain firms to harvest all this private data.”

F: “That’s true.”

C: “Why would you do that? We don’t understand.”

Z: “You don’t understand? Of course you do – We did it for the money.

C: “Oh? Why didn’t you just say so?

F: “Our users, you know, your constituents, expect us to do the right thing. We like to support that myth.”

C: “Oh my, that’s a good one! Unfortunately, I’m afraid that some of my colleagues are suggesting that we impose some regulation on your industry, in your space, so to speak.”

F: “I think that would be a good thing, Congressman.”

C: “See, now I find that confusing. Why would you embrace regulation?

F: “For the same reason you want to make it harder for some people to be able to vote, it presents a barrier to anyone trying to enter our market.”

C: “I see. If we put some regulations in place, we’d only be left with you, those pinheads over at Google and the artist colony up in Cupertino.”

F: “Don’t forget Twitter.”

C: “Seriously? You think anyone on this committee can forget Twitter?

F: “Good point.”

C: “Still, it seems like a hard task.”

F: “What do you mean?

C: “How do we write regulations that will prevent the new entrants from gaining a foothold without stifling companies like you and Google and those other guys? I mean, you guys employ a lot of people, pay some taxes, contribute to campaigns – we can’t risk hurting the established players.”

F: “We have some lawyers on staff that can help with that.”

C: “Excellent! Have your people contact my people. Now, let’s wrap this up and get some lunch.”

Maddie and I took a walk on Saturday. She demanded that we take the long way again. It was early, it was cold and the sun was very bright.


    • They do serve a nice bowl of soup. Chippy has been popping out almost daily this past week. It’s still a little too cold for him, but he’ll come out for some food.

      Maddie rules – no doubt.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It turned out that Cambridge Analytica was behind the people who were inflaming the last year elections in Kenya and causing so much violence and so many deaths. CA was even writing their divisive and inflammatory speeches. I have considered strongly deleting my FB account. Only a few people still keep me there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read about the connections to Kenya and I thought of the real information we were getting from you. People have no idea how widespread the abuse of their privacy has been.


  2. You nailed it, Dan.

    While FB is being pilloried for its “breach”, the reality is that users gave all that information away themselves … and if they were friends of ours, they gave away our information too.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yep! Facebook is OK with regulations now, because they already have everything. I can see giving away access for a service (i.e. gMail) but Facebook really offers very little compared to what it takes from us.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. You nailed that Congressional session with FB to a tee – that is, if everyone was telling the truth!! haha
    After a long winter, you can’t blame Mattie for wanting to walk into the sunshine!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m pretty sure I’ve given FB tons of information over the years. I think about deleting my account from time to time, but it’s the only way I have to keep in touch with some of my long-distance friends. Is that a Catch-22 situation or am I only afraid I’m going to miss something?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Perfect way to start this week – wit, Maddie, and barely NO snow on the ground in CT. :-) I could delete my FB account with one click and not spend 10 seconds thinking about it. I wonder when people forgot FB was a business generating $18,000,000,000 in revenue per year and employing 17,000 employees. Did they think they were achieving that through our selfies and comments? Maddie could figure that one out. :-)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Judy. I *think* we may have seen the last snow, at least on the ground. Maddie is ready to turn her attention to sitting in the sun. We’re starting to walk earlier. I think she’s getting me ready for the days when we have to walk around 7:00 – before it gets too hot for her.

      I sometimes skip FB for a while. I don’t miss it, except for a couple of people who tend to keep me entertained.


  6. This conversation was great, Dan. It’d be so nice to be lured into that false sense that because I don’t have a FB account, there is nothing out there on me. Yup. Must be why I have all these new ‘’ followers all of a sudden this weekend. What do you guys know about me?!?!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I know you can’t see it but my head is spinning furiously! I am dreaming about my island: no WiFi, no newspapers. Still need electricity but not much else. Sigh . . .we can dreams can’t we? Maddie seems to have that down pat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks and / or sorry, Pam. Didn’t mean to make your head spin. If you move to the island, take a lot of bottles so you can toss out a Daily Quip and a Shady Quip now and then. I’ll return them with pictures of Maddie. I wonder if she’s angry with me for sharing so many pictures of her?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A few days ago, Facebook presented me with a link to you “No Facilities” page on Facebook. I wondered how they made the link between me and you until it dawned on me that they were reading my browser history.

    Glad to know about your page but a bit annoyed that Facebook was reading my browser history.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry about that. I have avoided all of their offers to “Promote this page for $3” – the only reason I have the page is for a few people who get there that way and to prevent someone from starting a fake No Facilities page.

      Someone started a page, posing as the company I work for. It took about three months to get Facebook to take that page down. We immediately put one up to prevent that from happening.

      Great marketing: “You need to have a presence on Facebook if only to prevent some bad guy from pretending to be you.”


  9. Maddie’s worth the long way around the park – and your blind shot is a beaut!
    I’m on FB less and less, so much so, people make occasional inquiry regarding my wellness. I was skeptical about privacy from the start. One time it really got me, because my neighbor was in my “People You May Know” and that scared me half to death. Why that neighbor? Why not all my neighbors? Unfortunately, it’s a great place to keep up with people easily, and that’s why people love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Maddie is worth the long walk, but we get concerned about her feet when it’s really cold. She doesn’t, but we do. It’s tough being a parent.

      I stay on Facebook because there are a few people where that’s the place we stay in touch. I understand that “you may know…” because it can be scary at times.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I make a point of it to watch less and less news, especially political news…so thanks for having my back, Dan. As for FB violating peoples’ privacy – ummmmm…..hello? It’s a “SHARING FORUM! Why in the world would people put information out there on FB (or on any less than secure internet site for that matter) without presuming that it’s going to be shared! It’s a little like “never put anything into writing if you don’t want it to come back to haunt you.” Whenever I see people who take all of those FB quizzes, my brain just screams – They’re just after your information! Heck…I don’t even attach a phone number to my FB account. No matter how many times they beg! ~ Lynn

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m with you on that, Lynn. I ignore the surveys, the games and the multiple requests I get from “people” to join them (because a human isn’t the one sending all of those). I try to just stay in touch with friends and share dopey pictures. People are way to generous with their information, but most don’t understand all the ways it can be used.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Boy! You nailed it!! Don’t know why I laughed all the way through this conversation, because if you think about it, it ain’t funny.

    The ‘sun blind’ photos are actually terrific Dan.

    Maddie just can’t wait to get right out in the middle of spring, can she? And Mimi couldn’t care less. Just don’t disturb her nap time. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My wife said the same thing about it not being funny.

      Maddie loves to see spring arrive. We’re sitting outside as I read this. MiMi is asleep in some sunny window.


  12. I don’t participate in FB very much… meaning that I don’t post very often nor do I take any of the stupid surveys or play any games. But, I do use it to keep in touch with others so I’m not really sure what to do with this new information. I’ve followed some of the step-by-steps on how to restrict access but, like many have said, it’s too late in many cases. And now I hear that hey can monitor phone calls and texts. Yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I deleted my FB account 4 yrs this year. I haven’t missed it. There are so many holes on my online profiles on few social media that I do have that I’m constantly asked to fill it out with a “let us get to know you so we can serve you better.” BS. I leave it almost completely blank on purpose.
    I use Twitter less and less, and aside from that only use Instagram, and WP.

    Thinking that Apple is keeping all my text, and phone records somewhere is a bit disconcerting even if they’re totally boring and benign. It’s the principle of the thing.

    Your long walk was nice. I love the sun bursts, and hot chowder, and a nap following the walk sound perfect to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • All of these companies have been acting in the absence of any meaningful regulation. They have played fast and loose with our data, collecting it, sharing it and selling it. The only abilities we have to protect ourselves and our data is in the limited configuration options they give us.

      There are more options built into phones and browsers, but it’s increasing complicated to take advantage of them.

      I have limited my activity on Facebook, but I have remained because there are a few people where it’s the only platform where I can stay in touch. I enjoy Twitter, but I am careful about what I share.

      Maddie was happy to have her walk, and it was in the low 50s today, so we were able to sit outside after I got home. Later in the week, it may be warm earlier and the Mrs will be able to sit with her in the afternoon. I’m glad you liked the photos. This is when I miss looking through a view finder. The screen is almost impossible to see.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I might be the only here who isn’t familiar with Facebook…it has been blocked forever at where I’m from….haha…so my instant thought after reading this post of yours is: What a nice morning walk and an awesome way to spend a day! And, that chippy is really hard to find in the picture 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe not having access to Facebook hasn’t been a bad thing.

      I think our morning walks are going to be brighter and warmer. The Chipmunk is staying close to his home (under our porch, somewhere) until there’s more food and until the bushes flesh out to give him cover. There’s a hawk in the area, so it’s probably good that he stays hard to see.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I left FB years ago. Deleted my account in which I’d put as little information as possible. I always knew that I was the product on FB, and I didn’t like that feeling. Regulations “without stifling”? Stifle away, I say. Have at it Congress.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Dan, perfect dialogue! (shaking head/rolling eyes). Thought you disappeared from the blogging world, then realized WordPress deleted you from my reader. Back following you again! Missed you, the red head, and the squirrels! 📚 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Am impressed you have been able to separate yourself enough from the *)@# to write an imaginary interview. Especially now I read yesterday that there were 3 friends at Harvard, and Zuckerberg ran with FB – it looks like he stole it from his friend Greenspan (that’s how the article presented it). Up till now I was never “sure” if he was inexperienced or calculated. Well, now I know – unfortunately!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I had heard early on that he had taken the idea from others. I avoided it for a long time, but I have some friends who locked in on that platform and, if I want to keep in touch, that’s where they are, so…


      • Sigh … the same here … especially my long time friends in Europe —nice to hear from them once in a while …am in a bind, so it may take some time before I really decide. ..

        Liked by 1 person

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