Question – Have you ever felt that sinking feeling when all hope and expectation you’d felt for your friend group sinks to zero and drains the very life, blood and all matter from your flesh and soul when you realise one of the worthless worthlesslings you’ve felt obliged to swap a smattering of kilobytes with about three and a quarter years ago used the quiz app ‘This Is Your Digital Life’? 
 
 
Yeah, same. If you’ve used a popular social network called Facebook then you may well have seen the notice come up, along the lines of “One of your friends used This Is Your Digital Life” which, if you don’t know, is the portal through which Cambridge Analytica reached deep into your undergarments and gently (yet, at the same time, brutally) tore out your most personal possession – your data.  
Facebook’s a bit embarrassed and gonna be working late most nights to sweep up, but Cambridge Analytica is even more red-faced and has been thrust even deeper into the naughty corner. So bad is their embarrassment they’ve now had no choice but to no longer exist. So they’ve gone. 

Was this the tip of an iceberg, though? Facebook’s declared today that it has investigated over a thousand apps which it suspected might be performing similar tricks. 200 of these, it claims, are currently suspended while it rummages around further and promises to let users know if these apps were similarly furtive in their data extraction… 

One other data leak has been found, though, via an app called myPersonality. This used a different loophole which relied on data being collected anonymously, however it was very easy to reinstate names to datas if you knew who to use a search engine to find an admin login, and so revealed a lot of sensitive stuff about people. Essentially, if you collaborated on the project itself you could get full access (which should have been just a handful of mild-mannered studenty types) however, this didn’t stop the likes of Google and Yahoo getting access via that very technicality… sneaky f***in Russ… er, corporations. 
 
 
At least Twitter’s safe, right? Well, just. Perhaps enlightened by recent scandals in the other-blue corner of social media it seems they did some digging around themselves. They found a hole through which someone capable of bullseye-ing womp rats in a T-16 could potentially blow up a star base. @Jack himself tells us the story here whilst Twitter suggested a password change was not necessary but might be good anyway. Prevention better than cure, they say. 
 
In other news (this time from the Emerald Isle) if you want a mortgage from Ireland’s largest mortgage-er AIB or its minions EBS and Haven (and who doesn’t?) then you need to tick a typical list of terms and conditions and a… wait, what?! A disclaimer to say AIB can stalk you on social. Well that’s a bit weird – why are they asking for it? They claim it’s because they’re after feedback on their service and that’s very noble but what else are they gaining permission to do? Will this become the norm? Is this legal? Have I added too many questions to the end of a fairly interesting paragraph? Is there room for one more? No.  
 
In this article, the analyst Daragh O’Brien (not Dara O’Briain) said AIB is failing the ‘surprise the customer test’ – which nobody wants. If people want their dream house though, and they feel they’ve nothing to hide by opening up their social media in full view of their mortgage provider, then the opt-in will probably get ticked quicker than my dog rolling around in a bagful of Ixodes scapularis. 
One to keep an eye on, that. 
 
Finally, back to Facebook and the fact it’s back to being worth as much as ever and actually taking on new projects including a dating app, which apparently the boss of Match and Tinder said he isn’t worried about, but sent shares in those apps tumbling
 
I say the new app should be called FaceLittleBlackBook, and that’s probably why I’m not allowed in creative meetings unless I bring snacks.
 
That’ll do for now, I’m not saying any more about social media until someone tops up the blood that drained when I heard one of my friends had used the app This Is Your Digital Life. About 7 pints should do.
 
Tweety-ho!

 

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