An open letter to Facebook’s Chairman and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg
Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,
This is a difficult message to publicly share as Facebook indirectly built our business — you created the demand to scan the trillions of still pre-digital photos to safely share on your social media platform. But, we gave you a year to respond to our concern over your very public data breaches.
I am grateful for your innovations which enabled generations of nostalgic pictures to be uploaded and shared among your community of users. Yet you destroyed the trust you pledged for safely and harmlessly hosting conversations and pictures.
Each day, new reports like this are revealed: “Facebook scolded for how it protects user phone numbers for security” via USA Today.
Katherine Bindley, personal technology reporter at The Wall Street Journal wrote:
“Facebook Ads Will Follow You, Even When Your Privacy Settings Are Dialed Up. Facebook Inc. has spent the better part of a year telling its users, Congress and the readers of this paper that we’re in charge of our personal data and the ads we see. The network has streamlined its privacy. Is Facebook spying on us?”
As background, our widely read report raised more questions, yet you were silent.
- What are the hidden costs of a “free” Facebook?
- Is Facebook hacking into your life from the pictures you uploaded?
- Why Not Upload Pictures to Facebook.
Then, Facebook waged more turbulence. Was it in response to calling you out? In January, Facebook launched what may have been a personal, callous and underhanded reaction to our small business. This turned into a ‘David vs Goliath’ narrative. But we are not backing down.
As the company who uses our voice and advocacy to address many important issues, including on the bank’s credit card fees, to Epson’s advertising messaging and even President Trump, you are our new focus to force changes. We all want to help solve your data breach problems and harmonize your business model. Users, not advertisers must be your customer and not the product.
Did Facebook Give ScanMyPhotos Free Ads To Shut Us Up?
Imagine if a giant multi-national conglomerate reached out with an unsolicited message that they wanted to give a small business free advertisements? We took the bait, yet it may have revealed your potentially clandestine and sneaky way to shut us up.
The Facebook Pitch
Subject: Opportunity for SMP
Excerpt: Each month, the company gives us some money to run ads for businesses just so we stay familiar with our own products – in this case, our ad platform. Given my recent great experience with ScanMyPhotos, I’d like to offer that to you. It’s completely free for you. The only cost is a little bit of your time, or of your marketing person helping me to create the ad…
I used your company to scan about 20 rolls of APS photos. Overall a great experience from start to finish. I found you through Google but had a friend recommended you, that would have made it even more compelling.
I liked my experience so much, I shared it on Facebook, but you can see that the post wasn’t as good as it could have been. Would have been much better with an image. And even better if I could have sent my friends a special offer. Anyway, a lot of possibilities here.
If you’re interested in this, let me know. Would be fun for me to help a business that really helped me.
Free ads on Facebook to promote ScanMyPhotos? Sure thing. But a catch.
Facebook asked us to embed their provided coding on our website to track ‘their’ ads. We did and have every email as proof of what happened. The ads generated zero conversions and no orders. Then the troubles. Our website IT technologists alerted us that the coding was not just tracking Facebook’s ads for you, but the monitoring of our entire platform –monitoring EVERY ScanMyPhotos transaction. We pulled the coding and then Facebook became silent. Never heard back afterward. What was the motive to give us free ads? We can only guess.
During CES in January at the Grand Lux Café at The Palazzo Casino Las Vegas, the discussions continued during an invited breakfast meeting. I was encouraged and excited for the potential to work with Facebook as a content provider to scan the trillions of pre-digital photos for uploading by your users and help become a solution. Our passion since 1990 has been to help preserve pictures and this seemed like a new beginning and opportunity to help.
Now, we are taking matters into our own hands and urge others to follow our lead. This is but one solution that must be part of a pallet of many to fix Facebook because you clearly are not.
How To Stop Facebook From Using The Billions of Uploaded Photos Each Day:
Because you would not, we are working to fix Facebook’s spying.
How: Opt-in embed metadata coding in photos digitized by ScanMyPhotos.com with this message: “FACEBOOK, YOU DON’T HAVE MY PERMISSION TO ALGORITHMICALLY SCAN, MARKET OR SELL MY UPLOADED PICTURES.”
- Does Facebook retain the metadata from your uploaded pictures, even though it is not included within the content of your pictures?
- How are machine-learning algorithms used to classify the objects in all the billions of uploaded pictures by its users each day, as they make photos searchable? Is it used to monetize your characteristics as described by the content of your photographs?
- How are they gathering the content of your pictures?
- Since they are not just happily accepting all the uploaded pictures without charge, what is in it for Facebook? The value proposition?
- Does Facebook agree that the uploaded content from photographs may be even more sensitive than what is contained within a post?
- How is Facebook analyzing the photo subject’s facial structure and creating a unique “faceprint?”
- How is Facebook interpreting every picture, using its biometric capabilities to learn everything about its users?
Mr. Zuckerberg, I hope this is a teachable moment to inspire immediate changes.
Mitch Goldstone, CEO, ScanMyPhotos.com
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