Is Facebook Spying on You? [PLUS: Johnston Quits and McConnell Agrees to Debate]

Facebook Privacy Issues You Need to Know About

Facebook has been using facial recognition software since the end of 2010. This software works in a fairly complex manner, but essentially, it auto-detects the people within a picture and prompts you to tag them after you upload the image.

This might not seem like such a big deal – and it isn’t, at least when it’s handled securely. In fact, a significant number of Americans liked the feature because it made tagging people in photos easier – at least back in 2010.

Now, things have changed. More and more companies are using facial recognition technology to identify people and even market products to them. There’s also evidence that some social platforms may be selling information or even passing it along to law enforcement.

That’s a privacy violation.

In fact, Consumer Reports did an investigation on the subject in mid-2018. They discovered the majority of Facebook users had no way of turning off facial recognition settings at all. It didn’t matter if the users were uncomfortable with granting such invasive permissions or not.

That changed this week. The social media giant announced that all users can now turn off facial recognition settings from right within the Facebook app. However, it still isn’t clear whether or not turning off the option limits Facebook’s ability to collect, hold, or use data previously obtained by the algorithms.

Mike Johnston Leaves Senate Race

Lifelong Democrat and former state Sen. Mike Johnston has officially ended his bid for the US Senate. He was a popular favorite going up against GOP Sen. Cory Gardner in 2020.

The former Senator conceded to Colorado’s previous governor, John Hickenlooper, who announced his intention to run just recently. Johnston also blames financial strain and the potential of a negative campaign among his reasons for quitting.

Hickenlooper was, of course, pleased to hear the news.

Johnston also stated that participating in the primary “would have risked the chance of weakening the eventual nominee so that we could have lost to Gardner and lost the seat, and that’s the opposite of what everybody that came to our campaign came to accomplish.”

If the Dems want to have any chance at winning the Senate back in 2020, they have to win Colorado. Still, there’s no sign Hickenlooper will be more efficient than Johnston, especially if he’s up against Gardner.

McConnell Accepts Debate Challenge

Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) recently challenged Mitch McConnell to five public debates during an interview with WHAS-TV after an interviewer asked if he would run against the Republican in 2020. Yarmuth’s reaction was quick and to-the-point:

“If Mitch McConnell would agree to debate me five times in public, I’d do it.”

To his obvious surprise, McConnell accepted:

Yarmuth quickly backed down from the challenge. His communications director Christopher Schuler said “He does hope that the senator is serious about debating his opponent next year though. Kentuckians deserve to hear him defend his actions, and lack thereof, that have been so destructive to our commonwealth and country.”

There have been no announcements made about debates involving McConnell against serious opponents in 2020. Still, you can be sure that if they arrive, he’ll rise to the challenge.

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