Privacy invading Facebook readies phone named after friend of blood-suckers

HTC is building 'Buffy,' a smarphone with Facebook embedded deep as ticks in a hound

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AndroidPolice.com also found HTC was including an app called androidvncserver.apk with many phones. The app provides a virtual network connection that could allow third parties to log in to the phone and take it over, in case stealing GPS data on every move the owner made, contact he or she called and list of conversations in the texting log were not enough.

Facebook and HTC seem ideally matched on this one.

ITworld blogger Dan Tynan points out another reason for Facebook to sell its own phone, beyond my assumption that it would provide the rest of the 360-degree invasion-of-privacy that is apparently its goal: mobile advertising.

Gartner predicts mobile ad revenue will grow by almost 700 percent between the $3 billion it generates this year and 2015 ($20.6B).

Facebook's constituency is increasingly moving off-desk, if not offline.

Smartphones and tablets are rapidly overtaking laptops as the Internet-access device-of-choice for Gen-X and Millenial generations, but that trend is moving upward into older generations as well, according to a study released in February by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

That doesn't mean Facebook is losing its audience to smartphones, only that it might miss out on a good opportunity to leech privacy from mobile users as well as those who stay on-premise if it were not heavily represented on smartphones.

Facebook apps have already embedded themselves in 350 million smartphones worldwide, however, Tynan points out.

That sounds like a pretty good audience base to me.

But, of course, I'm a bad judge of what Facebook considers to be reasonable, whether we're talking about the size of an installed base of end users or what level of privacy invasion is appropriate for a company that claims to serve its users, not those who are willing to pay for information those customers would rather not give up.

Luckily, Facebook is very post-ironic even in the name it chose for the new phone – a name that doesn't even hint at the blood-sucking tendencies of the company that contracted for it, of course.

The phone's name is Buffy, apparently after the TV character who was nominally a slayer of the undead, but actually hung around with quite a lot of them, including a vampire who was the love of her soon-to-be afterlife.

Photo Credit: 

Reuters

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