Hey folks, let’s take a step back on this controversial topic and situation. I believe strongly in our right to access, privacy and openness, so do I believe even more strongly in our personal responsibilities for our lives, access to the world around us and to safeguarding our privacy. Who among us didn’t know that our data shared on Facebook wasn’t ours once we turned it over? How many posts and email messages have you all seen that make some sort of statement aimed at Facebook telling them that even though we’ve posted our photos, life stories and the like on Facebook they have no right to use said postings. Really? Think about this for a minute.
Here is the link to the original story on CBC to which I am responding.
Facebook provides 2.9 billion people around the world a free platform through which we can share with our friends and family members what’s alive in us, and it allows companies, organizations and media outlets to post what they’re up to and offering their services and goods to us, the consumer. So, based on the fact that it’s free to us, and they still manage to make billions of dollars each year by selling advertising, what did you actually think was going on? Did they actually steal your info and share it with others, or did you willingly type all that private info in your profile, post all those interesting things about yourself, click Like on all those ideas you resonate with, click Sad on all those posts that saddened you and comment on the posts you both agreed with and ranted against? Ladies and gents, each time you did any of this you were providing data points they can use to target advertising and articles of interest. For some that’s creepy, and yet I find that to be just right in my world. I don’t ever see advertising for Ford trucks, Honda Fits or chain saws, however see all manner of technology, environmental, self-help, health and political stuff that perfectly fits with my particular interests. I also don’t get bombarded with Right Wing Fake News, because Facebook has seen through my interactions that I am interested in reading that which leans to the Left. BTW, Twitter knows a lot about you, as does your credit card company, bank, drug store and any other organization with whom you have shared your private info, and if you look at what they’ve communicated to you they too are targeting you according to what you have shared.
So, when you set up your profile and actually shared your birthdate, work history, music and movie preferences and all the other specifics about yourself that others could see on this very public platform, how did it equate that your privacy was to be maintained, let alone desired. I know some who have not signed up for Facebook, and they’re the folks I know who are truly interested in remaining private. The rest of us, well we’re open to sharing or we wouldn’t be there either. I know people who don’t share anything but their name, a fake birthdate and an irrelevant email address in their own attempts to fool the statistics, yet remain able to participate on Facebook for those things they are comfortable and willing to engage with.
Here’s what the article says, “It’s estimated the personal information of 622,161 users in Canada was improperly used…”. Did Facebook do anything wrong? In my opinion they didn’t, although they should perhaps have made it more difficult for companies like the one in this quoted piece to sell my info if they had any notion of keeping us safe from ourselves:
“That Facebook app, called “This is Your Digital Life,” was a personality quiz created in 2014 by an academic researcher named Aleksander Kogan, who paid about 270,000 people to take it. The app vacuumed up not just the data of the people who took it, but also — thanks to Facebook’s loose restrictions — data from their friends, too, including details that they hadn’t intended to share publicly.”
So, those 270,000 people who received some minor bit of remuneration for taking the quiz from an app they downloaded from Facebook were fooled into it, or they didn’t bother to read the details of what they were participating in? Either way, I don’t see that anybody coerced them into it, and that the info was sold to political parties and/or corporations isn’t a surprise to me. After all, if we’re getting Facebook for free and they’re making millions we have to be able to connect those dots.
I think many of us will now go back into our Facebook profiles to set a few more limits on what will be shared and with whom, and I dare say I’ll become a public lire where FB is concerned. Stay tuned, you’ll now be wishing me a happy birthday on Christmas Day from now on, and you’ll have to guess as to the year I was born. Hey, 39 was a good age so I think that’ll be my age from now on. As for all those jobs I said I held in the past, wait until you see what my work history will be on Facebook. All of a sudden I will have been an Astronaut. Brain Surgeon and a Catholic Priest. What do those things have in common? Nothing, however I can’t wait to see how it affects the advertising I’ll receive going forward. I’m anticipating receiving flight promotions, advertising for really good knives, and offerings of buckets of Holy Water. After all, I’ve said repeatedly on Facebook that we should protect our water from unscrupulous corporations Hell-bent on dirtying it, fracking with it or selling it to people who have access to good drinking water already.
At any rate, I won’t be disconnecting from Facebook, and I’ll be operating differently from now on. All those apps I use on my iPhone and computer where I log in through Facebook will no longer be used in that way, and just in case, I will be changing my Facebook password soon in order to force me to disconnect those third party apps when I use them again.
I do find it ironic that the Facebook Founder is being asked to appear in front of the American Congress to answer for his wrong-doings, and the NRA and those who sell asault rifles to Americans get a pass on answering for their actions. It’s a weird world we live in folks. JMO.