If you have been living under a rock you would know by now that Facebook is under relentless inspection because of the way a records firm called Cambridge Analytica has been misusing user data from the social network.
Over the past two days, sting operations by news channels and a variety of reports online have pointed out how data from Facebook user profiles (around 50 million) had easily been used during Trumps’ 2016 campaign for the US presidency and even in part for the Brexit Leave campaign among many others.
Though, the investigations have begun over whether the data really influenced the above campaigns, reports by news publications, like The Guardian and in an interview with former Cambridge Analytica research go ahead Christopher Wylie have exposed a forbidding picture about how your Facebook data has and can be used against you.
Anything that you have uploaded, posted or even been tagged in so far is refers to Facebook user profile data. All of these actions on Facebook, do give the social network an idea of who you are, where you are located, and other details which are then fed to advertisers to show you targeted ads. While this sounds fair (because Facebook is letting you use a free social network in return), sharing and storing such data isn’t because it can be then sold to a third-party buyer who can use this enormous data-set (we are talking millions of profiles here) to profile users under demographic indicators to be used as targets for darker campaigns, such as the ones revealed by the above news outlets in the case of Cambridge Analytica. Think of it as political advertising which does not have any sort of disclaimers or which does not state that it is a political ad.
And the news just keeps pouring in. From ex-Facebook insiders hinting that the data harvesting practices were usual, to WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton jumping on to the #deleteFacebook hashtag there are plenty of indicators hinting that Facebook isn’t doing the right thing by neglecting what third-party players do with user data .
Daily Current Affairs by IAS Coaching Academy