Recently there has been a lot of drama about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica and what they did or did not do with our Facebook data but in my mind, I want to ask everyone… what were you thinking they were doing with all your data? What did you think would happen when you gave an application access to your contacts? When you gave the application access to your location… to a lot of things? Do I need to go back to 2012 and remind you about the Target story (whether truth or fiction) that stated that the chain knew that a young teenager was pregnant before her family did. Companies have been using data for YEARS for and against you, hoping that the information that we give to them will tell them something about our likes and dislikes and allow them to gain a competitive advantage. Companies have constantly been pulling from everything that is now digital. Whether it is email, likes, where we walk, or what we buy, this information is constantly being gathered on us as users. The data may be anonymized but that doesn’t mean that when multiple sources are added together, they get a clear understanding of YOU.
All of this has and will continue to be occurring. There are companies out there that focus on providing data to other companies specifically to make money on both sides. This is the digital age we are in. We are now in the era where data is everything. Some people like to think it is the start of Skynet but I am hoping we can fix it before that. I even had a customer from Saudia Arabia recently tell me that “data is the new oil”.
Either way, the fact is the data is generated by you… yes through applications but you downloaded, you gave the app permission, you took the quiz, you have been using phones with “less security”. I told you this back in 2011… Now some people want it easy and I get that but there are consequences for it. Seriously, why exactly did you think the company wanted you to take the quiz?
Granted, yes I am suspicious of everything. I use fake accounts and fake names all the time. I never click the ads. I put tape over my computer cameras, I unplugged Alexa, I don’t let my applications “communicate” with one another and I definitely don’t let any application get a hold of my contact list! I am more like my friend on Facebook who recently posted…
Now according to the NY Times, the information that was gathered was…
“What kind of information was collected, and how was it acquired?
The data, a portion of which was viewed by The New York Times, included details on users’ identities, friend networks and “likes.” The idea was to map personality traits based on what people had liked on Facebook, and then use that information to target audiences with digital ads.
Researchers in 2014 asked users to take a personality survey and download an app, which scraped some private information from their profiles and those of their friends, activity that Facebook permitted at the time and has since banned.”
All I am saying is understand what really bothers you about the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica issue. Is it the fact that political parties are using data against you or are you upset that Facebook shared this information with a third party? You are putting a lot of trust into companies whose main goal is to make money from you and the only way they can do that is understand who you are and what your interests are. Until regulations like GDPR are in effect everywhere, your information will always be “owned” by some other company and honestly… don’t get me started on regulation.
After you watch my video, you need to watch this video from a Stanford Data Scientist about privacy and data. The fact is you need to more aware of what you sharing because businesses , all businesses, will always continue to use your data.