Elder Patriot – The technology research firm, Techpinions recently conducted a poll of 1000 Facebook users and found that 9% of those surveyed had already deleted their accounts after discovering how their personal information was being used and abused. That number is likely to rise.
For a publicly traded company that thrives on engagement to drive the value of its inventory of personal information, this is not good news.
People don’t want the government collecting their PI and they sure as heck don’t appreciate Facebook doing the work of the NSA for it.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Congress that Facebook doesn’t sell data to advertisers. The reality is, Facebook doesn’t have to sell anything to meet the company’s objective of developing a constantly updated personal profile on everyone that come in contact with it.
All that they have to do is leave their platform open to third-part app developers and the rest will be done for them by, fueled by users dying to share everything about them self with the world. Even those who think they’ve blocked sharing with the outside world are feeding FB’s database of their PI. Once you interact with Facebook’s platform there is no escaping the PI dragnet you have entered. As we learned, Facebook continues tracking you even after you choose to sign off.
User engagement had already begun to fall well before the Cambridge Analytica breach had become public. That is because it is Facebook and not Cambridge Analytica that has acted outside of Facebook’s rules and America’s values and a sizeable portion of users had grown knowledgeable of that.
Facebook had been allowing third party app developers unimpeded access to users’ PI as a way increase engagement and extend its information gathering on each user since its inception.
Carol Davidsen, Director of Media Analytics for Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, admitted that Facebook allowed her team “to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side.”
Facebook’s ability to influence elections has been the subject of an investigative study by Robert Epstein, PhD, for a number of years. He paints a scary picture of a company with the ability to move millions of votes simply by the decisions it makes on the flow of information.
Epstein’s findings to date makes Facebook’s censorship of conservative pages all that more concerning.
The potential for Facebook to use the vast databank of PI to sway future elections would render unnecessary the kind of unlawful wrongdoing that President Obama orchestrated at the FBI and DOJ in the lead up to the 2016 election. Instead a private company will hold the power to elect the government that they favor – no oversight allowed.
All of this has led to growing concern about the power being vested in global monopolistic corporations that are driven by market forces above American interests.
One of those expressing concern is Brian Acton who was a co-founder of WhatsApp and who sold his company to Facebook for the unearthly sum of $19 billion. The transaction created a level of vertical integration, that if government had any interest in – or knowledge about – protecting us, would never have allowed to go through.
Last month Acton himself declared it’s time to disassociate yourself from Facebook: