Why is everyone surprised by Facebook?
I gotta admit that I'm stumped.
I had already assumed that Facebook was selling our data to people with unethical intentions. In fact, I think it's only a matter of time before "unethical" turns into "illegal".
So why is everyone surprised? Were they simply not paying attention?
Imagine a hyper-connected world where dating applications build 800-page profiles or your Internet behavior and taste in love interests, or track your one night stands based on the overnight location of your cell phone.
..The California Consumer Privacy Act would require big companies to disclose the type of information they gather, explain how it is shared or sold and give people the right to prevent businesses from spreading their personal data.
...Google, Facebook, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast have contributed $200,000 each to a campaign finance committee opposing the initiative since mid-February. The proponents, a trio of Bay Area business professionals, expect the Internet behemoths will eventually pour in over $100 million to try to stop the measure from passing.
No matter what bullsh*t these big internet companies tell you about how much your privacy and concerns matter to them, the simple fact is that you are nothing but a cash cow that exists to be milked by them.
And when I say "cash cow" I mean serious cash.
It is clear that in the aggregate, our personal information – even relatively innocuous details such as our browser search history – is worth a vast amount of money. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has come to be valued at more than $720bn in the space of 20 years, with most of that derived from its advertising and information efforts. Facebook, which has just celebrated its 14th birthday, is still worth more than $475bn, even after taking a pummelling all week.
Both of those valuations – together topping a trillion dollars – are a reflection of the worth of our data, and the rights those companies hold on it based on what billions of us agreed to in our terms and conditions.
Despite the huge value created by our data, we have handed it over in exchange for little more than the services these companies provide. Now we know its true worth – something we couldn’t have predicted when these companies were young – we should ask whether this trade-off is remotely fair.
Forget for a moment the hopelessly flawed statement of "Who cares, I have nothing to hide".
If that is actually true, and you mean it, then please post your email addresses and passwords below so that we can all go through your correspondence.
What, no takers?
Even if there were people who believed that their privacy had no value, Facebook and Google know otherwise. They even can put a dollar value on it, but you gave it away for free anyway.
Another side of this is the free market fundamentalists who for some inexplicable reason believe that the "free" in "free market" stands for "freedom" rather than "buy one, get one free".
Just look at how the free market reacted to his huge violation in people's right to privacy.
There's no denying Facebook's recent privacy woes have hurt the broader technology sector. Just look at the Nasdaq's rough past couple of days for evidence of that.
But Bank of America Merrill Lynch has crunched data that reveals something surprising: Amid all of the chaos, traders actually poured another $500 million into tech stocks this past week.
Investors don't give a fuuuuk about civil rights. Neither does free markets, or capitalism in general. Getting rid of government is not the road to freedom. It's the road to private tyranny.
The only thing more laughable than Zuckerberg pretending that he gave a flying F about your privacy, is watching Congress pretending that they care about your privacy.
Do you know what those congressional swamp creatures are doing right now while pretending to care about privacy rights?
The CLOUD Act (S. 2383 and H.R. 4943) is a dangerous bill that would tear away global privacy protections by allowing police in the United States and abroad to grab cross-border data without following the privacy rules of where the data is stored. Currently, law enforcement requests for cross-border data often use a legal system called the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties, or MLATs. This system ensures that, for example, should a foreign government wish to seize communications stored in the United States, that data is properly secured by the Fourth Amendment requirement for a search warrant....
As we explained in our earlier letter to Congress, the CLOUD Act would:
Allow foreign governments to wiretap on U.S. soil under standards that do not comply with U.S. law;
Give the executive branch the power to enter into foreign agreements without Congressional approval or judicial review, including foreign nations with a well-known record of human rights abuses;
Possibly facilitate foreign government access to information that is used to commit human rights abuses, like torture; and
Allow foreign governments to obtain information that could pertain to individuals in the U.S. without meeting constitutional standards.
How that even got to the point of being seriously considered by Congress boggles the mind.
If only this country had national referendums, like the Dutch.
One last thing, just being more computer savvy is not enough to protect your privacy. Although it can't hurt.