Data Science

By: Rachel Petersen

Facebook’s Data Science page gives us a glimpse into just how personal and far-reaching the data Facebook collects on its users can be. The Facebook page for the team states its purpose as the following: “The Facebook Data Science team builds scalable platforms for the collection, management, and analysis of data.

We use these platforms to help drive informed decisions in areas critical to the success of the company, and conduct social science research of both internal and external interest. We build tools and provide support for anyone at Facebook who would like to use our platforms to help make data-driven decisions or build data-intensive products and services.”

To some, the trends that the data reveal can be informative, fascinating, and entertaining– as Facebook probably intended it to be. But to others, especially those who are wary of and fear the spread of big data, the page and team can be viewed as a source of concern. If Facebook is collecting information on topics as trivial as how people laugh on Facebook, what other kinds of data are they collecting that they aren’t publishing?