I Can’t Believe I’m Defending Facebook

This week was not a good one for Facebook. There have been calls to delete your Facebook accounts, Mark Zuckerberg is being summoned to testify on Capitol Hill, and companies that incorporate Facebook as a large part of their business are scrambling. The Cambridge Analytica scandal isn’t a data breach. All day as I was listening to the news, anchors and writers were calling it a “breach.” This left me steaming. Facebook advertisers, businesses, apps, and pages all collect data on consumers of their content. No data was breached and Facebook wasn’t hacked. Its system was merely taken advantage of. Everyone that has used Facebook at any time since its inception knows that Facebook collects any data we feed it. Anyone that uses Facebook knows that they are handing their data over in exchange for a free social service. We all knew that Facebook shares our data with other companies around the world. None of this should come as a surprise to anyone. It certainly shouldn’t surprise anyone that organizations have gamed the system and figured out optimal ways to take advantage of it. At the moment, nothing that happened appears to have been illegal. It was simply unethical on the part of Cambridge Analytica. Sure, Facebook does need to improve how they manage the privacy of customer data. But those customers already have the ability to limit what apps and pages they share data with and encounter. You got yourself into this mess by signing up for Facebook. If you connected your Facebook account to other apps, you should have paid better attention to what data you were handing over to the third party organization. The media has decided to blow this out of proportion. Remember when Equifax handed out virtually half of the country’s private information including social security numbers? I’m not surprised if you don’t. Everyone is making a much bigger deal out of this Facebook scandal that isn’t even a scandal. The Equifax situation which was far more serious. So, long story short, you agreed to let Facebook share your data. You made the decision to use Facebook and you made the decision to share your private data. If you don’t like it, you shouldn’t be using Facebook in the first place. Instead, Facebook’s failure to protect us from misinformation campaigns should be what we are concerned about.

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