Earlier today I came across a tweet from Dylan McKay claiming that he'd downloaded his Facebook data as a zip file and it bizarrely included his entire call and sms history. See for yourself.
Access your own Facebook data by going to settings and clicking on the "Download a copy" link. Example below.
It seems Facebook has worked tirelessly over the years to gather as much data on users as it can – and to profit from it. As of the fourth quarter of 2017, Facebook had 2.2 billion monthly active users. Facebook's revenue grew from 7.87 billion in 2013 to 40.7 billion US dollars in 2017, it accumulated a net income of 15.9 billion US dollars and majority of that revenue was generated via advertising.
Why am I not surprised?
Facebook has gone to great lengths to convince members of the public that it’s all about “connecting people” and “building a global community”. In 2016 this became the tale of Facebook & Cambridge Analytica, a saga that highlights the awful mess that the biggest player in billions of online lives has enabled. If you aren’t familiar with the story Cambridge Analytica spent more than $1 million dollars harvesting personal data through Facebook so they could micro-target you with advertising. Advertising which Christopher Wylie (ex Director of Research at Cambridge Analytica) claims is grossly unethical and uses new constructs of psychology to target you based on personality. He say’s they used apps such as games that have special behaviours that harvest your data and pull all your friends data while they are at it. Once they have this data they know how to talk to you, via what medium and how often they have to show you a message in order to change your behaviour. This strategy is what most claim was used in the 2016 US presidential election which led to Donald Trumps success and in the same year Brexit. Chris says they are responsible for creating the worlds largest psychological warfare tool and full service propaganda machine who can influence how people behave and react. They did this by whispering in the ear of each and every voter using Facebook. In my opinion this is one of the worlds biggest data breaches.
To dig more into the revelations surrounding the Cambridge Analytica scandal click here.
"People change culture and if you change the people, in theory, you can change the culture. If you want to win a war in this example a political war you need to start by building cultural weapons. Once you destroy the existing culture, you can rebuild it however you want!” - Christopher Wylie explaining the psychological warfare tools they created.
WHAT DO I PLAN TO DO ABOUT IT?
“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” - Mark Zuckerburg