You probably were!
In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has found itself under fire for permitting a third-party application managed by a notorious political outfit to scoop up the details of 50m of its users for use in targeted advertising.
As explosive revelations continue to come to light, spearheaded by whistleblower Christopher Wylie, Facebook has found itself arguing the semantics of what constitutes a “data breach.” But for the millions of users whose account details were abused without consent, it may be useful to now check their app settings.
Yeah! Check your app settings. I don’t have to because I don’t have a smartphone, nor am I on Facebook because you see, I figured out from the gitgo that any entity that wanted as much information about a person as Facebook wanted, was up to no good. Apparently, not many of you were concerned about that fact. Facebook and other platforms calling themselves, ‘social media’ are set up for the express purpose of stealing your information to use for nefarious purposes and many of you stupidly allow this just so that you can communicate with folks that you think you need to communicate with. Some of you say that it is easy to set up meetings with others who are in a particular group or that Facebook has made it easy to connect with long lost family members or school friends and so this, apparently, more than makes up for the fact that the information that you had to supply to Facebook is now in the hands of who the hell knows who. And if you think that since this data breach has surfaced, that you will hear the whole truth and nothing but the truth, are you really THAT stupid? Probably!
Let me ask you this. Can you recall a time before there was a Facebook? How diminished was your life before Facebook? So? What? You had no REAL friends before Facebook and so now that you have Facebook and you’ve got ‘followers’, you now feel as though your life is complete? How many times do you meet face to face with those newfound friends and family members? How many have you had to ‘unfollow’ because their politics clashed with yours or they wrote something that just pissed you off?
We have turned our entire lives over to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit and some I’ve probably never heard of and we are fine with that because we are made to feel as though we belong to a ‘community’ when in reality, we’re just hooked up in the matrix. You cannot get unplugged now because they’ve got you locked in good and tight. How in the world could you function without that smartphone filled with apps? You cannot do a damn thing without that smartphone. It is the first thing you reach for in the morning and the last thing you put down at night because it is filled with everything you think you need. How sad is that? But then, you’re not sad, are you? You’ve got ‘friends’ all over the world. You’ve found long lost relatives who were lost to you for decades and now you get to share with them the fact that you are going on vacation in just a few short months and the kids have grown so big and if not for that smartphone and Facebook, you’d never have ‘virtually met’ and you can’t wait to meet in real time.
Oh what a joy technology is until you find out that with that technology comes a price; the price of your privacy. But then, that’s not a problem because the reason why some entity has access to almost every detail of your life is because you were willing to give up any pretense of privacy you had when you neglected to read the fine print before accepting the TOS(Terms of Service). And now a data breach has been recently ‘discovered’ and your information is in the hands of political organizations, and just about every app you have installed on that smartphone of yours.
“When you install an app, you give it permission to access your public profile, which includes your name, profile pictures, username, user ID (account number), networks and any info you choose to make publicly available,” the U.S. social networking giant says online. “You also give the app other info to personalize your experience, including your friends list, gender, age range and locale.”
So not only have you given up your information to an app, you’ve also given up information regarding those ‘friends’ you have. And now every name on your ‘friend’ list has been accessed by every app that you’ve installed and that information does what? Just sits there harmlessly collecting dust? Don’t be naive. That information is being gathered about you and is being sold and distributed. But the good news is, you’ve got a shitload of ‘friends’ and that makes it all worth while.
As social media sites continue to gather extensive information about their users’ attitudes and behavior, public concern is growing that this information could be exploited,” said Rachel Neaman, CEO of Corsham Institute, a digital rights group. “Whether the issue is legitimate advertising…or fake news, it’s high time that the public were given insight into how they are being targeted and by whom.”
Targeted and exploited? Who cares? Facebook and other social media entities are all good! They connect us to people we wouldn’t ordinarily connect with and for that, we’d give our right arm. Well, wouldn’t we? Apparently, since we’ve given them everything else.