Is Facebook Just a Big Data Miner?
I have always thought of Facebook as a great social networking website that allows you and your friends to interact in so many ways, but as of today I have second thoughts about the site. Lets face it Facebook is a "business" and will always be a business, and the one thing you need to run a successful business is money. Facebook makes money in so many different ways and one of the points I'm going to talk about is the selling of personal information to 3rd parties and even the government. I should point out that Facebook is not the only website that sells personal information but it is a great example. Whatever you do on the internet it is being recorded by several parties so you will never be able to ever go unnoticed, why would you want to go unnoticed anyway ?.
I strongly believe that the internet and your usage should be monitored to prevent online crimes but storing personal data such as age, address, education and work history is an invasion of privacy. The websites that store this information have different uses for it and its not always obvious to the user what they do with it. I do not mind a website storing my personal information for the benefit of the site and usability of it, but I certainly do not want them to sell my information to other companies or share it with my local government. We are all monitored on a day to day basis, they say each londoner is caught on average 300 times a day by CCTV and our local government has access to everything we spend our money on. There is so many other ways we are being watched, for example Oyster cards log down your journey from start to finish and that information is also stored and shared with others.
Facebook is a free website but they have to make money some how and in the early stages before they became as popular as what they are now they were linked to large sums of money from other companies like PayPal. Why would the CEO of PayPal give Facebook over half a million? PayPal is not a feature of Facebook and is not integrated into Facebook in anyway.
In 2001 a company was formed called "information awareness office" which was and has been designed to hold detailed records of as many people as possible. What has this got to do with Facebook? Well they have taken large sums of money from companies and organizations linked to government bodies and data centers. I have added a link to show you how these different companies are linked together and there involvement with Facebook. Click Here
When you sign up to Facebook a lot of people put as much information about themselves as possible on there like, address, phone number, age, interests, education, work history, clubs, music, books and with all the different apps available the amount of personal information you share is endless. If you do not want people or companies to know your life inside out then be careful about what you share. Before I end I must also mention that Facebook buys information from other companies as well like instant messaging websites etc. If you already have a Facebook profile and want to delete it, you can put in a request to Facebook but what they will do is remove your profile and prevent you from logging in but will still keep your personal information and use it on there site. Everything you write or upload is property of Facebook, e-mails between you and your friends in Facebook is property of Facebook, all comments and pictures of yourself and friends is property of Facebook etc.
With loads of companies online and offline wanting to make money and push there products to there targeted audience, websites like Facebook will always be in demand for selling personal details. Facebook currently has 175 million active users, and has detailed information on what there users interests are and can offer companies personal information on idea clients in there market. We will never know for a fact where our information goes to but we have a good idea of some of the places it can end up.
The UK government is trying to tighten up even more and get as much information on people as possible, as of next week the UK government will be given access to detailed information on the users from the UK. To be honest I do not mind if it helps to combat crime, but we all know that information will be stored on a computer somewhere and will be used to compile a profile about you. When the government gains access to Facebook they will be able to upload a photo of you and your address to there own private database from the information they will be given access to by Facebook.