Recent controversies surrounding Facebook over Cambridge Analytica’s wrong usage of data, has made me think. Harvesting personal data and then selling it to others is a very difficult situation. So who is responsible ?

Facebook

Facebook please be more careful

  • Facebook
  • Third party users
  • We, ourselves

The onus clearly is a shared one. All of us are responsible for this dilemma. Yes ! Facebook has collected all that personal data and provides the users with a platform which is fun to use (2 billion people) and gives us all a dopamine rush (at least when we get likes and comments). But where does this all end ? Can Facebook really use all that personal data of ours and use it for monetary purposes ? I guess the answer is a Yes and No.

Yes: Because Facebook needs to monetize, otherwise how will they survive as a company.

No: Because Facebook is using personal information of people.

A very thin line between the Yes / No. Facebook uses our data for running Ads. I don’t have a problem with that because it is serving my need. Namely, connecting me with people / organization which can give me a product / service that I like.

However, shouldn’t Facebook give me a part of the profit that it charges the person who hosts an Ad ?

Forget Ads. Selling our information to third party providers is stretching it a little bit further. Logging in using Facebook is fine. But when they have access to data (our) the equation kind of becomes complicated. There must be due diligence.

I’m glad that Mark Zuckerberg has apologized and is working on a fix. The question is Cambridge Analytica is just the Pandora’s box. How are they going to screen all these third party providers ?

As you are aware, Facebook stocks have crashed (if I’m not wrong by 20%) and this is not good news for investors.

Please realize for people @ Facebook

  1. Do gather data but provide confidentiality.
  2. Don’t give too much leeway to third party providers.
  3. Keep improving your product.
  4. No hacking should be entertained.
  5. Treat people like people, not numbers.

Mark, are you listening ?