Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, and Data Security

I don’t normally do news posts1, but I thought that this was a fairly important issue to address, so here’s a brief post in case you were wondering what I have to say about it.

What Happened?

Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg2 testified to members of the United States Congress for two days, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, during which several million user’s data was collected by a third-party developer through a Facebook survey app. You can watch full coverage of both days of Zuckerberg’s testimony here:

What Now?

The incident is likely to lead to more intense regulation of this sector in the years to come, at least in the United States. It also raises an ethical question about whether it is the user’s responsibility to protect their data, or whether the companies that they entrust their data with are obligated to place every possible measure in place to prevent incidents like this one from occurring.  The answer to this question will be decided by the events of the next few years, and how much privacy internet users are willing to sacrifice in exchange for the free online services that they use on a daily basis. It is becoming harder to opt out of using social media or internet services that collect information about you, in this age of information. However, users still have a choice3 about what they want to share online or send over the internet. Finally, be careful with your data. Whether or not it is Facebook, or any other company’s responsibility to keep your data safe, no amount of regulation in the future can give you the option to take back your data that you have already given someone. Whenever you post data about yourself on the internet, be aware that it is no longer in your hands and that you are running the risk of this data being released.

 

If you’re still bored, you can also read yesterday’s post or last week’s post. Bye.


  1. Another reason this post isn’t on the main page, and why I added a tech news category to my website.
  2. onlyonesandzeros.com/random_stuff/zuckerberg
  3. At least for now.