What’s Being Done With Your Data?

According to the article posted  by Mark Gollom [CBC News] – What’s being done with your data: Experts ask, shouldn’t someone get this under control? – Facebook, Google and Amazon have a complete monopoly on records of what interests you.
Revelations that U.K.-based Cambridge Analytica apparently used data from more than 50 million Facebook accounts to try to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election in favour of Donald Trump have sparked criticism over how the giant social networking company protects its users’ data”.
According to computational social scientist Sandra Matz (an assistant professor of management at Columbia Business School) the bigger issues that should be addressed is what does it mean that those companies have that data; and, is the data that those companies hold sufficiently protected?
It appears that the current controversy arose when a psychological-profiling application for use within Facebook (created by researcher Aleksandr Kogan) was used by the data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica to obtain information about millions of Facebook users and friends (who never downloaded the app or explicitly gave consent for their data to be used to try and influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
In the wake of these revelations, now some regulators and politicians are considering whether tougher regulations need to be put into place to protect users. And, companies like Facebook have taken steps to allow users to adjust their privacy settings. However, Social scientist Matz has said, “I think it’s great if they have more control, but I think people simply don’t care enough. They probably don’t really know how much is possible and what their data is being used for.”
It appears that the current controversy arose when a psychological-profiling application for use within Facebook (created by researcher Aleksandr Kogan) was used by the data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica to obtain information about millions of Facebook users and friends (who never downloaded the app or explicitly gave consent for their data to be used to try and influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
In the wake of these revelations, now some regulators and politicians are considering whether tougher regulations need to be put into place to protect users. And, companies like Facebook have taken steps to allow users to adjust their privacy settings. However, Social scientist Matz has said, “I think it’s great if they have more control, but I think people simply don’t care enough. They probably don’t really know how much is possible and what their data is being used for.”
Meanwhile back in 2007, Helen A.S. Popkin – writing for MSNBC in an article titled Twitter Nation: Nobody Cares What You’re Doing may have captured the real reason why social media giants like Facebook is getting away with doing as they like with the data that its volunteer users provide willingly.
She asks, “Why do we think we’re so important that we believe other people want to know about what we’re having for lunch, how bored we are at work or the state of inebriation we happen to be at this very moment in time? How did society get to the point that we are constantly improving technology so that this non-news can reach others even faster than a cell phone, a text message, a blog, our Facebook profiles?”
And, she continues, “There’s no blaming Generation Y for that. Blame their parents, those touchy-feely post boomers who piled on the praise and positive reinforcement, lest they bruise little Dylan or Madison’s budding self esteem. It’s Mom and Dad who awarded gold stars and iMacs every time their precious progeny engaged in the most mundane of child development. Why should they or the rest of us gape in horror at the next generation posting itself naked on the Internet (both literally and metaphorically). Twitter is just the latest development in the biggest generation gap since rock n’ roll invented teenagers”.
But someone does care what you’re doing online; and they’re amassing fortunes mining the data being provided to them by their pavlovian subjects.