If you were one of the 2 billion Facebook users in the world rightly upset to hear that Cambridge Analytica stole personal information from “87 million users” hang on to your face.
According to Business Insider:
The 87 million Facebook accounts harvested by Cambridge Analytica (CA) in a massive data breach were probably just the tip of the iceberg.
That’s the written testimony CA’s former Business Development Director Brittany Kaiser gave to Britain’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMSC) on Tuesday.
She told British lawmakers, who are conducting an inquiry into fake news and the Facebook data scandal, that CA used numerous questionnaires to gather data.
“I am aware in a general sense of a wide range of surveys which were done by CA or its partners, usually with a Facebook login,” she told the DCMSC, highlighting one quiz called “sex compass” with no further detail.
And then, crucially, Kaiser added:
“I believe it is almost certain that the number of Facebook users whose data was compromised through routes similar to that used by Kogan is much greater than 87 million; and that both Cambridge Analytica and other unconnected companies and campaigns were involved in these activities.”
Well, it makes sense. Because I cannot think of a single story to ever break about Facebook that didn’t get progressively worse as the “real truth” leaked out. Were the numbers not bad enough, fair use prohibits me from posting more of her testimony, whereby she states that she believed the entire purpose of the quizzes was to gather the info to be passed along to third companies.
That makes Mark Zuckerberger’s testimony before Congress last week, a half-lie. Zuckerberg testified that Facebook’s purpose was “to bring people together,” and that is true. He left off the part about the entire reason Facebook brings people together is to more efficiently sell us off “together” to advertisers or other manipulators, such as the Russian state.
I don’t know about you but I have about had it with Zuckerberg and his company. Capitalism cannot work well with a company like Facebook. Capitalism is based upon the idea of companies competing against each other for customers, with the company providing the best service at the best price winning. But, with businesses like Facebook, the attractiveness of the company to customers is the sheer number of people using it, an “extrinsic” value. This explains Facebook’s need to quickly buy-up competitors and smaller companies. It also explains how Facebook gets away with having so little regard for their customers’ privacy concerns.
What good is it if MySpace has great security controls, a more moral advertising policy, and better interface if only 3 of your 561 friends use “MySpace”? The value in Facebook is not Facebook, it is that everyone happens to use Facebook.
There are those who naturally fear the heavy hand of government, they smell the loss of freedom with every taxed penny. I fear the loss of freedom by people who own the government, companies like Facebook, Goldman, Apple, XFinity, Exxon, etc etc etc. In my mind, Facebook – should it come to pass that they knowingly downplayed the amount of information stolen, while Zuckerberg was testifying to Congress – should face serious consideration about busting Facebook up – TDR-Style, into a family of a dozen, smaller, cuter, faces, all with interchangeable software, all able to speak to each other, but differing advertising policy, differing security control, differing corporate structure, and thus every reason to both compete with each other, and respect the desires of the people who use the product.
I fail to see why the freedom that I lose to the heavy hand of government is any less valuable than the freedom I lose to the heavy hand of corporate America. As if the dual threat were not bad enough, we cannot even be sure it is so much a “dual” threat anymore, given that Citizen’s United granted corporations the right to spend their dollars to control the government.
Regardless, the news of the day is pretty well the same as the news was last week. Facebook is evil, much more evil than you know. Facebook was deeply involved with Cambridge Analytica which was deeply involved with mining “deep data” on behalf of Donald Trump. Meanwhile, Russia was also deeply involved with micro-manipulation of Facebook in the hopes of electing Donald Trump.
It is just much worse than you thought. But, you knew that already.