You’re not going to #deletefacebook because you don’t actually care about data privacy
In response to the recent Cambridge Analytic news, many people have been outraged that their data was used in a “nefarious” manner and have threatened to #deletefacebook.
And rightfully so, right?
After all, our personal data was used to advance a cause that the general media generally doesn’t support. Why would we not be upset?
But let’s take a look at what this means in the broader context of personal data privacy
This wasn’t the first time that news came out that personal data was “mishandled”. This certainly won’t be the last time. And it is far, far away from being the worst time.
Remember the days when Edward Snowden told everyone that US agencies have the full capability to spy on every citizen to a minute level of detail? How the government can probably see you right now through the camera on your laptop or phone? How your mic can be turned on at any time to listen to your most private conversations?
Yeah, makes the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica thing look pretty innocent in comparison, right? Makes it seem like advertising targeting is one of the most pleasant things that can be done with our data, right?
The reality is that data breaches and data privacy violations will continue to happen. People will get outraged about it for a few weeks but the noise eventually dies down.
Whether it’s a conscious or thoughtful decision, it doesn’t matter. People just don’t care about their personal data privacy.
For every person who is appalled that some organization mishandled or abused their data, there are at least 100 who willingly give away this sort of information without a second thought.
Ever post on Instagram that you were enjoying your time away from home chilling on the beach? That’s telling strangers now is the best time to rob your house.
But how does the robber know where you live? Well, there are already public property records that link addresses to certain names. And that post you put on Facebook about how much you love going back to your hometown for the holidays to see your 2 younger sisters, father, and mother. Well, that just gave the robber the rest of the information they needed.
Everyone is free to do whatever they want with their own private data. But if you’re still freely giving away your data without a second thought, don’t expect that any other company is going to treat it with any more respect than that.