I kinda have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. I love using it but hate how it sells my data without my consent. To be honest, in the past I did not care even a bit about how my data was handled by Facebook. There was this case reported about how the company stores un-encrypted user data in its internal servers. So what? It was after all a protected server. No third-party had access to it.
However, my perspective shifted after I learned about the Cambridge Analytica scandal. It caused an uproar all over the world and Facebook was at the center of it. Turns out, millions of Facebook user’s data were passed on to Cambridge Analytica, an upstart voter-profiling company. It is believed that the data was then used to sway elections results around the world. The most notable of them was the US Presidential election of 2016.
Facebook stayed quiet about all this until a whistleblower brought light to this event to all of us. Now, almost after a year and a half long legal proceedings that included a congressional hearing, Facebook is finally set to face the repercussions of the event. The Federal Trade Commission has levied a hefty fine of $5 billion on the tech giant! The fine is set to be the biggest one to be levied on a tech company. Now it wouldn’t be fair to say that Facebook was the sole reason for how the elections panned out but one cannot deny its role in it.
Facebook pays its fine, then what? How will our data be handled from now onwards? These questions might have popped in your head and well Facebook sort of tried answering them. Ever since the scandal made headlines, Facebook has been trying to sell itself as a privacy-focused platform. Yes, it sounds laughable but it was their prime concern for the F8 developer conference too.
The tech giants announced that they will be using end-to-end encryption on its various platforms such as Messenger and Instagram. This announcement seems much clearer than the one Mark Zuckerberg gave during his congressional hearing. No one can actually say what the future holds but let’s keep occur fingers crossed and hope for the best about our data and Facebook!
Maybe after this, they’ll finally learn the lesson, and be more serious?